So, pizza. Grilled Pizza.
As much as I enjoy eating healthy foods there seems to be a soft spot in my heart for pizza. Homemade pizza was a Sunday tradition when I was growing up. There’s still something about eating pizza on a Sunday that just feels so comforting!
To keep things homemade, I spent months and months of Sundays testing out gluten free pizza dough recipes until I found one I was happy with (you can find that recipe here). A bit more testing later, I was able to easily adapt this recipe for grilled pizza.
Many people have heard of grilled pizza before, but if you haven’t tried it you are in for a treat! It is actually much quicker to grill pizza than to bake it in the oven, but your grilled pizza still has all the same elements of a good pizza: crispy crust, melty cheese, and loads of your favorite toppings. Grilled pizzas tend to be more free form in shape, too. The cooking technique is obviously a bit different for making pizza on the grill versus in the oven. Since the whole cooking process happens so fast on the grill I’ve noticed that less complex pizzas with fewer toppings are easier to manage. With only a couple toppings, a margherita pizza is perfect for grilling, especially if you are new to the process.
Even though we have been grilling pizzas for a while now, the simple toppings on a margherita pizza always hit the spot. Tomato sauce and cheese are nearly a requirement for any pizza (except white pizzas, but that will have to be another post for another day). The fresh basil steals the show here. I tend to add about 2 tablespoons per pizza, but if your garden is overflowing with basil like ours is than you may want to add even more. For an extra bit of flavor I season the pizza dough with garlic. Tomato, basil, garlic, mozzarella? So many delicious flavors in that short list!
As far as actually grilling the pizza, the process is simple. The one and only important key to grilling pizza with this particular dough is to start with chilled dough. I like to shape my dough onto a silpat mat and then stick it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. The dough is naturally sticky, but it becomes much, much easier to work with when it is cold. Spray the chilled dough with olive oil spray (or other cooking spray) and lay it on the hot grill.
Cover the grill and let the pizza sit undisturbed for a few minutes. Just a few. Then, check the underside of the dough to see if it is done. You want the dough to be crisp on the bottom, with grill lines, but not burnt (Unless you are one of those people, like my mom, who enjoys somewhat burnt food)! When the bottom is done, just flip the dough over.
Now is that part where you will need to work fast. Add the toppings. I like to do tomato sauce, followed by a sprinkling of cheese and then topped with fresh basil. As you can see from these photos, my husband choose to add his toppings in a very unique order.
Topping order, your choice. Like I said, the most important thing is to do this quickly. You don’t want to take so long adding your toppings that the bottom of the pizza burns before you’ve finished! Once the toppings are on cover the grill again, just for a moment. When the cheese has melted the pizza is ready to cut and serve!
Gluten Free Grilled Margherita Pizza
This recipes will make one medium sized pizza that will serve two people. You can also split the pizza dough in half to make two personal sized pizzas.
Pizza Dough Ingredients
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 c hot tap water
- 1 Tbs dry active yeast
- 1/2 c white rice flour
- 1/4 c brown rice flour
- 1/4 c tapioca starch
- 1/4 c potato starch
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp gelatin powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- cooking spray (I use olive oil spray)
- garlic powder
- 1/4 c pizza sauce (the generic kind at my grocery store is GF, read the label to be sure yours is, too!)
- 2/3 c to 3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
- Stir the sugar and yeast into the tap water. Let the mixture sit for 5 – 10 to proof. It will get bubbly and expand.
- While the yeast is proofing, combine all of the remaining dough ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add in the yeast and mix until the dough forms a ball. If using a stand mixer, use medium speed.
- Put the pizza dough on a silpat, mat, piece of parchment paper, or wax paper, and use your hands to shape into a circle, about half an inch thick. If the dough is sticky run your hands under cold water and then go back to shaping it without drying your hands completely. Lay the shaped dough in the refrigerator to chill.
- While the dough is chilling, light the grill and let it get to a high heat level. Take some time to bring all of your toppings, and any plates or utensils you will be using out to the grill.
- Gently loosen the pizza dough off of the silpat/parchment paper/wax paper. It may be a bit sticky and not come off in exactly the shape you pressed it into, but will be close enough. Spray one side of the pizza dough with the cooking spray, and sprinkle on some garlic salt (I shake it on directly from the bottle). Spray the grilling surface with cooking spray, and lay the oiled side of the pizza onto the just oiled grilled. The un-oiled side should now be facing up on the grill. Give this a quick spray with the cooking spray, and another shake of garlic powder.
- Shut the grill lid. Check on the pizza every minute or so by gently lifting up a side to see if the bottom is cooked.
- When the bottom of the pizza is crisp and has brown grill lines flip the pizza using a spatula.
- Now add the toppings, somewhat quickly. Spread the pizza sauce evenly across the pizza. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top of that, followed the by the fresh basil. Shut the grill lid once you are done.
- Again, check the pizza every minute or so. The pizza is done once the cheese has melted and the bottom has dark grill lines.
- Cut into slices and serve hot.