|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 29g||37%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||29%|
|Total Carbohydrate 58g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||19%|
|*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.|
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.
"I'm always up for pizza, but this grilled pizza is super-fun to make and really delicious. I used a well-floured, rimless cookie sheet to slide the dough onto the grill. Your dough may not be perfectly round the first time, but your skills will improve as you make this recipe throughout the summer. Buona pizza!" —Diana Andrews
Canola or vegetable oil, for the grill grates
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick and torn in half, or grated
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pizza sauce
10 leaves fresh basil, torn
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
All-purpose flour, for dusting the pan
1 (16-ounce) store-bought or homemade pizza dough
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Clean and prepare the grill for indirect heat. Preheat the grill for high heat (450 F to 500 F).
Place the canola oil, mozzarella, sauce, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil in small bowls on a tray.
On a well-floured, large, rimless baking sheet or pizza peel, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat 12-inch circle. Alternatively, pat the dough ball flat, then push and stretch it into a 12-inch circle. Do not create a raised edge.
Gather the pizza dough, toppings, a spatula, tongs, paper towels, and a basting brush to the grill.
Oil the grates well with the canola oil. Fold a paper towel multiple times and hold it with tongs as you dip it into the oil, then coat the grates. Do this several times to help create a non-stick surface.
Slide the dough onto the oiled grates and close the lid. Cook until air bubbles form on top of the dough and the underside is light golden with some grill marks, about 2 minutes depending upon the heat of your grill.
With a pair of tongs, lift an edge of the dough to check the bottom. If the bottom is not lightly brown, cook it longer, checking it every minute. Once done, use a spatula and tongs to flip it on the grill.
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 mozzarella and basil.
Close the lid. Continue to cook until the bottom is brown and lightly charred, and the cheese is melty, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon the heat of your grill.
Remove the pizza from the grill and let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.
- Extra-virgin olive oil is preferred for topping the pizza, but you'll want to use a high smoke-point oil like canola or vegetable oil for coating 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.
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
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.
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.