The summer is all about the grill. It is one of the best ways to cook fast meals, adding a different level of flavor to the final dish. When we were presented with the opportunity to create a grilled pizza on behalf of Pillsbury, utilizing their pizza crust, it felt like a great time to show how two different summer favorites can come together on the grill. What happens when dinner time comes around and some folks want one thing, while another group wants an entirely two different meal? If you can combine the two, you’re the winner. In this case, cheeseburgers plus pizza easily mesh to create your own version of a grilled cheeseburger pizza. Here is how it all came together.
With several ingredients on hand, there was no much to grab in order to finish off this pizza. Of course, the dough was a necessary purchase. It proved to be difficult to find, but after three or four calls, there was a store that had the Classic and Thin Crust variety. It would have been nice to snag the artisan variety with whole grains, or even the gluten-free dough just to see how it tastes. Next time! This time, it would be all about the traditional pizza dough. There did not seem to be any tricks in terms of the specifics of the toppings, but grilling the dough just right would be the key. Having already done it before, it wouldn’t be difficult, but reviewing Pillsbury’s tips were helpful.
The dough itself is fairly easy to work with in terms of pliability and texture. Using it on a lightly dusted surface is still a good idea as it is a little sticky–just like most doughs. It is perforated in a couple of places, and it may tear a bit once unrolled. The dough easily patches together if you press the edges together with your fingers. Using a rolling pin is a great way to smooth out those patches as well. Just don’t roll the dough too thin, or will will cook too quickly, and even perhaps burn, on the grill. Other than that, the dough was very simple to work with and prepare for the grill.
Here are a few tips of our own to make sure you’re ready for the grill:
1. If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure it is pre-heated well before you are ready to slow the dough on the grates. A gas grill may not take as long to heat, but it is important that you’ve reached an internal temperature of at least 425 degrees inside. The hotter, the better, as the heat will drop once you open the lid.
2. Use non-stick cooking spray on the dough itself, or use one of those handy brushes to oil the grate with vegetable oil. This will keep the dough from sticking. Be sure to also clean the grill grates well before cooking anything. This will prevent too much sticking as well.
3. Once the dough is down, don’t mess with it too much. The best grill marks happen when food isn’t moved around too much. You may end up with a little wrinkled edge as you can see in one of the pictures below, but that’s no big deal.
4. Make sure all of your toppings are at room temperature. That will help them cook or melt faster, especially because once the dough is flipped, it will cook very quickly.
5. Make sure you have an extra large cutting board or sheet tray, grill utensils and towels or oven mitts close by. It’s always better to be safe than sorry if you need to grab a hot pizza off the grill.
Making hamburgers has always been a fun and easy way to whip up dinner for friends and family. All you need to do is make the meat taste great, and everyone can add their own fixins’ at the table. This pizza plays with that idea. You can flavor the beef as you like. This recipe includes a bit of relish to add something sweet without going overboard. The extras that make this really pop are the crunchy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and a little smoked paprika for extra boost. Other topping ideas include lettuce, if you’re into that, sautéed mushrooms, roasted peppers, avocados, jalapenos, pepperoncini or even a lightly fried egg. And imagine all of the different types of cheese! This is a great dinner to make for a party or family night. There’s something for everyone.
The final topper for this pizza was the “special sauce”. Most people know that McDonald’s pretty much mixes Thousand Island dressing with relish to create their Big Mac sauce. Well, the drizzle on this pizza is nothing genius, but it is a favorite. When you were a kid, did you ever mix the three main burger condiments–ketchup, mayo, mustard–together and spread them on the bun. It’s quite different from singularly squirting each one on the bread. When they are combined, it is an equal proportion of each condiment in each bite. It feels whole and complete. Even as a kid, I knew that. The trio works just as well on this pizza.
If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow us and look at the @PillsburyIdeas page for inspiration.
Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza – Serves 8 to 10 (Inspired by Pillsbury)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1/2″ thick
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons relish
1 pound ground beef
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 Pillsbury pizza crust
Flour, for dusting the board
Non-stick cooking spray
8 slices bacon, cooked and roughly crumbled
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
1. Drizzle a bit of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium high flame. Once hot, add the sliced onions and cook until softened and just starting to turn brown, approximately 10 minutes. Scrape the onions out of the pan, and set them aside to cool slightly.
2. Add the red onion and relish to the pan, reducing the heat to medium low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring as necessary to prevent sticking.
3. Raise the heat to medium high, and add the ground beef, salt and pepper to the pan. Brown the meat for about 5-7 minutes, or until it is mostly cooked through with a tiny bit of pink. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in the parsley. Allow the meat to cool.
4. Unroll the pizza crust onto a flour-dusted piece of wax paper. Press together any tears, then use a rolling pin to even out the dough. Lightly spray the top of the dough with cooking spray.
5. Pre-heat a gas grill to 425 degrees. Once hot, flip the dough onto the grill with the foil side up. Gently peel off the foil and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom half picks up dark grill marks and turns brown and crisp. Carefully flip over, and quickly top with the cooked meat, bacon, tomatoes, cheese and paprika. Cover and allow the cheese to melt and heat through. Remove from the grill.
6. As the pizza cools, whisk together the ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, and drizzle on top of the pizza. Slice and serve.
Pillsbury Brand Statement: With summer here, Pillsbury knows you and your family want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. So at your next BBQ, why not grill pizza for a family fun night.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by General Mills via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.