Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough Review

Trader Joe's Fresh Pizza Dough
Trader Joe’s Fresh Pizza Dough

Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough Review. I make homemade pizza once or twice a week. I have growing teenagers that can consume ungodly amounts of pizza. I love pizza too and I know it’s something I can get the whole family to eat! I make a pepperoni for the kids and an adult pizza with whatever I dreamed up that day.

My wife loves pizza with potatoes and eggs on it and sometimes we even make breakfast pizzas with bacon and eggs on them! The sky is the limit when it comes to dreaming up new pizzas…

I have been making pizza from scratch for many years. I even have a real outdoor pizza oven but can’t bake pizza outside 12 months a year because it’s too wet or cold so I end up making pizza inside in a regular oven on a pizza stone.
I think I have had about 5 different pizza stones. I used those round 16″ ceramic ones for a while, then a friend told me about the Old Stone Oven 16-Inch Baking Stone which I still have to this day. Great pizza stone. It was much bigger than traditional stones and covered the whole rack in my oven.
I used to think that I had to crank the heat up as high as I could get it but in a traditional oven, I don’t think that’s the key.  I also have a Metal Pizza Peel and an Epicurean Pizza Peel which I really like too! I mainly use the Epicurean but sometimes I need to get a pizza that has stuck itself to the stone and the metal one is much better at doing that.

OK, every so often I am in a pinch for time and the kids want pizza, but I don’t want to make the frozen pizzas from Trader Joe’s and I didn’t start pizza dough in the morning. I want to bake pizza dough with store-bought pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. They are good, but nearly as good as the ones you bake from scratch IMHO. Buying fresh dough from Trader Joe’s is a good alternative, but there are a few things you need to know to make a good pizza from TJ’s Pizza Dough:

1. There are three pizza dough products they sell at Trader Joe’s: plain dough, herb, and whole wheat. I mostly use the plain. I’ve tried the herb and the whole wheat and thought they were pretty good but not nearly as good as the plain.

Pizza fresh out of the oven

2. These are sold in the fridge section and are quite cold when you get them, sometimes even frozen. I think they ship them frozen from the warehouse and thaw them in the store. I find that working the dough is much easier if it has warmed up and risen a little more.

Generally, what I do is take the dough out of the bag and either put it in a big bowl that I rubbed a little olive oil in and let it rise a bit, maybe 2-3 hours. Once it’s come up to room temperature the dough is much easier to work with. This might take an hour or more but is well worth it.

Pinching the dough

3. One bag of pizza dough is too big for one pizza and too small for two 16″ pizzas. You will end up with mostly crust if you use one bag for one pizza (unless you make a sheet pan pizza). If you stretch it out pretty thin it makes a huge pizza. What I do is either cut off a couple of ounces of the dough to make a big 16″ pizza or cut it in half and make a couple of thinner 12″ pizzas.

Either way, you will need to put the ball in a covered, oiled bowl for 30 minutes before forming. This is after you thaw it out in the 2nd step above. The dough has a “memory” and won’t form a circle otherwise. If you don’t want to make two pizzas in one day, just freeze the second ball.

Pizza Stone

How does Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough Taste?

You may wonder if the dough tastes any good and I would say the flavor of the pizza dough is pretty good! What is happening is that the longer you let dough (to a certain point) rise, it will develop more flavor and I can imagine they make the dough at least a day ahead of time and maybe longer, but that’s fine. As long as it’s in the fridge section it will slowly rise developing more flavor. I would not keep the dough longer than a day at home on the counter, but in the fridge, you probably have 3 days to use it.

I think one of the key things I see from people is that they mostly undercook their pizza. It should be golden brown, maybe even dark brown around the edges.

Cut pizza

That brings up another thing. Pizza dough freezes excellently! If you don’t think you are going to use it or you just want to stock up. Just throw it in the freezer! It should keep for a month or so if you tightly wrap it before you freeze it. You just want to avoid freezer burn.

When you are ready to use it, just take it out of the freezer and you can zap it on defrost in the microwave for a few minutes to thaw it out a bit, don’t overdo it or it will start to cook. Or you can just pull it out of the freezer and put it in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or leave it in the bag for a while and let it slowly thaw out, but that might take several hours.

At this point, it is similar to using my own dough. I sometimes use a rolling pin with pre-made dough, but I mostly my hands to flatten out the dough ball.


My typical pizza is 100% Trader Joe’s ingredients. Always use TJ’s dough and I use Quattro Formaggio as my cheese of choice, then use Trader Joe’s organic marinara or Trader Joe’s Arrabbiata sauce as my pizza sauce. It’s not nearly as sweet as their pizza sauce. Then I use a variety of meats but mostly the salami or calabrese salami which has a little heat. Top with a little oregano and you are ready to go!

If you want to make a pan pizza, see my blog post on a quick and easy way to make a pan pizza.. I don’t use a pizza pan but just a sheet pan.

All in all, not bad dough but it’s not the best. There are some issues but it’s way better than pre-made crusts or frozen pizza. Not as good as my homemade dough, but only by a little. I am going to rate this Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough an 8 Bells!




Trader joes pizza dough nutrition



  1. I have been using trader joe pizza dough for years and until recently really liked it. I now fine it VERY undependable!! Color is different and it doesn’t always rise correctly. So disappointed. Wish I knew what what was going on. Has anyone else had this experience?

