Kitchn Love Letters

Rao’s Just Launched a New Line of Frozen Pizzas and I Tried Every One

published Sep 14, 2022
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Rao's pizza coming out of pizza oven
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

I’ve been a Rao’s devotee for years now, and I will proclaim to anyone who cares to listen that it’s the best jarred tomato sauce on the market. And I’m not alone. The sauce is also a favorite of Kitchn editors. So when a friend told me that Rao’s was releasing a line of frozen pizzas, I had a feeling that these would soon become a fixture in my freezer.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s So Great About Rao’s Homemade Brick Oven Crust Pizzas?

Rao’s Homemade Brick Oven Crust Pizzas come in four flavors: Five Cheese, Meat Trio, Fire Roasted Vegetable, and Uncured Pepperoni. Available in the freezer section of stores like Harris Teeter, Sprouts, and Whole Foods, the pizzas sell for around $12.99 each, which feels like a reasonable price for a 12-inch pie. One pizza with a big salad or a couple of sides is a perfect meal for my family of four.

The box provides directions for cooking in a home oven or in a pizza oven, both of which rely on high heat to achieve a crispy-chewy crust that’s reminiscent of a Neapolitan-style pie. I tried both methods, and although both were enjoyable, the ones cooked in the pizza oven were incredible.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

When baked in a home oven, the pizza, especially compared to other frozen pizzas, is quite good — nice topping-to-crust ratio, high-quality ingredients (specifically the whole-milk mozzarella, which delivers the requisite cheese-pull moment), and a perfect San Marzano tomato sauce that reminds us why Rao’s is the GOAT. Even in the home oven, Rao’s frozen pizzas deliver on the brick-oven flavor they promise because they’re par-baked in a wood oven before freezing, lending a pleasant wood-fired flavor to each slice.

But when baked in a proper pizza oven, like my Gozney Roccbox, the pizza achieves another level of goodness. Take all the aforementioned admirable characteristics and add to them a crust that’s thin and crispy in the middle with a bubbly outer crust begging to be dipped in, you guessed it, Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Of the four varieties, the Meat Trio Pizza took the honors of family favorite, thanks to its liberal application of crispy bacon and pepperoni, plus big, meaty pieces of Italian sausage. The pepperoni is just spicy enough to be interesting; the sausage has a pleasant savory flavor and nice bite; and the bacon is, well, bacon. What’s not to love? I’ll be stocking up on these frozen pizzas and keeping a few on hand for a nearly effortless pizza-night option and for crowd-pleasing weekend lunches.

Find it in stores: Rao’s Homemade Brick Oven Crust Meat Trio Pizza, $12.99 for 20.8 ounces at select Harris Teeter, Sprouts, and Whole Foods

Have you tried these new Rao’s Homemade Brick Oven Crust Pizzas? Tell us in the comments below.