How To Make Grilled Pizza
Prediction: Once you try our simple step-by-step tutorial on how to grill pizza, you will have a new favorite summer dinner. Forget about grilled burgers and dogs- grilled pizza is where it’s at! Cooking pizza on the grill is so easy, totally customizable, and a family favorite!
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Table of contents
Why We Love Grilled Pizza
When summer rolls around, we love to grill. And if you’ve noticed, lately, we’ve been on a pizza kick. That’s why we thought: why heat up the house by turning on the oven? There’s no need to keep pizza night indoors! We’re game for grilling pizza too!
- Takes 30 minutes when using store-bought dough, pre-made sauce and shredded cheese.
- It can be customized with dough, sauce, and your favorite pizza toppings. The sky is the limit on toppings and flavor combinations- fun for the family!
- The hot grill mimics the high heat, smokiness, and slight char of a hot pizza oven or wood-fired oven giving the pizza a crispy crust with a subtle char that’s simply irresistible
Key Ingredients for Grilled Pizza
- Pizza Dough: We use store-bought pizza dough to make this BBQ pizza quick and easy! But if you prefer a delicious and nutritious homemade crust, our whole-wheat pizza dough is for you! Or sub in your favorite dough recipe. Allow the ball of dough to come to room temperature for at least an hour. Keep it covered so it will not dry out. You can place it in a medium bowl brushed with a little olive oil, with plastic wrap over it. When the pizza dough is at room temperature, it’s easier to work with and stretch. Keep in mind, if the dough is frozen, pull it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Sauce: Cooking this pizza on the grill is quick and easy! And using prepared sauce, whether it’s marinara, pizza sauce, alfredo, or pesto, helps cut-down prep time. No matter what sauce you use, it’s the base for giving the grilled pizza moisture and flavor.
- Cheese: Low-moisture shredded mozzarella cheese is easy to melt, provides creaminess, and gives that iconic cheese pull we all know and love! If you’d prefer to use Fontina, feel free to swap that for the motz since this cheese also easily melts and provides a neutral flavor so the other ingredients can shine! Tip: skip fresh mozzarella because it is too high in moisture and will make the grilled pizza soggy.
- Fresh Herbs: Fresh basil, oregano, or rosemary provide that touch of freshness and color. To help maintain that color and fresh flavor, add them at the very end!
- Olive Oil: Gives flavor to the crust and helps in providing that beautiful brown color. Additional olive oil is used on the grill to help prevent sticking.
- Flour: All purpose flour helps to prevent the dough from sticking on your work surface, hands, and rolling pin.
The Best Toppings for Grilled Pizza
We love how versatile barbecue pizza is because you can top it with your favorite additions! However, to avoid creating a soggy pizza, we recommend using low-moisture content add-ons such as cooked meats like sausage and pepperoni and/or cooked vegetables like caramelized onions or mushrooms. Avoid fresh tomatoes, uncooked zucchini or other veggies with high water content.
Pro Tip: Go easy on the volume of toppings. In this case, less is more! Use your best judgment, but this grilled pizza recipe needs fewer toppings than you think. If you overload the pizza, there’s potential for a soggy pizza pie which no one wants!
How To Grill Pizza- Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Set Up Workstation and Preheat Grill
Next to your grill, set up your workstation with essential equipment (peel, oiled paper towel, tongs, baking sheet, brush) and ingredients needed for grilling pizza (oil, sauce, cheese, and toppings). Then, preheat the gas grill to medium-high heat (between 350°F – 400°F).
Pro Tip: If using a charcoal grill, use the same temperature as stated in the directions, but place the coals on one side for direct heat and no coals on the other for indirect heat. Then, place the topped pizza back on the indirect side to melt the cheese and finish cooking to prevent the crust from burning.
Step 2: Roll Out the Dough
While the grill is heating up, on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle with a rolling pin. Transfer to a pizza peel, cutting board, or flat cookie sheet dusted with additional flour.
Step 3: Prepare the Grill
Oil the grill grates with a tightly folded paper towel dipped in oil.
Step 4: Grill the Pizza Crust
To the preheated grill, slide the pizza dough onto the grates and brush with olive oil. Cover and cook until the dough puffs up and is lightly browned on the bottom. Rotate the pizza 90 degrees and cook until grill marks are brown and even. Then, flip the crust so that the grill marks are on top. Slide the pizza crust, cooked side up, onto the pizza peel, baking sheet, or cutting board.
Step 5: Top the Pizza
Over the par-grilled dough, spread sauce, leaving a 1-inch border. Evenly sprinkle cheese and finish by adding the toppings.
