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Grilled Pizza Margherita

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Grilling pizza is a fantastic way to get your summer pizza fix without turning on your oven. This delicious treat is so easy to make and only takes a few minutes on the grill for a crispy restaurant-worthy pie! 



For the pizza dough: (adapted from King Arthur’s Pizza Crust recipe)

  • 2 teaspoons (8g) active dry yeast or instant yeast 
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup (225g) plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons (8g) kosher salt 

For the sauce:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

For the basting oil (optional):

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

To finish the pizza: 

  • Cornmeal or semolina flour
  • 6 to 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Torn fresh basil leaves


  1. Make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast along with a pinch of sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast mixture is bubbly. 
  2. Weigh (or measure) your flour and add to the bowl, along with the rest of the lukewarm water, olive oil, and salt. Mix everything together using a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.  Switch to using your hands. Knead dough for about 10 minutes, adding additional flour, if necessary, until the dough is firm.  (You can use a stand mixer for this. Mix for 4 to 5 minutes on medium-low speed.)  Shape the dough into a ball. 
  3. Transfer the dough to a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. 
  4. To make the pizza immediately:  Place the bowl in a warm spot to rise, about 90 minutes if using active dry yeast; about an hour if using instant yeast.  To make the pizza later: Place the bowl in a warm spot to rise for 45 minutes.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow the dough to rise slowly for 4 hours (and up to 24 hours). The longer rise also helps develop the crust’s flavor.  About 2 hours before you want to serve the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator. 
  5. Prepare the sauce and basting oil (if using): In a medium bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands (or use a food mill.) Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt to taste. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Set both aside. 
  6. Finish the pizza: Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Form the pieces into balls by tucking the edges underneath to the center and then rub your hands around the outside of each piece until you have a nicely shaped ball.  Put the balls on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set aside to rise for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour. 
  7. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or a medium-hot temperature).  Have all your toppings near the grill.
  8. Place the dough on a work surface or piece of parchment paper, dusted with cornmeal or semolina flour.  Lightly dust the top of the dough. Using your hands or a rolling pin, press down on the center and gradually spread it out to an approximately 10-inch circle.  Be sure the entire circle is flat (no raised rim).  Brush some of the basting oil (if using) or extra-virgin olive oil on the top of the dough. If using a pizza peel, transfer the dough to the peel.
  9. When the grill is hot, oil the grates using a brush, or a wad of paper towels dipped in oil.
    • If using a peel, slide the dough off the peel and onto the oiled grates.
    • If using parchment paper, flip the dough onto the grill (parchment paper will be on top). Peel off the parchment paper and brush the top of the dough with the basting oil.
    • Close the lid of the grill. Bake for 4 minutes.  Lift the lid. (The dough should have big air bubbles) Using tongs, lift up the dough and check underneath to see if it is browned on the bottom.  Cook longer if necessary but watch closely so it does not burn. When browned on the bottom, use a spatula or tongs, and remove the dough to a baking sheet, grilled side up. Put the lid back down on the grill. 
  10. Spread approximately ¼ cup tomato sauce over the surface of the dough, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the torn mozzarella on top. Place the pizza back on the grill. Close the lid and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Open the lid and check if the bottom is brown and the cheese is melted. If not, close the lid and cook for another minute or so. Watch carefully.
  11. Remove from grill.  Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and fresh basil leaves. Serve!