How Long Is Pizza Good for in the Fridge

We all love taking that preppy bite off a nice slice of pizza. It’s one of our favorite comfort foods that tastes delicious hot or cold, in the morning, as an afternoon snack, or even as a late-night craving. But, just how long will it be good for in the fridge?

How Long Is Pizza Good for in the Fridge Featured Photo

We’ve all stocked up on leftover pizza in our fridges, whether you’re a fan or simply a casual eater. However, how long your pizza will last in the fridge depends on the toppings you use and if it’s homemade or store-bought.

Other factors, including how long it’s been at room temperature after it was baked, also affect its freshness and quality, determining whether it is safe to consume when taken out of the fridge.

If stored and kept in the fridge at a proper temperature, pizzas are generally safe to consume up to four days beyond their expiration date. It’s always safest to eat them before their expiration date. You don’t want to risk getting food-borne illnesses!

Besides knowing the length of time your pizza will be good for in the fridge, it’s also important to know how to properly store, reheat, and keep them fresh for a long time—I’ve curated this blog to show you just that!

If you have any questions in mind, skip ahead to the FAQs section.

So, how long is pizza good for in the fridge? Let’s get into the details!

There’s no easy answer to this question, but there are things you need to first keep in mind. For one, the process of cooking the pizza influences how long it will be good in the fridge. You must also consider how soon you placed your leftover pizza in the fridge after it has cooled down to room temperature.

As far as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is concerned, you need to refrigerate pizza within 2 hours of being delivered or prepared, if it’s homemade. Doing so makes the pizza safe to reheat.

Allowing your pizza to sit out at room temperature in a box isn’t safe since bacteria can grow fast as soon as it cools. If your pizza was chilled during that time period, you can keep it in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. It’s still fine to keep your pizza up to 5 days, but there’s the risk of food poisoning.

This also applies to most perishable or cooked items in order to prevent any bacteria from thriving, which could result in foodborne illness.

For pizza that’s topped with shrimps and other different toppings, it’s best to eat it the next day or on the same day. Perishable ingredients like shrimp make for a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, the more toppings you have, the shorter it will last in the fridge.

We all love our pizza. But if it’s starting to look rancid and has mold growth, then it’s time to discard it. This is a clear indication that harmful bacteria have invaded your pizza.

However, if you want your pizza to last longer, keep it in the freezer and do it as soon as possible. This will keep your pizza fresh and free of bacteria for up to three months.

Keeping your pizza fresh for longer

The freshest pizza should have garden-fresh tomatoes, dairy-fresh cheese, and without wilting veggies. Your pizza dough should be chewy with the crust having some crunchiness. Sounds good? Well, with leftover pizza, you never know how long it will keep its freshness in the fridge.

For home-baked pizzas, you don’t want to leave it out sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. According to the USDA, bacteria can grow as the pizza cools down around 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is referred to as the “danger zone”.

It’s always best to refrigerate your pizza leftovers right away to prevent any risk of contaminated food. This holds true whether it’s ordered from a takeaway or cooked fresh at home.

Below are some tips you can follow on how to properly freeze and store your pizza in the fridge.

How to store leftover pizza in the fridge

Easier and more fun to do than watching your food pizza get invaded by bacteria, storing your pizza in the fridge is a great way to keep its freshness. Here’s how:

  • Take them out of the pizza box and place them on a plate. Stack them by placing a layer of slices on the dinner plate, then cover with a layer of wax, saran wrap, foil, or parchment paper. Continue stacking, switching between pizza and paper until all the pies are on the plate.
  • Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. An airtight container is also a good storage option. Set the temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below or store in the coldest part of your fridge.

If you put it directly in your fridge’s drawer, it can go dry and crisp and the moisture will evaporate due to the limited air circulation.

According to the USDA’s Safe Food Handling and Preparation, you can store leftover pizzas in the refrigerator for up to four days if properly chilled within the 2-hour time.

How to freeze pizza

Refrigeration can keep your pizza consumable for up to four days, however, freezing makes them safe to eat for up to two months. It also keeps the crust crunchy and the toppings fresh. Here’s how to properly freeze pizza:

  • Place the leftover pizza slices in an airtight container or a zip-top bag. You can also wrap them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, whichever is available to you.
  • Set your temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit below.

Storing toppings and sauces

For homemade pizzas, you may also want to save the excess toppings in the freezer. Simply place small amounts of sauce and cheese on a baking sheet and freeze them. Then, put them in a sealable jar or plastic bag for long-term storage.

And when you need it, thaw and heat some water in a pot and soak the contents in it for around 10 minutes.

