Grilled Pizza Two Ways

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After desperately trying to avoid ordering pizza on my last post, yesterday pizza was exactly what I was in the mood for.  The weather was so wonderful that the thought of cooking them indoors just seemed wrong.  So the obvious choice was to grill them.  Now if you haven’t tried to grill your pizza you’re missing out.  First, they cook very fast and second, they get a nice smoked flavor that I just love.  The real trick to grilling pizza is about planning and having everything you need within reach.  You don’t want to be running into the house to get things while your dough is on the grill or you’ll end up with burnt toast.

In my family the other trick is getting everyone to decide exactly what they want on theirs.  While I tend to like different flavors such as the arugula pesto below, my wife(at least she thought so) and kids prefer a traditional red pizza sauce.  So the only option I have is to make both.  Luckily, they’re both quite easy to make.  Whatever toppings you choose is fine but the oven dried tomatoes and the pesto below are fantastic.  Enjoy!

I started by cutting 3 roma toamtoes into quarters lengthwise and removing the seeds.  I placed them on a lightly greased pan and roasted them at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

After they were done, I placed them in a bowl and drizzled olive oil over them about 1/4 cup.  When they come out of the oven the skin will seem dried and crisp but after soaking in the olive oil they plump up.  The roasting intensifies the flavor and sweetens them up.

While the tomatoes were roasting, I got started on my dough.  In a small bowl I added 1 packet(1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast along with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water(105-110 degrees) and let if proof for 10 minutes.  It should foam up to about double it’s size.  I added 3 cups of all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to my food processor and pulsed to combine.  When the yeast was proofed, I added it to the food processor along with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 cup of warm water.  I whirled it until the dough came together into a ball and pulled away from the sides about 1 minute.  I placed the dough on a dry counter(no flour) and kneaded it for about 3 minutes.  I placed it in a large bowl, covered it with a damp cloth and let it sit in a cool place for 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours it had more than doubled in size.  I punched it down and kneaded it again for 1 minute then divided it into 3 balls.  My son had decided to stay over at his cousin’s house so I made 1 small, 1 medium and 1 large ball(more for me).  I kneaded each ball then placed them back in the bowl covered with a damp cloth for 15 minutes before stretching them out for crusts.

While the dough was rising and the tomatoes were roasting, I made the red pizza sauce.  In the food processor I minced 1/2 of a small sweet yellow onion, 2 garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.  I added 2 tablespoons olive oil to a pot and cooked the onion mix until soft about 5 minutes.

To the pot I added 1 28 ounce can of tomato pureé, 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and 3/4 of the tomato paste can filled with water.  I let it simmer for 30 minutes on low with the lid askew so it wouldn’t splatter all over my kitchen, stirring regularly.

To my food processor I added 1/4 cup blanched almonds and pulsed to chop up.  I added 2 cups packed arugula, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and blended until well combined about 1 minute.

This is what it looks like after it’s done.  The nice thing about arugula is it doesn’t oxidize like basil does, so it requires no blanching first and maintains it’s color.  I set it aside in a bowl till I was ready.


I pressed and stretched the small and medium balls into shape and placed them on a sheet pan brushed with olive oil then brushed the tops with olive oil.



I stretched the large one into shape and placed it on an oiled pan and brushed the top with olive oil as well.





I heated the grill to high and brushed it well, then lowered the heat to medium.  I brought out the toppings; arugula pesto, olives, onion, sliced pepperoni and hot Italian sausage along with the roasted tomatoes that I roughly chopped.




I found our outdoor ping pong table provided the perfect spot for holding the rest of the stuff including grated mozarella and romano cheeses.


I grilled my wife’s and daughter’s (the one in this picture) first.  I oiled the grill and placed the dough oiled side down on the grates and cooked for about 1 1/2-2 minutes then removed them back to the sheet pan cooked side down and brushed the uncooked side with olive oil.  I flipped it cooked side up to add the sauce and toppings.  I find it’s easier to do this off the grill rather then on.  After the toppings were added, I slid them back on the grill with a pizza peel, closed the lid and cooked for another 1 1/2 minutes until melted.  My daughter felt hers needed a little extra romano on top and I was happy to oblige.

Here’s mine with all the toppings.  I like mine loaded up.

Mine was so good it deserved two photos.  In fact, my wife ended up eating mine after trying it.  See honey?  You have to trust me.  Enjoy!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Pizza Two Ways
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
In my family everyone wants differnt things on their pizza including the sauce. To keep everyone happy, this recipe includes traditional red pizza sauce and an arugula pesto for those who are more adventurous.
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Serves: 4-6
Pizza Dough
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 2¼ teaspoon)
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water divided (105-110 degrees)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
Pizza Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ small sweet yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato pureé
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 4.5 ounces water (tomato paste can filled ¾ full)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
Arugula Pesto
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cooked hot Italian sausage
  • sliced pepperoni
  • sliced olives
  • roasted tomatoes (see notes)
  • sliced onion
  • 16 ounces shredded mozarella
  • ½ cup grated romano or parmesan
  1. For the dough, add ½ cup of the warm water along with the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and let it proof for 10 minutes. It should foam up to about double its size. Add the flour and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the oil, foamed yeast mix and the other ½ cup of water and blend until it forms a ball and pulls from the side about 1 minute. Turn the dough out onto a dry (unfloured) surface and knead for 3 minutes. Place it into a large bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a cool place for 1½ hours. When it's done punch down the dough and knead for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 4 small or 3 medium balls then let them sit in the bowl covered with a damp cloth for 15 minutes before forming them into crusts. When ready, form and place onto a pan brushed with olive oil. Brush the tops with olive oil.
  2. For the pizza sauce, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, garlic and crushed red pepper to a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add this to the pot and cook until sofetened about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes on low with the lid partially on, stirring regularly. Set aside.
  3. For the pesto, add the almonds to a food processor or blender and pulse until chopped. Add the remaining pesto ingredients and process until smooth about 1 minute. Set aside.
  4. Heat your grill to high and brush well. Reduce the heat to medium and place the formed pizza crusts oiled side down on the grates. Cook for about 1½ minutes checking to make sure they don't burn after 1 minute. Remove to a pan cooked side down and brush the uncooked side with olive oil. Flip them over and spread on your sauce or pesto on the cooked side then add your toppings, cheese first. Slide the pizza back on the grill with a pizza peel and cook for another 1½ minutes with the lid closed until the cheese melts.
For roast tomatoes, quarter 3-4 roma tomatoes lengthwise and remove seeds. Place onto lightly greased sheet pan and roast at 300 degrees for 1½ hours. Remove to a small bowl and drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and let sit until ready. Roughly chop if desired. Remember to have all your sauce and toppings near the grill before putting the crusts on the heat.







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Grilled Pizza Two Ways — 5 Comments

  1. Both of these pizzas sound and look wonderful! I’m planning on doing grilled pizza on Saturday night. Looks like I might be making an adjustment. I love your idea of roasting the tomatoes. Thanks! Yummy pics!

    • Thanks-I appreciate the comments. I love roasted tomatoes and their intense sweet flavor. Your site looks great and the orzo salad fantastic!

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