DiGiorno's Thanksgiving Pizza Is Full Of Surprises

It’s delivery. And it’s DiGiorno. And it's topped with turkey and gravy. Is it worth the hype?

Every November of every year, thousands of news articles reiterate what we already know: leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner.

We bookmark a slew of "new" recipes on how to repurpose the classic components of turkey, gravy, potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, mac and cheese, maybe green bean casserole or Brussels sprouts, determined not to just nuke a plate or overmake the annual (but no less anticipated) traditional sandwich.

But this year, a major brand decided to think outside the bun and inside the box. Historically proud-to-not-be-delivery DiGiorno is getting in the Thanksgiving game, ironically via delivery only, with the debut of its first-ever Thanksgiving Pizza. We snagged a sample to talk real turkey: Is it actually any good? Let's dig in.

Where to buy the DiGiorno Thanksgiving Pizza

We've all been pissed off before at gimmicky goods released in appallingly tiny quantities purely meant to create hype as a marketing stunt. Luckily, this isn't one of those situations—at least, not exactly.


Rather than a one-day mass-order bullrush, DiGiorno is releasing 190 Thanksgiving Pizzas to consumers in weekly waves every Wednesday of November until Thanksgiving. (Don't worry, my precious; our sample didn't come out of this inventory!) This means you'll have to set your reminder for November 1, 8, 15, and 22 to go to the official website to order it. It's priced at $11.23 (the date of Thanksgiving 2023), and that's with shipping included.

It's limited to one pizza per customer, and the first batch sold out yesterday by the time I checked out the promo link, roughly 3 p.m. Eastern. But that doesn't necessarily mean that your odds are awful. Four-week even distribution of 190 pizzas means an allotment of 47-48 pizzas per week. And who knows? If it's a runaway hit and it makes cents and sense, DiGiorno might increase production from this initial projection.


Unboxing the Thanksgiving Pizza

As a food writer, I get a bunch of packaged samples all the time, which makes me cringe about my carbon footprint. So I was pleasantly pleased that my Thanksgiving Pizza came in a padded recycled paper cooler and dry ice rather than non-biodegradable Styrofoam and ice packs I'd have to dispose of. (Pro tip: Arrange to drop unneeded cardboard at your nearest animal shelter. My local LifeLine Animal Project uses them to line crates!)


Inside the packing paper was an 11" x 8" black paper tray in a sealed heavy-duty plastic bag. Immediately, I call shenanigans on the nutrition label, which lists total servings as "5 slices"—what kind of monster slices a rectangle into five even pieces? But it appeared to be a good size for a shared snack, a two-person meal if you add sides, or a full meal for one hungry person like me.

I tore open the bag to reveal what looked like a bready feast. The thick deep dish crust was a #thicc kind of thick and, despite the cheerful riot of color atop it, you could still clearly see plenty of the base carb beneath, as the cheese appeared pretty scant.

This proved to be no problem, for several reasons. First, the amount of clearly fresh, handsome turkey tenderloin struck me as particularly generous for frozen pizza. There was a good smattering of split French green beans, and you couldn't miss the cute cubes of sweet potatoes across the top. And when I started poking around the tray, I was delighted to find that because the pizza had clearly been jostled in transit, there were plenty more cranberries, cheese, and fried onions rolling loose in the tray. While I had to do quite a bit of redistribution of wealth, there was plenty to spread around, so if you get this pizza, be sure to dig underneath to get the goods.


Baking the Thanksgiving Pizza

It had been some time since I'd cooked a frozen deep dish or DiGiorno pizza, and the instructions merely said to "Remove pizza from packaging." Feeling very stupid, I consulted the internet to see if "packaging" included the cardboard tray. Quora said to bake it without, YouTube kept it on, the publicist guessed I should take it out, but the DiGiorno website said its Detroit-inspired thick-crust pizzas ought to stay in the pan.


So I started it out of the pan, then feeling mildly panicked and very foolish, put it back in. I then felt even dumber as a little lightbulb like the one in the toaster oven lit up above my head. Ohhhh, I thought. That's why the bottom of the crust felt kind of greasy; it was slicked with oil for a pan pizza effect. 

The 24-minute cook time was a challenge for my hunger and patience, particularly as the scent of frizzled onions started filling my kitchen. I was excited to pull open the door of my toaster oven, but alas, the suggested cooking time combined with my stupid (yet expensive and therefore inexplicably shitty?) toaster oven led to the pizza being slightly overcooked. There wasn't enough cheese to pull off a Detroit-style perimeter of caramelized cheese, so the cheddar and mozzarella just kind of burned in little strips.


How does the DiGiorno Thanksgiving Pizza taste?

The extra-roasty cook failed to ruin the Thanksgiving Pizza. When I cut into it, there was a satisfying crunch as I broke into the surface and a smooth glide through the fluffy dough, my pizza slicer lubed up from the thin coating of vegetable oil that lends the crust a butter-adjacent flavor. It soaks in just enough to offer a hint of richness, but not so much that the slightly sweet, dense crust felt greasy.


The green beans were tender and tasted fresh for baked string beans, and the flavor of them, combined with the fried onions and the earthy, umami-inducing yeast extract seasonings had me fooled. Without reading the label, I'd never guess no mushrooms were creamed in the making of this base.

The sweet potato caught a little bit of a char from the baking, which was to its benefit, as the flavor was a little washed out; its sweetness was more subtle than usual. The fat dried cranberries stayed pretty juicy, relatively speaking, and the flavor made so much sense with cheddar cheese on the bites where there was any. But of course, they're really there to complement the turkey, the star of Thanksgiving and this pizza.


This is no cold-cut turkey, nor is it cheap turkey roll. The cuts are thick and meaty, with edges that crisp up really nicely. You get the full effect of roasted turkey skin even without the actual roasted skin, and that familiar oven-cooked flavor is fully present. It's not too herby, not under- or over-seasoned. In fact, the turkey was the only component of the Thanksgiving Pizza that wouldn't have benefited from a pinch of salt and pepper. And even with that extra baking time, it avoided the curse of dry white meat—I didn't even mind that I couldn't taste the "gravy concentrate" amid this bread-based casserole.

So, should you buy the DiGiorno Thanksgiving Pizza?

This was pretty good.

It wasn't mind-blowing, it wasn't amazing, but it did a good job channeling some Thanksgiving meal faves into every bite. As a green bean casserole person, I really enjoyed that the first and last impression of every bite was that. The fried onions are the aroma that hits you first before giving way to savory poultry, bright cranberries, and innocuously sweet potatoes, and the impression of cream of mushroom is what lingers on the back of the tongue. Beneath that is the chewy dough with the hint of butter, sugar, and yeast with a personality of its own.


However, it isn't truly a Detroit-style pizza. It'd be much improved and much more pizza-like if it were, but there simply isn't enough cheese, nor is there really a discernible sauce. To me, it reads as more like an open-faced Thanksgiving sandwich than a pizza. But then again, as we've established, there's nothing wrong with a good Thanksgiving sandwich.

Overall, I suspect that this fun seasonal stunt is aimed at getting people interested in DiGiorno's Detroit-style thick crust line. Or maybe, as festive season ramps up and people get too busy to cook dinner, DiGiorno simply wants to stay top of mind as a weeknight option. Either way, it worked, since I just ate a DiGiorno pizza for the first time in God knows how many years.


So yeah, sure, if you happen to be an early riser on a Wednesday this month, try your luck. For a price tag of $11.23, inclusive of shipping, it's hard to beat that when it's both delivery and DiGiorno.