Lauren B., a manager in our Visual Merchandising Studio, loves to throw a good party. Today she’s invited us over for one of her favorite ways to celebrate…a grilled pizza party that serves up lots of flavor with surprisingly little prep work. Enjoy and download the tips and tricks here. Also, Don’t miss the how-to video at the bottom of the page!
At some point it hits you that life is unpredictable and all too short. When my life started to get crazy and that realization hit me, I decided to make a point of spending more of my time appreciating and celebrating life’s little moments.
Over the last few years, I’ve done a much better job of celebrating the big days and the every days…. and it’s felt really, really good.
My friends loved the gatherings and wanted to host their own, too, and they started asking me things like, “How do you cook and entertain so effortlessly?” Finally I decided to share, through a series of cooking classes and dinner parties, all my little tricks.
My friends ate it up, literally, and that really warmed my heart.
Nothing brings friends and families together like great food and great gatherings…so lets slow down, enjoy life and gather around the table. Let me show you how!
I’ll start with one of my favorite parties…A grilled pizza party!
When spring rolls around, my friends start asking early…When is the pizza party!? They just love this night. I have so many funny stories and memories, but the one that sticks out is the very first pizza party I hosted. Our friends still talk about that night when it started pouring down rain, literally out of nowhere, and everyone ran inside but I was not going to leave my grill until my margherita pizza was done. Well, as I was rushing my finished pizza into the house, the pizza peel caught the doorframe and pizza went flying across the room. I remember someone shouting, “It’s ok…we’ll still eat it!” I’m like…ummm, no. But everyone was laughing hysterically, and my beautiful dog River saw his chance to swoop in and take part in the gathering as well.
We laughed so hard, created amazing memories, and enjoyed the food and each other’s company. This part is just so fun and simple, and I’m going to show you how to do it in 10 easy steps! I hope to hear your fun stories and please share pics of your creations at #celebratetheeverydays
I know grilling pizza may seem tricky but it’s really easy. And it’s a great party because it’s easy to prep ahead, everyone loves pizza, and there are endless topping combinations!
- Prepare a basic pizza dough.
Tip: Buy the dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizza restaurant to make it even easier.
- The most important tip for grilled pizzas? Cook, slice, and grate whatever toppings you like ahead of time, and have them at the ready because the cooking goes fast. Here I have pizza sauce, roasted garlic, sliced fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. (See this link for toppings ideas.)
- Take the dough and flatten with your fingertips into a circle. It doesn’t need to be a perfect circle—you want it to look rustic. Stretch the dough to your desired size and thickness and set it on a pan lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornmeal.
Tip: Don’t do what I did my first time: I stacked the crusts on top of each other with a bit of flour in between and when it came time to grill I just had one super-thick hunk of dough. I know, rooky mistake, but I don’t want that to happen to you. (I ran down to the pizza joint, grabbed more dough and we were back in business.)
- Set them on a tray along with the olive oil, brush, tongs, flat cookie sheet and pizza cutter.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Tip: A gas grill is a little easier to manage the temperature, but a charcoal grill gives even more flavor. Your choice, both are amazing!
- Brush one side of dough with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Place oiled side down on the grill and brush the top with oil. Close the grill and cook for 2-5 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn the dough over with tongs and grill the other side.
Tip: If the dough sticks to the grill grate, it’s not ready to turn over. Shut the grill, grab a glass of wine and let it go for a minute or two. It should turn over easily with tongs and have beautiful grill marks.
- Slide the crust onto a flat cookie sheet or pizza peel and arrange your toppings, starting with sauce, then garlic and then mozzarella.
- Place the pizza back on the grill over indirect heat and cover until the cheese is melted and delicious!
- Remove the pizza from the grill with a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet, place it on the cutting board and garnish.
Tip: After the pizza is done, top it with the fresh basil (otherwise the basil will turn brown) and a drizzle of olive oil for that last bit of yumminess.
And ta-da!!! You have an amazing, delicious grilled pizza! Slice, serve and enjoy!!
Inspire each other to gather around the table! Cheers!!
Follow Lauren on Instagram for even more tips and tricks @Lauren_lane_culinarian.
Photographer: Jake Johnson & Lindsey Mehlhorn
Videographer: Jake Johnson | Video Editor: Kevin Sisemore | Music: Chris Johnson