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Grilled Margherita Pizza


A great flavor combination from the grill is that of a margherita pie: the simplicity of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and basil are amplified with a charred and freshly grilled crust. This recipe is from chef Jennifer Costello and Chris Hurley of Austin’s Bonneville, and epitomizes everything we love about grilled pizza.

Ingredients

  • One eight-ounce ball pizza dough
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 Cup shredded asiago
  • 1/4 Cup shredded fontina
  • 1/4 Cup shredded provolone
  • 3/4 Cups fresh tomato sauce
  • Basil, chiffonaded, for garnish

How to Grill Pizza On Any Kind of Grill: Grilled Margherita Pizza Recipe

Here I am making pizza and calzones on the grill with Carson Daly!

I’ve been grilling pizza for quite a while, in fact, this original blog post was published in August 2008! Pizza is one of the first things I sunk my teeth into grilling. I’m always up for a challenge and things that are a bit out of the ordinary, so it’s not surprising that I would dive into making pizza on a grill as one of the first things I mastered on the grill.

Now that over 12 years have passed, pizza on the grill is not such a novel concept anymore and I can with great confidence say that I am an expert on grilling pizza. This is after having cooked pizza about a million different ways on different types of grills, taught grilled pizza in my Women’s Grilling Clinics, and even grilled Pizza on live television on the Today Show with Carson Daly!

Different grills are going to take different approaches to grilling. If you have a gas or charcoal grill, you will want to create a direct and indirect zones on your grill. The indirect side will act like an oven. If you want to learn how to do this, I suggest you watch my video from my GRILL SCHOOL series on how to create direct and indirect zones on your grill! This is a 2 minute video that will teach you the basics.

Once you start grilling pizza, you won’t go back to making it in the oven!

**If you have a Kamado Grill/Smokers like a Big Green Egg or a Kamado Joe, You will need to use your place setter. If you have a pizza stone that is great, but if not you can just use your place setter and set the grill to about 500-600 degrees. Check out my specific post: How to Grill Pizza On the Big Green Egg here.

**If you have a Pellet Smoker, you can grill your pizza just like you would in an oven and set it to about 400 degrees. You will want to bake the dough a bit before adding your topics to ensure it gets baked before adding marinara, cheese and toppings.

**For a gas or charcoal grill, you will set your grill for direct and indirect zones to about 400+ degrees. Coat the grill grates well with nonstick spray or olive oil to ensure your dough does not stick! Place your dough on the indirect side and grill until char marks have formed and it starts to get firm (about 4 minutes- watch it carefully!). Next, flip it over and add toppings, letting the cheese be your guide. When the cheese has melted, your pizza should be ready to go.

If you are adding any proteins other than something like a pepperoni, you will want to cook that on the direct side until you have hit the proper internal temperature (check our BBQ Calculator!) and slice it and add it to the pizza.

Below I’ve shared a great basic pizza dough recipe AND, wait for it, a marinara sauce recipe I had to offer up my first born child to get. Seriously. This is a very authentic Italian marinara sauce recipe. You are welcome!

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Grilled Margherita Pizza

Next time you&rsquore planning to make pizza at home, you&rsquoll want to try our recipe for grilled margarita pizza. Marinara sauce, Cabot Alpine Cheddar, and chopped fresh basil combine beautifully to make a light and delicious grilled pizza. This recipe makes 2 servings, with half of a pizza equaling 1 serving. Try it out and be sure to share it with family and friends on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

To make this pizza, you&rsquoll need 1 10-ounce ball of pizza dough (risen at room temperature &ndash see recipe directions below for how to let dough rise), all-purpose flour and semolina (or cornmeal) for dusting, &frac13 cup marinara sauce, approximately ¾ cup shredded Cabot Alpine Cheddar, and 4 teaspoons chopped fresh basil.

