The Best and Worst Chilled Supermarket Pizzas: A Taste Test

If you’re someone who enjoys cooking from scratch, it’s unlikely that you consume a lot of pizza. Making pizza dough from scratch takes time and effort, so it’s not something you can whip up easily. This inconvenience is perhaps why chilled supermarket pizzas have become so popular over the past decade. They are seen as a thin and crispy alternative to frozen pizzas and have become a staple in many British households. But the question remains: do any of these pizzas truly rival the quality of a restaurant? We decided to test out some margherita pizzas to find out.

Ocado, Pizza Express Classic Margherita

Size doesn’t always matter, as they say. And in the case of this 8-inch pizza, it was a disappointment. The packaging claims that the Pizza Express margherita hasn’t changed since 1965, but based on our experience, it could definitely use an update. Despite the generous amounts of mozzarella and tomatoes (24% each), the toppings look and taste sparse. The tomato sauce is so thinly spread that it fails to make an impact, and while the crust is nice and crispy on the outside, it lacks flavor. This pizza is all about the sweet, but unremarkable, mozzarella. Not the best we’ve tasted. (4/10)

Co-op, Truly Irresistible Margherita

This rectangular beast measures 12.5 by 9 inches and looks impressive. However, the toppings clump together into unappetizing lumps. The middle of the pizza is dominated by buffalo mozzarella, which lacks the freshness you would expect. The “marinated sun-kissed tomatoes” are overly sweet and tart, overpowering the other flavors. The tomato sauce is decent but lacks excitement, and the thick, bready base fails to deliver the expected sourdough tang. It’s an okay pizza, but nothing remarkable. (5/10)

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Sainsbury’s, Taste the Difference Mozzarella and SunBlush Tomato Pizza

This 12-inch pizza cooked properly in the suggested time and exceeded our expectations. The thin, semolina-dusted base could be even thinner, but it has an authentic droop and a crisp yet pliable texture. The toppings are well-balanced, with delicious SunBlush cherry tomatoes, mozzarella with a pronounced flavor and good elasticity, and a relatively lively tomato sauce. The seasoning is bold, and there’s a hint of sea salt in every bite. Overall, a satisfying slice. (7/10)

Aldi, Specially Selected Tomato, Mozzarella, and Pesto Pizza

This 12-inch pizza is undoubtedly attractive, but it falls into the same traps as the Co-op’s version. The mozzarella pearls melt into unappetizing pools, and the semi-dried tomatoes have an unpleasantly exaggerated sweet and sour flavor. The additional mozzarella is cheesier, and the base is light but not crisp enough. Ultimately, it oscillates between blandness and unpleasant gunkiness. Despite being selected by experts, it needs some improvement. (4/10)

Tesco, Finest Wood-Fired Margherita

Looks can be deceiving. This 10-inch pizza may not be visually impressive, but it’s incredibly tasty. The toppings are evenly distributed, and the cheese extends to the edge, creating deliciously browned strands. The tomato sauce has a punchy flavor and is well-seasoned. The base is airy, crispy, and foldable, with a paper-thin center. Made with Italian 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and creamy buffalo mozzarella, this pizza screams authenticity. If you had it in a pizzeria, you would leave satisfied. (8/10)

M&S, Wood-Fired Margherita

This 12-inch pizza has all the ingredients to be a winner. It features a thick underlay of tomato sauce that delivers a true flavor. The buffalo mozzarella is stretchy and milky, though not exceptionally so. Unfortunately, the lackluster and dry edges of the base undermine the pizza’s overall quality. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. (6.5/10)

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Waitrose, Hand-Stretched Thin and Crispy Margherita

The first bite of this 11-inch pizza reveals a strong taste of dried-out basil (a mistake since it should be added fresh). From there, things go downhill. The thin base, while droopy as it should be, lacks precision crispness. The mix of mozzarella, provolone, and regato cheeses is mediocre, and the marinated tomatoes fail to live up to their looks. Inconsistent distribution of the toppings adds to the forgettable experience. (5/10)

Remember to visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill for even more delicious pizza options.

Updated: This article was amended on 26 February 2015 to clarify the time it takes to prove pizza dough.