REVIEW: DiGiorno Pizzeria Thin Primo Pepperoni Pizza

DiGiorno Pizzeria Thin Primo Pepperoni Pizza

Like ’em or not, you have to admit DiGiorno is a gutsy brand. For years, their advertising campaign has been predicated on the idea that an unwitting consumer could mistake their frozen pizza for hand-tossed, homestyle goodness delivered fresh from the local trattoria.

Now, with the introduction of their new line of thin-crust pies, the company has grown so confident in the quality of their work that their packaging is actually shrieking the word “PIZZERIA!“, exclamation point and all, in customers’ faces. But does DiGiorno’s latest creation finally live up to their lofty claims?

Because of my local grocery store’s limited selection, Pizzeria! Thin Primo Pepperoni was the only variety available for me. The box instructed me to place the pie directly on the center oven rack, warning that a pizza stone or cookie sheet may diminish its tastiness.

As an ardent pizza stone user/insane person, this filled me with terrific dread. I envisioned magma-like cheese dripping to the bottom of the stove and bursting into flames, or microscopic mites native only to oven racks infesting the crust. (Obviously, I have an awesome grasp on how science works, you guys.) Thankfully, when the kitchen timer rang, I discovered the pie intact and, from what I could tell, mite-free.

The directions also recommended that I let it rest for five minutes before slicing in, so I took that time to savor the smell; it was slightly herbaceous, but the oregano and basil were overwhelmed by the greasy aroma of the pepperoni (which isn’t a bad thing if you’re aiming for a genuine pizzeria experience).

As I bit in, I found the end product to be a bit of a mixed bag. Let’s start with the cheese: It was unremarkable, owing probably to the lame part-skim mozzarella used. No provolone, cheddar, or Parmesan to add some complexity and depth of flavor? Points deducted.

The sauce was similarly disappointing. Although the packaging proudly describes it as “made with vine-ripened tomatoes and herbs” – uh, I would hope so? – it tasted distinctly frozen pizza-y, by which I mean that it was equal parts bitter and bland, very unlike the sweet tomato sauce I’m accustomed to eating in actual pizzerias. Come on, DiGiorno!

Moving on to the “primo” pepperoni, I have no compliments, but no complaints either. It baked to a nice, crisp texture, and it tasted like your average pepp – savory and oily with a minor spicy afterkick.

DiGiorno Pizzeria Thin Primo Pepperoni Pizza 2

But in spite of all this mediocrity, there exists one seriously redeeming factor: The crust. It was chewy yet crispy, pillowy yet flavorful. Just as the box says, you can taste the nuanced seasonings and the lushness of the olive oil drizzle. It would seem DiGiorno’s entire budget went into the dough and, really, that’s the smartest area of investment when it comes to pizza. Gourmet toppings don’t mean much when they’re served on a disc of tasteless, rubbery breading.

So has DiGiorno finally achieved mistakable-for-delivery status? Nah. But if you’re expecting something less ambitious, like a serviceable frozen pizza, then you’re less likely to walk away disappointed. Perhaps the other varieties (Supreme Speciale, Spinach & Mushroom, and Margherita) are a bit more convincing. Or maybe it just depends on the kind of delivery you’re used to.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/4 pizza – 310 calories, 130 from fat, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 760 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.)

Item: DiGiorno Pizzeria Thin Primo Pepperoni Pizza
Purchased Price: $7.19
Size: 17.2 oz.
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Awesome crust. Okay pepperoni. Serves its humble purpose.
Cons: Lackluster cheese and sauce. Still not pizzeria-quality. Box condescendingly advises you to enjoy “with fresh salad and great company.”

REVIEW: DiGiorno Three Meat Pizza Pizza Dipping Strips

DiGiorno Pizza Dipping Strips Three Meat Pizza

Pizza Hut did it!

I couldn’t help but yell those four words and rip off South Park when I saw the DiGiorno Three Meat Pizza Pizza Dipping Strips. As you can imagine, this frightened my fellow shoppers in the frozen food aisle and caused them to scurry themselves and their shopping carts away from me.

That was not the first time I yelled the words “Pizza Hut did it!” in public while looking at a DiGiorno product. I also did it when I discovered DiGiorno’s Pizza and Wyngs, DiGiorno’s Pizza and Breadsticks, and I do it whenever I see DiGiorno’s Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. It’s as if Pizza Hut is DiGiorno’s R&D Department.

DiGiorno’s Pizza Dipping Strips is made up of 12 pull-apart strips of pizza and comes with a container of marinara sauce and another of garlic dipping sauce. I picked up the Three Meat Pizza one, but it also comes in Pepperoni and Four Cheese varieties. The three meats are sausage, pepperoni, and beef.

