We all have that food we love: the one we could eat every day, without getting tired of it. For me, that’s pizza. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid, and that love is still going strong. Grandma pizza, tomato pie, white pizza, Sicilian, whatever the style, I could eat it every day. With different crusts, sauces, toppings, ingredients — the possibilities are endless!
My son loves cooking, and he’s gotten me to start cooking more and trying out new recipes, which has been (surprisingly!) fun. Right now, we tend to stick with the basics, especially for pizza, but we do like to add twists to the tomato sauce or use infused olive oils on the crust — little things like that that add a little something to the pizza. He tends to be more daring than I, so I’m excited to see what happens as he gets older and we keep cooking together.
If you’re looking for cookbooks to spice up your pizza making (no pun intended), look no further! Here are some pizza-centric cookbooks, and even some that aren’t specific to pizza, but do have some great recipes in them.
While looking for pizza cookbooks, I did notice that many of the pizza-centric cookbooks are by men, and many are by white authors. While there are Black pizza chefs and women pizza chefs, as this article details, they aren’t as represented in the pizza cookbook arena yet. Hopefully that will change sooner, rather than later.
Mouth-Watering Pizza Cookbooks
Let’s Make Pizza! A Pizza Cookbook to Bring the Whole Family Together by Kathryn Kellinger
I have a 5-year-old, and there’s almost nothing he likes more than to cook, and if it’s pizza, even better. This cookbook has a range of fun — and EASY — recipes to make that the whole family can enjoy (both making and eating). There are even recipes that take into account different allergies and gluten intolerance, which is really nice. There are seasonal suggestions, different kinds of crust recipes, and much more. Pizza night doesn’t have to be boring, and this cookbook proves it!
Truly Madly Pizza: One Incredibly Easy Crust, Countless Inspired Combinations & Other Tidbits to Make Pizza a Nightly Affair by Suzanne Lenzer
Lenzer sees pizza crust as a blank slate, and she has lots of ideas in this book to make inventive, yummy pizzas. Things like fruit and veggie pizzas, meat pizzas, seasonal recipe ideas, ideas about sauces and spreads, and much more. As a single mom working full time and then some, I appreciate her time-saving tips, as well as the little small bites recipes she also has.
The United States of Pizza: America’s Favorite Pizzas from Thin Crust to Deep Dish, Sourdough, & Gluten-Free by Craig Priebe & Dianne Jacob
Priebe traveled the country, stopping in at various pizzerias, to see what they were serving, especially with local flavor. What he found was a mouth-watering mix of pizzas showcasing local influences to traditional pies, and pies with different surprising but yummy twists. He reviews all different kinds of doughs, base sauces that can be changed according to what you want, tools and techniques often used, and an address book of all of the pizzerias featured in the book. If you love pizza, this is definitely one to read.
If you don’t have any fancy equipment, don’t fret — this cookbook doesn’t require it! There are the classic pizza and sauce recipes like pesto and Margherita, as well as new recipes to try like truffled breakfast focaccia. I like this one because she includes calzones and focaccia, which I feel are in the pizza family, so they’re nice changes from the typical pizza.
The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani
Gemignani, a 12-time world Pizza Champion, has put together this comprehensive cookbook covering nine regional styles of pizza, along with tips and tricks for making pizza like a pro. You’ll find 75 recipes in here, from a Detroit Red Top, to a Quattro Forni, to grilled pizzas, and even rolled ones, along with focaccia! There’s something for everyone in this cookbook, and the photos are mouthwatering.
Pizza: History, Recipes, Stories, People, Places, Love by Thom Elliot & James Elliot
More than just a cookbook, this is an everything book — the history of pizza, famous pizzerias, maps of their favorite pizza cities, pizza in pop culture, and of course, recipes. There are 30 recipes in here, so the recipes do take a backseat to the history and in-depth examination of varieties of pizza, but if you’re looking for a few recipes to tide you over and want a fun, information-packed book about pizza, this is the one for you.
Non–Pizza Specific Cookbooks
While not pizza-specific, Yeh does have some great pizza recipes in this book (the whole book is great, tbh), including pizza pockets, zucchini, walnut and fresh mozzarella, and her pizza dough recipe. Yeh is approachable and clear in her recipes, and it’s a beautiful book to look at and read, to boot.
Guy has a delicious-looking Blistered Tomato Sheet Pizza recipe in this cookbook. She also has a Cajun-Rubbed Flatbread that could be the start of a flatbread pizza for the more creative cooks out there. Pair those with her Hidden Herb Garlic Knots, and you’ve got a meal! She has plenty of desserts to add a sweet ending to the meal, too. This is one you’ll want to keep nearby, especially if you bake.
This cookbook has a recipe for Masa Pizza Cruijiente (a crispy pizza dough), and he does a lot of sourdough pizza recipes on his Instagram (@artisanbryan), so you’ll definitely want to check that out! His whole Instagram has lots of inspiration — just don’t look at it on an empty stomach. The rest of the cookbook has yummy recipes for things like Olive Oil and Sea Salt Tin Loaf, Cuban Muffins, and lots of other carbs you’ll want to make ASAP!
Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes From the Philippines to Brooklyn by Dale Talde & JJ Goode
Growing up, Talde was surrounded by his family’s Filipino food, but he loved American fast food. He would eventually come to combine the two at his restaurant, Talde. He infuses Asian dishes with elements of American fast food. He’s put together an irreverent, fun cookbook that contains lots of mouth-watering recipes, including one for Pepperoni Pizza “Very Warm” Pockets. This isn’t just a great cookbook, it’s a great read — you’ll want to hang out with Talde as you read this book.