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The Ultimate Summer Pizza

The Ultimate Summer Pizza

Outdoor Pizza Party series. Here are all the stories, including a test drive and several recipes.

I seldom order veggie pizzas. They’re frequently topped with raw, unseasoned mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, and onions, making them bland and ineffective against pepperoni. The Cheeseboard Collective, a quirky, iconic Berkeley restaurant that serves only one vegetarian pizza each day, is an exception. With unique seasonal veggie combinations like artichoke-ricotta-spinach or cabbage-walnut-blue cheese and a sourdough crust, I would gladly eat there every day. It inspired me to make a veggie-packed ‘za that shouts of summer and dining outdoors.

This perfect summer pizza boasts crispy crust, lots of tasty vegetables, melty cheese, and aromatic herbs and garlic. It’s vibrant and will make you forget all those disappointing vegetable pizzas. I’ll demonstrate how to cook it in a pizza oven, grill, or oven.

Herby Garlic Oil Is the Flavor Bomb Your Pizza Needs

Here, I used a garlicky, herby oil instead of tomato sauce like Cheeseboard’s vegetable pizzas. Omitting the tomato sauce lets the veggies shine, and the garlic oil adds just enough flavour to keep everything from becoming dull. Olive oil, minced garlic, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes (if you want spice) make a simple pesto-like sauce. Herby oil is spread on the dough, stirred with the veggies, and brushed on the pizza.

The Best Veggies for Pizza

I appreciate the summery mix of corn kernels, quick-cooking zucchini ribbons, slivered red onion, and luscious cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes give it a tomato sauce pie-like brightness. Before topping the pizza, season the vegetables with garlic oil. I start with mozzarella to help the veggies stick, then add vegetables and feta for salty, sour flavor.

Which Pizza Dough Grills Best?

Kitchn worked hard to create a pizza dough that’s easy to work with and grills well, and it’s worth preparing for this pizza no matter how you cook it. Call your local bakery or pizza place to get their dough, which is usually better than grocery store dough. For simpler shaping, let the dough warm up to room temperature before shaping.

This recipe creates two pizzas, but how many people it feeds depends on how much dough you use. Kitchn’s recipe generates 1 1/4 pounds of dough, which feeds six. Store-bought dough feeds four. Don’t worry about stretching the dough precisely round.

3 Ways to Cook Your Summer Pizza

  • In the pizza oven: Fastest! Assemble the pizza and bake at 800oF for 2–3 minutes until the bottom is scorched and the cheese has melted.
  • In the regular oven: Heat an upside-down baking sheet or pizza stone at 450oF. Put the pizzas on parchment paper and bake one at a time on a hot stone or baking pan.
  • On the grill: Grill one side of the dough rounds over high heat, then remove the crusts. Then transfer the pizzas back onto the griddle to crisp up the second side and melt the mozzarella.

Either way, brush the cooked pizzas with the remaining oil, sprinkle with torn basil leaves, slice, and serve.


  • 1/2 recipe Pizza Dough for Grilling (divided into 2 pieces for rising) or 1 to 1 1/4 pounds store-bought pizza dough
  • 8 ounces shredded low-moisture whole or skim-milk mozzarella cheese (2 cups).
  • 3 oz feta
  • fresh basil sprigs
  • Large garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus grill grates
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, split
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • red onion
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes (5–6 ounces)
  • 1 ear fresh corn (approximately 12 ounces) or 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 small yellow summer squash or zucchini (5–6 ounces)
  • Dusting flour, all-purpose


  1. Divide store-bought pizza dough in half. Before starting, let cold dough remain at room temperature for 2 hours. When stretched, dough is ready.
  2. Directly heat a 500oF outdoor grill. Prep toppings and garlic-herb oil.
  3. Grate 2 cups of mozzarella cheese using a box grater. Crumble 2/3 cup feta cheese.
  4. Reserve 8 fresh basil leaves for garnish. Chop extra basil leaves until you have 1 tablespoon. Chop 1 garlic clove. Stir in the garlic, olive oil, kosher salt, and red pepper flakes, if preferred.
  5. Put these in a medium bowl: Slice 1/2 cup of 1/4 medium red onion thinly. Half 1 cup grape tomatoes. Use 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels or 3/4 cup corn kernels from one ear. Shave 1 small summer squash lengthwise into broad ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
  6. Toss veggies with 1 tablespoon garlic oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  7. If necessary, clean the grill grates when ready. Stretch or shape each dough part into a rough 11–12-inch circle on a lightly floured board.
  8. Par-grill the crusts: Oil the grill grates with an olive oil-soaked paper towel. Cover one crust and grill until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Place grill mark-up on a baking sheet or cutting board. Second crust: par-grill.
  9. Brush 1 tablespoon of garlic oil on each crust, including the borders. Spread mozzarella. Spread the veggies evenly over the mozzarella, leaving any liquid in the bowl. Sprinkle feta.
  10. Slide one pizza onto the grill, cover, and heat until the cheese melts and the bottom is crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the second pizza. Brush with the remaining garlic oil and sprinkle the leftover basil leaves. Serve now.

Recipe notes

Pizza oven instructions: Brush each dough round with 1 tablespoon garlic oil and top with mozzarella, veggies, and feta. Bake in an 800oF pizza oven until the bottom is scorched and the cheese is melted, flipping a few times for uniform cooking, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Brush with garlic oil and sprinkle basil leaves.

Regular oven instructions: Heat the oven to 450oF with an upside-down baking sheet or pizza stone on the center rack. Stretch each dough circle on parchment paper. Top each dough round with mozzarella, veggies, and feta. One at a time, slide the parchment onto the heated baking sheet or stone. 10–12 minutes until the edges are browned and the cheese is melted. Brush with garlic oil and sprinkle basil leaves.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight jar for 4 days.

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