Even though they were connected by just crust, the dipping strips weren’t super easy to pull apart. Or maybe I’m as horrible at pulling than a one-legged ox. After burning my fingers trying to split the strips apart, I decided to break out my pizza cutter.

DiGiorno Pizza Dipping Strips Three Meat Pizza Closeup

I prefer DiGiorno frozen pizzas over Red Baron, Tombstone, Totino’s, Freschetta, and a few others, so it’s no surprise I enjoyed the pizza part of the Pizza Dipping Strips. I think DiGiorno’s tasty pizza sauce is what sets it apart from other frozen pizzas, but I also think their crust is a bit too thick. Another slight issue I had with the dipping strips is the amount of pepperoni. Each strip had just one lonely slice of pepperoni. Although, I will admit this is easy to fix by stealing the pepperoni from other dipping strips when your fellow eaters aren’t looking.

What about the dipping sauces? Well, let me just say, one is better than the other and they’re quite watery.

Preparing the dipping sauces is more complex than baking the pizza, which is pretty much just stick pizza in oven, take pizza out of oven, and enjoy. The steps to get the sauces ready are: place sauce packets in hot tap water for 4-5 minutes, tear open packets, squeeze each sauce into separate microwave-safe bowls, heat one sauce for 20-30 seconds in the microwave, heat the other sauce for 20-30 seconds in the microwave, and enjoy.

The garlic dipping sauce is not very garlicy. If you enjoy the garlic sauce from Domino’s or Papa John’s, this DiGiorno garlic sauce will disappoint. Its garlic flavor is mild enough that I would not be afraid to make out with someone after eating it. Despite my not so glowing words, I have to say the garlic sauce is better than the marinara dipping sauce, which has very little flavor at all. As I mentioned earlier, I like DiGiorno’s pizza sauce, so I’m disappointed their marinara sauce is dull.

If there’s one positive thing I could say about the sauces, it would be that each packet has a lot of sauce. When other eater weren’t looking, I was not only stealing their pepperoni, I was also double, triple, and quadruple dipping into both sauces. And despite all of that unsanitary dipping, there was still a lot of sauce left.

The DiGiorno Pizza Dipping Strips is a good idea, although an old idea, but the sauces bring everything down. I do like the idea of pull apart pieces and would like to see DiGiorno do that with their regular round pizzas.

I would also like to see DiGiorno’s combine pizza with cinnamon sticks, much like Pizza Hut does with their $10 Dinner Box. Oh wait, it’s already happened.

Pizza Hut did it!

(Nutrition Facts – 2 dipping strips – 360 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 880 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein. Marinara Sauce – 2 Tbsp. – 20 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Garlic Sauce – 2 Tbsp. – 60 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

*uses partially hydrogenated oil

Item: DiGiorno Three Meat Pizza Pizza Dipping Strips
Price: $6.99
Size: 34.2 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Pizza is good. Pizza in strip form is easier to eat than pizza slice form. Stealing pepperoni. THREE MEATS! Lots of dipping sauce. Pizza is easy to prepare.
Cons: Garlic sauce isn’t very garlicy. Marinara sauce is bland. Would’ve liked more pepperoni. Having your pepperoni stolen. Getting caught double, triple, or quadruple dipping. Copying Pizza Hut.

REVIEW: DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies Supreme Pizza and Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies

DiGiorno has always done right by me. Their Supreme Ultimate Toppings could rival a lot of the major pizza delivery joints in texture and toppings. They’ve recently come out with some…interesting new products, putting pizza and a side in the same box. First off, there’s Pizza & Breadsticks. A logical pairing; lots of people like breadsticks dunked in marinara sauce to go with their pie.

Then there’s Pizza & Wyngz. Again, chicken wings are a popular side dish with the pizza crowd. Of course, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room, but I think I’ve pretty much said all I have to say about “Wyngz” in this news post.

And then there’s the third pairing: Pizza & Cookies.

What?

I’m not even sure what to say about that. Pizza and cookies, together at last. It’s just so amazingly random, I can’t even imagine what that marketing meeting was like. The best I can come up with is a conference room filled with bong smoke so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.

Marketing Guy #1: “Oh, man. I am so fucking stoned right now. This is crazy.”

Marketing Guy #2: “Dude, I know. How long have we been in this room? What time is it? I feel like we’ve been in here for days.”

Marketing Guy #1: “Duuuuude, I know. I’m so fucking hungry. I could totally go for a pizza right now.”

Marketing Guy #2: “I would totally kill a dude for some cookies right now. I would hit the vending machine but I can’t get out of this chair. Have I always been stuck in this chair? Oh man I’m starting to freak out about this chair.”

Marketing Guy #3: “I could totally go for some pizza and cookies right now. That would be so awesome. I would take a bite of pizza, and a bite of cookie. Yeeeaaaah. Awesome. What was this meeting supposed to be about, again?”

