Updated: Jul 16
I’m a pretty confident cook, but when it comes to making pizza at home, I usually just say “forget it, let’s order.” In fact, my low pizza-prepping confidence has put the Favor delivery guy’s kid through college! Believe me, I have tried to ace pizza at home, and while my oven pizzas are usually *good* (it’s hard to mess up the combo of crisp dough + good mozzarella + savory toppings), something is always off. Pizza perfection remained sadly out of reach... UNTIL I started grilling my pizzas instead of baking them. This method has totally transformed my perspective on homemade pie! No special equipment or skill level required- you just need a charcoal or gas grill, some store bought dough, a selection of high quality toppings, and a pair of quick hands! This process is easy, interactive and fun, and the results are delicious. Cut yourself some slack and buy dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizzeria. I have tried making my own for years and frankly, it's never quite as good as the pre-made variety. One ball should get you two small pizzas- you don't want to work with huge pizzas on the grill (the smaller ones are much easier to flip and top). To prep your dough for grilling, I stole a great little trick from Ambitious Kitchen: use oiled sheets of parchment paper for stacking the crusts up so that they are rolled, oiled and ready to go when you start grilling. Grilled pizzas need barely any time to cook (5-6 minutes tops if your grill is hot), so it's very important to have all of your ingredients prepped ahead of time. Because this happens so fast, the only "cooking" that occurs on the grill involves the crust crisping and the cheese melting. That being said, make sure to have toppings sliced thinly or cut into small pieces, and if you plan on topping with any ingredients that need to be cooked (i.e. raw protein and seafood), make sure to do so ahead of time. Top your pizza however you like! I realize that pizza toppings are a very personal preference. Keep it classic with a margherita or get crazy with some pineapple (not my thing but hey, no judgement)!
I'm sharing two pizzas that have been favorites in my family- a spicy version and another sweet/savory pie! These are best served casually: blow the leaves off the patio, pull out the paper plates, call your best friends, keep the wine flowing, and offer a jumble of lightly dressed greens on the side!
prep time: ~20 min. cook time: 6 minutes tops per pizza. serves: makes 2, ~10” pizzas
1 ball of store bought pizza dough (thawed if frozen), cut in two pieces
all purpose flour, for dusting
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato confit (recipe listed in this pasta recipe) or your favorite marinara/pizza sauce
4 oz thinly sliced and torn smoked mozzarella
2 oz thinly sliced spicy soppressata, cut into strips 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
1 serrano pepper or jalapeño, thinly sliced
PESTO, PROSCIUTTO AND PEACH PIZZA
1/4 cup store bought or homemade pesto sauce
4 oz sliced and torn fresh mozzarella
2 oz fresh goat cheese
4 thin slices of prosciutto
1 small peach, thinly sliced
well aged, syrupy balsamic vinegar
Preheat the grill to 400° and oil the grate well. If you have not already done so, divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll into balls. To roll out your crusts, lightly dust a kitchen surface or cutting board with flour. Use your hands to begin working one dough ball into a round disc shape, then place it on the floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with a little more flour and also sprinkle some on a rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough disc into a roughly 10”-12” round(ish) shape (it doesnt need to be a perfect circle, ovals and blobs acceptable). Meanwhile, set a sheet of parchment out and drizzle with a little EVOO. Carefully lay the rolled out
dough on top of the oiled parchment, and drizzle the top with more oil. Lay the second parchment sheet on top and drizzle with more oil to prepare for the second crust. Repeat the steps to roll out your second crust, lay it on the oiled parchment, and drizzle with more oil. Set the crusts aside while you organize your ingredients.
Grab a sheet pan and group the pre-measured/sliced ingredients for the spicy pizza and the pesto pizza on either side. Have everything ready to go and in easy reach- this will happen quick! When the grill is hot, place the first pizza crust on the grate and close the lid. Let the crust cook 2-3 minutes on the first side, until dark grill marks appear all over and large bubbles appear on top. Using tongs, flip the dough over and quickly top with the spicy ingredients: spread a layer of the tomatoes, then evenly scatter the mozzarella then top with the soppressata, capers, shallot and pepper slices. Close the lid and grill another 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the crust is crisp and dark on the underside. Transfer the first pizza to a large cutting/serving platter and garnish with Sriracha sauce and torn basil leaves. Repeat the steps with the pesto pizza! Flip the dough and spread with the pesto, then scatter the mozzarella and crumble the goat cheese evenly over the pesto. Add the sliced peaches over the cheese, then lay the prosciutto slices on top. Close the lid to finish cooking. Remove the pizza to a cutting board/platter and garnish with drizzled balsamic and torn basil leaves. Cut the pizzas into slices (wedges or squares) and enjoy with friends, wine, and maybe a big green salad too!