cheesy pizza with slice

It may have originated in Italy, but in the U.S. pizza is loved by millions. There are over 75,000 pizza restaurants across the country, supporting close to 900,000 employees (via Statista). There are many different styles: Try our thin-crust pizza or make our Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Or you might prefer a New York-style white pizza or a rectangular Detroit pizza.

It’s believed that over half of the U.S. population are fans of frozen pizza. In 2021, pizza restaurant sales equated to over $45.5 billion, while the frozen pizza market stood at over $6 billion (via Statista). If you’re a pizza-lover, then find out what you can do with leftover pizza, how to make dough using just a couple of ingredients, and learn a trick or two about toppings. Here are tips to give your frozen pizza an upgrade, including how to swap out a pizza base with Indian and Mexican ingredients. Did you know you can make pizza dough without any carbs? Take a slice of culinary inspiration with our 12 must-try pizza hacks for fast-food lovers.

Reheat cold pizza

woman POV with pizza on plate in fridge

There’s something undeniably delicious about cold pizza. Maybe it’s because when it cools down the flavors seem stronger somehow. You can taste all the toppings. However, if it’s the next day, your pizza slice may have hardened so much that it’s tough to eat and doesn’t taste that appetizing. Before you toss it in the garbage or use it to play a game of culinary frisbee, try heating it to soften the base and remelt the cheese.

If you zap it in the microwave, then the dough might turn a bit chewy. And if you slide it into the oven then you’re in danger of it frazzling and drying up if you don’t keep an eye on it. If you like the idea of pizza and beer together, then you’ll like this TikTok hack. Heat a pan on the stove without adding any oil and add a slice of your cold pizza. Open a can of light beer and when the pan is hot, pour in a small amount so it sizzles around the slice. Put the lid on and leave for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt, the slice will soften, and the base will be crispy underneath. If you don’t want to cook with beer then add a slice and some water once the dry pan is hot instead (via TikTok).

Order an unsliced pizza

unsliced pizza on wooden board

It may seem easier to order a pizza that’s already sliced, whether it’s takeout, delivery, or served in a restaurant. After all, you’re going to be cutting it into slices yourself anyway, whether you’re sharing or not. Doesn’t it, therefore, make sense for someone else to divide your pie into evenly-sized slices with a pizza wheel? According to a feature in The Daily Meal, one pizza hack is to follow the behavior of the Italians and never order pizza pre-cut. If you’re wondering why then all is revealed by Content Italiano and there are several reasons.

Aside from the fact that your pie cools down more quickly when it’s sliced, it also doesn’t quite look as impressive. On a taste and texture front, the toppings are disrupted by the slicing and they’re more likely to leave the ends of slices a little soggy as they slide off. Instead, slice as you eat your pie. Remember too, that while you might want to share a couple of pizzas, do you want to share just one? If not, there’s no need to divide it into slices!

Bake homemade pizza before adding toppings

homemade Neapolitan pizza

There are so many different pizza dough recipes and ideas, including the cheese selection. Then there’s the myriad of toppings from classic pepperoni to more unusual ones such as banana. Once you’ve added your layers then there’s nothing else to think about other than baking your pie, right? Go back a few steps as you might want to follow a TikTok hack from @renespizzaplace and bake your dough a little earlier. At least halfway cook it anyway.

When you eat out at a pizzeria, your pie is likely cooked at a super-high temperature, maybe even in a wood-fired oven. However, it’s not so easy to create the same intensity using your oven to make a classic Neapolitan pizza. Preheat your oven for 45 minutes at its top temperature. Once you’ve stretched your dough and added tomato sauce, stop. Pop the pizza in the oven for a few minutes. The crust around the edges will rise and brown so that you end up with a crispier pizza. Now add some basil leaves, grated cheese, and cubes of mozzarella, with a drizzle of olive oil. Stick it back in the oven for a few more minutes so the cheese can melt. You might want to spin it around in the oven for an even bake, then leave it at the top of the oven for a bit longer for a browner, crispier finish.

Make pizza naan

naan bread pizzas

If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough, because you don’t have the time or energy perhaps, that’s understandable. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you have to forgo a homemade pizza and heat up a store-bought pie or order one to be delivered from a restaurant. There’s a TikTok hack that cooks a fresh pizza in the air fryer without any effort. It helps if you’re a fan of Indian food, too. Find out why.

You’ll need a round naan to use as the pizza base for this handy trick. Put a naan in your air fryer and while it’s in there spread on some pizza sauce. Since this is a quick-dish tip, then you might want to go for a sauce in a jar. Or you could make our easy pizza sauce. Next, you want to add your toppings. If you want a simple cheesy fix, then try sprinkling on some sliced red onions and grated mozzarella. Bake for a few minutes and it’s good to go. Extra tips might be to use aluminum foil to make your air fryer easier to clean afterward. You could also try a garlic naan base as well for some extra flavor. Try adding spinach, slices of mozzarella, and pesto with minced garlic. Another idea is adding pepperoni under and on top of the melted cheese (via YouTube).

