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How To Dress Up Your Frozen Pizza Right

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

What's that? You're too darn busy to make your own pizza? Even if it's The World's Easiest No-Knead No-Stretch Pan Pizza? Or the perfect-for-a-large-crowd, almost-100%-hands-off Party-Sized Square Pie?

Alright fine, I get it. It's the day before game day. The keg delivery is late. You still haven't ironed your jersey or sorted your beer huggies.* Your brand new plasma with the oh-so-deep blacks that are so black it's like, how much more black can it be*** is still sitting in a box, waiting for you to figure out how to anchor it to the wall before the cable can be installed. Not to mention the cat is sitting in the slow cooker and the dog just ate all the Cheetos.

*This is the now-official Serious Eats-approved nomenclature for the beer holders commonly referred to as cozies, koozies, or coldie-holdies**

**A least, these are the common terms as far as Wikipedia is concerned

***The answer is none. None more black

I said I get it! There's a time and a place for frozen pizza, and perhaps that time is Sunday and that place is your living room.

Here's the good news: If you play your toppings right, even a frozen pizza can be elevated into a craveworthy game-time snack. Heck, your guests might be so knocked out by the flavor punch that they'll totally forget that what's in their mouth came from the icebox. Seriously!

Chorizizza

Check out seven of our topping suggestions in the slideshow, jump straight to a slide with a link below, or read on for some more ideas!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

None of these ideas appeal to you? Don't worry, there's a whole wealth of options out there. If it works on real pizza, it'll work on frozen pizza. To get you started, how about:

Cheese

If adding your own extra cheese to a frozen pizza, it's best to add it about half way through the cooking time. Once you start seeing the frozen cheese start to melt, you're good to go. Here are a few ideas.

Cured Meats

I'm a firm believer that the best meats to put on a pizza are cured meats, as they offer the requisite flavor punch to complement a pie without weighing it down. If you like things like chicken or barbecue on your pizza, go wild!

Vegetables

Watery vegetables should be applied thinly sliced and sparingly, or should be par-cooked to avoid sogging out your pie. Alternatively, thin-sliced crisp vegetables like onions and peppers can be added at the end.

Spices and Pickles

Post-Bake Toppers

These are things that you want to add to the pie after it's baked to keep their fresh flavor and texture.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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