Frozen Pizza With Pizzazz

Americans spent more than 3-billion dollars last year on frozen pizza. That's a lot of dough!

How tasty are the offerings in your store freezer? Consumer Reports just tested more than a dozen and says there are several good choices-even one that beat out the big chains!

Dinner doesn't get much easier than swinging by the local pizza place.

Or does it? How about pizza from your freezer? Consumer Reports evaluated 16 individual-sized frozen pizzas, both pepperoni and cheese.

Erin Ridell of Consumer Reports says, "We left our labs for a little off-site taste test-and we are happy to report you can get takeout taste in your own home."

Home Run Inn Classic was top rated-both cheese and pepperoni. In fact, tasters said it was higher quality than both Domino's and Pizza Hut.

They were loaded with fresh-tasting sauce and lot of stretchy cheese. But these are a fat and calorie splurge compared to others in the freezer case.

Red Baron Singles Deep Dish are Consumer Reports Best Buys and fared a bit better for nutrition. The pastry-like crust had noticeably crispy edges, with slightly spicy sauce and stretchy cheese.

Many of the individual pizzas tested are also microwaveable and have packaging specially designed to crisp the crust.

But testers found it's not the best way to go.

Riddell says, "We found that some of the ones you can microwave, you're probably better off if you cook them in the oven."

So keep a few frozen pizzas on hand for a convenient, tasty choice when hunger hits.

The good news is pizza can be an excellent source of calcium. But no surprise-Consumer Reports found the pepperoni pizzas tended to be less nutritious than cheese pizzas because of their fat and sodium levels. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.

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