It all began around the summer before seventh grade. My red-headed wonder of a son became infatuated with all things kitchen. His love of cooking actually started with a rescue mission. Yes, you read that correctly. He successfully nursed a tiny and very sick kitty back to health by making kitten milk replacer. The recipe was courtesy of a sweet, old-fashioned country veterinarian. In some quiet moment (most likely when he was getting up every two hours to feed that baby kitty, whom he named Miracle),  my sweet boy put together that food not only nourishes us but brings us closer together. He was hooked and ready to tackle all kinds of kitchen tasks.

Baking, Crock-Pots, and simple stovetop recipes were not of interest to our aspiring chef because, well, he was all things boy. Grilling was to become his forte. Man-cub meets fire. Cue Tim the Tool Man Taylor’s famous man growl!  

Of course, this momma is well versed in trips to the emergency room, so proper precautions and supervision were taken (I couldn’t resist) to prepare passing the torch to our growing boy. He perused cookbooks searching for just the right recipe. Along the way, he learned to grill chicken breast and steak. He learned how to use the grill to cook an entire chicken as well, but the recipe that earned his signature stamp of approval was grilled pizza. He is, after all, the son of a foodie!

Simple just wasn’t in his nature, but this recipe sure is. Over the years, our kids have each developed their own flair for the culinary arts, each specializing in their favorite. Thankfully, the love of grilled pizza (which we really enjoy while visiting out on the backyard deck) passed from oldest child to youngest. Little Chef helped me put together one just the other day.

The basics of grilled pizza are a crust, simple sauce, and toppings. You can go elaborate (think dough from scratch) or simple (store bought crust and toppings) or anywhere in between. The goal is to make something fun and to enjoy the outdoors as much as you can.

Backyard Grilled Pizza

Crust (homemade or store bought)

Olive oil


1/3 to 1/2 cup sauce (homemade or store bought, red sauce or Alfredo)

Your favorite pizza toppings (cheese, tomatoes, onions, pepperoni, herbs, mushrooms, spinach, chicken, hamburger,  peppers, etc.)

 Backyard Pizza 1

This just a small idea of the very basic ingredients needed for this pizza.


  1. Preheat your grill to 400° F.
  2. Gather all your supplies.

Backyard Pizza 2

Little Chef loves gardening. Here she is clipping basil and oregano from our backyard.

Backyard Pizza 3

Because of the novelty of grilled pizza, we prefer to use cheese slices rather than shredded cheese. Notice the joy of Little Chef as she has mastered the cheese slicer. It really is all about the little stuff sometimes!


3)  Lightly oil one side of your dough and sprinkle with cornmeal (which prevents crust from sticking and gives a nice texture to the pizza).

4) Grill oiled/cornmeal side of crust in open grill for a couple minutes (store bought) to four minutes for fresh dough.

5)  Ideally, flip right on the grill, add toppings, and close lid. Cook three to five minutes or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. When working with ten-year-old chefs, ideal is not always reality.

Backyard Pizza 4

Notice Little Chef’s assistant is faithfully guarding the deck lest anyone mess with her grill.

 Backyard Pizza 5

With a few more ingredients

Backyard Pizza 6

6)  Once done, small delay or not, enjoy your homemade (or almost homemade) creation!