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Kids in the Kitchen: Grilling Pizzas

This delicious Cuisine has been made possible by Compass & Lehman’s together!

By: Melissa Smail

Who doesn’t love pizza? One of the first things my husband, Brandon, and I bonded over in the early stages of dating was pizza. In fact, that is what we munched on during our first date!

When you think of summer, I bet grilling and bonfires come to mind. Once the sunshine hits, my father-in-law is always looking for something yummy to grill up or cook over the fire for the family. Of course, hotdogs, hamburgers and chicken and potatoes are staples, but have you ever tried grilling pizza?

Homemade pizza is a household favorite for my husband and me, and now that our daughter is getting more involved in the kitchen, this is a perfect recipe to help her create her own meal and give her that sense of satisfaction as she takes pride in enjoying the meal she made herself!

So, we kicked off the warm weather by combining the love of sunshine, grilling and of course…pizza!

The dough recipe included below is super simple and you can make it ahead of time so when you’re ready to make your pizza the dough has already risen.

Once you’ve made your dough, the creative pizza making can commence. Our daughter loved watching us all stretch and roll out their dough, so she could figure out how to do it too (with a little help from Gammy). Skills like using a rolling pin, kneading the dough and creating a circle make this a fun activity and also an educational one.

Let me preface the sauce portion of this activity by saying if you want to give your kiddos full creative power, consider dressing them in some clothing you don’t mind getting a sweet imprint of pizza sauce on. They’ll love the joy of spreading the sauce, but you won’t love the sauce spreading to their Sunday best.

We used a recipe out of the Lehman’s Sapphire Cookbook for pizza sauce. Check it out below!

A great Gammy tip for spreading the sauce is to give the kiddos a “Paint brush” by that we mean a basting brush.

Next up is the toppings. I think Lottie ate an entire pizza before even baking anything, but you know what?  She was just following the “one for the pizza, two for me” rule, and I guess that’s teaching sharing.

The best part of homemade personal pizzas is that everyone can create the pizza they like. It’s also great when you have a variety of eating restrictions. Vegans can do no meat and non-dairy cheese while meat lovers can load it up with bacon, pepperoni and sausage. Gluten free? Easily substitute with a cauliflower crust. And you can get creative!

Brandon is a fan of pineapple on their pizza while me…not so much.

I tried something different by making a Greek pizza with red onions (super easy to make yourself if you can’t find them at your store – see recipe below!), kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil from my mother-in-law’s basil plants. Gammy and Papaw went with their favorite toppings one veggie, one meat, and Lottie had a classic pepperoni with some black olives and tomatoes.

Once the pizzas are topped, you can throw them on the grill… while Papaw and Daddy can while Mom, Gammy and Lottie enjoyed the beautiful sunshine.

We had planned to use the Petromax fire bowl from Lehman’s (which Brandon was excited to get as an early Father’s day gift), but the air was too dry and it was too windy to start a fire…so maybe next time we try this out!

Last step and Lottie’s personal favorite… eating your delicious creation!

Pizza Dough Recipe:

  • 3 cup Flour
  • 1 packet Fast Rise Yeast any yeast should work
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Warm Water

Pizza Dough Instructions:

Making the Dough:

  1. Put flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Add yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and water. Stir until combined.
  3. Lightly oil a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Lightly flour work surface.
  5. Turn out dough and knead for 10 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
  6. Place dough ball into prepared bowl.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap or clean cloth.
  8. Set in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in volume.
  9. Turn dough out on a floured surface and punch the dough to remove excess air, knead lightly.
  10. Divide dough into 2 (or four if making smaller sizes). Makes enough dough for 2 12″ thin pizzas. You can divide into more if doing small personal pizzas

Cooking Pizza:

  1. When ready to make pizza, stretch dough into desired size and thickness.
  2. Brush crust with a little olive oil.
  3. Cover with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings.
  4. Bake about 10 minutes, until crust is browned a cheese is melted and lightly browned. Be sure not to over cook try switching the pizzas on the grill so that the bottom on some don’t get burnt.

Pizza Sauce Recipe:


  • 1–15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1–6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix all ingredients together. It’s even better if you have made your own tomato products from fresh tomatoes. In the absence of Italian seasoning, mix together dried oregano, parsley and basil.

Pickled Red Onions Recipe:


  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced (use a mandoline slicer if you have one)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup hot water (not boiling)


  1. Slice the red onions as thin as you can. I use a mandoline but a sharp knife works well, too.
  2. Stuff all the red onions in the jar of your choice. A bowl works too but a jar is easier to store in the fridge.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and warm water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the pickling mixture over the sliced onions, making sure they are immersed in the liquid, and let them set for an hour.
  4. After an hour, cover and store in the fridge for up to three weeks.
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