How To: Grilled Pizza

How To: Grilled Pizza

Summer is just around the corner (or so I tell myself), which means grilling season is also coming up. For many of us this means burgers and kabobs, but I have another food that should be on your grilling menu: Pizza. With the exception of an old-style wood fire pizza oven, the grill is the best way to make pizza. A grilled pizza ends up with a crust that has a smoky, crisp outer layer, with the inside retaining a slight chew – no soggy bottoms here (looking at you oven-baked pizza). But before you go and throw your oven-ready pizza on the grill, check out my tips for making the perfect grilled pizza, as there is certainly an art to getting it just right.

Looking back on college, some of my fondest memories involve a group of us hanging outside grilling and playing cornhole (aka bag toss depending on where you are from). Pizza was always a crowd favorite for grilling, not only because it was cheap, but also for the thrill of trying to flip the pizza over without dropping it on the ground. I’m not sure if the grill in college was smaller or if we lacked the proper kitchen tools, but making pizza on the grill at our current apartment is much less scary as the pizza flipped easily.

Before we get to the steps for making a grilled pizza, there are some basic tips:

  1. Because the pizza is only on the grill for about 10 minutes, make sure all toppings are cooked beforehand, including veggies, poultry, and meat.
  2. Keep the sauce light. Remember, you have to transfer this from the grill to a baking sheet so you don’t want the pizza to get too heavy.
  3. Always brush the dough with oil so that it doesn’t stick to the grill.
  4. Have at least two people around to make this. While you could attempt to flip, top, and transfer by yourself, the chance of error is much lower with an extra set of hands.

What You’ll Need:
-1 large baking sheet
-Tongs and a large spatula
-Pizza dough
-Olive oil
-Pizza toppings

Okay, so let’s make some pizza!


Step 1: Preheat grill to 550°F

Step 2: While grill is preheating, roll out your dough and get all your toppings read to go.

Step 3: Lightly brush one side of dough with olive oil and place the dough on the grill with the olive oil side down. Quickly brush the top-facing side with olive oil and close the lid. Let cook for about 2 minutes. You want the bottom to have grill marks, but you don’t want it to start burning and get too crispy.

Step 4: Using tongs and a large spatula, flip the dough over. Depending on how thin you rolled out your dough, you may need two people to do this.

Step 5: Add toppings and do so quickly – I recommend having two people placing toppings at the same time. If your pizza has a sauce, spread a thin layer down first then follow with veggies, proteins, cheeses, and seasonings.

Step 6: Close lid and cook for 3-5 minutes. It can cook quickly, so it may be done in as little as 1 minute. Go by smell – if it smells like its starting to burn take it out.

Step 7:Again, this step is much easier with two people. Have one person open the lid and hold a large baking sheet next to the grill. Using tongs and a large spatula, have the second person quickly transfer the pizza onto the baking sheet. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before digging in.


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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

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Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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