Pizza on the Grill Recipe

Pizza on the Grill Recipe - Placeholder Image

The Spruce Eats / Colleen Graham

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 26 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 12-inch pizza
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
341 Calories
17g Fat
36g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 341
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 542mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 170mg 13%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 186mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Grilled pizza is a fantastic dinner option and a fun alternative for summer barbecues. It's surprisingly quick and easy, and you don't need a pizza stone or steel. Whether you have a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill, you can cook pizza directly on the grates if you know a few simple tricks.

Grilling pizza without a pan is easier than you may think and only takes about five minutes. You'll cook the dough on one side, flip it and add the toppings, then return it to the grill to finish cooking. Using indirect heat is essential to avoid burning the bottom of the crust over direct flames. It's faster than homemade pizza in the oven, so it's perfect for hot days when you want to keep the kitchen cool.

Many people are worried about pizza dough falling through the grates, but that's unlikely. Grilled pizza works best with a thin-crust, slightly dry, and stiff dough that's rolled flat and at room temperature. If the dough is too wet or warm, it may stretch when you're transferring it to the grill. This 12-inch pizza dough recipe that requires a short rise time is ideal, and a store-bought dough is a good alternative.

You'll want to use a rimless baking sheet or pizza peel, so the dough slides effortlessly onto the grates. With the help of a grill spatula and well-oiled grates, the pizza will move easily without sticking or falling apart.

This recipe is a Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza that uses pizza sauce with fresh mozzarella and basil. It's a light, satisfying dinner or lunch entrée with a wonderful fresh flavor and any of your favorite toppings will work great on grilled pizza.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pizza sauce

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick and torn in half

  • 10 leaves fresh basil, torn, about 3 grams

  • 1 12-inch (10 ounces) store-bought or homemade pizza dough

  • Olive oil, or vegetable oil, for greasing grate

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Clean and prepare the grill for indirect heat. Preheat the grill for high heat (450 F to 500 F).

  2. Prepare all of the toppings and set them on a grill tray.

  3. Form the pizza dough into a ball and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a flat 12-inch circle. Do not create a raised edge. Place the dough on a lightly floured rimless baking sheet or pizza peel.

  4. Take the pizza dough and toppings to the grill. Oil the grates: Fold a paper towel multiple times and hold it with tongs as you dip it into olive or vegetable oil, then cover the grates very well.

  5. Slide the dough onto the oiled grates. Close the lid and cook for 2 minutes.

  6. The dough is ready to flip when air bubbles form on top and the underside is browned with grill marks. If the bottom is not quite done, cook it longer, checking it every minute. Once done, use a spatula to flip it onto the baking sheet or peel and close the grill lid to maintain temperature.

  7. Lightly brush the grilled side of the dough with extra-virgin olive oil, particularly the edges that won't be covered with toppings. Spread pizza sauce onto the dough, then add the torn mozzarella and basil. If you like, drizzle a little more olive oil on top.

  8. Slide the pizza back onto the grill, close the lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom is brown and almost charred, and the cheese is melty.

  9. Remove the pizza from the grill and let it sit for a few minutes before slicing.

Tips

  • Extra-virgin olive oil is preferred for topping the pizza, but you'll want to use a high smoke-point oil for the grates.
  • You can hold the basil and olive oil drizzle, adding them to the cooked pizza. Other fresh herbs and greens like arugula are good uncooked additions, too.

Recipe Variations

Switch to your favorite pizza toppings. Avoid overloading it as it may get soggy or not cook thoroughly. You'll also want to pre-cook meats and any veggies that won't tenderize during the short cooking time.

  • Meats like pepperoni, sausage, and Canadian bacon are always a hit.
  • Add caramelized onions, sautéed garlic or mushrooms, roasted sweet peppers or jalapeños, black olives, or sliced fresh tomatoes.
  • Swap out the fresh mozzarella for shredded, or go with feta, cheddar, Swiss, or a spicy pepper jack.
  • Replace the olive oil with melted garlic butter.

Grilled Pizza Bar

Since grilled pizza cooks so quickly, it's excellent for a make-your-own pizza bar. Divide the dough and roll it out into personal-sized pizzas (refrigerate them if needed), then let everyone add any toppings they like. Beyond offering the classic toppings, let your imagination drive you and get creative with the pizza. To get you started, add any combination of these ingredients to the pizza bar:

  • Alfredo sauce with shredded chicken or goat cheese, asparagus, and baby arugula
  • Ham and pineapple for a Hawaiian pizza
  • Grilled chicken and barbecue sauce for BBQ chicken pizza
  • Sausage, caramelized onion, and kale over pizza sauce
  • Pesto with feta, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives

Can you grill pizza on a pan?

Pan-grilled pizza is more forgiving than one cooked on the grate. You still get the smoky flavor, it works with any dough recipe, and you can load it with toppings. The timing and temperature are similar to oven-baked pizza; anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes at around 425 F. Since the grill temperature is not as tightly controlled, keep an eye on the pizza. When using a pizza steel or stone, it's best to place it on the grill while preheating, then transfer the pizza onto the warm surface. This also prevents the stone from cracking.

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