If you asked me to summarize my perfect summer night, you bet I’d mention gathering with friends for a backyard grill out, drinks on deck (with some delicious sangria), and good food. After whipping up a few grilled pizzas the other night, it’s safe to say I’ve found my new summer go-to grill meal—and I think it’s a safe bet you and your friends will love them too!
The Dough: For grilled pizzas, you need a dough that’s thick but cooks efficiently. I like this one from The Kitchn—it doesn’t take too long to make (although I recommend letting it rise for two hours prior) and it grills quickly so you get to enjoy your pizza faster! Once grilled, the dough is thick and soft with the perfect crisp crust.
The Base: Thankfully, there are plenty of sauces to choose from! For a basic pizza recipe, it’s fine to use regular store bought sauce. If you have time, I highly recommend making your own—the freshness of ingredients brings out flavors that pair perfectly with the dough. A few sauces I personally love:
- Basic Pizza Sauce
- White Pizza Sauce
- Pesto Pizza Sauce
- Olive oil (use a culinary brush to spread olive oil on the dough; top with cheese, meat and herbs)
Fresh Toppings: I like to use a blend of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spinach or basil leaves—but this is time to get creative! If it’s in the produce aisle, it can go on your pizza.
Cheese and Meats: Again, have some fun and get creative. Think about what ingredients flow well together. For a white pizza, use light ingredients—I love shredded chicken and Romano or Parmesan cheese paired with avocados and spinach. For a meatier, hearty pizza, pair sausage or ground beef, pepperoni, and sliced prosciutto with peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes. Be sure to cook the meat ahead of time if you’re using ground beef, turkey, or sausage.
The first time I grilled a pizza, I was surprised at how easy it was.
Step 1: Preheat your grill about ten minutes before you plan to use it. While your grill is heating up, prep your risen dough by kneading it through your hands and then flattening it on a solid surface.
Step 2: Wash and prep your toppings. Set the cooked meat you’d like to use near the vegetables. Also, make sure you’ve got a clean slate to work on before assembling the pizza.
Step 3: Place your flattened dough on the grill. The dough will cook rather quickly. Once the bottom of the dough is golden brown with grill marks, transfer it to your workspace.
Step 4: Assemble the ingredients on the GRILLED side of the pizza, with the raw dough facing down. Add the sauce, then the cheese and toppings.
Step 5: Transfer the pizza back to the grill and cook the bottom. Cover the grill so that the toppings heat up; be sure to keep an eye out for the bottom of the pizza, making sure it doesn’t burn.
Step 6: Once the pizza is done cooking, let it cool for a moment, then it’s ready to enjoy!
- This can become a messy process (at least it was for me)! Your pizza is probably not going to look perfect, and that’s OK! As long as you love the ingredients paired, that’s all that matters.
- Try making a bar out of your pizza night! Have the dough ready to go and designate a pizza griller while your guests top their own pizzas at a separate table.