Fit two pizzas in the oven

man putting pizza in oven

Pizza is a perfect pie to share. Think family movie nights, teenage hangouts, and grown-up get-togethers. It doesn’t have to be an expensive dish unless you’re adding some irresistible truffles on top. The only issue you might have with a pizza-fest is how to cook more than one pie in the oven.

You can put two pizzas on two separate shelves in the oven, but then the higher one is going to be cooking at a different, higher, temperature. If you want them ready at the same time there’s going to be lots of moving the pizzas around so they heat up evenly. And if you try to cram two big discs on one shelf, there’s likely to be overlap that will make your pizzas stick together. The solution isn’t rocket science, as you’ll see in this no-brainer TikTok hack. Instead of trying to fit two round pizzas onto a rectangular cooking area inside your oven, all you need to do is change their shape. Cut two pizzas in half and arrange them with the cut edges aligned with the four sides of whatever you’re cooking them on. The rounded sides of the half-moons should all be facing inward and meeting in the middle.

Create a carb-free pizza

cheese crust keto pizza

Love the taste of pizza but hate the carbs? If you feel this is an eternal struggle that requires giving in or denying yourself some pizza pleasure then have no fear. There’s a splendidly simple way of enjoying all the main pizza flavors without the doughy part. After all, while you may love a bready base, what you probably like the best is a bit of a crispy bite with melted cheese, tomato sauce, and toppings. One keto-friendly pizza is made using a Baby Dash with a TikTok tip from @janellerohner.

Heat your mini waffle maker and spray it with some cooking oil. Add some grated mozzarella and sprinkle on some Italian seasoning. Top with pepperoni slices followed by a bit more grated cheese. Cook and cool on some kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil. Serve with a tomatoey dip. You can also try a carb-free TikTok pizza idea from @keto.dapper. Microwave grated mozzarella and cream cheese for a few seconds before adding almond flour and an egg. Mix the ingredients to make a dough. Drop your dough ball onto a greaseproof paper-lined tray and shape it into a pizza base. Add pizza sauce, grated mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and some pieces of Black Forest ham, plus little strips of cooked bacon. Cook in the oven and then under the broiler for a final blast.

Mix pizza dough with two ingredients

pizza dough

If you like easy recipes to make classic dishes then try our quick no-knead pizza dough recipe. The dough is made by mixing honey, dry yeast, and olive oil with water and salt. And you only need to let the dough sit for 10 minutes before it’s ready to roll. If you don’t have yeast on hand, or you’ve run out of honey or olive oil then your next option might be a two-ingredient, protein-rich pizza dough courtesy of a TikTok hack.

Mix a cup of self-rising flour and a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, plus seasonings, and stir with a wooden spoon. On a floured surface, roll out the dough. Use a rolling pin and try not to maul the dough as it’ll become sticky. Grease your pizza tray before adding your dough. Add tomato puree and whatever toppings you like. Brit + Co tried out a similar recipe, with 50% more flour added. The reaction was that the pizza crust was "super fluffy" and a little too soft in the middle, making slices not robust enough. As a result, the dough was pre-baked blind for a few minutes, which gave the crust more substance to it and made it less floppy. Make this dough and ask those who try it if they can work out what the secret second ingredient is aside from flour.

Pan fry a tortilla pizza wrap

flour tortilla with pizza toppings

Soft tortillas are so versatile. They are traditionally used in Mexican cooking, so they’re not a go-to when you have Italian food on your mind — and certainly not on the ingredients list when you’re craving a homemade pizza. If you’re imagining you might use the floury wrap instead of a pizza base, then you’re only half right. A YouTube pizza hack by Brown Girl’s Kitchen suggests separating your toppings and frying your pizza. Here’s how.

Lay out a flour tortilla flat and cut from the center to the edge. Imagine the circle as four quarters, each with individual toppings. Spoon on pizza sauce in the first quarter, with chili flakes if you want some heat. Next, you want an area loaded with pepperoni. Add sliced mushrooms and chopped green bell pepper to your third quarter, plus Italian seasoning. Finally, you want some shredded mozzarella. Fold the sauce quarter over the meat, then fold that over the vegetables, and then over the cheese. Fry the folded wrap in a little oil, pressing down and flipping until it’s golden brown and the cheese has melted. This hack went viral on TikTok. You can also use this folding technique with Mexican cuisine ingredients, in the style of Taco Bell, with our TikTok tortilla wrap hack recipe.