    • I just used some of their pizza dough last night and I thought it was better than I have seen from them usually. So, I think this depends on a lot of things. How the dough is stored. How long it’s on the shelf, etc… I have had dough all over the map, but generally it’s pretty reliable. Plus, I’m on the west coast and if you are on the east coast there might be a different supplier right now. Trader Joe’s seems to change suppliers at the drop of a hat. Again, as I always say, go into the store and talk to tha managers and they will help you one way or another…

    • I have had the same experience. It seems to be a different product than it used to be, It has a different glossy appearance. It used to be sticky dough which stuck to the inside of the bag like real dough behaves. The dough now slides out easily which is suspicious! I will quit buying this dough which is unfortunate.

      • I have used a variety of doughs from different companies and most of them cover their dough in a little oil so it doesn’t stick to the bag. I don’t think it hurts anything…

  2. One bag of pizza dough is too big for one pizza and too small for two 16″ pizzas. If you stretch it out pretty thin it makes a huge pizza.

    Either :

    a) Make a thick pan pizza, or
    b) Use 75% of the dough for your pizzas, and the other 25% can be the crust of an apple pie, a dinner roll, a couple of breaksticks, etc.

    • As I’ve said in the past, Trader Joe’s pizza dough is easy to work with, but a bag is way too much for a normal pizza. The problem if you cut it to make two pizzas is that it will have a “memory” of it’s former shape and you end up with goofy triangle shaped pizzas. If you want to do it correctly, cut it in half and shape into a ball pinching the bottom off and let each one rise for another hour in a bowl covered. You can get a 12-14 inch pizza out of each ball.

        • The picture is pretty self explanatory. But you are pinching one side of the ball together and drawing the ball tight on the other side. This helps to form a ball later.

        • I make my own doughs for pizza with flour from Italy, takes to days to develop a great taste/texture. I gave TJ’s dough a try for those emergency times that I want a pizza now. (I have a wood fired oven). The results were fantastic! I was impressed with the quality of the bake, the chew, and the “leoparding”. I removed the dough from bag, oiled it into a bowl with EVOO, 2 hours on counter top. EZ to hand toss, form and to top. This will mow be my go to 911 dough!

  3. Without a doubt that was the worst experience with pre-made dough (whole wheat). I tried following the instructions on the bag which was part of the problem. It was bought from Trader Joe the same day I cooked it. After letting it sit at room temperature (about 70 deg F) for 20 minutes as per the instructions it didn’t appear to be doing any rising so I put the bag in my pocket for 10 minutes more to give it more heat. Still no rising action but I proceeded to roll it out and spread in the pizza pan and top it with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, onions and peppers. The instructions on the bag said to bake in a pre-heated oven at 425F for 6-8 minutes. This seemed ridiculous but thought I should try to stay close to the instructions. I set the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the crust was still soft to the touch so I gave it another 2 minutes and set the oven to convection to speed things up. After 10 minutes the cheese was starting to brown so I took out. The crust edges were cooked but the inside crust was still gooey and raw tasting. The dough never did any rising and was just a flat paste. I put it back in and gave it another 2 minutes and got a leathery crust with no resemblance to a bread product. What is wrong with this dough? Did they forget to put in yeast or allow it rise before putting on the shelf? What is wrong with those crazy instructions? I have cooked from pre-made pizza dough about a dozen times before with other brands and this is my first failure.

    • First their dough is refrigerated so it needs to come up to room temperature then it will start to rise. This can take 30+ minutes before it even rises. Then another 1/2 hour to rise a bit. Also, it really only works best on a pizza stone that has been pre-heated for at least 1/2 hour. 425 is too low. I have found 450 or 475 better. Then the dough ball is way too big unless you like really thick crust. I either shave off a couple of ounces or split it in half for two smaller pizzas. I hope that helps a bit. I have made decent pizzas from their doughs. Not as good as my homemade dough but serviceable.

  4. Have tried Trader Giotto’s plain pizza dough in the bag twice– both times a failure. Nowhere does it suggest on the bag that the ball should be divided so as to be used for 2 twelve inch pizzas, yet I have seen such suggestions elsewhere in order to avoid getting an un-done crust. Secondly, the bag suggests that the dough be baked for 12 minutes max at 350 F. I even pre-baked the crust for four minutes before putting on the toppings, but the dough was still like glooey at the center after 40 minutes even though we raised the temperature to 400 for the last 10 minutes. Either the instructions should clarify that one bag is just for a 12 inch pan or the temperature should be 400 or 425 from the start. Something is seriously wrong with this product– and it’s not our oven which never has a temperature problem otherwise.

    • Yah, Trader Joe’s does a disservice by not including some better directions. One bag of dough is good for one sheet pan pizza or two 12″ pizzas. But you have to divide the dough and form into a ball again and let rise/rest for at least 1/2 hour before you bake so it forms a round shape again.

  5. I’m surprised to find that for making your own dough, you didn’t mention ALL the preservatives added. If I don’t make my own, I buy from a bakery/pizzeria (most will sell). I find whatever is in the TJ dough causes bloatedness in me (personally) over homemade or from bakery. I think it’s the preservatives.

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