Have you ever eyed your leftovers late at night and wondered - just how long is pizza good for in the fridge? Here we'll tell you whether it's safe to tuck into that takeout or not!
Pizza is one of those foods that we tend to over-order, particularly when everyone wants a different topping and we end up with several different pizzas! You may find yourself wondering how long does pizza last in the fridge?
Despite our heroic efforts to eat them all in one sitting, we often have lots of leftover pizza sitting in the fridge. But for how long is it still safe for consumption?
How Long is Pizza Good for In the Fridge?
When wondering how long you can safely keep pizza in the fridge, the most important thing to take into account before thinking about eating leftover pizza is how quickly it went into the fridge once it cooled down to room temperature.
Pizza leftovers need to be refrigerated within 2 hours of receiving it (or preparing it, if homemade) for it to be safe to reheat.
If you left your fresh pizza sitting in the box for hours before deciding to save it for another day, don't risk storing it. Just toss it instead as the shelf life of pizza isn't very long if it has been left out.
So, assuming your pizza was refrigerated in that time frame, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
Any longer than that and you risk the growth of bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.
In addition to pizza leftovers, this general rule of thumb is true for most perishable foods or cooked foods to avoid any foodborne bacteria that may lead to foodborne illness.
If your pizza is topped with something very perishable - different toppings like shrimp are more of a risk of growing harmful bacteria - then we'd recommend using up the leftovers the next day or within 24 hours, just to be on the safe side.
Generally leftover pizza lasts for a couple of days, but beyond that it's a good idea to ditch it, especially if you notice a rancid odor, which is among the first signs of bad pizza.
Other signs of spoilage include discoloration and signs of mold growth. That's a good sign that it's time to toss your extra pizza.
How to Store Pizza in the Fridge
To keep refrigerated pizza as fresh as possible, remove the pizza from the cardboard box and wrap leftover slices tightly in plastic wrap or a piece of aluminum foil.
Alternatively, place leftover pizza slices or even a whole pizza it in an airtight container or plastic bag before refrigerating.
If you've just had a pizza feast, you may not feel like facing it again within the next couple of day days! If that's the case, another option is to freeze leftover pizza.
How do you freeze leftover pizza? It's simple! You can tuck your cold pizza into freezer bags or wrap it with freezer wrap. Place it in the freezer where it will last for up to 2 months with little risk of spoiled pizza.
How to Reheat Leftover Pizza
So you've discovered your pizza is safe to eat - so what's the best way to reheat it without any overly dry texture?
First off, skip the microwave. Yes, it's quick and easy, but it makes the crust chewy and hard to get your teeth through!
Everyone knows a crispy crust is best regardless of the type of pizza, so use a reheating method that will give you the best pizza crust.
The easiest option is to use a conventional oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F and place your slice of pizza on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a pizza stone.
Bake for about 10 mins, by which time the top of your pizza should boast bubbly melted cheese and crisp crust. This method also works with a toaster oven.
If you only have a couple of slices to heat, an even easier option is using the skillet on a stovetop burner.
Heat a regular skillet to a medium-high to high heat and pop the slices in, immediately reducing the heat to medium and cooking them for a few minutes.
You may wish to cover the skillet with a lid to help the cheese melt.
Any of these methods work for vegan pizzas and frozen pizzas as well.
Homemade Pizza Ideas
Pizza makes a great takeout treat, but you can create some delicious pizzas at home at a fraction of the cost.
Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?
How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?
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Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.