Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

BBQ Pizza Margherita

Nicoletta August 10, 2016

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BBQ Pizza is on our minds. Summer is here, and the grill is hot, so on the menu today BBQ Pizza Margherita, grilled to perfection. Enjoy!

BBQ Pizza Margherita

My morning phone calls, and sometimes Skype chats, with my parents in Rome, are part of my daily routine. I cherish them and long for them, that string to my Italian life. My mother updates me with the weather, the cats, how everybody’s doing, what they’re cooking. In the last calls it has mostly been about the garden harvest, abundant and flavorful this summer, how they are giving away some produce to family and friends, freezing some vegetables, canning the tomatoes and my dad’s jam massive production.



In one of the calls she was recalling that the last time they had homemade pizza was when I was there, and that was in April, before I left to come back to Canada. She said that without me making it for them and the whole family being together to eat it, it wasn’t the same. “When you come back, we’ll make it again”, she stated. I always feel my heart in a melancholy clench when she says things like that, but I guess, it won’t be that long that we’re back, in September Loreto and I will be there the whole month! As for us, I told her that we make pizza quite often and that did not come as a surprise to her, since my love for pizza is widespread, but I told her that we are mostly making pizza on the barbecue. That was received with bewilderment: pizza on the BBQ? Yes, my family in Italy never had a BBQ pizza 😉 . Barbecues aren’t that popular, and BBQ pizza not a priority. The oven is good enough, and nobody’s scared to turn it on even on hot days, and for the more fortunate, there is the wood fire oven, the dream of every pizza “monster” like Loreto and I. One day…

Let’s get this BBQ Pizza Party started!

I’ve always loved having my hands in the dough, making pizza, bread, pasta or pastry dough. It reminds me of my nonna (grandma), my inspiration. The feeling of transforming a mass of flour and water, mostly, in a smooth and elastic ball of dough is stimulating, and when I see it rise beautifully and double, triple, up in size, I know we’re up for a good treat: the pizza is going to be light and airy, is going to cook evenly on the BBQ, developing a nice crust and some nice char.

BBQ Pizza Margherita

The secret to a good dough is the love and strength you put in the kneading: work it, work it, work it, this is my suggestion, it has to feel velvety and uniform under your hands. You can shape into one ball and then divide the pieces once the dough has risen, or you can partition it into the number of pizze (plural, italian, for pizza) you are going to make. This recipe makes 4 individual pizze or 2 bigger, oval ones. We wanted to make an oval pizza, this time, to kind of reproduce the pizza alla pala we have in Rome (pizza on the “paddle,” the oval Roman pizza).

BBQ Pizza Margherita

Making the pizza on the BBQ is a little different than baking it in the oven, you can’t put the topping on the pizza right away. This is what you need to do: spread the dough out into a nice oval (or round) shape, place a little cornmeal on the paddle along with the dough, this enable the pizza to slide off the paddle easily, place in on the hot BBQ and cook it until some grill marks appear, together with some air bubbles, and the dough becomes a nice golden color. Flip the dough over and place it on indirect heat on the grill. The next steps are easy, just place your favorite toppings on the pizza and close the lid keeping a close eye for that melting cheese look. Take off the grill and you’re ready to cut and eat.

The crust is crispy and with a slight smoky flavor, the closest you’ll get to that wood fired pizza. The sauce for the Margherita, a rich tomato sauce with hints of basil, oregano and olive oil, make it a great combination with the texture of the crust. The pièce de resistance, the melted mozzarella, not over bearing, a humble topping to meld all the flavors together.

BBQ Pizza Margherita

BBQ Pizza Margherita

Buon appetito! Enjoy your BBQ Pizza Margherita.

Song of the day: “Just Like Fire”, Pink.

BBQ Pizza Margherita


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 Tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups organic, unbleached flour, type 00
  • 1/ 1/4 tsp salt
  • flour for dusting the wood board

Tomato sauce:

  • 1 can D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Dash of dried oregano
  • 4 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a small bowl add the water, dry yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes, or until frothy, then add the olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour and salt, then the water mixture.

