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Dishes For Your Pizza Oven

By now, you’ve probably realized your pizza oven has a lot more versatility than you originally thought it did. There’s quite simply a lot you can do with an open flame and some inspired craftsmanship, and that provides ample opportunity to cook full meals, sides included, along with delicious pizza! Here are some of our favorite ideas for side dish wood-fired recipes you can cook alongside your pizza in your wood burning oven.

It’s also important to note that many of these require some delicate temperature management in order to avoid burns or undercooking. While your oven’s built-in thermometer should work fine in most cases, the added precision of a handheld infrared temperature gun may lend some peace of mind for these recipes.

Italian-style focaccia

Your pizza oven can handle all kinds of baked goods; that’s what pizza is, after all. But one bread that stands out both on its own and as a delectable side is the traditional Italian focaccia, a yeast bread that combines Meditteranean flavors like olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and other herbs. Inspired Taste has a simple recipe for homemade focaccia that will truly shine if baked inside the smoky confines of a pizza oven, boosting both its natural flavors and giving it a golden-brown outer roast that truly cannot be beaten. Mangiamo!

Roasted summer vegetables

One of your oven’s hidden superpowers are the smoldering coals that its fire leaves behind, which can be turned into the perfect bed for vegetables seasoned with choices like dill, salt and pepper, thyme, garlic, and countless other variations wrapped in foil and placed in the red-hot. Esquire featured a recipe for these roasted vegetables that emphasizes their smoky, sweetened flavor and complements it with soft cheese and toasted sunflower seeds. It’s a recipe that screams summer!

Seasoned potato chips

Chips make the perfect side to a pizza dinner; they’re a crunchy complement to a pizza’s often tender and chewy outer crust and are highly versatile in what their flavors can be. That being said, potato chips out of a bag are often fried in oil and end up becoming sad reflections of the proud potatoes they once were. (Opening a bag of potato chips at a homemade pizza party isn’t the most impressive look, either.)

Thankfully, your pizza oven is here to save the day once again! Martha Stewart’s recipe uses salt and cracked pepper, but you have all the control in what seasonings go on your chips after they’ve been sliced. Experimenting with different oils, herbs, seasonings, or even essences can lead to a mouthwatering creation of its own merit.

Basque burnt cheesecake

While this more accurately is classified as a dessert, we can’t seem to recall any law prohibiting you from eating this at the same time as dinner. This recipe from Bon Appetit was inspired by a tradition found in the Basque nation that straddles the western coasts of northern Spain and southern France.  It calls for high heat and a final consistency full of exterior roasting, cracks, and pops while maintaining a divinely soft interior.

In short, this is the cheesecake your pizza oven was made for. Though this recipe is a little more involved, it is certainly worth it; the smoky flavors of your oven and the unparalleled ability of open flame to create perfect charring will mean this cheesecake might steal the spotlight from the pizza at your next party.

If these aren't enough recipes to get your mouth watering and your pizza oven fired up, check out our e-Book with even more wood-fired recipes!

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