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Ooni Pizza with Portuguese Sausage and Cheese

An Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese on gray weathered wood, with chouriço, lemon, cheese, and pizza cutter.


If you want smoky wood-fired flavor, try this Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese. Not only does the oven lend a smokiness, so does the chouriço (or linguiça). And the cheese here is no plain-jane–it’s a dreamy sheep’s cheese, so popular in Portugal. On top is a shower of lemon zest for a pop of brightness.

An Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese on gray weathered wood, with chouriço, lemon, cheese, and pizza cutter.

I have a confession to make. I’ve never, ever made a pizza before this summer. Homemade pizza just seemed daunting. Not that it’s difficult to make, it just didn’t seem worth it. How could I possibly get the same flavor and quality as my local pizzeria?

Hoo-boy, was I wrong! And damn if I’m not making pizza all the time now. Granted, my new Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven makes turning out a char-blistered pie far easier than I expected. But fear not, pizza lovers, this recipe, which took me most of the summer to perfect, can be made in a traditional kitchen oven.

I tried about a dozen pizza doughs, but this one (adapted from a recipe by Joshua Weissman) is killer. It’s supple and a pleasure to work with. And it’s foolproof so that even a beginner (which I was a mere two months ago) can turn out a professional pizza.

I offer the option of a jarred sauce in the recipe. “Quelle horreur!” you say as you clutch your pearls!

Why did I do it? Well, the last thing I wanted to do was add another component to this dish. I found when I wanted pizza, I didn’t want to make a sauce, too. But, of course, if you insist, you can make your favorite (or use ours) and freeze it.–David Leite

An Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese on gray weathered wood, with chouriço, lemon, cheese, and pizza cutter.

Ooni Pizza with Chouriço and Cheese FAQs

What’s an Ooni pizza oven?

I’m glad you asked. Ooni pizza ovens are wood-fired ovens that make the most amazing pizza in a matter of minutes. Truly. I’ve made pizzas in just a minute! Sixty seconds.

Most of the ovens are easily portable (and affordable), so that means you can have freshly made pizza at the beach, on a picnic, and even–wait for it–at a drive-in movie. Of course, if you’re not particularly peripatetic, then you can do like me and set it up in your backyard. Some of the larger models can be fitted for propane as well as wood.

Do I recommend getting one? I can’t recommend it enough. It completely changed our summertime cooking and menus. And to give you an idea of how authentic, smoky-flavored Ooni pizzas are, our friend Matty, an 80-year-old dyed-in-the-wool Bronx Italian, said they were some of the best pies he’s ever had. Fuggetaboutit.

What is the best temperature for a wood-fired pizza oven?

The ideal temperature is 750°F (400°C), according to Ooni. If you’re an experienced wood-fired pizza maker, 750°F is for you. If you’re a beginner pizza maker, I’ve adjusted this recipe to 600°F to 650°F (315°C to 345°C). The lower temperatures give you a bit more time to maneuver the pizza so it doesn’t burn.

Must I use “00” flour?

If you’re using an Ooni pizza oven or a similar brand, I absolutely recommend using “00” flour. There are two reasons: it’s finely ground and it has a lower gluten content than most regular flours. What does this mean for your pizza? A substantial dough that can hold its own while being cooked quickly at high heat, and a finished product with a delicate but chewy, crispy crust.

For what it’s worth, I attempted to use another dough recipe containing all-purpose flour in my Ooni. The results were sad. The dough was far looser, and the pizza folded on itself while being turned, creating a bit of a burned calzone.

Edible? Well, kind of. Lovely? Not really. While some doughs are perfectly suited for a conventional oven, not all do well in the Ooni. Stick with the “00” flour for both types of ovens. You’ll thank me later.

What is the purpose of cornmeal in this recipe?

Cornmeal will add some crispness and texture to the bottom of your crust. But more importantly, it will help your pizza slide smoothly off your pizza peel and into the hot oven more easily.

Can this pizza dough be refrigerated?

