My 1-Ingredient Trick for Making Frozen Pizza Taste Like It’s Straight From Italy

published May 16, 2024
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someone taking a piece of cheese frozen pizza with other pizza around
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Frozen pizza is a glorious convenience. It’s a solid option for when you need to eat but don’t want to cook (because even bad pizza is still pizza, right?) But it can only fly so high. The best frozen pizza can’t beat a freshly baked pie from your favorite pizza place, or from your own oven

As a seasoned recipe developer, I am inclined to solve this problem for myself with a little ingenuity. I’ve tried a few different methods for elevating frozen pizzas, from adding my own fresh toppings, like arugula and garlic, to messing with the baking process itself (like putting it on a pizza stone to improve the crust’s texture). 

After some trial and error, I’ve finally found the best trick, which also happens to be one of the easiest: adding burrata cheese. It’s a no-cook ingredient that can instantly take your frozen pizza from middle-of-the-road to top-of-the-line. 

Credit: Alex Lepe

What Is Burrata?

Burrata cheese is mozzarella that’s formed into a thin pouch and then filled with a mixture of soft, stringy curd and cream called stracciatella. It’s much softer and creamier than mozzarella with a firm outer layer and creamy, spreadable interior. It has a rich, buttery flavor and can instantly elevate anything from a frozen pizza to a hearty panzanella salad.

What Makes Burrata on Frozen Pizza So Good

  • It’s simple. You can find fresh burrata on top of pizzas in many restaurants, because it’s a very unfussy way to make a pizza extra special. Adding this one ingredient improves any pizza — even a frozen one.
  • It’s easy to source. Burrata may feel like a luxurious cheese that you’d have to visit a specialty cheese shop to buy, but you can find it in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores, usually packaged in water.
  • It’s small. A ball of burrata is about the size of the palm of your hand, which is perfect for a frozen pizza, which for the most part, tops out around 12 inches. 
  • It adds freshness and flavor. Burrata is rich and creamy. It’s also a fresh cheese, meaning it’s relatively young (unlike, say Parmesan cheese) and has a fresh, milky flavor which is a boon to a pizza that has been stored on ice for weeks or months before you eat it. Spreading this creamy dreamy little cheese on a frozen pizza makes it taste much closer to something that was baked that day.

Tips for Adding Burrata to Frozen Pizza

  1. Bake the pizza first. Don’t be tempted to put the burrata in the oven. It’s best to add it to the hot pizza after it’s baked.
  2. Pat it dry and bring to room temp.  Burrata is usually sold packaged in water. While your pizza is in the oven, drain the cheese and pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Leave it out on the counter to come to room temperature so you’re not adding ice cold cheese to your hot pizza.
  3. Slice and spread. Carefully place the ball of burrata in the middle of the frozen pizza, then use a knife to slice it open and either spread the creamy center over the surface of the pizza, or cut a few hunks so each slice gets a bit of extra cheese.