Planning a summer BBQ and tired of the same old burgers and chicken? Try grilled pizza. A little bit of prep and some fun toppings and you are on your way to enjoying a delicious and different menu.

Make small individual pizzas and let your guests customize their own. You can make the BBQ sauce or use purchased sauce.

Serves 6

Olive oil

1 medium red onion, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound lean ground beef

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ cups Chef Laura’s Root Beer BBQ Sauce*

Toppings to include: chopped tomatoes, onions, pitted olives, hot peppers, fresh herbs, avocado, chopped romaine or arugala

  1. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Caramelize the onion until it is quite brown and very fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and continue to cook for one more minute until the garlic has softened slightly.
  2. Add the ground beef. Stir the meat with the onions to help break up the meat. Continue cooking until the beef is lightly browned and cooked through (about 7 minutes). Add the root beer BBQ sauce and reduce the heat. Stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely. The pizza meat may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make the Pizza Crust (preheat grill to high)

  1. Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Gently roll one piece of dough until it begins to stretch. Gently begin to stretch the dough until it measures about a 10 inch circle. Lightly brush the crust with oil. Sprinkle the pizza peel or cutting board (large wooden or metal spatula for moving pizza and bread into ovens) with corn meal. The corn meal will act like ball bearings and help you slide the pizza onto the grill. Place the crust on a pizza peel or the back of a cookie sheet. This will help you slide the pizza onto the grill.
  2. Spread about ¾ a cup of the cooled meat mixture onto the pizza dough. Place the pizza onto the grill and cook over high heat for 7-8 minutes. Continue making pizzas and grilling them. Serve with your favorite toppings.

*Chef Laura’s Root Beer BBQ Sauce

2 cups favorite Root beer (don’t use diet root beer!)
1 cup Heinz ketchup
¼  cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup bourbon or apple cider if you prefer non-alcoholic
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 medium onion, grated
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for one hour. Adjust season with salt and pepper. The BBQ sauce may be stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Easy Pizza Dough

This easy to make dough can be made a ahead of your cook out and can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. You can also ask your favorite pizzeria to sell your pre made dough for the busy nights when you don’t have time to make your own.

1 3/4 cups very warm water
5-6 cups unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour with one cup divided
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup  olive oil
¼ cup coarse ground corn meal 

  1. Place the warm water, one cup of flour, salt and yeast in large bowl. Stir together until combined. Cover the bowl and allow it sit in a warm place for 30 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly and resemble a sponge.
  2. Add the remaining flour, oil and mix together either with a mixer or your hands. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until the dough is supple and very smooth. Roll the dough into a ball, lightly brush it with olive oil, cover and let it rise for one hour.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and make the pizza crust.

Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here.
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