How to reheat leftover pizza

What’s the best way to reheat pizza?

You can easily get them to the same flavor and texture when they were freshly baked by using a toaster oven, an air fryer, a regular oven, or perhaps a heavy-bottomed skillet or pan instead of a microwave (unless you want a soggy, stinking mess).

Reheating your leftovers in the microwave makes things quick and easy, but it also makes the pizza crust chewy. And who wants a chewy crust, anyway? A crispy crust is ideal for any variety of pizza, so pick a reheating process that achieves this without overdrying it.

Luckily, reheating leftover pizza doesn’t require the same effort and skill as making it.

Reheating in a traditional oven

Here’s a classic approach used by most pizza restaurants. It’s also a great way to reheat your pizza if you don’t have a toaster oven at home. This method of reheating pizza will make the crust crispy and actually tastes as it came straight from a brick oven.

To reheat your pizza slices, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and lay the pies flat on the rack for 5 minutes. Then flip the slices over and put them back in the oven for another 3 or 4 minutes.

You can also preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and lay the slices on a baking sheet coated with parchment paper or on a pizza stone. Then, bake it for 10 minutes, or until the top of your pizza has hot melted cheese and a crispy crust. This method is also great for toaster ovens.

Reheating in a toaster oven

If you have some more time or prefer crisp and crunchy crusts, reheating your pizza slices in a toaster oven is an excellent choice. It may take longer than most of the other methods, but the result is worth it. You’ll get tasty slices that taste almost as delicious as fresh pizza.

To begin, preheat your toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the cheese melts, the pizza is done. This method will do the job if you need a bit of help with reheating frozen pizza.

Reheating in a skillet

This is the ideal way if you have only a couple of pizza slices to reheat. In a cast iron skillet or pan over a stovetop, preheat for 3 minutes over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter. Then, grill and cook until crispy and browned once more for about 5 minutes on each side.

The drawback with cast iron skillets is that they don’t offer more control over temperature. To keep your pizza from over-drying, you can use droplets of water to help the cheese melt. You can also put a lid or cover the skillet to melt the cheese.

An electric skillet is also a good way to reheat pizza slices. With this, however, you can expect more moisture to evaporate each time you open it. The result will be pizza that is less crisp though you can cook it slowly if you prefer this method.

Another way to reheat your leftover pizza slices is using a panini press or grill for about 5 minutes per side.

Reheating in an air dryer

The air fryer method is a great alternative to a toaster oven. This will give you a crispy crust with some softness on the inside. And you’ll appreciate this method if you’re a bit of a health-conscious pizza lover.

Make sure to preheat the basket or empty tray of the air fryer for a more uniformly cooked, crispier pizza without the use of any fat.

Start by preheating your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your air fryer is ready, put the pizza slices in the tray. Lightly coat your pizza slices with cooking spray and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes.

You can also press the defrost setting on the air fryer to reheat your pizza slices. The overall cooking time will depend on how crispy you prefer your pizza.

Reheating in a microwave

You could use your microwave to reheat your pizza. It’s convenient, it’s quick, but I don’t recommend it. Though you’ll get an OK flavor, reheating the slices in a microwave can turn a once crunchy crust into a soggy and spongy one that you don’t want in a pizza.

A tip you can follow is not to keep them in for more than 15 to 20 seconds per slice. Anything more than that will make the pizza steam and turn into a rubbery texture. Microwaving your leftover pizzas can also ruin the toppings.

Start by placing it on a plate and covering it with plastic wrap. Make sure to poke holes all over the plastic wrap to keep most of the steam out. Then, run the microwave for 3 minutes for each slice until they’re nice and toasty.

Whichever way to prefer to reheat your pizza, keep in mind that it’s fine to try out different reheating processes without fear of damaging your pizza. If it comes out bad, as long as it’s not spoiled, you can save it for later to snack on.

Reheating refrigerated pizza

To achieve a pizza that’s reheated to perfection, preheat your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use a toaster oven and place the slices on a baking sheet coated in cooking spray. Then, reheat for 10 to15 minutes until hot.

Using an air fryer is also one of the quickest ways to reheat your refrigerated pizza leftovers, which takes around 3 to 6 minutes. Grab a parchment paper and place your pizza slices on the air fryer basket, setting the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, use a skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat your skillet with olive oil for 3 minutes to crust the bottom. Next, with the lid on, adjust the heat to medium for 10 minutes to fully heat the pizza toppings.

