Food

Grilled Margarita and Pesto Chicken Pizzas

One of my favorite parts of Summer? The food. Who doesn’t love a warm Summer night with friends and food? Whether it means sitting on the beach with a couple of cold beers and the evening’s spread laid out on a blanket, or a bunch of people gathered in the backyard for a BBQ, you can’t beat a warm evening with delicious food!

My dad, being a dad, has always been an avid griller so about 60% of the food I ate in the summer growing up was made via charcoal grill. While classics like hamburgers and hotdogs are always delicious, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a little bit!

So today I’m gonna talk about one of my all time favorites: Grilled Pizza

I mean, who doesn’t love pizza? Whether it’s Domino’s, Neapolitan style, or homemade, pizza is always a crowd pleaser.

As long as you have a charcoal grill, these are one of the best meals to make if you ever want to add a twist to your classic BBQ. The only other thing you will need is a baking stone. This is similar to the one I used.

Cooking the pizza on a stone is one of the essential parts of grilling pizza. By arranging the briquets in a ring around the inside of the grill, it provides a nice, even heat. Make sure you place the stone on the grill cold, do not warm it up first. This way the stone will gradually heat inside the grill, giving the toppings more time to melt as it cooks the crust. This is usually the toughest part about grilling pizzas: a charcoal grill can cook the crust too fast, not allowing time for the toppings to melt.

So how to make these pizzas? Let me start with the dough. Store bought pizza dough is super easy to find at your local grocery store but you can also make it homemade. I’ve tried store bought and 2 different homemade recipes. This recipe is definitely my favorite! If you have the time, definitely make this pizza dough from scratch. Note that it needs to sit in the fridge for 24 hours. This is the recipe I used from Cook’s Illustrated for the dough.

Some quick notes about this recipe:

I used Italian flower because it has a higher protein content, which is much more preferable for pizza crust. When the flour has a higher protein content it allows you to stretch the dough into a thinner crust.

This recipe also calls for olive oil because that is what you will be using to roll and stretch the dough, as opposed to flour. This prevents the crust from becoming too thick and hard.

 

I made both a Margarita and Pesto Chicken pizza. They were about 8-inches each so one of these is the perfect serving for one person! Here is what you will need, depending on which pizza you want to make. I should also mention that these measurements are what I used but… it’s pizza. Use as much of each ingredient that you want and even feel free to add your own twist!

Margarita Pizza Ingredients:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 container of bocconcini
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic

Pesto Chicken Pizza Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 2 tbs of pine nuts
  • small handful of halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 container of bocconcini
  • 1/2 cup of shredded chicken

You’ll notice that both of these call for bocconcini, which means small balls of fresh mozzarella. If you are making the margarita pizza then this is very important! It honestly makes all the difference! I opted to use it for the Pesto Chicken as well because I prefer it to basic, shredded mozzarella.

Reminiscing moment: One of my favorite parts about living in Italy was the Mercato Centrale. My apartment was right across the street from a twisting alley that led straight to a large square that surrounded the market. My favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning was wander downstairs, into the market, and head straight to my favorite cheese vendor. They would take the fresh balls of mozzarella straight out of the water and package it up for me and nothing can compare to that.

TL;DR I lived in Italy and now I’m a cheese snob.

Moving on!

For the margarita pizza I brushed the dough with olive oil and garlic. I’m a huge tomato sauce fan but for the margarita I leave it out because then it’s easier to enjoy the sliced tomato on top.

But the pesto chicken pizza has, obviously, pesto covering the dough. Similar to the dough, you can make this homemade or buy a jar at the store. If you do buy it then I would recommend checking the ingredients list to make sure it is made with pine nuts. To me, this makes it taste so much better but if you are okay with walnuts or any other nut then you can find many cheaper jars of pesto made with those instead.

This is the recipe I used for the pesto!

For the best quality, hit up your local farmer’s market and grab a bunch of fresh basil there instead of packaged basil at the store. The same goes for the tomatoes!


Bake for 15-20 minutes on the grill, covered.

The last step? Take lots of pictures of your beautiful creation and ignore your friends and family when they complain about their food getting cold.



Margarita Pizza Directions:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 container of bocconcini
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic

Finely chop garlic clove and mix it with olive oil. Brush the olive oil and garlic over the dough before adding toppings.

Slice the tomato and bocconcini, then arrange them on the dough, along with the basil leaves.

Place the stone on the grill and bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

Pesto Chicken Pizza Directions:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 2 tbs of pine nuts
  • small handful of halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 container of bocconcini
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cooked chicken

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over low heat. Watch them carefully and only toast them until they are light brown.

Mix the pesto in a food processor, according to the link. Spread an even layer on the dough.

Shred some cooked chicken (you can either cook the chicken beforehand or use a rotisserie chicken to save time). Distribute chicken and olives across the pizza. Slice bocconcini and place over the chicken and olives. Top with the toasted pine nuts.

 

What’s your favorite thing to BBQ in the Summer??

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply