How to Store and Reheat Leftover Pizza

By Mary Hunt

July 6, 2017 4 min read

So, by some miracle you ended up with more pizza than you could eat — or you intentionally ordered a larger pie just to have leftovers. That's a great idea, unless those leftovers sit in the fridge until they dry up, curl up and turn downright disgusting.

Properly stored leftover pizza will retain its quality for three to four days in the refrigerator, or up to two months in the freezer.


The best way to store leftover pizza is not to leave it in the box and shove the whole thing in the refrigerator. The lovely air circulating around the slices in that cardboard box will dehydrate them in a big hurry. The best way is to stack and wrap: Place a single layer of slices on a dinner plate. Place a sheet of wax, foil or parchment paper. Then keep stacking, alternating pizza and paper, until all the pizza's on the plate. Tightly wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. That's it! It's not as easy as just throwing the box in the fridge, but you'll end up with tastier leftovers.

While there are multiple methods for reheating pizza — the oven (too involved for a couple slices), the microwave (It gets so soggy!) or even just eating the pizza cold (pathetic) — I've settled on the hands-down best way to heat up a couple of slices. How? In a skillet, ideally my well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, although any nonstick skillet will do just fine.


This is not difficult as long as you know up front that your most important ingredient here is patience. Just follow these steps precisely and I promise you will have a crisp bottom crust, hot melted cheese and no sign whatsoever that it was made the day before.

Step 1: Place one or two slices in the cold skillet crust side down.

Step 2: Put a lid on the skillet.

Step 3: Set skillet on a stovetop burner set on medium-high heat.

Step 4: Set timer for eight minutes.

Step 5: Wait, and do not peek or remove that lid for any reason. Just don't.

That's it! No need to add water or oil, or flip the slices, or do any other thing you may be wondering about. It's all about keeping the temperature at medium-high and not removing the lid for any reason until it's done.


Let frozen leftover pizza thaw on the countertop for at least an hour, or defrost it in the microwave, and then follow the instructions above.

Reheating pizza properly is all about starting out cold, keeping the temperature at medium-high and not removing the lid for any reason until it's done.


Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at

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