Reheating frozen pizza

When it comes to frozen pizza, it’s always best to reheat them using the oven since they heat evenly without burning it. Simply preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it’s frozen, it will take more time so make sure to bake the pizza slices for 15 to 20 minutes.


What if your pizza has been sitting at room temperature?

You can leave certain foods at room temperature and would still be safe to consume. In the case of pizza, you can leave it out at room temperature for a short period of time. If you leave it out, however, in a room temperature overnight, that’s when you run the risk of getting food-borne illnesses.

According to the USDA, any perishable goods like pizza aren’t safe for consumption when left out of the fridge or not eaten for a long period of time. And this is true even if the pizza doesn’t contain any meat products.

To keep food-borne bacteria from contaminating your pizza, keep cheese in your refrigerator.

Is refrigerated pizza good after 5 days?

Pizza leftovers should be kept in the fridge for no more than three or four days. If you keep them beyond those periods, they may eventually begin to spoil and foster bacteria.

How do you know if pizza is good?

You know it’s good pizza if it has a lot of air.  It should be light, crisp, and tasty. But it’s full of dough and thick, it indicates a pizza that wasn’t adequately leavened. Balance is important. This is the ratio of tomato and cheese or toppings on the pizza. The toppings should also compliment the pizza’s base.

How can you tell if pizza is bad?

You can tell a bad pizza just by looking at the texture. If it’s hard and dry, you could still eat it but it won’t taste good and fresh. If it starts producing a sour stench or is turning moldy, that’s the time you throw it away.

What happens if you eat old pizza?

It’s not recommended to eat pizza that’s been left out overnight as this can lead to food-borne diseases. Bacteria can grow and flourish in temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s always best to refrigerate your pizza to make it safe to eat for up to four days.

How do you eat leftover pizza?

There are endless ways to turn your leftover pizza into a whole new dish. Aside from simply reheating it for breakfast, you can make pizza lasagna (yes, you can transform your leftover pies into delicious lasagna). You can even add them into your soup, make pizzanini, or bloody mary pizza.

Is it safe to reheat pizza?

Yes, it is safe to reheat pizza the next day. Make sure to reheat it at a temperature that is high enough to kill bacteria. You can reheat your pizza in your oven, over a pan or skillet, or even in your microwave.

Is it OK to eat cold pizza from the fridge?

If you follow the temperature guidelines correctly, you can consume your pizza cold. You’ll be surprised how many people prefer cold pizza over reheated slices.

Some of them even argue that the time your prized pizza slice sits in the fridge helps its flavors and smells to improve overnight. But, it still comes down to one’s preference.

Can you reheat pizza twice?

You could, as long as you reheat it at the right temperature and for the proper amount of time. However, you may not want to reheat your pizza more than once. According to the USDA, the quality of food reduces with each reheat. It is best to only reheat the amount of food you can eat.

Does putting a glass of water in the microwave with pizza work?

It won’t guarantee a crisp texture, but you can try. Place a half-full cup of water with your pizza in a microwave for around 30 seconds.

Why is leftover pizza so good?

Keeping your pizza in the refrigerator allows its flavors to blend and soften in a pleasant way. When your pizza is cold, the tomato layer inhibits the fat in the cheese toppings from soaking into the base of the dough. This is the reason old cold pizza is so good.

How long can leftover pizza last in the box?

Any pizza ordered in a cardboard box shouldn’t be left in the box at all. The box will retain moisture from the pizza, speeding up bacteria growth. What you can do is transfer the pizza slices to a platter and discard the box.

Can you get sick from old pizza?

Yes. This is especially true if you let it sit out at room temperature overnight. You should refrigerate leftover pizza to make it safe for reheating for up to four days.

What bacteria grows on pizza?

Meat and cheese are two of the main ingredients in pizza. These ingredients can host harmful bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and E. coli. Pizzas have trace levels of these bacteria, although the amounts are harmless.

The Takeaway

To most people, pizza is comfort food. And the sight of these delicious slices that greet you every time you open the fridge is solid evidence of collective love for this dish.

However, no matter how badly you want that pizza, it’s safest to cook a fresh batch or order another box if it’s been sitting in your fridge for longer than it should.

The length of time your pizza can last without refrigeration varies depending on the pizza. If kept at room temperature for hours, it loses its desirable flavor and can go dry. Also, keep in mind that if you keep your pizza out over its expiration date, it can cause serious stomach issues or nausea.

No matter how good your food still looks, when in doubt, throw it out!

As soon as your pizza starts forming mold or producing a foul odor, you need to discard it. There’s nothing worse than getting food poisoned—not even your pizza craving.