It sure can be. Once you finish step 9, lightly oil plastic wrap, cover the dough balls tightly, and slip them into a zip-top bag. Store the dough in the fridge for up to a week. When you get a hankering for pizza, unwrap the dough and continue with step 10.

Where can I find Portuguese sausages?

Check out some of your local butcher shops or higher-end supermarket butcher or deli counters. If you strike out, you can order online from Portugalia Marketplace, my favorite Portuguese store.

Sic slices An Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese on gray weathered wood, with chouriço.

Ooni Pizza with Portuguese Sausage and Cheese

An Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese on gray weathered wood, with chouriço, lemon, cheese, and pizza cutter.

If you want smoky wood-fired flavor, try this Ooni pizza with Portuguese sausage and cheese. Not only does the oven lend a smokiness, so does the chouriço (or linguiça). And the cheese here is no plain-jane–it’s a dreamy sheep’s cheese, so popular in Portugal. On top is a shower of lemon zest for a pop of brightness.

Prep 30 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 12 hrs

Make the pizza dough

  • Stir the water and yeast together in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes until frothy.

  • Meanwhile, whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl.

  • Pour the water-yeast mixture into the flour and stir until a loose, shaggy dough forms. It’ll look ugly. It’s ok.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes.

  • Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead using the slap-and-fold technique for 1 to 2 minutes or until the dough starts to turn smooth.

  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and rest for 15 minutes.

  • Knead the dough by slapping and folding for 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a taut ball by cupping it and dragging it across the surface.

  • Lightly grease the bowl with olive oil, nestle the dough inside, turning the dough ball over, so it’s coated in oil. Cover with plastic again. Slide the bowl into the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours.

  • The next day, punch down the dough. Divide it into 4 pieces (260 g each). Flatten each piece into a circle, and fold all 4 sides–top, bottom, left, right–into the middle. Turn the dough ball over so the seam side is down. Cup the ball in your hand, and roll it on the work surface until taut. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  • Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal, place the dough balls on top, and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 2 to 3 hours, depending on how hot your kitchen is.

Make the pizza in a pizza oven

  • Prepare the wood-burning oven for 600°F to 650°F (315°C to 345°C) cooking. If you’re a pro at cooking pizzas in a wood-burning, go ahead and heat the oven to 750°F (400°C). The pizza will cook between 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and transfer a dough ball to the peel.

  • Press down from the center to the edges, making a 12-inch dough circle. Occasionally, pull up the dough to ensure it isn’t sticking.

  • If you like a puffed, thicker crust, stop pressing 1 inch from the edge. If you like a thinner, flatter crust, press all the way to the edge.
  • Spread 3 or 4 tablespoons of sauce over the dough. Top with 4 ounces of cheese and dot with 1/4 of the sausage.

  • Slip the pizza into the oven. Watch it CAREFULLY. As the end nearest the fire starts to blister and char, slip the peel under the pie, pull it out, turn it so the near end is at the fire, and finish cooking.

  • Using the pizza peel, move the pie to a large cutting board or pizza pan. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut. Zest some lemon over the pizza and serve

  • Repeat with the remaining dough, sauce, and cheese to make the remaining three pizzas.

Make the pizza in a traditional oven

  • While the dough balls are resting (step 10), position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and slide a pizza stone on it. Crank the heat to 550°F (288°C) for 1 hour.

  • Continue with steps 12 to 15.

  • Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and bake until the crust is well browned and the cheese is bubbling and browned in spots, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Using the pizza peel, move the pie to a large cutting board or pizza pan. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut. Zest some lemon over the pizza and serve.

  • Repeat with the remaining dough, sauce, and cheese to make the remaining three pizzas.

Serving: 0.5pizzaCalories: 603kcal (30%)Carbohydrates: 63g (21%)Protein: 27g (54%)Fat: 26g (40%)Saturated Fat: 15g (94%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 72mg (24%)Sodium: 1789mg (78%)Potassium: 199mg (6%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 520IU (10%)Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 475mg (48%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published August 26, 2022

Recipe © 2022 David Leite. Photos © 2022 David Leite. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.

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