The Gluten-Free Costco Buy I Always Have in My Freezer — Even Though I’m Not Gluten Free
As much as I like to enjoy a home-cooked meal with great ingredients (bonus if it’s healthful!), sometimes you just have to grab the quickest, easiest option and take dinner to the couch for some comfort Netflix binging.
In our house that option also happens to be something that costs so little, we mentally apply some more funds to another night’s better dinner (those dry-aged short ribs from our local butcher are amazing but don’t come cheap!) so it all balances out. When we don’t have this budget-friendly, zero-hassle dinner on-hand … well, I just try to never let that happen, by always stocking up on it.
I’m talking about Costco’s frozen gluten-free pizza.
Nobody ever said you have to be gluten-free in order to enjoy GF products, although to be honest I’m not sure how I even came to pick this up the first time — neither frozen pizza nor gluten-free items are part of my usual diet. Something just comes over you at Costco, I guess, and you start filling up your cart with all sorts of goodies.
Look for it: Sabatasso’s Gluten-Free Four-Cheese Pizza, $16 for three
One fateful weeknight, my husband and I found ourselves scrounging for an easy dinner, and there it was in the freezer: the box of three pizzas. We popped one in the oven, settled in for pizza and a movie, and found out it was actually quite good! Not ooey-gooey local pizzeria delivery good, but for what it is — a pizza that costs barely more than five bucks and can be ready with zero work or mess in 20 minutes? Mighty fine.
And because it’s fairly small as far as pizzas go, there’s no risk of mindlessly polishing off a million calories between the two of us. Now it’s not a model of health — I kind of wish I hadn’t looked up the nutrition label working on this story — but as an occasional treat, it’s definitely less bad than the delivery alternative.
I’ve tried to pinpoint what makes this pizza so good, especially given that it’s not a traditional wheat crust, which is normally my preference. I think it starts with hitting the sweet spot of a thin crust that still has a bit of heft. It’s not cracker-thin, but thin enough to stay good and crisp. There’s also just a hint of sweetness in the crust (maybe from the tapioca starch?) and I’m a sucker for anything that combines sweet and savory (a bag of kettle corn can disappear like magic in my hands). But where so many frozen pizzas go wrong is with the tomato sauce — and this one gets it just right. It’s a little thicker than others, and while the crust has that hint of sweetness, the sauce is savory all the way, avoiding the cloying ketchup quality of lesser frozen pies. And? It’s topped with four cheeses, which is all I need to say about that. All in all, it reminds me a little of the joy of pizza day in my school cafeteria (although I’m sure if I were to try that rectangle school pizza now vs. how I remember it, this is better!).
You could definitely eat it as is, but we like to jazz it up a little — usually with some dollops of Trader Joe’s jarred pesto, and then whatever random toppings we have in the fridge for my husband’s half (usually pepperoni, and maybe olives). And then, and I’m a little embarrassed to share this, we sprinkle some more cheese on top for good measure.
We try not to make unnecessary trips to Costco because it’s kind of dangerous — it’s just so easy to walk out having spent $200 on things you didn’t think you needed — but this is one thing we’ll make a trip for if we’re running low (and if we’re there to pick up salmon for sushi, we swing by the frozen section to grab a box or two to help keep the salmon cold on the way home, and to stockpile the freezer).
I was curious about the story behind this product, and it turns out that the parent company of the brand, Sabatasso’s, is Freschetta (both of which are under Schwan’s, who knew?) which has its own gluten-free pizza. The Freschetta pizza looks remarkably like this one, so I wonder if it’s a case of Costco putting the same product under a different brand, as they’re known to do. If you’ve tried both, let us know if you think they’re the same!
Have you tried this frozen pizza? What about the one from Freschetta?