Can you air fry frozen pizza? Absolutely! Today I'm going to show you how you can cook a whole frozen pizza in an air fryer. We'll talk about picking out the healthiest frozen pizza, what to serve with frozen pizza for a balanced meal, and more. Air fryer frozen pizza may not be the most glamorous meal, but I'm keeping it real for busy weeknights.
I'm taking a different turn on my usual content today with this frozen pizza cooked in an air fryer. Served on paper plates, dinner's not super fancy tonight. Luckily, we don't always have to prepare complicated and/or scratch meals to enjoy good health.
In general, homemade pizza is going to be the healthiest choice. Frozen pizza (as well as other frozen prepared entrees) tend to be extraordinarily high in sodium. Additionally, frozen pizza may be packed with refined grains and additives that you may not want to be regular players in your diet.
All of that said, I get that some people hate cooking or have other barriers that prevent them from preparing meals. So this one's for the folks who will be buying frozen pizza on the regular, regardless of whether it is the "best" choice. Sometimes the "best" option (homemade whole grain or veggie-based pizza) isn't a good fit for you.
In that case, making small changes to healthier (but similar) foods may work better for you. I raided my local grocery store (not a health food store) for some better frozen pizza options. I plan to update this post from time to time with additional healthier frozen pizza options.
If pizza is a regular part of your diet, I hope you find this information helpful!
Which frozen pizza is the healthiest?
Air fryer frozen deep dish pizza. Air fryer frozen French bread pizza. There are so many types of frozen pizza that you could make in an air fryer! But which one is the best choice nutritionally?
First off, air fried frozen pizza really isn't any healthier than frozen pizza baked in the oven. In general, fat won't drip off the pizza in an air fryer as it does with fattier cuts of meat. That said, the air fryer is a convenient way to cook pizza if you don't want to heat up the house with the oven.
We don't eat frozen pizza very often at my house, maybe once every few months. Because it's not a regular part of our diet, it matters less if we choose the most healthful option. It's a once in a great while treat.
If frozen pizzas play a greater role in your diet, the pizza you choose does matter more. If you're eating frozen pizza weekly (or more), choosing a "healthier" pizza can be a simple way to make a positive tweak to your diet.
The "healthiest" food choice always depends on context (i.e., healthiest for who?). In general, though, most in the U.S. are eating too many refined grains and not enough vegetables. Finding a way to shift the balance to fewer refined grains and more veggies can lead to an improved diet pattern.
Luckily, with all of the vegetable-based pizza crusts available, it's not too hard to make that shift! Choose a frozen pizza where the first ingredient is a vegetable, not starch or white flour. I'd also aim for an ingredient list that is primarily comprised of whole foods.
Here are two air fryer frozen cauliflower pizza brands that make better options:
What are the benefits of making frozen cauliflower pizza crust in an air fryer?
- Extremely fast and convenient meal: One of the top reasons people choose frozen pizza is that it is easy. No recipes are needed; just cook the pizza, and your entrée is ready to eat.
- Delicious: I mean, this one is obvious, but most people like the taste of pizza. This one will generally please even picky eaters.
- Helps increase your veggie intake: I wouldn't say that cauliflower crust pizza is the best way to increase your intake of vegetables. However, every little bit helps!
- Easily customizable dinner: Mix and match the sides and protein that you add to your pizza. You can modify this meal to fit a variety of special diets and food preferences.
Air Fryer Pizza Ingredients
All you really need to air fry a frozen pizza is a pizza and an air fryer! Unless you want to try cutting your frozen pizza into slices, you need a small frozen pizza and a large air fryer oven. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven.
I would also recommend having some ingredients for side dishes on hand. Here's what I used to make our garden side salads:
- Bagged spring mix
- Grape tomatoes
- Salad dressing
Having a source of additional protein to top the pizza may not be a bad idea, either. I have some ideas for protein-packed pizza toppings in the "What should you serve with frozen pizza?" section.
Many whole pizzas won't fit into an air fryer oven. Here are the details on a couple that do!
Caulipower Pepperoni Pizza Nutrition and Ingredients
Caulipower offers various cauliflower pizza options, including turkey pepperoni, pizza Margherita, veggie, three cheese, and Paleo plain crust. We went with the regular uncured pepperoni pizza simply because we felt like it. This pizza is wheat free, peanut free, and gluten free.
Here are the ingredients for Caulipower pepperoni pizza:
- Cauliflower Crust (Cauliflower, Brown Rice Flour, Corn Starch, Water, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Yeast, Xanthan Gum, Egg Powder, Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Red Wine Vinegar, Sugar)
- Tomato Sauce (Tomatoes, Sea Salt, Dried Oregano)
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Uncured Pepperoni (Pork, Beef, Sea Salt, Spices, Celery Powder, Cane Sugar, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Natural Flavorings, Natural Spice Extractives, Oleoresin of Paprika)
Half of the small pizza (one serving, 160 grams) provides 410 calories but a whopping 39% DV sodium and only 14 grams of protein. On the plus side, this Caulipower pizza is an excellent source of calcium (20% DV). Though sugar is in the ingredients list, you're only getting 1 gram of added sugar per serving.
