Grilled Pizza With Summer Tomato Sauce

A grilled pizza with summer tomato sauce is your next open-flame project. Chopped tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, scallions, and basil top the lightly charred and crackly dough. Sounds pretty great, right?

A grilled pizza with summer tomato sauce and scallions, cut into 8 wedges on a wooden board.

Adapted from Andrew Janjigian

Grilled pizza being primarily a summer dish, it’s an ideal opportunity to flaunt your garden or farmer’s market bounty.–Andrew Janjigian


For the answer to this, we went right to Andrew Janjigian, the author of this brilliant recipe. He finds the dough that is easiest to work with is dough that has spent time in the fridge—a minimum of a day but up to 3 days is better. In that amount of time, it gets easier to work with; it just requires patience and foresight. As he says, “With the dough that I like, you can lift it up, and almost in one motion it gets to the dimensions it needs to be. There’s a little bit of your knuckles pulling on the dough, and then you put it down on the peel. It’s very fast. That’s the key to not overworking it.” He also suggests shaping the dough into a ball before putting it into the fridge, so that you don’t have to reshape it and making it easier to work with.


Grilled Pizza With Summer Tomato Sauce

A grilled pizza with summer tomato sauce and scallions, cut into 8 wedges on a wooden board.

For this pizza on the grill, I’ve presented a “Margarita” that uses fresh mozzarella, Pecorino or Parmesan, fresh tomato sauce, basil, and scallions (an Al Forno signature move).

Andrew Janjigian

Prep 1 hr

Cook 30 mins

Total 1 d 5 hrs

Make the dough

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, and yeast. In a separate large bowl, combine the water and oil. Add about 1/3 of flour mixture to the liquid and whisk to combine. Add remaining flour and stir with hands, dough whisk, or wooden spoon until combined and no dry flour remains, about 30 seconds. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the salt over the top of dough and, using lightly-moistened hands, knead in bowl until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

  • Using lightly-moistened hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and let sit until puffy and slightly less than doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  • Drop the dough onto a lightly-floured counter and divide into four equal pieces (about 6 oz | 170 grams each). Using lightly-moistened hands, shape each into a tight, smooth ball. Coat each ball lightly with oil (or nonstick spray), move to lightly-oiled individual small bowls or sealable containers (if using bowls, cover each one tightly with plastic wrap), and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Make the sauce

  • Set a colander in the sink or over a large bowl. Dump the tomatoes into the colander, toss with salt and sugar and drain for 30 minutes.
  • Shake colander to remove excess moisture, discard juice, and add tomato mixture to a medium bowl. Add olive oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and sugar, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make the grilled pizzas

  • One hour before grilling pizzas, remove dough balls and sauce from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. Fifteen minutes before grilling pizzas, set all grill burners to high, cover, and heat grill to about 500°F (260°C).

  • Clean and oil cooking grates.

  • Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup olive oil. Place 1 ball of dough in the center of the sheet and invert to coat both sides with oil. Using flattened hands, gently press and stretch the dough toward the edges of the pan to form an evenly thick 12- by 10-inch (30- by 25-cm) oval. Moving swiftly, lightly grasp both ends of one long side of the dough in your fingertips and drape over the center of grill. Place the bottom tip of the dough on the grates and then stretchthe remainder of the dough toward you to form an elongated paddle shape.
  • Cook until grill marks begin to form and dough begins to puff slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, peel dough carefully from grates and rotate 30 degrees or so. Bake until underside is lightly and evenly browned, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a second baking sheet. Repeat steps 9 and 10 with remaining dough balls.

    If you have a large grill surface, you may be able to cook two crusts at a time.

  • Place 1 crust on pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Brush top of 1 crust with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Distribute 1/4 of Parmesan evenly over crust, followed by 1/4 of mozzarella. Dollop about 6 tablespoons of sauce over and around cheese, then top with 1/4 of the scallions. Transfer the pizza to the grill, cover and cook until cheeses are melted and sauce is steaming, moving pizza around grill as needed to prevent burning, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Transfer pizza to cutting board, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon basil, drizzle lightly with extra oil, and season with coarse salt to taste. Repeat with remaining crusts.

  • Cut the pizzas into wedges and serve.

Serving: 1pizzaCalories: 919kcal (46%)Carbohydrates: 87g (29%)Protein: 38g (76%)Fat: 47g (72%)Saturated Fat: 16g (100%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 65mg (22%)Sodium: 2014mg (88%)Potassium: 807mg (23%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 8g (9%)Vitamin A: 2780IU (56%)Vitamin C: 34mg (41%)Calcium: 701mg (70%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Originally published June 29, 2021

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