Marketing Guy #1: “DUDE. That’s it! We were supposed to come up with some new pizza ideas! What if we put pizza and cookies IN THE SAME BOX?!”

Marketing Guy #3: “Oh my god you are a fucking GENIUS! That’s AWESOME! Dude let me feel your face.”

Marketing Guy #2: “Oh man we could do pizza and chicken wings too! Except instead of wings we’ll call them Wyngz. It’ll blow everyone’s minds.”

I guess everyone at DiGiorno is high all the time because this bizarre idea became a reality. You have your choice of three different pizzas: Cheese, Pepperoni and Supreme. All three come with Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough. I chose Supreme, because I like lots of toppings, and Supreme has sausage, pepperoni, red peppers, green peppers and onions. All good things.

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies Pizza

I was interested to see how the pizza and cookies would be packaged. I was not expecting what I saw when I opened the box. At first, I thought the package of cookie dough was laying directly on top of the pizza, raising questions about hygiene, but when I cut through the plastic I saw that the pizza was actually double-wrapped, so there was a layer of plastic between the pizza and the dough. Not exactly environmentally friendly, but at least more hygienic, although I don’t know why they just couldn’t have let the dough package roam free in the box. How much damage can you do to frozen cookie dough? The box weighs over two pounds, I doubt anyone is playing Frisbee golf with this thing. Although…stoners…better safe than sorry, I guess.

I was under the impression that DiGiorno had worked some magic and engineered it so that the pizza and the cookies would cook at the exact same time. I was mistaken. There are two ways to make Pizza & Cookies: the first is “To Enjoy Cookies After Pizza”, which entails preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, putting the pizza directly on the center rack, and baking 19-22 minutes. You then break up the scored block of cookie dough on a baking sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes on the center rack. This makes sense, since you can eat your pizza while you wait for your cookies to be done. After pizza, boom! Warm cookies for dessert. Just don’t be a slow pizza eater.

The second method, however, makes less sense, but I chose it because I felt it had the most potential for disaster. “To Enjoy Cookies With Pizza” – again, I would call this the “stoner method,” but the fact of the matter is this is the more complicated of the two methods and I’m pretty sure somebody stoned would just choose to microwave a Hot Pocket instead.

“To Enjoy Cookies With Pizza”: Same preheat, but this time you place the pizza on the lower of the two middle oven racks. Bake it for 9 minutes, then put the baking sheet of cooking on the upper of the two middle oven racks. You are then instructed to stagger the two so the pizza is not directly below the cookies. Bake both for an additional 10-12 minutes and enjoy your pizza and cookies together.

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookies

The pizza didn’t give off much of a smell as it cooked, but once the cookies were put in, my apartment was filled with the warm, inviting smell of chocolate chip cookies baking. It reminded me of my parents’ house around the holidays. I’m not a sweets fan, so I’ve never actually baked anything in my oven, but it was a delicious, nostalgic aroma.

Both the pizza and the cookies came out just right. The range of quality in frozen pizzas is pretty extreme; you can pick up a Totino’s Party Pizza for around a buck and it will taste like a cardboard disk with meat droppings on top, or you can get a California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza, which is generally full of flavor, has a good texture, and costs around seven dollars. DiGiorno falls on the higher end of frozen pizzas, depending on which variety you get. My Supreme pizza was quite tasty, with plentiful toppings that offered up acceptable levels of flavor, and a surprisingly crispy crust. As a frozen pizza, it was completely satisfying.

The chocolate chip cookies came out golden brown and, of course, smelling delicious. Straight out of the oven, they were warm and tasty, with a delicious soft center that was unexpected and just the right crunch around the edges. They came out just like if you’d baked a batch of Nestle Toll House chocolate cookies by themselves.

I honestly thought that, besides being a ridiculous premise, cooking pizza and cookies in an oven together would not go well. I figured the pizza, the cookies, or both would come out burnt or undercooked, or there would be some sort of disturbing flavor transfer. Instead, I got a well-cooked pizza, tasty Toll House cookies, and an apartment that smelled like my mom was doing her Christmas baking. I still think the whole pizza/cookie combo is silly and completely random, but at least DiGiorno’s Pizza & Cookies managed to get the final product right, even if the execution itself is clunky.

One other thing I thought was amusing: the box says there’s five servings of pizza, but 12 servings of chocolate chip cookies. I don’t think this will be a problem, however; stoners aren’t exactly picky about suggested serving sizes.

(Nutrition Facts – DiGiorno Supreme Pizza -1/5 pizza – 360 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 gram of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 840 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugars, 14 grams of protein, 6% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C, 20% calcium and 6% iron. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies – 1 cookie – 90 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, <1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugars, less than 1 gram of protein.)

