Solar-Powered Lunch!

We had a scorcher of an afternoon today — prime conditions to make our own solar oven! We recycled a pizza box and a clear plastic lid from a disposable cake pan. Add a little aluminum foil, and voilá… a super eco-friendly and frugal solar oven!!

We even made our own sun tea, just to harness the power of the sun a bit more. I love that it’s made from a tea called “Children’s Tea”. Mark and I often joke that it is “made from only the most well-behaved real children”.
It’s actually a caffeine free berry/honey tea, and it’s quite delicious! 
Emily LOVED helping out with the solar oven! We made our own pizzas using spinach tortillas, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and oregano… yum!
Adjust the reflector to get as much sun as possible directed into the solar oven. You can use a stick or wooden dowel to prop it up, but we found a little more foil worked well too.
After a few minutes, the pizza was done and baked to perfection!!

Now it’s time to stuff yo’ face!!!
Nom, nom, nom!!

I love that we were able to bake while keeping the house cool, and without using any electricity! We had so much fun, that we may even try baking some cookies for dessert!!!
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  1. Dear Valerie,

    You cut up my FAVORITE PIZZA BOX, and didn't even save any solar pizza for me!


  2. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ Mark — Don't worry, I saved some tea made from real children for you! 😉

  3. @Valerie,

    Were they well behaved children?

  4. Raising a Happy Child says:

    I was just wondering how long it took to get pizza from frozen to fully done as I was reading about your self-made pizza. We should try it here one day too. I hope you will stay cool and safe, it's crazy out there where you are.

  5. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ Raising a Happy Child — I was surprised how much Emily enjoyed this entire activity! It is INSANELY hot here, but looks like there is a chance of rain for tomorrow. Our poor garden is suffering… 🙁

  6. An Almost Unschooling Mom says:

    Hmm…I have one of those "ovens" in my closet. Maybe we'll try your recipe 🙂

  7. Sooo cool! If I was not in the midst of packing boxes we would be harnessing the incredible heat here in Connecticut with your amazing idea!

  8. Nadia@FunWithMama says:

    Valerie your daughter is too cute. She is so game to try everything.. She seems to have such a vibrant personality

  9. MaryAnne says:

    Great way to make the most of this scorching heat! My kids love making tortilla pizzas!

  10. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ An Almost Unschooling Mom — I kept putting this off because I thought making a solar oven would be too much hassle. Turns out it is super-quick and easy! Have fun!!

    @ Amanda — Best of luck with the move! I hope you can find ways to stay cool and hydrated! This heat is brutal!!

  11. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ Nadia — Awww… thanks so much! She's pretty easy-going, and usually up for just about anything. I can't believe how fast she is growing!!

    @ MaryAnne — I think it was hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement, but I didn't try that… yet. 😉

  12. Rybiooka says:


  13. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ Rybiooka — :-)))))) 😉

  14. I've read about solar ovens, which usually involve reclaimed windows and wood. This is the first time I've seen a pizza box being used. Amazing results. How frugal and fun is that!

  15. Wonder Mom says:

    I've made S'mores with a pizza box solar oven, but it makes even more sense to actually make a PIZZA with this type of solar over…:0)

  16. Wonder Mom says:

    Ooops-"oven" not "over"!

  17. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ Cheryl — Thanks! I've seen the solar ovens made from windows and they seem like so much work — this one is MUCH easier! Have fun!!

    @ Wonder Mom — Emily has requested s'mores and also poor man's turtles …. Yum!! And also I didn't overlook the irony of heating up a pizza in its own box! Hee hee!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    LOVE this!!!! We will sooooo have to try this soon! Emily is adorable!

  19. Christy says:

    That is very cool! I want to try that tea too – sounds yummy.

  20. I want to hear about the cookie experiment, if it happens! Also, I'm wondering… just how hot was it?!

  21. Montessori For Learning says:

    This looks like so much fun. I've just gotten my children to eat tortilla pizzas…. they will definitely love making them in a solar oven! Great idea for smores for dessert also!

  22. Artistmama says:

    WOW! I love this idea. I'll have to try!~ I'd love to see how it does with cookies.

    Love your joke about the tea made from children! Too funny!

  23. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says:

    @ Christy — It's one of the only teas I don't add sugar to because it has just enough dried honey in it already.

    @ Laura — Ours got to be about 275 degrees F, but it was extremely hot outside today. I think it really depends on how much sun you can get, and how hot it is.

  24. (V.Kerr) School Time Adventures says:

    Valerie you are seriously killing me this week with all these great ideas. I really wished I lived closer because I would be at your house everyday wanting to participate in all this fun!!


  25. Joyful Learner says:

    Too much fun! I need to make one of those too!

  26. ha! too funny! we may have to try that! next up, fry an egg on the sidewalk!

  27. Lindsay says:

    awww so much fun!! I might have to make one of these it looks like a blast!

  28. FANTASTIC!!! We´ll make a solar oven too. Madrid is too hot actually, so, if we´d like it, we could cook even a complete horse!!!

  29. One Mom says:

    Love your blog and all your ideas!

  30. Now I really need to know if you're able to bake cookies with the solar oven. I saw that on Curious George. It's actually one of my favorite episodes and I'd been wondering if that would really work. Try it with regular pizza dough too, okay, so I can know if that works? LOL. So fab. I guess since Mark didn't get any solar pizza that means there isn't any for me, huh?

  31. Mmmmm….. real children. Seriously, I need to find that tea.

  32. Sofia's Ideas says:

    Valerie, I don't even know what to say. This is right up our alley, and you are just brilliant! You know I'm linking to this on my blog soon, right? Lol!

  33. Just Breathe says:

    No way, that must have been fun!

  34. Tiffany says:

    This is really neat! How long did it take to cook the pizza? You're so crafty Valerie =)

  35. So fun! How do you keep the ants out?

    • Valerie says:

      Hi Jenny,

      I kept the box on top of an outdoor table in the sun, and the box itself is closed with the plastic window. I didn’t have any issues with ants that way. Hope this helps — it’s fun to do!

  36. Looks tasty!


  1. […] is Summer. We are currently talking about the sun, and so when I found that Valerie had made a solar-powered oven with her girls, I decided that we would do the very same […]