Skip to Content

Can You Eat Pizza Cold? (Is it Safe?)

Can You Eat Pizza Cold? (Is it Safe?)

Many of us love hot pizza, but many people also enjoy eating cold pizza. While it’s not the norm, it’s certainly not a bad or wrong thing to do!

Thanks to the merging and mellowing of its flavors, a cooled-down pizza can actually be quite tasty, and many people enjoy it as a snack late at night or the day after. Just make sure to refrigerate your leftover pizza to prevent food poisoning. 

If you want to know why cold pizza can be so tasty, if it beats the taste of a hot pizza, and how to store your leftover pizza correctly, all you have to do is keep reading!

Is It Okay to Eat Cold Pizza?

two cold pizza slices in a pizza box
By Afshin Darian – Buffalo Slice and Margherita Slice, CC BY 2.0

People often ask this question on the internet: Is it okay to eat cold pizza? Is it wrong to eat cold pizza? Is it weird to eat cold pizza? And so on.

While pizza is typically served and eaten hot, you can certainly eat and enjoy it cold as well. No law or rule says otherwise!

We all have different food preferences, and while some people would never eat cold leftover pizza, others live for it.

This article will show that cold pizza can be safely enjoyed if stored correctly.

And to many people’s surprise, it can actually taste delicious too!

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out why cold pizza can still be so tasty.

Why Is Cold Pizza So Good?

a close up of a leftover pizza slice
By Hanumann – CC BY 2.0

There are several reasons why so many people like to eat cold pizza.

For one thing, having some pizza leftovers in the fridge that you can enjoy later is pretty nice. 

I always get super happy when I open the fridge and find one or two leftover slices from last night’s pizza dinner. 

That fact alone makes those cold slices taste incredibly yummy. But that’s more of a psychological factor, I guess. 

However, many people and food experts claim that some pizzas’ taste actually improves once it’s cooled down. And science backs this claim!

Studies have shown that the pizza’s various flavors merge and balance each other once they cool down. 

The cheese’s and ham’s saltiness, the tomato sauce’s sourness, and the intense and spicy flavors of garlic and various herbs all blend into the ultimate and mellow pizza flavor

Additionally, the pizza’s tomato sauce stops the cheese topping’s oil from getting into the dough base. 

This preserves both texture and flavor and prevents the pizza crust from becoming soggy and moist.

So, taste-wise, letting your pizza cool down in the fridge for a few hours or overnight makes sense. 

Does Pizza Taste Better Hot or Cold?

a baking pizza in the oven

So the question of all questions is: Does a cold pizza taste better than a hot one?

Personally, I enjoy a hot, freshly stone-baked pizza more than a cold leftover pizza.

I like the distinct flavors of the toppings I chose, and I just enjoy my pizza hot and crispy.

But that is very subjective! Honestly, you have to find out for yourself because taste isn’t something you can look up online.

Truth be told, I also like the occasional cold leftover slice from the fridge. It’s a type of comfort food for me.

But if I had to choose between hot and cold, I’d probably always pick the hot pizza!

Is It Safe to Eat Cold Pizza?

Given that you have stored your leftover pizza correctly, it is certainly safe to eat pizza cold. 

Food safety is, however, super important, and you’ll have to make sure your pizza ends up stored in the fridge until you eat it! 

Otherwise, bacteria can start to grow on it, which can cause foodborne illnesses

That’s why it’s best to put your leftover pizza in the fridge as soon as you’re done eating. 

You can definitely leave it in its box (if you’ve gotten some takeout) or on a plate, as long as you close the box or cover the plate with some plastic wrap.

However, I have found that tightly wrapping each slice into aluminum foil preserves the pizza and its flavor much better. 

You will want to keep as much air out as possible, and aluminum wraps itself naturally and easily around pizza. 

PRO TIP: If you want to reheat your leftover slices, you can use the aluminum foil and put your pizza right into the oven with it!

Is It Okay to Eat Cold Pizza the Next Day?

an image of cold pizza slices on a table

So, once again, if you’ve safely stored your pizza in the fridge, you can certainly enjoy it the next day. No problem whatsoever!

You can even keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, given it is stored air-tight and away from moisture. 

GOOD TO KNOW: Be aware that it might dry out and lose most of its flavor after day 3!

Unfortunately, many people think you can eat pizza the next day, even if it sits out all night. 

That is very dangerous and a huge no-no! If you eat that pizza the next day, it’s almost guaranteed that you will get sick. 

Always follow the FDA’s 2-hour ruleDiscard any perishables (foods that can spoil or become contaminated by bacteria if unrefrigerated) left out at room temperature for longer than two hours.

That pizza might look yummy after a long night of partying or gaming (talking to all you young people out there), but it’s not worth risking your health!

Do They Eat Cold Pizza in Italy?

a image of a pizzeria in the Italian city of florence
By Arnaud 25 – CC BY-SA 4.0

You can often read that Italians will only eat pizza for dinner, hot, and with a fork and knife. Eating it with your hands or cold seems to be frowned upon over there.

While there is some truth to that, it’s not the whole picture.

Yes, Italians love pizza, and they practically worship it. But that doesn’t mean they can also enjoy it as a snack.

If you ask me, ignoring that fact serves the belief in an Italian stereotype!

And the truth is that many pizza stores and corner shops in Italy sell hot and cold slices that people can grab and eat on the go!

It’s probably not as common as in the US, though.

Related Articles

Nutritional and Food Safety Disclaimers

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *