Grilled pizza is easy to make at home using a high-heated grill and a little technique! You don’t need a special pizza oven or pizza stone for that perfect pizza crust. And you’ll love my fresh, flavor-packed topping of sweet tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and robust olives.
Grilled pizza for the win!
Grilled pizza is a warm-weather favorite around here, and it is one of the easiest things to do on your grill – no, you do not need a pizza stone or a special pizza oven to make it! required!
This homemade pizza recipe is a bit of a spin off classic pizza margherita, which my family loves. But for an extra fresh and flavorful twist, I tossed ripe grape tomatoes with basil, garlic, sliced black olives, and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to create a simple, delicious, and bright mixture to top my pizza dough.
With nothing more than a little prep and a high-heated grill, you can have a perfect grilled pizza in about 15 minutes! Let’s first answer a couple of basic questions to make the perfect pizza on the grill.
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What temperature should you grill pizza?
You should grill pizza on High, which can be anywhere from 400 to 500 degrees F on a grill. “High” on my gas grill is around 450 degrees F.
How long do you grill a pizza?
Grilled pizza is ready in just a few minutes. The exact cooking time depends on how hot your grill gets. But it should take approximately 5 minutes, total. (Two minutes per side, and then returned to the heat briefly to melt the cheese.)
How to grill pizza perfectly
You don’t need a pizza stone to make pizza on the grill. All you need is a high-heated grill (gas or charcoal), and when you close the grill, it can somewhat mimic a wood fire oven!
- Bring the dough to room temperature. If your dough was in the fridge, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. This step will help loosen the dough and make it easier to shape. You’ll need 1 pound of dough.
- Prepare the grilled pizza toppings. Slice 10 ounces grape tomatoes into quarters (or halves, depending on their size), and place them in a large colander. Add a good pinch of kosher salt and toss. Allow the colander to drain into a clean sink or over a bowl for a few minutes. Excess moisture will turn the crust soggy, so we’re trying to get as much excess tomato juice out as possible.
Transfer the tomatoes to a dry bowl and add 1 cup packed basil leaves, ⅔ cup sliced black olives, and 1 large clove minced garlic. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside for now, but if more liquid is released, be sure to drain it before using this mixture on the pizza.
- Shape the pizza crusts. Divide the pizza dough in half and shape them into 2 pizzas on a clean floured surface. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes and then reshape to make sure each pizza is as large as you'd like it.
- Grill the pizza. Place the shaped pizza dough on a lightly floured pizza peel. If you don’t have a pizza peel, know that I used a baking sheet turned over so it’s rimless, and it worked perfectly. Brush the top of the dough with extra virgin olive oil and transfer the pizza, oiled side down, directly onto your high-heated grill. Oil the grill grates so the crust does not stick. Close the grill lid and cook for 2 minutes. Then brush the other side (the side facing you) with olive oil and flip the dough over with a pair of tongs. Cook for 2 more minutes. The crust is ready when it turns golden brown and has some grill marks on both sides. Remove the cooked crusts and place them on a sheet pan.
- Add sliced mozzarella. Brush the top of the pizza dough with more olive oil and arrange 6 to 8 ounces of sliced mozzarella on top. Put the baking sheet with the pizzas on the heated grill until the cheese is melted. (Don’t put the pizza directly on the grill grates this time.)
- Add the homemade pizza toppings. Once the cheese is nice and melty, remove the pizzas from the grill and spoon the fresh tomato, basil, and olive mixture on top. Slice and serve immediately!
What to put on grilled pizza?
One of the things I love most about homemade pizza is that I get to use fresh, quality ingredients and flavors that my family loves.
For the perfect summer pizza, I turn to a few simple and bright Mediterranean favorites, which I add to the pizza crust AFTER it has cooked. Here are the pizza toppings I used:
- Sliced black olives. Briny olives are a must to add some zing to your grilled pizza. Use whatever kind you like! (I used Pearls Sliced Ripe Black Olives.)
