It seems like these days that all I am doing is reviewing vegan this or gluten free that. My last review was for “beefless” Korean Bulgogi which I thought was surprisingly good. Not only are vegan and gluten free foods very trendy, but they do make up the bulk of a lot of new foods at Trader Joe’s these days which is why you see more of these reviews from Club Trader Joe’s than other foods. Trader Joe’s is never one to shy away from a food trend. I am always happy to review more pizza products because pizza is my favorite food in the whole wide world.
I suppose Trader Joe’s could’ve taken this pizza to the extreme and made it vegan and gluten free, they have the ability to do that, but I guess there are a lot of gluten free people that don’t mind meat, so here we are with real pepperoni and cheese. Which I am happy for because I am neither gluten free or vegan.
As far as frozen pizzas go this one looks pretty mainstream. Much like their Pizza Parlanno which they have been selling for well over 10 years. It’s still my favorite frozen pizza from Trader Joe’s. The most controversial thing about this vegan pizza might be the black olives, which many people hate. (I love olives!)
I’ve had my fair share of gluten free pizzas. Even a couple of other ones from Trader Joe’s. I wasn’t too impressed by them. So, I didn’t have very high expectations about what I was going to get with this pizza. True celiac suffers are probably always happy to add another new gluten free pizza option.
When we look at the front of the box, we see at the bottom that this is a cauliflower crust. Even less to be enthusiastic about. That usually just means ground up cauliflower and something to bind it like eggs and cheese. They are just usually OK, and passable as a type of flat bread, but you really want your pizza to have an airy crust texture with a bit of crunch.
I put the pizza in the toaster oven at the 425 degrees for the proper amount of time. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t anything different about any of this pizza just from looking at it. It looks like any other frozen American pepperoni pizza out there. The crust is nicely browned. It even looks like it has some bubbling in the crust.
I pulled it out of the oven and put it on a cutting board and cut it into wedges and the crust had a nice crunch when the pizza wheel ran through the crust. Sorry, I should’ve taken an edge on shot of the crust but there are nice holes and bubbling in the crust which I have never really seen from a gluten free pizza with a cauliflower crust.
Otherwise, this pizza looks just like any other combination style pizza with pepperoni, peppers and olives on the top. After it cooled off a bit I took a bite and I was surprised how crunch and unlike other cauliflower crusts this pizza was like. It was just like a flour crust. Nice and airy and crunchy. Like their four cheese Italian pizza which has been a staple of theirs for many years.
If you served me this pizza and didn’t tell me it was gluten free, there is no way I would know that. I would say it was just middle of the road, American style combination frozen pizza. Great for the kids and cheap enough to stock the freezer. But when you layer in the fact it’s gluten free, then it takes on a different meaning. Food science has come a long way and for all you celiacs out there that want a decent gluten free option, this is it.
I would rate this pizza about 6 or 7 bells normally. Nothing to write home about but if you consider there is now wheat flour in the crust, I am going to give it an 8 Bells rating!
INGREDIENTS: CAULIFLOWER, TOMATO SAUCE
(TOMATO PUREE, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, SALT,
DEXTROSE, GARLIC POWDER, DRIED BASIL;
_DRIED OREGANO), LOW-MOISTURE PART-SKIM
MOZZARELLA CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK,
SALT, CHEESE CULTURES, MICROBIAL ENZYME),
CORNSTARCH, BELL PEPPERS, RICE FLOUR
CHICKPEA FLOUR, UNCURED PEPPERONI, NO
NITRATES OR NITRITES ADDED† (PORK, BEEF,
SALT, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF WATER, SPICES,
DEXTROSE, SEASONING EXTRACTIVES OF PAPRIKA,
NATURAL FLAVOR, SMOKE FLAVOR], CULTURED
CELERY POWDER, CHERRY POWDER, LACTIC
ACID STARTER CULTURE, NATURAL FLAVORING
TURBINADO SUGAR), RED ONION, SLICED BLACK
OLIVES (BLACK OLIVES, SALT), SUNFLOWER OIL,
CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF OLIVE OIL XANTHAN
GUM, GUAR GUM, SUGAR, SALT, YEAST, PSYLLIUM
FIBER, POTATO FIBER.
*RICE FLOUR MAY CONTAiN SOY.
EXCEPT FOR THOSE NATURALLY OCCURRING iN
CULTURED CELERY POWDER.
MAY CONTAIN SOY.
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: COOK FROM FROZEN.
CONVENTIONAL OVEN: Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove all packaging and place pizza
directly on center rack of oven. Bake for 14 minutes or until lightly browned and,
cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F