Joel and I have several pizza recipes that we rotate for our backyard pizza nights. My favorite is the prosciutto arugula with drizzled honey on top. Joel’s favorite is pepperoni with jalapenos. Since we partnered with Ooni Pizza Oven to create fun ideas to have your own pizza night at home, I thought I would share our favorite recipes and how we have perfected them for our family. The key to any good pizza is quality ingredients, especially the dough and cheese, along with a quality heat source. I LOVE the Ooni Pizza Oven and am so thankful to partner with them on such a fun idea. They make cooking pizzas at home easy and better than restaurants! While it is fun to eat out, it’s more fun for our family to create memories and have competitions for who can create the best pizza. No more trying to cook them on the grill!
You can create any variety of these backyard pizza ideas on your own. Use them to give you inspiration or try them as they are.
5 Pizza Recipes For Your Backyard Pizza Night
The Margherita is a classic Neapolitan-style pizza with simple tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, and extra virgin olive oil. It's a more flavorful version of an American cheese pizza, with style and class as it brings in hints of fresh herbs placed directly on top instead of mixed within the sauce.
Pepperoni is another word for air-dried spicy salami, and it's the perfect bite of flavor on top of fresh mozzarella cheese and a simple tomato sauce. We like to use traditional-style pepperoni found in the deli section of our food market.
3. Spicy Honey & Prosciutto
This one is my absolute favorite! It's topped with olive oil, fresh mozzarella, quality prosciutto in the oven, then we sprinkle a little arugula and spicy honey. It's a fan favorite among our friends as well.
4. Spinach Ricotta
This one is one of Joel's favorites and it tastes best if you can make your own ricotta. That sounds more challenging than it is! The biggest key to making an easy batch of ricotta is to have a cheesecloth on hand. I bought a pack of it, so it's easy to grab whenever we decide to make pizzas on a whim. You can use this recipe if you want to make your own. I find it more flavorful and fresh-tasting than store-bought. Along with the ricotta, you top this pizza with fresh mozzarella and spinach. I usually sprinkle a little bit of kosher or flake salt just before biting into it.
5. Nutella Calzone
If I could choose dessert pizza as my favorite type of pizza, I would. Joel and I first had this style of dessert in D.C. on a date night to try a pizza place we had heard good things about. We don't live near D.C., but it was worth the 2-hour drive. The owner was there and made us all kinds of delicious food since it was our first time. We told him to keep it coming and bring the dishes he loves the most. He brought us lemon garlic bread and this was life-changing! We have been making our own version ever since. Although we cannot match the Nutella calzone that the chef himself made. For this recipe, it's just dough, olive oil, and Nutella. It's so easy and delicious.
5 Tips For Making the Best Backyard Pizza at Home:
Use high-quality dough. If you love a Neapolitan-style pizza as much as I do, be sure to use the correct dough to yield that type of crust. My favorite ways to source pizza dough are to either make our own using Neapolitan Dough Flour or buy fresh dough from a local pizza place. If you call and ask, they will typically sell you fresh dough balls. They usually cost anywhere from $2-5 per large ball.
Use 00 Italian flour on your peel and hands when working with your dough. 00 flour has a fine texture that makes a soft and flavorful crust. It is often made with high-quality wheat flour that has been milled properly for the best water absorption and yield in the dough.
Build everything on your dusted pizza peel. To do this, you will want to first dust your peel with the 00 flour, then place your dough on top. Give the dough a gentle shake to be sure your dough moves around freely and doesn’t stick to the peel. You will want to work quickly, and if it’s humid, even quicker. Give the dough a shake just before adding your toppings.
Toss any vegetables in olive oil before adding them to your pizza. It will help them cook faster and give them a delicious flavor.
Disperse your toppings evenly to get every topping in each bite.