One of my favorite summertime meals is grilled Margherita pizza. Fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic from the garden are ideal. If these items are not available, you can still make it — but it might not be quite as amazing.

Here is how it goes. Alton Brown’s grilled pizza recipe was a big inspiration, but I have modified slightly.

This makes two pizzas, about 12 inches across (or 36π square inches per pizza).

You Need

For the dough, I have used Alton Brown’s Recipe which can be found here. It is a really good dough.

In the past, I have also used store-bought pizza dough (due to time constraints), and a nice dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

This is approximately the recipe I used last night. This is not the recipe from the book, though that was the source of my inspiration:

12 ounces of water
1/2 T of yeast
a little bit of sugar (to make the dough caramelize), not more than 1 T
about 2 T of olive oil
about 3 – 3 1/2 cups of flour. I used all purpose, but you could also use whole wheat

Mix all the stuff together and let it rise for about 2 hours.

For the Topping

4 – 5 good sized tomatoes (about 3 inches in diameter, at least). I like more sauce than Alton
Mozzarella cheese (enough to cover two pizzas, maybe 2 cups or so, shredded)
Fresh basil. My wife likes a lot of basil. I use about 10 – 15 leaves
1 clove of garlic
Red pepper flakes (to taste). I use about a teaspoon
A pinch of kosher salt

The Assembly

Since I make a couple pizzas at a time, I can’t do it quite like Alton Brown suggests (where you grill the tomatoes on one side and the pizza dough on the other). Instead, I cook the tomatoes first.

Slice the tomatoes thick and toss in olive oil. Add in as many red pepper flakes as you like, the chopped garlic, and the salt.


Grill the tomatoes on high until soft – About 2 minutes per side. I grill them on high so they get a little char for flavor.

When soft and hot, remove the tomatoes from the grill and mash them in a bowl.


While waiting, prep your supplies.

Roll out your dough and oil with olive oil lightly one side. Put that side down on your grill and cook to the desired doneness. At medium heat, on my grill, that takes about 4 minutes. I like my crust thin and crispy so I roll it thinner and cook it longer. You want to cook it long enough such that the top side looks as though it is starting to cook.


The one on the right was too big and thin to pick up. Had I placed cornmeal or something under the dough, I would have been able to transfer it to the grill without tearing. It was still good to eat even though it was not pretty.

Brush oil on the top side and flip.

Place as much sauce as you like on the top side while the pizza is still on the grill. Top with cheese and basil.


Cook for a couple more minutes and remove. I like mine with the edges charred so I leave it for a little longer.