Other DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies reviews:
Freezer Burns
Salon

Item: DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies Supreme Pizza and Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Price: $5.99 (on sale; regular price $7.49)
Size: 1 pizza and 12 cookies (2 lb. 1.4 oz. Total weight)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Pizza had crispy crust and generous toppings. DiGiorno’s marketing team tripping balls. Cookies were golden and soft inside. My apartment smelling like the holidays. Perfect baking times.
Cons: Pizza and cookies in the same box what the hell. “Wyngz.” Execution of baking both was clunky. Frisbee golf. Pizza-to-cookies ratio was skewed.

NEWS: DiGiorno Puts Pizza and Cookies in the Same Box; Also Offers Pizza and ‘Wyngz’, Goes on to Lose Spelling Bee

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies

Update: Click here to read our DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies review

In a move that strikes me as amazingly random, DiGiorno is now offering Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough with its frozen pizzas. Unimaginatively called DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies, you can get your chocolate chip cookies with three different types of pizza: Four Cheese, Pepperoni and Supreme. All pizzas have a hand tossed style crust.

The box says the dough makes 12 cookies, but you could probably make one really big cookie with a raw center, or just eat the dough while you wait for your frozen pizza to cook. The recommended amount of cookies raises questions regarding how many people it takes to eat a DiGiorno pizza. If you ask me, that’s a lot of cookies per person.

If you’re not a big fan of dessert, DiGiorno also now offers Pizza & Boneless Wyngz. Wyngz looks like something my cat would type while walking across my keyboard, but the box describes them as white meat chicken fritters. Perhaps they made the spelling XTREME in order to avoid anyone thinking they were actually chicken wings. You can get a Supreme or Three Meat with Honey BBQ Wyngz, or a Pepperoni with Buffalo Style Wyngz. No matter which flavor Wyngz you choose, you’ll be getting approximately 7-8 of them per box.

No word on price for either combo. No word on cooking instructions either, but I’m assuming both the cookies and the Wyngz are designed to cook to hot perfection at the exact same time as the pizza. These launched nationwide last week, so look for them in your grocer’s freezer aisle.

Pizza and cookies, a combination the people have been screaming for for years. Finally, all our dreams have come true!

Thanks for TIB reader Stefania for the tip.

Source: DiGiorno Facebook Page

REVIEW: DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza

Chicago, I know you’re still celebrating your Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, but I want to bring something negative to your attention that would probably get lost if I mentioned it while your anger from the Cubs not winning a World Series for the 103rd straight year erupts.

I just want to let you know that DiGiorno has a new deep dish pepperoni pizza. Well, at least they’re calling it a “deep dish pizza” because if you saw it for yourself, you would boo it hard, just like you do every time Brett Favre steps on Soldier Field.

Chicago is the birthplace of the deep dish pizza and as someone who has had a Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Giordano’s Pizzeria (and thinks it’s frickin’ awesome), I believe the Windy City should be appalled at DiGiorno’s poor attempt to create a deep dish pizza. I also believe the Second City should use the most powerful person in the Free World that comes from the great state of Illinois to stop DiGiorno from tainting the greatness of the deep dish pizza.

No, I’m not talking about President Zombie Abraham Lincoln, I’m talking about Oprah.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a deep dish pizza, it’s like a large bowl that’s made of crust that’s filled with tomato sauce, cheese, sausage and other ingredients. However, the DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza isn’t at all like that and is basically a Pizza Hut Pepperoni Personal Pan Pizza, except slightly smaller, with a less crispy crust, with a slightly better tasting sauce and would probably make the late Linda Lovelace say, “I know deep, and that’s not deep.”

While I believe the DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza isn’t a good deep dish pizza because there isn’t enough filling in it to be considered a deep dish pizza, I do think it’s a good microwaveable pizza. The cooking tray does a decent job of making the pizza’s bottom crust a little crispy. On top of that crust is a few pepperoni slices that are cut into fourths, not enough cheese and a decent amount of sauce, which I thought was quite tasty and had a slight spiciness.

Overall, the DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza is a fine microwaveable pizza, but calling itself a deep dish pizza is a stretch, just like it’s a stretch when anyone on a New Jersey-based reality show calls themself a celebrity or nicely tanned.

(Nutrition Facts – Whole Pizza – 590 calories, 33 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 950 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 24 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 35% calcium and 20% iron.)

Item: DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: A good microwaveable pizza for one. Tasty sauce. My ability to learn about Chicago though Wikipedia. Nice source of calcium, iron, and protein. Cooking tray does a decent job of crisping the crust. Oprah. President Zombie Abraham Lincoln.
Cons: Not a true deep dish pizza. It’s basically a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza. Not enough cheese. Awesome source of saturated fat and sodium. Contains trans fat. Linda Lovelace would probably not approve of its deepness. Spray on tans that make you look orange. The Chicago Cubs’ futility.