When you think about expanding beyond summer staples like burgers, dogs, and BBQ, consider that pizza slices served crispy off the grill can not only spark guests’ interest, but also help you stand out from the competition. Add some sear to sales with these grilled pizza tips.

Rolling in Dough

Creating the perfect grilled pizza starts with the best dough. Experiment with some dough recipes to find one that grills well and complements your desired flavor profiles. Opt for dough with a higher hydration level and play around with thin-crust options as they tend to be more pliable and result in a crispy yet chewy crust. Think about a reliable ingredient like Roma® Pizza Dough when grilling to achieve that airy, charred, smoky pie that guests will crave all summer long. Brush your chosen dough with a good quality olive oil before firing up the grill as well.

Top of the Game

Before grilling your pies, consider the types of pizza that will sell well during the season. Showcase summer flavors such as heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, sweet corn, roasted red peppers, and even berries to appeal to summer appetites. The classic Margherita with fresh basil, your house tomato sauce, and mozzarella is always a popular choice and perfect for grilling with its traditional thin crust, or save time and labor by topping Hillshire Farm® Pepperoni on pies for another summer option that works wonderfully on the grill.

If you want to infuse your own culinary creativity with seasonal tastes, opt for a freshly grilled peach, goat cheese, basil, and habanero pie for a flavor-packed combination to get mouths watering. Of course, everyone loves marrying pizza with summer staples like BBQ, so serving up a spicy BBQ chicken pizza with Buffalo sauce, a cool drizzle of ranch, and charred red onion can hit the spot for BBQ and Italian fans alike.

Call it a Combo

Grilled pizzas offer an opportunity to experiment with exciting flavor combinations. Go beyond traditional toppings and offer unique combinations that will intrigue your regulars and reach new visitors.

With global flavors trending, try an Asian-inspired grilled pizza — experimenting with gochujang, pulled pork, chopped pineapple, scallions, and a drizzle of Sriracha mayo for a zest fest of a pie. Or have fun with a Mexican fusion pizza featuring easy-prep ingredients like Hillshire Farm® Italian Sausage Crumble, a combo of mozzarella and Cotija cheeses, charred jalapenos, and a drizzle of lime crema to finish.

And try to work your plant-based pals into the equation. Consider a pizza with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, fresh sweet peppers, artichokes, and mushrooms for a summer garden pie that will impress both plant fans and the faithful meat lovers’ crowd.

It’s Easy Being Cheesy

Once you have a few fresh ideas for your grilled pies, consider some final tips to fire up the cheesy action. Pre-made or ready-to-use toppings are your friend here, since the pizza won’t be on the grill nearly as long as it would be in an oven. Small dice vegetables and thinly cut meats are the way to go because of their short cook time. Items like shredded zucchini, corn, halved cherry tomatoes, and chives will not only cook perfectly but fit well into your seasonal menus too.

And when it comes to cheese, mozzarella always works nicely, but consider branching out to other tasty varieties like Asiago, Manchego, aged cheddar, and gorgonzola, all of which can pack a complementary punch in helping to create a crunchy, grilled pie.

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