Tomato sauce:

  1. Place tomatoes in a food processor and blend.
  2. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Add in salt, pepper, dried oregano, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil. Blend and set aside.

Grilled pizza:

  1. Take dough and stretch into an oval or circle.
  2. Dust pizza paddle with fine cornmeal.
  3. Place pizza crust on paddle and slide onto a pre-heated 450° F grill.
  4. Let pizza crust grill till char marks appear on bottom side and dough is bubbling on top.
  5. Turn one side of the barbecue off.
  6. Turn pizza crust over and place on indirect heat side.
  7. Spread tomato sauce onto pizza crust leaving crust edge free of sauce.
  8. Sprinkle with some fresh mozzarella not covering the whole pizza, but leaving some space in between the cheese to see the sauce.
  9. Place some fresh basil leaves spaciously, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Place cover down on barbecue and grill till cheese is melting.
  11. Take off grill, slice, and serve.
  12. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 4 12-inch pizzas or 2 big rectangular ones
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  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop August 11, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I’ve tried pizza on the bbq before but haven’t had much luck. I will need to follow your steps. This sounds delicious and during the hot days of summer, I try not to turn on the oven, especially around dinner time. The entire house just becomes too hot. I look forward to giving this a try!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 11, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Kathy, I think I’m the only one that turns on the oven even when it’s hot 😉 . Hope you try the recipe and let us know, Loreto wrote pretty detailed instructions on how to cook it on the BBQ, and if you need to ask anything, we’re here. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Reply Demeter | Beaming Baker August 11, 2016 at 9:36 am

    “When you come back, we’ll make it again” <– Aw… Nicoletta, I've experienced many times in my life where I lived very, very far from family (thousands of miles). So when I read that line, my heart totally felt quite sad. 🙁 It's a tough thing to endure. However, I'm so happy that you and Loreto will be going for a whole month in September. That's not very far from now! 🙂 Also, you must, must make this BBQ pizza for them when you go. I absolutely love pizza too and BBQ has always been one of my faves. 😉 Pinning, of course! Here's to your upcoming trip! 🙂 xo

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 11, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks so much Demeter, you’re right it’s tough, but now I’m happy for the approaching vacation. We’ll make pizza for sure when we’re there 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Julia August 14, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Living away from family really sucks at times. I haven’t long left mine and the pangs of missing them set in the moment I said adios for now. I think it is so nice that your mom is waiting for you to get back to make the pizza…sweet.

    Barbecues are only now really becoming a thing around here in Spain and I am certain nobody would dream of making a pizza on the barbecue. You barbecue pizza looks delicious. I have to admit, I am amongst the terrified crowd of making pizza on the barbecue. I must try it! Have a lovely Sunday!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 15, 2016 at 8:23 am

      I can understand you very well. I talk to my mother every morning, anyway, and that helps 🙂 . As for barbecues, it seems for Spain is the same as in Italy: nobody wold dream of BBQ pizza. Here, my husband is the one who takes care of cooking on the BBQ 🙂 . Have a great week!

  • Avatar
    Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After August 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    We both did a margherita recipe last week!! Although yours is a true margherita and mine was pasta. hahaha! Simple pizzas are the best and always made even better by grilling it. We make pizza all the time at home so trying your recipe very soon. I know you’ve heard this before but the best pizza I’ve ever had was in Rome. It was at a restaurant close to the Trevi fountain and we had dinner under the stars, sitting at long tables with the locals, drinking red wine, and eating the best food around. That is exactly what my heaven will be made of 🙂
    Also, if you and Loreto need me to go to Rome with you two next month, just let me know because I’m available 😉

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

      We need you Karrie, you absolutely need to come to Rome with us 😉 ! We’d really love that! And yes, I can imagine eating pizza and sipping red wine under the stars close to Trevi Fountain as some kind of Heaven 🙂 . If you try this pizza let us know. And thanks for stopping by!

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