I have purchased this pizza for a very long time for various reasons. One of the reasons was that my mom always had it on hand and I acquired a taste for it. So if something is fairly good, you stick with it.
Recommend this product?
About this pizza -
Ellio's Pizza is made by McCain Foods. This 21.75 oz box is the original classic and there are 9 slices which is in 3 rectangular strips. But the servings size per box is 4.5 which equals 2 slices each serving. I consider this package to have 3 servings (1 strip per serving). The slices are incredibly small my 5 year old grandson can eat a whole strip easy. Each serving is 290 calories, cholesterol 15mg, sodium 530mg and 0 trans fat (see package for other nutritional facts and ingredients). They don't recommend microwaving this but they do have another round type which is microwaveable. The ingredients are the basic; tomato, mozzarella and dough. For allergens, I would recommend checking the ingredients.
The Ellio's packaging focuses on the Italian colors; red white and green.
Once you open the plastic wrapped package, you cannot close it up, so it's best to bake all 3 strips at one serving or soon after opening. I usually bake all 3 strips and reheat it in the microwave later. If you're serving 9 pieces (3 strips) separately I would recommended breaking them apart before baking because they will be very hot and difficult to break apart once out of the oven unless you use kitchen shears or a pizza cutter.
To cook, bake at 425 degrees for 10-12min on oven rack for a crispy crust or longer on a baking sheet. I usually use the Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick Aluminum Foil for an easy clean up and easy removal from the foil which can also be used to store any pieces leftover.
My experience -
I mostly purchase this frozen pizza when on sale for about $2. When not on sale, it can average $4. If I'm going to pay full price, I might as well get a fresh pizzeria pizza which gives me 8 slices. Sure this is good all around because it's crust-free, but it does taste a bit doughy.
I like to make it on rare occasions when I have nothing else to eat and I want something without fussing. I usually add some garlic to it and some EVOO but you can add whatever you wish since you are baking it. The children I've served it to all enjoy it. It's not overly sweet and it has a good amount of cheese on it. This is a also good to have at home on those days you want a quick meal. While the pizza is in the oven, I will make a tossed salad and have dinner on the table in less time than it would take to order a pizza for delivery. My local pizzerias usually take 30-45 minuted on their busy dinnertime hours.
I haven't tried their other newer varieties since I just use the pizza for a backup on those nights I'm low on groceries and don't want to order a pizza or for a late night snack.
Overall, not a bad substitute for the real thing. I would rate this an average frozen pizza but I know there are other better frozen pizzas that I have tried but will cost more. It's convenient and there is never a crust to throw out for those that do not like the crust. For me, I will continue purchasing this average pizza. After all, it's a classic that has been around for a long time therefore, it has to be fairly good even though it's not the best.
If I could change anything about this pizza, I would like the dough to be lighter and larger slices. Perhaps 4 rectangular pieces in each box with slits for 2 pieces in each rectangular piece. Making the pie 4 servings to be suitable for a family of 4 with 2 small children. As is, this is a 1 1/4 pound but would be better if it was over 1 1/2 pounds. I believe this brand is most popular with school age children and college because you can judge how much to make out of the 9 pieces.
Ultimately, this pizza is not the best nor the worst. You can add whatever you have for more flavor; broccoli, olives, anchovies, more Italian cheese, hot pepper, garlic, onions, including leftovers while the oven is preheating.
For a more festive child's party, why not have a "make your own"? Stores sell the pizza dough and let each child make their own pizza. Make some chef hats out of white paper and they will have a blast.
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