Break through backyard barbeque boundaries with this Grilled Mexican Pizza with Salsa Verde and Chorizo. Oozing Oaxaca cheese, queso fresco, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, and leafy cilantro bring even more flavor to the party. After trying this you'll see why the grill is a pizza's best friend.
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Why Grill Pizza?
More like, why not grill pizza? First, the grill creates the fiery conditions pizza needs to blister and bubble to perfection. Plus, it keeps your kitchen cooler in the summer. Pizza needs scorching heat so why heat up the house if you have a rig outside that will do the job even better.
The grill gives pizza a rich, smoky flavor your conventional oven is incapable of. That being said, if the weather turns nasty or it's just too dang cold out to grill, the oven will work just fine.
Place a ceramic pizza stone directly on the grill to harness all that crazy heat. It ensures even cooking and nothing gets lost between the grates. Whether you have charcoal or gas, fire it up for something other than burgers and dogs. Your guests will go wild.
Steps to Make this Pizza
Have you ever tried stretching pizza dough just to have it incessantly snap back, then get so frustrated your fingers start making holes, then you reach the tipping point where you just want to hurl it against the wall like a high-and-tight fastball? Yep, I've been there, too. I found store-bought dough to be more uncooperative than a petulant child. It was edible but uneven, burned on one side, doughy on the other. Far from blog-worthy!
I found homemade white wine pizza dough to be the perfect canvas to showcase endless pizza possibilities. It has amazing texture, is a breeze to work with, and doesn't require hours of rising time. It triples in size after just 45 minutes. Definitely my go-to dough.
TIPS for Pizza Assembly
Now that you have fresh, pillowy dough, get your grill or oven and pizza stone screaming hot while topping the pie. If the grill has a temperature gauge, keep it around 525-550°F. If your cooking indoors, set your oven to 500°F.
Next, liberally coat your pizza peel with cornmeal before shaping the dough. I found flattening it out and holding on to the edges to let the weight of the dough itself do the stretching work best.
I showed considerable restraint here when it came to the toppings. Too much sauce makes the dough heavy and soggy. Plus, a weighed-down, over-topped pizza won't want to slide off the peel onto the stone. Less is more when it comes to building the ultimate pie.
Salsa verde is the base sauce and sets the tone for this Mexican-inspired pizza. Buy your favorite brand, make your favorite recipe, or check out our Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde for inspiration.
Tomatillos are the foundation of salsa verde. If you're not familiar with them, even though they look like little green tomatoes, they’re most closely related to gooseberries, another fruit that's covered in papery husks. Tomatillos are distant cousins to tomatoes, contrary to popular belief. They have a unique, citrusy, tart and tangy flavor that's best when unripe.
What is Oaxaca Cheese?
The 'mozzarella of Mexico', which is similar to unaged Monterey Jack. Oaxaca is named after the southern Mexican state where it was first made. It's a white, semi-hard cheese with a mozzarella-like, string cheese texture that looks like a nautical knot.
It grates easily and has a mild, nutty flavor that balances the kick of the salsa verde and chorizo. Queso fresco is also mild, semi-soft and crumbly like feta cheese, and pairs well with the oaxaca.
To bring your grilled mexican pizza to the finish line, scatter chorizo, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and oil-glossed sun-dried tomatoes over the cheese for tasty flare. Love that pop of color!
Amazing how the grill turns an unassuming disk of dough with a handful of toppings into something that becomes a surefire feeding frenzy. Finish with a good sprinkle of green onion slices, fresh cilantro and queso fresco. Slice, and watch your gang go nuts. Enjoy!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Grilled Mexican Pizza with Salsa Verde and Chorizo
PIZZA DOUGH (3-4 pizzas)
- ¼ cup dry white wine , room temperature
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 ½ ounces fresh yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour , divided
TOPPINGS (per pizza)
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- ¼ salsa verde , store bought or homemade*
- 1 cup Oaxaca cheese , shredded or Monterey Jack
- queso fresco , crumbled
- 1 link Chorizo sausage , diced, about 3 ounces
- ½ cup assorted cherry tomatoes , halved
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil , sliced
- green onions , thinly sliced
- fresh cilantro , chopped
*ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE
- 1 pound tomatillos , husked and rinsed (12-15)
- ½ Vidalia onion or Spanish onion
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
- 4-6 garlic cloves , unpeeled
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 lime , zest and juice
- ½ packed cup fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Place wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl; whisk until combined. Stir in honey, salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Mix in 1 cup of flour with a wooden spoon until it becomes a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of flour and stir for 2-3 minutes. Incorporate as much flour as you can with the wooden spoon.
- Bring dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface with the remaining ¼ cup flour. Knead around 3 minutes until dough is smooth and just slightly sticky.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl, using the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover bowl with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm part of the kitchen for 45 minutes. The dough should triple in size.
- For individual pizzas, cut the dough into 4 pieces and knead into rounds. Cut into 3 pieces for pizzas that will serve 2. Let rest 15 minutes. (Dough can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
- Preheat grill with pizza stone on grates over medium-high heat to around 550°F, or conventional oven to 500°F.
- Sprinkle pizza peel with 1-2 tablespoons of cornmeal. Stretch dough into desired shape and place on pizza peel.
- Spread salsa verde over dough. Top with oaxaca and queso fresco cheese. Sprinkle chorizo, cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes over cheese.
- Slide pizza off peel and onto preheated stone. Close the lid and grill 5-6 minutes (or bake in oven 7-8 minutes), until crust is golden on the edges and brown and crisp on the bottom.
- When done, use a large spatula to help transfer pizza back onto the peel. Top with additional crumbled queso fresco, green onion and cilantro, as desired. Cut into slices and serve.
*ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE
- Preheat oven to 375°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatillos, onion, peppers, and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Let vegetables cool enough to peel garlic and remove seeds and charred skin from the peppers.
- Transfer all vegetables to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth (be sure to leave space for steam to vent when blending hot ingredients).
- Next, blend in lime juice and zest, cilantro, and honey. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.) Makes about 2 ½ cups.
- Use as sauce on Mexican Pizza or serve with chips, over steak, chicken, pork, fish and seafood. It’s even great on omelets! Leftover sauce can be frozen up to 3 months.
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