How Long is Pizza Good for In the Fridge?

Cyd Converse

Ever eyed your leftovers 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?

Puff Pastry BBQ Chicken Pizza Photo

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 your pizza pie is 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 — like, say while eating half of it in front of the TV watching a Martin Scorcese film — 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.

Assuming your pizza was refrigerated in that 2-hour 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. 

How Long is Pizza Good for In the Fridge Photo

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.

I know you might not want to eat the exact same thing for lunch the next day, but sometimes that's your safest bet to avoid sickness or waste.

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. Look closely at the surface of your leftovers before eating them.

And no — simply reheating it at a high temperature in the oven doesn't miraculously make it safe to eat. Stick to the guidelines above.

How Long is Pizza Good for In the Fridge Picture

Be sure you know how long all your favorite foods last in the fridge so you don't have to throw anything away!

How to Store Pizza in the Fridge

To keep refrigerated pizza as fresh as possible, remove the pizza from the cardboard pizza 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.

How to Freeze Leftover Pizza

If you've just had a pizza feast, you may not feel like facing it again within the next couple of 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.

Again, this is assuming you didn't leave it out on the counter all night before refrigerating or freezing it.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Image

How to Reheat Leftover Pizza

So you've discovered your pizza is safe to eat — but 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 (or slices) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a pizza stone.

Bake for about 10 minutes, by which time the top of your pizza should boast bubbly melted cheese and crisp crust. This method also works with a toaster oven!

Puff Pastry Pepperoni Pizza Picture

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. 

Tex-Mex Pizza Pic

Homemade Pizza Ideas

Pizza makes a great takeout treat, but you can create some delicious pizzas at home at a fraction of the cost. 

To get started, our homemade pizza sauce and pizza dough recipes will get you headed in the right direction.

This Homemade Cheese Pizza is the simplest of all and totally foolproof, as is this Puff Pastry Pepperoni Pizza.

For something a little different, try this Indian Cauliflower Pizza - it tastes great, and it's more interesting than anything you could get at Domino's or Pizza Hut! (As far as chains in the United States go, it's probably most similar to something you'd find at Mellow Mushroom.)

We also love these Tortilla Pizzas with Sundried Tomatoes & Spinach, which are a snap to throw together.

Tip: Try our most popular pizza recipe!

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.

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