Grilled Margherita Pizza

Summer is here and even though we don’t have a grill, we are grilling!  Yes, not having a grill makes capturing those summertime-grilled flavors a little more difficult, but luckily our handy stovetop grill pan has so far managed to fulfill most of our grilling needs.  Sure a real grill would be nice, but we are currently yard-challenged—meaning that we do not have a yard suitable for a grill.

Now grills (or grill pans) are not something I typically associate with pizza, but when I recently came across a grilled pizza recipe, I was intrigued.  Not having a pizza stone, I’ve shied away from other homemade pizza recipes, but this recipe could easily be made in our little grill pan.

People’s pizza preferences certainly run the gamut, so this pizza might not be for everyone.  However, Graham and I were both quite pleased with the results.

The crust was thick and chewy with nice crispy edges and a hint of charred grill flavor.  The sweet and creamy mozzarella that topped the pizza was a perfect accompaniment to the thick and tangy tomato sauce.  Lastly, the torn basil leaves gave the pizza a nice shot of summertime freshness.

This pizza is certainly on the docket for future meals around here. The fact that the pizza can be made without turning on the oven makes it a great option when the heat is on outside.   Next time we may even try spicing things up with some other pizza toppings.

Grilled Margherita Pizza

Adapted from Cooking Light, May 2010

The dough for this pizza requires at least 24 hours of refrigeration before it is grilled or baked.  The resulting flavor of the dough makes the extended refrigeration time well worth it.

Pizza dough:

  • 1 cup warm water (100°-110°)
  • 10 ounces of bread flour (about 2 cups and 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Tomato sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Pizza topping:

  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella (8 oz), sliced into thin rounds
  • A small bunch of fresh basil leaves (1/3 cup)

To make the dough, pour ¾ cup of the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer.  With the stand mixer at a low speed and the dough hook attached, slowly begin adding the flour to the water until it is combined.  Cover the bowl and allow it to stand for 20 minutes.

While the dough “rests,” pour remaining ¼ cup warm water into a small bowl.  Add the packet of yeast to the bowl.  Once the yeast and water mixture appears bubbly, add it to the dough in the stand mixer.  With the mixer at a low speed, add in the olive oil and salt.  Continue mixing until a soft dough forms.  Adjust levels water or flour so that the dough is tacky, but not too sticky or too dry.  Spray the sides of a bowl with cooking spray.  Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for 24 hours.

To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Drain about half of the liquid from the canned tomatoes and crush the tomatoes.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and oregano to the pot with the garlic.   Bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

About an hour before you would like to make the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Once the dough is room temperature punch it down and press it into a 12-inch oval (because of the size of my grill pan, I ended up dividing the dough into several smaller ovals or mini-pizzas).  Place oval on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal.

Prepare grill or grill pan to high heat and spray grill with cooking spray.  Place pizza dough (cornmeal side up) on the hot grill rack.  Grill for roughly 4 minutes and turn over the dough.  Top crust with tomato sauce and cheese.  Continue to grill for 5-7 minutes or until cooked thoroughly and cheese is melted.  Sprinkle pizzas with torn basil leaves and serve.   Yields 5 mini-pizzas about 4-5 inches in diameter.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Five Chefs (Gourmet Fare!)

When I asked Graham what I should rate this pizza, he said it was as good as the pizza from one of our famous local pizza places—that says a lot about this recipe!

Easy Rating


Two Easy Chairs (A Long March…)

This recipe requires some planning because the pizza dough must be assembled and then refrigerated for 24 hours. This does split up the preparation time though and the grilling time is actually quite brief.

Healthy Rating


Two Apples (Surgeon General’s Warning!)

Even though this pizza had loads of tomato sauce and less cheese than other pizzas, it is still not something you’d want to eat too frequently.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

All of the ingredients were organic, except for the mozzarella

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3 comments to Grilled Margherita Pizza

  • The other S & G

    Hey S & G, this looks awesome – we will give it a try soon! We actually have a basil plant from TJ’s that we haven’t killed (yet). We commend you for putting so much effort into cooking as newlyweds… because since baby E arrived, it’s been the same 3-4 meals in constant rotation around here. I wish we’d developed a larger repertoire of easy recipes to fall back on when we had time for more experimentation. Well, we’ll have to live vicariously through you guys and make some of your successes ourselves :)

  • Sounds like a good recipe, going to make it sometime.

  • [...] of baking the pizza in the oven, I grilled several smaller pizzas using this recipe for the crust and our grill pan.  Because we love the flavor of roasted asparagus, I also roasted [...]

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