If you’re a pizza purist, dipping slices into a salad dressing or sauce may seem like sacrilege. But if you know, you know, as they say. Maybe you started dipping your mediocre cafeteria pizza in ranch back in middle school. Or maybe you’ve gotten hooked on those little cups of greasy garlic butter (I use the term “butter” loosely) that come with some delivery pies. Either way, if your eyes, mind, and mouth have been opened to the world of pizza and dip pairings, we’d like to encourage you to get creative. Here are some of our favorite frozen pizzas at the grocery store and the sauces you should be dunking them into.
Ranch dressing is the Cadillac of pizza dips. It’s creamy, herby, and makes even the dullest pizza crust a damn treat. Here we’ve paired one of our favorite frozen pizzas with the best ranch dressing we tasted in our taste test, so you kind of can’t go wrong. Dull crust isn’t an ish here. Motor City Pizza Co.’s Detroit-style pies are doughy and pleasantly greasy—plus, you bake them in the pan, so they wind up with a wonderful, cheesy crust around the edges. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling called it “just plain satisfying in a way thin crust pizza never is.” And nothing goes with the tangy spice of pepperoni quite like Marie’s ranch. This dressing was recommended to the Sporked crew by a reader, and it ended up knocking our socks off. In fact, Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick called it “absolutely perfect.” And it makes this an absolutely perfect pizza and dip pairing, too.
Freschetta Five Cheese Brick Oven Crust & Hidden Valley Pickle Ranch
From the moment Jordan tried Hidden Valley’s new Pickle Flavored Ranch they’ve been eager to share it with the masses. Sure, it’s great on salad, but it’s got a briny tang that makes it a totally unique (and very excellent) pizza dip, too. Pair it with this Brick Oven Crust Five Cheese pizza from Freschetta, which Justine described as having a temptingly cheesy crust, perfect for dipping. Pickle pizza is trendy these days, but if you’re dubious, this pizza and dip pairing just may be the Trojan horse that turns you into a pickle pizza fan.
If you’ve been to literally any small burger joint and gotten a burger with their “house sauce,” you’ve had thousand island dressing on your burger. Lean into the not-so-secret sauce and burger pairing by dunking Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Meatless Cheeseburger Pizza and into a side of Ken’s Steak House Thousand Island dressing. “It’s tangy, sweet, creamy, and salty,” Jordan wrote of this Ken’s dressing. And this meatless cheeseburger pizza blew the team away, too. Jordan called it “gooey, meatlessly meaty, and savory.” If you like a cheeseburger drenched with special sauce, you’re going to think this pizza and dip pairing is pretty special, too.
Daiya Cheeze Lover’s Pizza & Gotham Greens Creamy Vegan Ranch
Fellow Midwesterners, please don’t come for my throat, but I have to give my lactose-intolerant and vegan friends an option! Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart described the cheese on Daiya Cheeze Lover’s pizza as sinfully gooey with a Velveeta-esque texture. Frankly, this pizza’s crust isn’t super flavorful, so a dip helps fill that flavor void, and Gotham Greens Creamy Vegan Ranch is just the dressing to do it. It tastes a little more like a caesar dressing than a ranch, but the extra garlic and savory profile only add intrigue to a pretty classic pizza and dip pairing. You get all the creaminess and all the cheesiness but none of the stomach issues afterward.
Red Baron French Bread Supreme Pizzas have a burst of savory in every bite. You get fennel-forward sausage bits, smoky pepperoni, plus some fresh, garden flavor from peppers and onions. The best dip to pair with that savory trip is a blast of sweet delicious creamy French dressing. Yes, we paired a French bread pizza with a French dressing to be cute, but also because the salty-sweet combo rules. Jordan found Ken’s Steak House Creamy French to be the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and they loved how creamy and thick it is. This personal pizza and dip pairing makes a solo dinner a little more fancy. Bon appétit, dudes.