This Grilled Margherita Pizza has the perfect balance of fresh herbs, vine ripe thinly sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella all on a crispy, crunchy crust. It’s a quick and easy pizza recipe that’s grilled to perfection and topped with seriously mouthwatering ingredients!
Grilled Margherita Pizza
We love to make pizza at home, and this grilled margherita pizza is definitely one of our favorite pizzas to make lately! The best part about our easy grilled pizza is that we use pizza dough from the deli department of our local grocery store, making this recipe such a breeze. Homemade dough is great, but store-bought dough is a delicious way to save some time!
This grilled pizza is EASY and a great summertime dinner for busy families. If you’re making this dish for a large group or party, you can grill multiple at a time and even change the toppings as desired. This is the perfect excuse to host a pizza party! Just pick up some pre-made pizza dough and an assortment of desired toppings. Quarter up the dough, and everyone can make their very own personal pizza. It’s that easy, y’all.
We place the pizza dough directly on the grill grates to get the most perfect thin, crunchy crust. If you enjoy the fiery taste of a brick oven pizza, then this grilled recipe is right up your alley! Everyone who tries a slice agrees that it tastes just like a coal fired or brick oven pizza, and most say it’s even better. So if the taste of perfectly cooked pizza topped with vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and cheesy mozzarella sounds good to you, then you need to fire up the grill!
The crust here really makes the pizza. With that being said, what goes on top is just as important! We like to keep our toppings limited to just a few ingredients, as this simple pizza really doesn’t need an excess of toppings to make an impact. Spread the toppings evenly so the pizza can cook properly, and remember, too many toppings can make the crust soggy and weighed down.
Here’s a little tip when it comes to topping the dough with sauce – to keep the perfect crunchy crust, add only enough pizza sauce to lightly cover the dough. You should be able to see the dough through the sauce. Too much sauce can make the dough wet and soggy, not crispy and crunchy.
Additionally, tomatoes can add water to the top of a pizza, as they’re naturally quite juicy. If you want to use a little more sauce, make sure to remove the wet seeds from the tomatoes.
We used only 7 simple ingredients to make the most fresh and delicious grilled margherita pizza!
- Store Bought Pizza Dough: 1 pound (16 oz) of pizza dough, usually located in the bakery or deli department of your local grocery store.
- Olive Oil: You can use avocado oil instead, if preferred.
- Pizza Sauce: We prefer to use Rao’s Pizza Sauce, as it has a wonderful robust flavor.
- Minced Garlic: We use fresh garlic, but pre-minced garlic will also work if you’re in a hurry.
- Ripe Tomato: Slice the tomato nice and thin! Any tomato will work, but note that Roma tomatoes typically have less water.
- Pre-sliced Mozzarella Cheese: Use fresh Mozzarella instead of shredded for this pizza.
- Fresh Basil: The real star of the show! If you love fresh basil as much as we do, toss a little extra on there. It’ll be our secret.
Preparing the Grill
Prepare the grill. Start by preheating the grill to 400°F. Once the grill is hot, clean it with a grill brush. Right before you are ready to lay the pizza dough on the hot grates, use a grill basting brush and cover grates with olive oil. The olive oil will help keep the dough from sticking.
A grilling tip: Opening and closing the grill lid lets the heat escape and can cause the pizza to cook unevenly as well as slow down the cooking time. Be prepared to leave the lid closed, that way you’ll know ahead of time where the hot spots are in your grill and try and avoid setting the dough directly over one.
How to Make Grilled Margherita Pizza
Pizza Dough: Leave the pizza dough on the counter for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before placing it on the grill. Letting the dough rest and get to room temperature makes it much easier to work with.
Double Check the Temperature: Preheat the grill to 400°F. When cooking the dough, the temperature should be around 350-375°F. Because we are laying the dough directly on the grates, you don’t want your grill too hot. High heat will burn the bottom of the crust. the reason for preheating to 400°F is to have the grill hot enough for when you open the lid and some of the heat escapes.
Cook the Dough: Brush one side of the dough with olive oil and carefully place the olive oil side down on the grill. Make sure and avoid hot spots. CLOSE THE LID! That can be the hardest part, but you have to trust that it won’t burn. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, turn the burners down to 350°F – 375°F.
Tip: At the 2 minute mark, quickly lift the lid and using a large spatula lift the side of the dough to see how it is browning. If one side is cooking faster than the other, give the dough a spin.
Flip: Before flipping the dough, brush it with olive oil again. Once the dough is covered with oil, quickly flip it.
Toppings: Working quickly, pour the sauce in the middle of the crust and spread it from there towards the edge of the pizza. Add the sliced tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella before shutting the lid for another 3 minutes. Once the cheese is melted, the pizza is ready!
Tip: If you need more time to add the toppings, remove the crust from the grill add the toppings, and place back on the grill.
Remove from the Grill: Remove the pizza from the grill using a large spatula and place it on a cutting board, add fresh basil, and set aside for 1-2 minutes before cutting.
Tips for the BEST Grilled Margherita Pizza
- Know Your Grill: All grills are different, so knowing where your grill has hot and cold spots is very helpful. Knowing where the hot zones are will help you when grilling the dough and keep it from burning.
- Be Conservative with the Toppings:Less is more! Go easy with the toppings! Going too heavy on the toppings can cause the crust to be wet and gooey.
- Move Quickly: You have to work quickly when you add your toppings because the lid is open and letting out the heat. If you need more time to add the toppings, remove the pizza from the grill add the toppings and return to the grill. And remember to close the lid, of course!
- Double Check: Checking the crust to make sure it is browning evenly is important, as most grills do not cook evenly. If you notice one side of the dough is browning quicker than the other just spin it around.
- Dough: We recommend letting the dough sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before baking the pizza. The dough will rise a little and be easier to handle when it is at room temperature and not fresh out of the refrigerator.
Grilled Margherita Pizza
- ¼ cup pizza sauce, we like Rao’s brand
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz pre-made and pre-rolled pizza dough, **room temperature
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large tomato, sliced thin
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Fresh basil, to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together pizza sauce and fresh garlic. Set aside.
- Line up your ingredients near the grill as everything will move very quickly once you get going. Heat the grill to 400°F. Brush grill grates with olive oil.
- Brush one side of pizza dough with olive oil and carefully place greased side of dough onto the grill.
- Turn down the heat to 350°F and close the lid on the grill. Check every few minutes until the bottom is a light golden brown. If the bottom is cooking faster on one side of the dough, just spin the dough to cook the other side over the hotter side of the grill, to even it out.
- When the crust is lightly browned on the bottom, brush the top of crust with olive oil and flip it using a big spatula.
- Working very quickly, pour the sauce onto the pizza dough and spread it out evenly over dough. Add toppings and quickly shut the lid on the grill. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the grill, add fresh basil and let pizza rest for 2 minutes. Slice and serve!