This fresh and smoky veggie pizza is made entirely on the grill - it's full of grilled vegetables like zucchini, red bell peppers and onions, and gets a kiss of spice from a drizzle of Calabrian chili oil.
Ooo baby...IT'S GRILLING SEASON!
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how wonderful grilling is?
The smoky flavor, that distinctive summer feeling, the ability to keep the heat OUT of the house...it really is something special.
I have a couple very important questions for you today:
Question #1: Have you grilled pizza before?
Grilling pizza is fantastic. I won't lie to you: it can be a little tricky to get your pizza dough onto the grill, and ergo it might end up with an ever so slightly misshapen crust like mine here, but I think that will just make you love it more 💖.
The awesome thing about grilling pizza is that you can typically get more heat from your grill than an average indoor oven, which helps mimic the effect of a super-hot pizza oven. You also get a smoky, charred flavor that you just can't fully replicate in the oven.
Plus - this grilled veggie pizza is made entirely on the grill, so you don't have to heat up your oven and get your kitchen all warm! Definite win.
Question #2: Have you tried Calabrian chilis/chili oil?
I had heard Calabrian chilis mentioned in a bunch of the cooking shows & videos I watch, but I had never tried them. It was one of those things that just seemed to keep popping up over and over and eventually I just had to get my hands on some.
And oh man. We had a bit of a mind-blowing moment here (Pete in particular). They've got a good amount of heat, but there's also a fruitiness to them that is really unique. The ones I picked up (Divina Calabrian Peppers) are whole peppers packed in oil, and the oil itself gets infused with so much flavor that it becomes its own ingredient all by itself.
Since it does have a decent level of spiciness, I would recommend letting people drizzle the oil on individually.
And if you're not into spicy - just skip it! Molly can confirm that the Grilled Veggie Pizza is quite delicious even without the chili oil. 😊
Yummy noises await you!
This fresh and smoky pizza is made entirely on the grill - it's full of grilled vegetables like zucchini, red bell peppers and onions, and gets a kiss of spice from a drizzle of Calabrian chili oil.
- 1 lb pizza dough*
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1/2 large red bell pepper
- about 1/3 large red onion
- about 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing grill
- about 1 tsp kosher salt
- about 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella, pulled into medium/large shreds
- grated parmesan cheese, to taste
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn
- generous pinch flaky salt (like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
- drizzle of Calabrian chili oil, to taste
Preheat grill for high direct heat. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut lengthwise into planks about 1 cm thick. Stand red bell pepper upright and slice from stem straight downward, rotate 90 degrees and slice downward again so you end up with 2 flat pieces (like you're cutting the cheeks off of the pepper). Slice onion crosswise so you have 2 large rounds each about 1 cm thick (do not separate layers). Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
When grill is hot, add vegetables to the grill, placing the peppers and onions toward the center and the zucchini toward the perimeter (the center of the grill is hottest and the zucchini doesn't take quite as long to cook as the peppers & onions, so placing them toward the perimeter helps the veggies cook at about the same rate).
Grill vegetables, covered, for about 3-4 minutes per side, until lightly charred and crisp-tender.
Transfer grilled veggies to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces. (I like to cut the zucchini planks into slices about 1 cm thick, cut the pepper pieces in half lengthwise and then into slices about 1 cm thick, and cut the onion rounds into about 6 wedges so they become strips).
Measure out the pizza sauce, shred the mozzarella and have both ready to go with the cut grilled veggies. Get a pair of tongs, a piece of paper towel folded up, and a small bowl of oil ready to go as well.
On a lightly floured surface, stretch pizza dough out into a circle about 14 inches in diameter, trying to keep a relatively even thickness throughout. Transfer to a rimless cookie sheet (or an overturned rimmed baking sheet) to carry out to the grill. Bring your toppings out to your grill as well.
Using tongs to hold the folded paper towel, dip in oil and rub the grill grates to grease. Slide the pizza dough directly onto the grill grates in a swift motion (it's ok if it isn't perfectly round, but try to get an even of a layer so it cooks at the same rate!). Cover and grill for about 2-3 minutes.
Use tongs to lift and check the bottom of the crust, when it's cooked and golden brown, flip the crust over and immediately spread on the pizza sauce, sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, and top with grilled veggies. Cover and grill for another 2-3 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is deeply golden brown and cheese is melted.
Remove from grill to a large cutting board and top with grated parmesan, torn fresh basil leaves and a generous pinch of flaky salt. Cut into 8 pieces and serve, drizzling with Calabrian chili oil to taste.
*I used Bobby Flay's pizza dough recipe, which is pretty simple to make and makes enough for two pizzas.
Stretch out the pizza dough when you are ready to put it right on the grill. The longer it sits, the more it will stick to the surface it's on and it will be harder to get it onto the grill in an even shape.