Preheat your grill for direct high heat grilling (you want the temperature to be at 500° F). Once the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured surface and stretch it into a 10-inch circle, as described per recipe instructions below (or roll out with a rolling pin). Lightly sprinkle semolina or cornmeal in the bottom of a cast iron skillet and lay the pizza dough out in the skillet. Spread marinara over the dough, leaving a border for the crust. Sprinkle with Cabot Alpine Cheddar.

Place the skillet on your grill and close, letting pizza cook as directed in step 5 below. Once pizza is done, remove from grill, sprinkle with fresh basil, and cut. Buon appetito!

Up for trying another yummy grilled pizza recipe? Of course you are! Check out our Grilled Summer Pizza, which serves four and is made with vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh thyme. As a cooperative of over 800 farm families, Cabot takes a lot of pride in making our award-winning dairy products. We&rsquod love to hear your thoughts about our Margarita Skillet Pizza recipe, so please rate and review it once you&rsquove tried it.

Ingredients

1 10-ounce ball of pizza dough, risen at room temperature
King Arthur All-Purpose Flour for dusting
semolina or cornmeal for dusting
&frac13 cup marinara sauce
3 ounces shredded Cabot Alpine Cheddar (about ¾ cup)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh basil


Grilled Pizza Margherita

On a lightly floured surface, stretch each dough half out to form two large ovals.

In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, EVOO, garlic, vinegar and fennel pollen. Season with salt.

Spray an upside-down or rimless baking sheet with cooking spray. Spray 1 dough oval with cooking spray. Place on the grill, oiled side down. Grill until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the dough over onto the baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread with half the sauce, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with half the cheese. Slide the pizza onto the grill cover and cook until the cheese melts, the crust is browned and the dough is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining dough, sauce and cheese. Top the pizzas with basil.


For the dough:

In a mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and molasses. Mix together gently until all the yeast dissolves. Set the mixture aside for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast makes a raft. Stir in the salt and olive oil.

With the mixer on a low speed, add the three kinds of flour. Mix until all the flour is absorbed and the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Roll the dough into one large ball and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Cut the dough into 12 to 15 pieces (5 ounces each). Roll the pieces into balls and place them on an oiled baking sheet. Brush the balls lightly with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.

If you are going to use the dough right away, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. If you don't need the dough immediately, you can store it for one day in the refrigerator, but you must let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before using. Freeze extra dough for up to 3 months.

For the pizza:

On an oiled surface, push a piece of dough out using the palms of your hands. If the dough is sticking to the surface, lift it and drizzle a little more oil on the surface. You want the dough to be a 12-inch circle with an even thickness. The shape of the pizza is not as important as the thickness of the dough.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Make sure the grill grid is set at least 4-inches from the heat source.

In a bowl, combine the cheeses.

Gently lift the dough, and, being careful not to tear it, drape it onto the hot spot of the grill. The dough will start to rise immediately. Carefully lift the edge of the dough to see the color of the underside, which should be evenly golden brown (this should take about 2 minutes).

Flip the dough over and place it on the side of the grill or a cooler spot of the grill. Brush the cooked side of the dough with olive oil. Take 1/6 of the cheese and evenly spread it out to the very edge of the dough. Next, with a tablespoon, dollop tomato sauce on the pizza (8 to 10 spoonfuls), you don't want to spread the sauce over the whole surface of the pizza. Drizzle the pizza with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Carefully slide the pizza back to the edge of the hot section of the grill, and rotate the pizza until the bottom is evenly golden brown. This should take 3 to 4 minutes. Do not put the pizza directly over the fire, because the bottom will burn before the cheese melts.


Gallery

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 packages dry active yeast
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 pound Italian Fontina cheese, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black Moroccan olives, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  • Maldon salt, for sprinkling (see Note)

In a very large bowl, stir the honey into the water until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour, the 1/4 cup of olive oil and the salt until blended. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

On the floured work surface, punch down the dough and cut into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on an oiled baking sheet. Rub the dough balls with oil, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Light a grill. When the coals are hot, push two-thirds to one side for a hot fire spread the remaining coals on the other side for a medium-hot fire.

