Keep the heat out of the kitchen and try grilling your next pizza! This Grilled Tomato, Basil, Pesto Pizza with Chicken Sausage, Mozzarella and Ricotta not only tastes amazing, but it’s easy to make! Perfect for dinner or an appetizer for your next party.
Thanks to Al Fresco All Natural for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.
How was your first weekend of summer? Ours was actually quite enjoyable after all the hot weather during the week. The temperatures were in the low 70’s which made it perfect weather to enjoy a meal out on our deck. Earlier last week, when it was 95 degrees and I had no intention of turning on the oven, I turned on the grill and made this Grilled Tomato Basil Pesto Pizza with Chicken Sausage, Mozzarella and Ricotta. Since my husband and I enjoyed it so much, I made it again last night.
Homemade pizza is no stranger in our home, however, preheating the oven to 450 degrees during summer is a no go, no matter how good a pizza sounds. We could always call for delivery, but those usually show up pooled in grease and limp. When the weather heats up instead of picking up the phone I go turn on my grill. I know a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of doing this, but I’m here to tell you how easy and how amazing a pizza hot off the grill tastes!
There are two important things to remember when grilling pizza.
First is to make sure your grill grates are clean and that you brush or spray them with oil before placing the dough on the grill. When you shape the dough to form the pizza don’t make it too big. I usually divide the dough into two smaller pizzas, it’s much easier to handle this way.
The second important thing to remember is to get all of your toppings prepped, organized and keep them simple. For this grilled pizza I used pesto instead of traditional red sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, fresh basil, dollops of ricotta cheese and for some protein Al Fresco Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage.
When it comes to sausage vs. pepperoni pizza I usually tend to choose sausage. I can’t say that either of them are the healthiest of toppings, but I like to tell myself that sausage is the better choice. Well now I really can say that because Al Fresco’s Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage has 70% less fat than traditional pork sausage, not to mention it works great on this grilled pizza because it’s already fully seasoned and cooked.
I threw the chicken sausage on the grill while the crusts cooked and by the time they were finished the sausage was warmer through and the casings were nice and crisp. Once the dough is cooked, which only takes a few minutes, remove them from the grill, spread on the pesto and top them with mozzarella, ricotta, tomatoes and slices of sausage. Put the pizza back on the grill for another minute to let the mozzarella melt then top them with fresh chopped basil. It’s as easy as that, plus no pools of grease or soggy pizza crust!
Grilled Tomato, Basil, Pesto Pizza with Chicken Sausage, Mozzarella and Ricotta
- 1 ball of pizza dough (approximately 1 pound), divided into 2
- 2 tablespoons of pesto
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- 2 heirloom or tomatoes of choice, sliced thin and patted dry with paper towels
- 2 links Al Fresco Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage
- 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 4-5 basil leaves, torn or chopped
- Heat the grill to around 500-550 degrees.
- When the grill is hot put the 2 links of chicken sausage on and let them heat up for approximately 5-7 minutes, turn them once.
- While the sausage grills, slice the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and put them on a plate along with the chopped basil.
- Remove the sausage from the grill and slice it into desired thickness. Add it onto the plate with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
- Stretch or roll the 2 balls of pizza dough into thin rounds, they don't have to be perfect
- Brush one side of the dough with olive oil.
- Place the dough olive oil side down onto the hot grill.
- Brush the top of the dough with more olive oil.
- Grill the pizza dough with the lid closed for approximately 1-2 minutes then flip it over to the other side and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove them from the grill and spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on top of each one.
- Top with slices of mozzarella, tomatoes, sausage, and dollop with ricotta.
- Put the prepared pizza back on the grill and grill with the lid closed until the mozzarella melts, approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Finish the pizza with the fresh chopped basil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.
- Grilling times may vary depending on your particular grill. Use your nose and check to make sure the dough isn't scorching. If it is getting to hot move it to a cooler part of the grill.
- Don't roll/stretch your dough out too thin. It's easier to handle if it's a little thicker.