This is a lower carb pizza option, but with 43 grams of net carbs per serving, it is not keto diet friendly. The crust is not as crisp as a flour-based pizza crust, but we could still eat the slices without a fork.
Real Good Pepperoni Pizza Nutrition and Ingredients
Realgood Pizza Co. makes another frozen cauliflower pizza with some different nutritional stats. This pizza is also gluten free. Here are the ingredients for Realgood pepperoni pizza:
- Cauliflower Crust (Cauliflower, Mozzarella Cheese, Rice Flour, Egg, Sorghum Flour, Almond Flour, Parmesan Cheese, Xanthan Gum)
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Pizza Sauce (Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Salt, Garlic, Black Pepper, Onion, Oregano, Basil)
- Uncured Pepperoni (Pork, Beef, Salt, Spices, Water, Dextrose, Smoke Flavoring, Cultured Celery Powder, Cherry Juice Powder, Oleoresin of Paprika, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Sea Salt, Natural Flavoring, Citric Acid)
The serving size for this pizza is smaller (¼ of the pizza, 120 grams). That fairly small portion provides 330 calories and 27% DV sodium. I thought this pizza tasted very salty compared to the Caulipower pizza, but the label does not reflect what I perceived.
As for positives, this pizza provides more calcium (30% DV) and protein (18 grams) than its competitor above. This is most likely a result of moving cheese higher up on the ingredients list and using almond flour.
The RealGood pizza is also more low carb diet friendly than Caulipower. The Real Good pepperoni pizza provides zero grams of added sugar and only 14 grams of net carbs per serving. Between the two pizzas, I'd consider this one to be the better option nutritionally.
The downside of this pizza is that it did not fit as nicely in the air fryer as the Caulipower pizza because it has a slightly larger diameter. We had to slide it in at a bit of an angle to get it to fit. Also, when comparing the two pizzas, Caulipower won the family taste test.
How to Air Fry Frozen Pizza
There are two main issues with air frying frozen pizza. The first is that you need to make sure that the whole pizza actually fits in your air fryer!
Air fryer small frozen pizza can work; a large frozen pizza will need to be cut into slices before being air fried. If you have a small air fryer with a basket, air fryer mini pizzas may be your best option.
The second issue is that the hot air is coming at the pizza from the top. This means the top of your pizza will come out crispy and perfect, but the pizza's bottom may remain soggy.
Cauliflower crust pizzas tend to be a little softer (sometimes soggier) than flour pizza crusts anyway. Air frying can make this situation worse.
Unfortunately, you cannot just flip the pizza while cooking so the crust can crisp up better. (Imagine what a cheesy mess that would be! Haha)
You're already at a disadvantage with air frying because frozen pizza is often cooked at a very high temperature (425 degrees Fahrenheit or higher). My air fryer cannot go above 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
One rule for converting regular oven cooking to convection oven (or air fryer oven) cooking is to drop the oven temperature by 25F while maintaining the cooking time. However, I found that modifying the pizza box's directions to fit this rule wasn't enough.
For the best results in air frying frozen pizza, preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Leave the air fryer racks in the oven while you are preheating. You want them to get really hot so that the crust will be baking on that heated surface.
Air Fryer Frozen Pizza Cook Time
After your air fryer oven has preheated, it's time to air fry frozen pizza! Remove all of the packaging from your pizza and carefully place it on a heated air fryer rack. Cook your pizza at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-10 minutes.
I put my pizza on the lower rack in my air fryer oven. That way, there was no risk that it would touch the top heating element. Placing the pizza on the lower rack also helped prevent the cheese from browning too quickly.
Be sure to watch your frozen pizza closely! Cauliflower pizza crust tends to be very thin and cooks fast! After you become familiar with how long your favorite frozen pizza brand cooks in an air fryer, you can leave it be while it cooks.
After the pizza is air fried, let it sit for 5-10 minutes. This will give the crust additional time to firm up on the hot air fryer rack.
Your cauliflower crust pizza will still be softer than a regular pizza. But the slices should be firm enough that you can pick them up (without using utensils) to eat them. If the pizza slices are too floppy, try air frying a little longer or simply cutting the slices smaller.
If you're concerned about whether the frozen pizza has cooked through adequately, try checking its internal temperature with a kitchen thermometer. A reading at or above 165 degrees Fahrenheit indicates that you are good to go!
Psst… by the way, my air fryer oven has a "pizza" setting that cooks foods at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. That is definitely not high enough to crisp up frozen pizza! I would not assume that your air fryer's pizza setting is the best cooking option for a crispy crust.
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Frozen pizza almost always counts as a highly processed food. It often contains refined grains and starches, added sugar, and additives that are not the most healthful ingredients.
Though some frozen pizza options may be better than others, even cauliflower pizzas tend to be quite high in calories for the volume of food you get. Additionally, pizza is often lacking in satiating protein.
Choosing plain cheese or veggie toppings on your pizza instead of pepperoni would be the better for you option to avoid highly processed meat. (However, we wanted pepperoni pizza, and I knew I'd be serving veggie side dishes either way.) Pepperoni is really more of a fat versus a protein; incorporating more lean protein into this entree is a good idea.