Fold your pizza box with leftovers

pizza slices in box

When you’re in the mood for takeout pizza, nothing else will do. However, after a few slices, you might have some leftover pie and the last thing you want to do is let it go to waste. However, because of the shape and the size, it’s not so straightforward to know the best way to store pizza. Of course, unless you’re having a quick food break, you’ll want to put it in the fridge and the easiest way would be to leave it in the pizza box. But this might be just too big to fit in your refrigerator, or you simply don’t have enough room. It’s a waste of space as well, for what’s most likely just a few slices. All you need is a TikTok pizza box folding hack that once you know you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

Remove the lid of the pizza box. You might have done this already to use it as a plate! If the side edges of the box have triangular sections that are perforated, then rip these off. You’ll be left with a box base with two large V-shaped sides. Make sure your leftover slices are in one half of the box rather than spread out between the two. Flip the back half of the box over and it should slot in the front and at the sides. You’re essentially creating a smaller box that’s compact, neat, and isn’t going to flip open easily either.

Upgrade store-bought pizza

brush adding oil to crust

Making your own dough and crafting homemade artisanal-style pizza is perfect for rainy Sunday afternoons when you feel like some culinary relaxation. It’s a different story on a Friday night when you just want to slam a pizza in the oven, open a bottle of wine, and chill after a busy week. If the thought of a cheap store-bought frozen pizza doesn’t sound appetizing, apart from being convenient, then follow a tip from Freezerburns on YouTube with just one ingredient. Upgrade the pizza crust and it’ll elevate the taste and texture. Brush some extra virgin olive oil on the outer crust before you pop your pizza in the oven. It’ll cover the edge of the ingredients as well, but this is fine as it’ll turn the cheese golden brown.

Add more cheese, by taking off the toppings first and adding them to this extra layer. But be wary of going overboard with this and avoid cheeses that are too hard or have too much moisture in them. Add thin, cooked slices when it comes to meat, and don’t try and add vegetables. Instead, let seasonings and condiments elevate the flavor. Drizzle on some pesto, for example, and add fresh herbs on at the end (via The Guardian). One commenter on Stack Exchange suggests keeping frozen veg, such as bell peppers at hand. Sprinkle these on frozen pizzas straight from the freezer. Cracking an egg on top halfway through cooked works fine. Or what about pickle pizza?

Layer pizzas differently

pepperoni and jalapeƱo pizza

Do you know how to add different layers to a pizza? It’s not a trick question, but there’s more than one answer. The way most people know is to start with the base and follow through with pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings. TikToker @whatsgabycookin reveals a hack or two on how to layer pizza differently. Before you add your pizza sauce, add thin slices of cheese. When you cook your pie this layer will melt directly onto the crust and caramelize. Use deli mozzarella for this, plus pepperoni and jalapeños. Go easy on the toppings, as less is more for an even, crispier bake.

Foods Guy suggests adding the toppings starting from the edge of the pizza crust and then moving in toward the middle. Add the cheese after you’ve decorated the top with thinly sliced vegetables and cubes of meat. Not only will this melted cheesy layer hold your toppings in place, but it’ll stop your mushrooms from shriveling up as they dehydrate in the oven. You’ll also get a better melt as the cheese isn’t obscured by lots of toppings. Other schools of thought include putting the toppings on top of the cheese. According to Homemade Pizza School, certain ingredients are better this way. For example, if you want pepperoni to sizzle then it might be best right on top of everything, and any oils that come off are going to soak into the cheese rather than a layer or so down.

Turn leftover pizza into croutons

woman cutting pizza croutons

Eating pizza and salad at the same time is a classic combination. If you’re chowing down on a big slice of crispy crust with stringy hot cheese and tasty pepperoni, then you’re hardly going to want a filling side. A fresh green salad may suffice, or you can go for a full Italian flavor with our muffuletta olive salad made with peppers, capers, and artichokes. What about making a salad with pizza? One TikTok hack shows you how … and why.

Take any slices of leftover, cold pizza and cut off the crust edges. Slice these crusts into bite-size pieces. Cover with olive oil and season to soften them up. Mix a vinaigrette in a bowl and add chopped olives, salami, and mozzarella pearls, plus red onion, bell peppers, and your pizza crust croutons. Thrillist uses the whole pizza slice. Add one slice on top of another so that the fillings are in the middle. Slice into strips, using the edge of the pizza as a guide. Cut the strips into squarish pieces. Fry in some oil, browning the pizza croutons until they crisp up. The cheese should soften and melt too. Soak up any excess oil on a kitchen towel. Give your salad a pizza flavor by throwing a handful on top. The croutons are also delicious with soup.

Why not try experimenting and coming up with your own pizza hacks? Just make sure you have fun trying these ideas first.