In a small cast-iron skillet, toast the pine nuts over the medium-hot fire, shaking the pan, until the nuts are golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Arrange all the topping ingredients near the grill.

On a lightly oiled work surface or sheet pan, press 1 dough ball into a thin, roughly shaped, 10-inch round. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Carefully set 1 dough round over the hot fire and grill until firm on the bottom and easy to lift, about 1 minute. Using tongs, move the crust to the medium-hot fire and continue grilling until the bottom is deeply browned and blistered, about 2 minutes longer. Carefully flip the crust and return it to the hot fire until cooked through, about 1 minute.

Slide the crust back to the medium-hot fire and top with 1 cup of the shredded Fontina and 1/4 cup each of the olives and pine nuts. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the grilled pizza to a cutting board cut into pieces and serve. Grill another dough round, and top it with the remaining Fontina, olives and pine nuts.

Grill another dough round on both sides. Slide to the medium-hot fire, spread with 1 cup of the tomato sauce and top with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and scatter half of the basil on top. Sprinkle the pizza with Maldon salt, cut into pieces and serve. Repeat with the remaining dough round, tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and salt.


How To Make Grilled Margherita Pizza

Grilled pizza is about as close to Neapolitan-style pizza as we can get at home (without a 700F pizza oven!) The grill gives the crust an amazing char, crunch, and some bubbles too– and like Neapolitan-style pizza, it also takes just minutes to cook, making it a fabulous quick dinner any night of the week. Even fresh, homemade pomodoro sauce is within reach under an hour! You can even make the pomodoro in a double batch ahead of time and freeze it for future pizza nights.

This particular recipe is for Margherita pizza, but you can get as creative with your toppings as you like– just remember, the crust is thin, and the pizza cooks fast, so less is more. May I recommend a topping of artichoke hearts, burrata cheese, and truffle oil for nights you’re feeling extra? Put a bottle of sauvignon blanc in the fridge cause I’m coming over.

My last word of advice on this dream pizza is to have a wire rack handy for the pizza to rest on when it comes off the grill, and be ready to eat it right away (no problem, right?) Thin crusted and hot pizzas can go soggy if left to steam in their own heat. If you can’t eat it immediately, stash it in a 200F oven on its wire rack or directly on the grates.


Grilled Tortilla Pizza Margherita

Pizza… it’s a tradition. Crispy, with just a slick of tomato sauce and melty cheese! Aww yes, this is what weekends are made of!

Pizza’s a tradition in our house anyways, for years we had pizza every Saturday night after we came home from hiking in the mountains. Since we’ve changed our eating habits, pizza has been the hardest thing to let go of – I mean nothing quite replaces it! These days, you’ll find us eating a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad instead, but there’s still the urge to celebrate with our favorite pizza – Pizza Margherita!

So… today pizza is getting a ‘quick and easy’ makeover (husband approved of course) – not only is it grilled but there’s no traditional yeast raised dough for the crust. We’ve tried a number of gluten free and paleo pizza crusts and I’m not going to lie to ya, some of them have been bad enough that I actually threw them away (and mourned the loss of good mozzarella). Every once in a while, I make an old-fashioned (bad for you but delicious) pizza, and we go all out. But… I’ve been looking for a way to get pizza back into my life more often, and this is it! It’s quick and easy, made on the grill (so no mess), and you can use whichever kind of tortilla fits your diet! I’ve personally tried this recipe using my Paleo Crepes, rice flour tortillas, and sprouted spelt tortillas – all of which turned out great!

This is seriously the easiest recipe ever – almost not a recipe in fact!

Simply spread some marinara sauce over your choice of tortilla, top with your choice of cheese, (I love fresh mozzeralla) and grill it.

Tip: Use a cutting board to transfer your pizza to and from the grill. Carefully slide it on and off the grill – you don’t want to loose any of that precious cheese!