If weight loss is your goal, I'd have a smaller serving of pizza than listed on the box but add more protein and veggies to the meal. Non-starchy veggies are very low in calories but provide a lot of volume to help fill you up.
(Just don't do what I used to do and drown your cooked vegetables in added oils. Even healthy oils like olive oil provide a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon.)
What should you serve with frozen pizza?
To provide a more filling meal without packing on the calories, serve your frozen pizza with more vegetables and lean protein. My favorite easy option for additional veggies is a bagged salad mix with whatever other salad veggies I have on hand. Here are a few other ideas for easy veggies:
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables
- Marinated Salad from my Air Fryer Chicken Patties Recipe
- Chop Salad Bowl (Wildflower Bread Salad Copycat)
For protein, shred up some leftover Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken (or store-bought cooked chicken) and throw it on the pizza. Another idea is to crumble up some cooked Italian Fennel Sausage, Chorizo, or Homemade Sausage and use it top the pizza.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make air fryer frozen pizza rolls? Can you make air fryer frozen pizza bagels?
Yes! You can cook both of those items (as well as frozen pizza bites and frozen pizza logs) in an air fryer. However, the total cooking time may be shorter than for a whole frozen pizza.
I ate raw frozen pizza. Am I okay?
Frozen pizza should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating. You might not get sick eating a raw frozen pizza, but you are putting yourself at a higher risk for food poisoning. IMHO cooked pizza tastes way better than raw, so I'm not sure why someone would take the risk.
(I'm thinking this was done on a dare, or perhaps it was a moment of desperation during a power outage. It would be nice to have more information on where these questions are coming from sometimes!)
Do you cook frozen pizza with the cardboard?
No, the cardboard should be removed from the pizza before cooking. Frozen pizzas generally come sitting on a cardboard base, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Remove all plastic and cardboard from the pizza before cooking, whether cooking in an air fryer or a regular oven.
Is frozen pizza processed food?
Yes, frozen pizza is a "processed food," but this fact alone doesn't necessarily make a food a less optimal choice. Lots of extremely healthy foods have undergone some degree of food processing. Here are some examples of health-promoting processed foods:
- Cleaned and chopped frozen fruits and vegetables
- Plain ground meats
- Unsweetened Greek yogurt
- Pasteurized dairy milk
The real issue with nearly all the frozen pizzas sold in stores is that they count as ultra-processed foods. These foods have been heavily processed and are far removed from whole foods that provide nutrients packaged in their natural food matrix. Ultra-processed foods may be a particularly bad choice for those looking to lose weight because we tend to overeat them.
Other Pizza Recipes You May Enjoy
Homemade pizza can't be beaten in terms of both flavor and nutrition! Check out these DIY pizzas if you're up to making your own. I've got a grain free pizza crust and a whole grain pizza crust option to fit a variety of preferences:
An air fryer recipe idea for pizza lovers is to make Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash and load it up with your favorite pizza toppings! Depending on what you top it with, this could be a low calorie, high volume alternative to classic pizza. Yum!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Frozen Pizza
Sides and toppings for frozen pizza:
- salad greens, cucumber, tomatoes, salad dressing of choice (optional but recommended; for side salads)
- cooked chicken, shredded or cooked chicken sausage, crumbled (optional but recommended; for more protein on your pizza)
- Preheat your air fryer oven for 5 minutes at 400°F. If you have an air fryer oven with two racks, leave the lower rack in the oven while preheating.
- After your air fryer oven has preheated, it's time to air fry frozen pizza! Remove all of the packaging from your pizza and carefully place it on the heated air fryer rack. Cook your pizza on the lower rack in the oven at 400°F for 7-10 minutes. (Watch closely as cooking times may vary!)
- After air frying, let the pizza rest for 5-10 minutes. This will give the crust additional time to firm up on the hot air fryer rack.
- To serve, cut the pizza into small slices and serve with generous side salads and additional protein on top. Yummy!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Frozen pizza almost always counts as a highly processed food. It often contains refined grains and starches, added sugar, and additives that are not the most healthful ingredients. Though some frozen pizza options may be better than others, even cauliflower pizzas tend to be quite high in calories for the volume of food you get. Additionally, pizza is often lacking in satiating protein. Choosing plain cheese or veggie toppings on your pizza instead of pepperoni would be the better for you option to avoid highly processed meat. (However, we wanted pepperoni pizza, and I knew I'd be serving veggie side dishes either way.) Pepperoni is really more of a fat versus a protein; incorporating more lean protein into this entree is a good idea. If weight loss is your goal, I'd have a smaller serving of pizza than listed on the box but add more protein and veggies to the meal. Non-starchy veggies are very low in calories but provide a lot of volume to help fill you up. (Just don't do what I used to do and drown your cooked vegetables in added oils. Even healthy oils like olive oil provide a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon.) Nutrition information is for one serving of the Caulipower pepperoni pizza only (i.e., half of the pizza). It does not include any side salad or lean protein that you decide to add to the meal.