Fire up the grill and get ready for this Greek-inspired vegetarian grilled pizza! The crisp crust is topped with briny olives, feta, zucchini ribbons, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. It’s everything that’s wonderful about summer in every slice.
Pizza on the grill is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. The crust becomes so crisp you can hear its crunch with each bite — a special treat you rarely find with an oven-baked or store-bought pizza.
You can top a grilled pizza with almost anything, but when I came up with this recipe, I was thinking Greek-ish and all vegetarian, so I started with feta, olives, and fresh oregano for the topping.
Because there is nothing I like more than carbs upon carbs, potatoes seemed like a good addition. I cooked the potatoes on the grill first so they would be ready for the topping. Revelation, people! I am definitely repeating the operation next time I grill. They are perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
I like the combination of fresh and cooked ingredients on pizza. I wanted to add something green, and zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons with a peeler, was a great solution because it cooks in a nanosecond. Once the pizza was hot, I put fresh cherry tomato halves and herb leaves on top just before serving.
A drizzle of olive oil over the pizza is the finishing touch.
THE BEST DOUGH FOR GRILLED PIZZA
Store-bought dough is fine for this pizza, but you can make your own with this recipe for Easy No-Knead Dough. If you prefer a whole wheat dough, try this No-Knead Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.
The no-knead dough is very hydrated, so it is slack and a bit sticky. To make it easier to work with on the grill, knead in 2 to 3 tablespoons additional flour, so it holds its shape better and is not as sticky.
The no-knead dough recipe makes more than you will need for two pizzas, but you can keep the extra in the fridge for up to three days or freeze it for up to three months.
To freeze leftover homemade pizza dough: Oil the dough and slip it into a ziptop bag or another freezer-safe container. Or even better, roll it out and place it on a parchment-lined sheet and when it freezes, wrap it in a large bag and keep it in the freezer until you want a quick pizza.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR TOPPING GRILLED PIZZA
Whatever toppings you add to your pizza, remember that less is always better than more.
- An abundance of sauces and toppings will not do pizza any favors—especially pizza on the grill.
- Go easy on the sauce so the crust doesn’t end up soggy.
- Have all your toppings ready and set on a baking sheet before you start grilling the pizza.
- Pre-cook sturdy ingredients like potatoes, eggplant, or peppers; the pizza only cooks for a few minutes, which is not enough time for those vegetables to become tender.
SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS FOR GRILLED PIZZA
- The Olives: Use any kind you like, just be sure they are pitted! I like small Nicoise olives for this pizza. Kalamata olives are also delicious here.
- The Cheese: I chose feta, but there are many other options such as shards of Parmesan, grated cheddar, slices of Fontina, or fresh mozzarella, just for starters.
- The Herbs: Fresh oregano really stood out for me on this pizza. It’s grassy, earthy, a bit astringent, and pungent. My usual go-to would have been basil or rosemary, and they are both fine, but I loved the chance to use oregano leaves.
HOW TO GRILL PIZZA
I have a gas grill right now, but I have also used a charcoal grill. Both are good. You will need to go by visual cues because temperatures vary widely depending on your type of grill.
Transferring the Dough
Let’s get real here. The most difficult part of grilling pizza is getting that dough onto the grill. There are at least three options. To start with, divide the dough in half to make two pizzas. Two smaller pizzas are much easier to handle than a single giant one.
The first method is to dust a peel with cornmeal and slide it onto the grill. If you’re using a peel, only oil the top of the dough so the bottom can slide freely off of the cornmeal-dusted peel.
The second method Oil the grill grates and both sides of the dough. Slip your hands, palm sides down, under the dough to give it some stability. With the dough resting on your knuckles you should have enough control to place the edge of the dough farthest way from you onto the back of the grill grates. This anchors the dough. Quickly pull your hands out towards you so the whole pizza lands in one piece, nice and flat. This is a great alternative if you don’t have a pizza peel. Be careful not to touch the grill grates!
- Want to learn even more about grilling pizzas? Check out our post on How to Grill Pizza.
- For more on the best tools to make pizza, check out our Editors’ Picks: Pizza-Making Supplies.
THE BEST TEMPERATURE FOR GRILLED PIZZA
All grills are not created equal! Temperatures can vary. You will need to pay attention to the visual cues of the pizza crust more than the exact timing and be vigilant. But luckily, this is not rocket science; it’s supper.
- Heat the grill to about 550ºF.
- Cook the potatoes first over direct heat and set them aside.
- With the grill at 550ºF, place the dough directly onto the grates and cook until the air pockets appear and the bottom has light brown grate marks. Since this is the bottom side of the pizza and will cook again with the toppings, you don’t want to brown it too much.
- Flip the dough over and grill it on the other side for another couple of minutes, until it is lightly cooked. Remove it from the grill.
- Flip the dough over again, add your toppings, place the pizza back on the grill, and cook with the cover on just until the toppings are heated through, about five minutes.
TRY THESE DELICIOUS SUMMER PIZZA RECIPES
- Grilled Pizza with Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Onions
- Easy Summer Vegetable Pizzas
- Spinach & Artichoke Sheet Pan Pizza
- Homemade Pepperoni Pizza
- Mozzarella and Tomato Skillet Pita Pizzas
- Spicy Sausage Pizza
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Grilled Vegetable Pizza Recipe
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 (10- to 12-inch) pizzas, serves 4
- 1 pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 3 (1 1/4 pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- Vegetable oil (for the grill grates)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium (8 ounce) zucchini, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata or Nicoise olives
- 3 ounces feta, crumbled
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh oregano, basil, or rosemary
1 Heat the grill: Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to 550ºF.
2 Pre-prep the dough: Divide the dough into two (8-ounce) pieces and form each piece into a ball. If the dough is very sticky, knead in 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour. Flatten the balls with your fingertips, cover with a cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
3 Meanwhile, grill the potatoes: Spread about 11/2 tablespoons olive oil on a small baking sheet. Place the potatoes in one layer on the baking sheet, press them into the oil, and turn them over. You want both sides of the potato slices coated in oil.
With a wadded paper towel dipped into vegetable oil, use tongs to quickly oil the grill grates.
Place the potato rounds on the grill and close the lid, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the undersides are golden. Turn with tongs, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Set aside and sprinkle with salt.
4 Shape the pizza dough: With a rolling pin, roll one of the dough rounds into a 10- to 12-inch circle, oval, or rectangle. Spread a baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon of oil and transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
Spread the top of the dough with about 1 tablespoon oil. Repeat with the second ball of dough, placing it on a second oiled baking sheet. If using a pizza peel, only oil one side of the dough.
5 Grill the pizzas one at a time: With a wadded paper towel dipped into vegetable oil, use tongs to quickly brush the grill grates again.
Slip your hands, palm sides facing down, under one of the pizzas. Lift the dough in one piece, supported by your knuckles, and place the end furthest from you onto the back of the grill grates. Quickly pull out your hands and release the dough.
Close the cover and cook the pizza for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough has light brown grill marks.
With a large spatula or tongs, flip the dough over. Grill the pizza on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it has a few browned spots.
Transfer the pizza to the baking sheet, flipping it so the grill marks are on the bottom.
6 Add the toppings: Top with half the potatoes, olives, feta, and zucchini ribbons. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Return the pizza to the grill, close the lid, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is wilted and the pizza is hot.
Repeat with the second pizza. If your grill is large enough, feel free to grill both pizzas at the same time.
7 Finish and serve the pizzas: Top each pizza with half the cherry tomatoes and half the herbs. Drizzle with olive oil. Cut into serving pieces with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter.
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Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.
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