The photo on the left is a tortilla pizza made with paleo crepes. These turned out fantastic – so much better than I thought, and the crepes can be kept in the freezer for impromptu pizzas! The pizza in the right hand photo is made on a sprouted spelt tortilla, and it’s a little more sturdy than the paleo version.

Is there anything more American than pizza? Well maybe apple pie, but I’m really not clear on what even constitutes American food since most of it’s derivative. I think that’s why I love ‘American’ food culture so much! There’s everything from pizza to Tex Mex and beyond – and I couldn’t enjoy it more! It’s not that I don’t love authenticity, but unfortunately I don’t have an Italian grandmother in my kitchen (more’s the pity, I’d love to learn their secrets).

So… here’s to the easiest pizza you’ve ever made in your life!


Basic Margherita Pizza on the Grill

Yesterday I posted on how to make pizzas on the grill. Today, I want to share the recipe for a margherita pizza, probably the most basic pizza combination out there but really one of my favorites. For pizza purists, there is nothing better than the simple margherita (not to be confused with the cocktail margarita, which also happens to be another one of my many indulgences).

It’s all about the cheese, the sauce, and the crust. You can buy lovely fresh mozzarella and quality sauce (or make both yourself, but I’m no Italian grandma, so I’m happy to support food companies here), but authentic Italian crust can be hard to replicate at home. That’s where the high temperatures of your awesome grill makes the difference, so be sure to give it a try. You’re going to love the results. If you need some visual guidance, take a look at this video for some extra help.

  • Ingredients
  • Storebought pizza dough – 1 lb.
  • Flour – 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Cooking oil – 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly – 8 oz.
  • Basil leaves & red chili flakes – for serving
  1. Pizza dough – Take pizza dough out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Divide dough in half, cover in flour, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  1. Flour your working surface (countertop or large cutting board) and roll out dough with a rolling pin, so that it’s 1/4″ thick
  2. Fire up your grill and heat to 500 degrees, remembering to clean and oil your grates.
  3. Brush oil on one side of dough and place oiled-side down onto grates. Close the lid of your grill and grill for 2 minutes.
  4. Take dough off the grill and brush the grilled side with tomato sauce and then top with cheese. Place back onto the grill for another 3 to 4 minutes (covered) until cheese is bubbly, and the other side of the dough is golden and crispy. Serve hot with basil leaves and red chili flakes.

To read more about my pizza obsession, make sure to check out this post here.


Grilled Margherita Pizza recipe

I had never heard of grilled pizza until this spring when I began to read about it on friends’ blogs. I was a little unsure about this technique of cooking until I was challenged by MyBlogSpark and General Mills to make one myself using Pillsbury Pizza Crust. Not only does cooking the pizza on the grill give the crust a crisper texture, but it’s quick too! I was able to put together a Magherita Pizza in fifteen minutes from start to finish and it tasted great. The recipe is so simple and allows us to make a gourmet pizza at home.

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup premium Margherita pasta sauce
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
  1. Spread pizza dough on a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Brush dough with Olive Oil and top with pasta sauce. Spread minced garlic evenly over pizza and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Space sliced tomatoes over the pizza and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with shredded basil leaves and Mozzarella cheese. Place aluminum foil carefully on grill. Place cover on grill and let bake for five to eight minutes, checking occasionally to make sure pizza crust is not burning. Remove from grill, slice and serve.

I do have a couple of tips for making the pizza:

Be sure to place the pizza on a piece of aluminum foil coated with nonstick cooking spray for easy removal
Be sure the dough is the same thickness or it will cook at different rates and some of the bottom will burn

Have you ever made a pizza on the grill? What kind did you make? How did it turn out?

Pam is a mom, traveler, pet lover and lover of semi-homemade desserts. Unless she isn't doing the cooking, then she loves homemade desserts. Email her at simplysouthernmom (at) yahoo (dot) com.