Cranking the oven to 500 for pizza night might not sound like the best idea in the summertime - which is why we're turning to the grill!
Grilled pizza is such a great concept, especially for entertaining at home. When you get down to it, it's technically a flat bread - you grill up the dough until it's nicely charred and puffed, then use summer's finest produce to dress it up afterward. You can throw it back on the grill and close it for a few minutes if you want to achieve some melty cheese, but to keep it absolutely fuss-free in the summer, these are our absolute favorite no-cook topping ideas. But first, on to our method to making grilled pizza at home!
Grilled Pizza Dough Method
Prep the dough! Whether you are using storebought or freshly made dough, you'll want to roll it out on a floured work surface until it's pretty darn thin - ideally, about 1/8-inch thick. Brush with a generous amount of olive oil, sprinkle some salt over the entire thing, and poke the dough several times throughout with a fork.
Get that grill hot! If you try to cook your dough on a grill that isn't hot enough, that's when you can get dough sticking to the grates and even falling through! Make sure your grill is hovering around at around 450 degrees - 500 before you start cooking. Gently lay the dough on the hot grill, oiled side facing down, and cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side. Brush a bit more olive oil on the top facing side, season with some more salt, then flip and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove the dough from the grill and set on a clean workspace. Voila - grilled pizza crust, done! See - isn't that simple?
Grilled Pizza No-Cook Toppings
We love summer cooking so much - not just for the bountiful produce available, but because everything about it is a bit more laid back. No cooking turkeys, no praying over a pie while you sit near the oven, no stress! That's the spirit we love about grilled pizza - you don't have to worry if your crust is perfectly round, and you can throw on whatever toppings your heart desires - and offering up prepped ingredients that require no cooking is even better.
Sauce: Since we're not cooking these pizzas after the dough is grilled, the sauce acts like the "glue" for the toppings. You can start with ricotta (like in our Grilled Heirloom Tomato Pizza), a flavorful homemade pesto, or fresh tomato sauce make great spreads. You can even emulate Giada's Kale Salsa Verde Bruschetta for a bright, zingy sauce that's perfect for summer.
Cheese: Unless you grill your pizza a second time after adding toppings, you won't get super melty cheese - so fresh cheese is king for no-cook toppings! Creamy burrata, tears of mozzarella, and dollops of ricotta or crumbles of goat cheese or feta will be the winners. Of course, a generous grating of parmesan is always a welcome addition, too! Pre-grated cheese from a bag won't work well here, as the pizza dough likely won't be hot enough for it to melt.
If you do want to melt the cheese, make sure there's a side of the grill that's turned to low. Throw the pizza back on the grill on that side, and close the top to create ambient heat. This will make sure the cheese gets melty without burning the bottom of the crust!
Toppings: Lean on summer's bounty for the best no-cook toppings! Fresh sliced tomatoes, corn, shaved zucchini, and even peaches make great toppings. We love to have arugula on hand as well, and even some avocado slices to make a BLAT pizza! Lots of fresh basil is always essential, and make sure there is a bottle of good olive oil and some flakey sea salt for finishing.
You'll be a master of making grilled pizza at home in no time!