Grilled Pizza has everything going for it.
First (and most obviously) – it’s pizza. Enough said.
Even better – it’s homemade pizza.
And nothing gets kids excited about dinner like pizza. Except, maybe hot fudge sundaes for dinner. But this is Two Healthy Kitchens, so we’re just not gonna go there. Or, at least not now …
Really though, if you choose whole-grain dough, turkey pepperoni, reduced-fat cheese and some fresh veggie toppings, pizza transforms from a grease-laden indulgence to a pretty-darn-healthy meal-in-one!
But in the sweltering summer heat, do you actually feel like turning on your oven? No? Me either! Your grill is the answer!
Grilled pizza has become one of my family’s go-to summer dinners. It’s just so fast and oh-soooooo good!
Back before we had kids, my Romeo and I loved to dress up our pizzas with all sorts of creative toppings from spicy salsas to aged balsamic drizzles. My kids usually like to keep it much more simple. We each add toppings to our own little “safe” area where my fresh tomatoes don’t touch my daughter’s double cheese.
So use this recipe as a springboard and add whatever you like best! Peer in the fridge and find some lovely leftover veggies and nubs of fancy cheese; raid your garden for whatever herbs are running amok. Pizza is infinitely flexible!
The process of explaining how to grill pizza takes some time, but the process of actually grilling a pizza is really fast. I promise! It may seem daunting at first, but it’ll soon become your “uggggghhhhhh … no idea what to make for dinner!” lifesaver.
First, make sure your grill is cleaned and seasoned. I recommend oiling your grates with a canola-soaked, wadded paper towel.
Preheat your grill on about medium-high to high. Grills vary considerably in their temperature settings, so you’ll have to make the call on exactly what settings to use with your grill.
While the grill’s preheating, roll out your dough on a piece of parchment that’s been coated with non-stick spray. You’re shooting for about a 12-inch round. If your dough is fighting you and keeps springing back to a smaller shape, just let it rest for a few minutes and then return to rolling it out. Or, if you prefer, you can divide the dough into four smaller “personal” pizzas (kids think this is really cool).
Ingredient Tip: Gretchen and I use whole-wheat dough whenever possible. Full confession, though: in a pinch, we sometimes settle for regular (not whole-wheat) dough if that’s all we can find. If you’re having trouble tracking it down, try asking the bakery department at your store. They’re usually happy to sell pre-made, unbaked dough for just a couple bucks. Local pizzarias are often willing to do the same.
Meanwhile, also prep all of your toppings – sauce, cheese … EVERYTHING – and put them by your grill. The process of topping your pizza will go very quickly, so be ready!
When you’re all prepped, take your dough out to the grill and transfer it from the parchment onto the hot grill. This is the trickiest moment of the whole operation, and sometimes leads to very rustic, not-quite-circular-shaped pizzas. No worries! Rustic is good … and still tastes great!
Turn your grill down to about medium, close the lid, and let your crust cook for one to two minutes, just long enough to get some nice grill marks and become crispy, bubbled and golden brown. Check it often. (Read: this is not a great time to walk away or get sidetracked with a phone call.) Grills cook at different rates depending on lots of factors, so it’s hard to say exactly how long your crust needs. The best advice: Check it often!
Ok – is it golden and gorgeous with some darker “grill marks” on the bottom? Perfect! It’s time to flip it. This is easiest if you use two big grill spatulas. Then, let it cook on the second side on about medium heat for just another minute as you start spreading the pizza sauce. You want to get some grill marks on this side, too. Then, turn your grill down to low as you finish with the toppings.
Be quick about adding the toppings so that you can keep the grill closed as much as possible. Enjoy the process, but, seriously – enjoy it quickly! You need to keep the heat in so the toppings get warm and the cheese gets melty by the time the crust is cooked through and perfectly golden.
After about three to five minutes more you should be ready to eat! Remember, though – peek at it OFTEN. One great thing about grilled pizza is how incredibly fast it is to prepare, but the downside is that your pizza can go from beautifully golden brown to incinerated in a flash!
Whew! See – I warned you! It does take a long time to explain. But grilled pizza is surprisingly quick and easy to make. A guaranteed family hit!
You just can’t go wrong with pizza!
We’d Love to Hear From You!
Hmmmm … pizza toppings … How many of you are in on anchovies? That’d be a thumbs-up from me (well, at least sometimes) and a huge thumbs-down from Gretchen (there probably aren’t thumbs HUGE enough)! I’ll put almost anything on a pizza, but Gretchen isn’t quite as adventurous. So … what’s the weirdest pizza topping you’ve ever tried?
Oh, and don’t forget … if you loved this post and what we’re doing at Two Healthy Kitchens, you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and follow us on Pinterest. You can also be the first to know about our latest posts by simply entering your e-mail in the box at the top right corner of our page!
- Canola oil for prepping grill
- Non-stick cooking spray for greasing parchment
- 16 ounces pizza dough (preferably whole-wheat)
- 4-6 ounces pizza sauce (homemade or your favorite brand)
- Your favorite pizza toppings (reduced-fat cheese, turkey pepperoni, veggies, etc.)
- Clean your grill if needed. Oil the grates (preferably using a canola-soaked, wadded paper towel).
- Preheat the grill on medium-high to high.
- Meanwhile, spray a piece of parchment with cooking spray. On the prepared parchment, roll out the dough into either a 12-inch round or four smaller "personal" rounds. If the dough begins springing back and won't hold its shape, let it rest for a few minutes before you finish rolling it out.
- Prepare and chop all of your toppings and place them at the grilling station for quick access.
- Transfer the dough from the parchment to the grill. Turn your grill down to medium and close the lid. Keeping a close eye on the crust, cook it for one to two minutes, just until the crust has developed grill marks and is crisp and golden.
- Flip the crust (using two large grill spatulas if you're grilling a 12-inch round).
- Grill the second side for just another minute while at the same time you begin adding the sauce and toppings to the pizza. As soon as the second side has begun to develop grill marks, turn the grill down to low and quickly finish topping the pizza.
- Close the grill lid and continue cooking on low heat for about three to five minutes, just until the toppings are warm, the cheese is melted, and the crust is cooked through and golden.
- Transfer to a serving tray or pizza stone, cut into slices, and serve.