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Grilled Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizza

Oh my.

I tasted my first grilled pizza and I don’t think I’ll ever look back.

Nope, I am completely and totally a grilled pizza brat now—and for good reason! Think chewy, slightly charred crust topped with fresh summer flavors, just perfect for outdoor entertaining this season. 

I topped my grilled pizza with some quick homemade pesto because basil is everywhere right now and I wanted to put it to good use! You know what goes great with homemade pesto? Creamy goat cheese! Pretty much a match made in heaven, right there. Trust me, this will be a pizza you’ll be craving this summer and be making time and time again.

So, light up your grill, grab some dough and get started. You’ll probably want to make an extra batch of this pesto to serve up later in the week over gnocchi—my favorite! It also freezes well and tastes great six months later in the middle of a snowstorm when fresh basil and long, hot days are just distant memories.


Grilled Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizza

Yield: one 12” pizza


For Pesto:

  • 3 cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium/high until toasty)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For Pizza:

  • Pizza dough for one pizza (make your own or grab some prepared dough from your favorite pizza place!)
  • 5 oz fresh goat cheese
  • Toppings of choice: I used sliced tomato and sautéed cremini mushrooms


  1. First, make your pesto. Combine basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and two tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor and process until just slightly chunky. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil in a steady stream. Add lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper and continue processing until smooth.
  2. To prepare your pizza, heat up your grill (either gas or charcoal is fine) and spray the grates well with non-stick spray. Also, spray the BACK of a cookie sheet well with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface to roughly about 12” in diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Carefully transfer the pizza dough to the back of the greased cookie sheet and carry outside to the grill.
  4. Gently, lift the dough off the back of the cookie sheet and onto the grill. Close the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, checking occasionally. The dough should be starting to bubble up and if you check the bottom, it should be looking a little charred.
  5. Slide the dough off the grill and back onto the back of the cookie sheet. Flip pizza so the charred side is on top then spread pesto all over the top. Add toppings of your choice (I used sautéed mushrooms and thin tomato slices and it was great) followed by soft mounds of goat cheese.
  6. Carefully slide dough back onto the grill, close top and cook for another 5-6 minutes, checking often. When done, the crust should be puffy, the bottom slightly charred and the cheese melted.
  7. Slide your finished pizza back onto your cookie sheet, let cool and slice up! 

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