- Grape tomatoes or sweet cherry tomatoes. Depending on the size of the tomatoes, they will need to be halved or quartered so they’re bite-sized.
- Fresh basil. A few torn basil leaves adds a subtle peppery flavor with hints of mint.
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced. Pat the cheese dry on both sides before using. Excess moisture will give you a soggy crust.
- Extra virgin olive oil. You just need a drizzle to brush the pizza and to toss the fresh toppings together!
More grilled pizza toppings
Because grilled pizza doesn’t cook for very long, it’s best to choose light, quick-cooking toppings (ideas below).
- Roasted bell peppers - You can also slice some raw orange, yellow, green, or red peppers and place them on the mozzarella cheese before you melt it.
- Shishito peppers - I absolutely love these mild peppers, which I typically use to jazz up a plate of hummus.
- Mushrooms - Sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms can be placed atop the mozzarella before you melt it for some delicious umami.
- Hot pepper rings - If you like a bit of spiciness, slice up some poblano or jalapeno peppers and place them on the cheese before you melt it.
- Fresh greens (like arugula) - Fresh greens are best added to the grilled pizza after it has already been grilled (as I did with fresh basil in this recipe).
- Thinly sliced onions - Sliced red onions or shallots would add a slightly sharp, sweet kick to your pizza. Place the onions onto the unmelted mozzarella.
- Other creamy cheeses, like feta or burrata - Burrata will work in place of mozzarella in this recipe, while feta is better to sprinkle at the end with the other toppings (since it does not melt).
Leftovers and storage
This pizza is best eaten right away so the crust does not become soggy from the tomato juice. But leftovers will keep for around 3 days. Store leftover grilled pizza in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, place the pizza slices on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F heated oven until heated through.
More pizza recipes
Best Grilled Pizza with Fresh Toppings
- 1 pound fresh pizza dough, store-bought or homemade, at room temperature
- 10 ounces grape tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters if large
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, 10 to 15 leaves
- ⅔ cup Pearls California Sliced Ripe Olives, find them at your grocery store near you via olives.com
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 to 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Kosher Salt
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- If your dough had been refrigerated, allow it tosit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Prepare a gas or charcoal grill and set it on high heat.
- Prepare the fresh tomato, basil, and olives mixture. Slice the tomatoes into quarters and place them in a large colander. Add a good pinch of kosher salt and toss. Set the colander in a clean sink or over a bowl to drain for a few minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a clean, dry bowl and add the basil, Pearls California Sliced Black Olives, and minced garlic. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside for now (if more liquid is released, be sure to drain it before using this mixture on the pizza).
- On a clean floured surface, divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape them into 2 pizzas. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes and then reshape to make sure each pizza is as large as you'd like it.
- Place the shaped pizza dough on a lightly floured pizza peel (I used my baking sheet turned over so it’s rimless). Brush the top side of the dough with extra virgin olive oil and transfer the pizza, oiled side down, directly onto your heated grill.
- Grill for 2 minutes with the lid closed. Brush the other side with olive oil, and using a pair of tongs, flip the dough over and cook for about 2 more minutes (the dough is ready when it turns golden brown with some grill marks on both sides).
- Remove the cooked pizza dough from the grill briefly and place it on a sheet pan.
- Brush with more olive oil and arrange the mozzarella slices on top. Put the pan with the pizzas on the heated grill until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from the grill and spoon the fresh tomato mixture on top. Slice and serve immediately!
- Tip: For best results, budget time for the pizza dough to come to room temperature if it was previously refrigerated. Mine took about 1 hour of rest on the counter before I shaped it.
- Serving size: This recipe makes two smaller pizzas to serve 4 to 5 people for lunch or dinner with your favorite salad. It will serve 6 or more people as an appetizer.
- Leftovers and storage: This pizza is best eaten right away so the crust does not become soggy from the tomato juice, but leftovers will keep for around 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, place the pizza slices on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F heated oven until heated through.
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*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in June 2021. It has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.