Step 6: Finish Grilling Pizza
Turn the grill down to low (300°F), slide the pizza back on, cover it with the lid or foil, and cook until the cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired, and enjoy
FAQs and Expert Tips For the Best Pizza on The Grill
The key is to have your workstation set up next to you before you start grilling as this grilled pizza recipe goes quickly! Also, managing the temperature on the grill is vital to avoiding a burnt bottom but melting the cheese. It’s important to have the grill hot (direct heat) on one side and off (indirect heat) on the other. And once the crust is flipped, move it to the off side for carry-over cooking to control the heat and avoid burning the crust before the cheese is melted.
You sure can! However, not all pizza stones are made equal, so be sure the stone you use can handle the high, direct heat of a grill. And the key to using a pizza stone on the grill is to place a cold stone directly on the grates and allow it to heat up with the grill, otherwise, it can shatter!
A barbecue pizza oven is a grilling accessory that easily and quickly transforms your outdoor grill into a traditional pizza oven.
Yes, you can use a BGE pizza stone and follow the instructions listed on the owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can always bake a pan pizza in your Big Green Egg directly in a cast iron skillet set on the grill grates! A pellet grill is another excellent way to grill pizza as it really mimics a wood-fired oven nicely. Pellet grills provide more constant temperatures and great smoky flavor for your grilled pizza. Follow all user instructions.
What to Serve With Grilled Pizza
While this barbecue grilled pizza can be served as is, try one (or multiple) serving suggestions for a complete meal:
- Make a salad with classic Caesar dressing. Or serve with a fresh garden salad or tomato salad.
- Try our whole wheat dinner rolls.
- Make refreshing watermelon sorbet for dessert!
While we find this recipe to be quick, there are a few tricks you can use to make this dish even faster:
- Prepping the toppings the day before
- If the dough is frozen, place it in the refrigerator the night before to allow it to thaw
- If you are making several grilled pizzas, par-grill the crusts ahead of time and stack them, placing parchment paper between each one. When ready to finish, just add sauce and toppings, and finish cooking
This grilled pizza recipe is best when eaten immediately, but if you have any leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat in the oven at 375°F or on the grill until warmed through.
Variations To Try
- Use leftover veggies, like grilled zucchini, grilled onions, sauteed sweet bell peppers or roasted portobello mushrooms, from the night before
- Add some red pepper flakes for a touch of heat
- Pre-cook any meats you wish to add for toppings! This ensures they are not only cooked through but also prevents the pizza from becoming soggy
- Try an alternative sauce like your favorite barbecue sauce. We love it with pepper jack, chicken and corn!
- Instead of tomato sauce try a classic Bechamel, or your favorite jarred Alfredo
- Add shrimp for a fun twist on shrimp scampi, or add shrimp and scallops for a tasty seafood pizza!
Additional Pizza Recipes To Try
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~Katie
Grilling pizza is a quick way to get dinner done outside on a hot summer night. This is more of a formula for making grilled pizza than a recipe. It allows you to use whatever pizza toppings you like. There are a couple of tricks for success with pizza on the grill. The first is to make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go out to the grill on a little tray before you put the dough on the grill. The second is to adjust the temperature as you go to ensure that the crust doesn’t burn before the cheese melts.
- 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, whole grain if desired, at room temperature
- Flour for dusting
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
- 1/2 cup prepared sauce, such as marinara, pizza sauce, alfredo, or pesto
- 6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded cheese such as low-moisture mozzarella or fontina
- 3/4 cup toppings such as sausage, pepperoni, and/or sliced vegetables
- Fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, or rosemary, for garnish, optional
- Preheat the gas grill to medium-high (between 350°F-400°F).
- Meanwhile, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Transfer to a pizza peel, cutting board, or flat cookie sheet dusted with additional flour.
- Oil the grill grates with a tightly folded paper towel dipped in oil.
- Slide the pizza dough onto the preheated grill and brush with olive oil; cover and cook until puffed up and lightly browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Rotate the pizza 90 degrees; cook until grill marks are brown and even, an additional 1 minute. Flip the crust so that the grill marks are up and transfer to the pizza peel, baking sheet, or cutting board.
- Spread the sauce over the par-grilled dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and toppings.
- Turn the grill down to low (300°F) and slide the pizza back onto the grill, cover with lid or foil, and cook, until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Less is more: go lighter on the toppings than you think otherwise they could load down the pizza and make it soggy.
Set up a workstation next to your grill with equipment: oiled paper towel, tongs, brush, and necessary ingredients.
- Prep toppings and refrigerate up to a day in advance. Defrost dough in fridge. For multiple pizzas you can grill the crusts ahead of time and stack them between parchment paper. When you are ready to grill, add sauce and toppings.
This pizza is best eaten immediately but any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 249
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 13 g
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