How to Roast Sweet Bell Peppers (Recipe: Grilled Summer Vegetable Pizza)

I‘ll be completely honest and tell you that I don’t even bother with meat on my summer pizza. Forget the pepperoni, ham, and yes, even bacon, during June, July & August, pizza is ALL about the glorious vegetables.

And why would you want anything else? Silky, smokey grilled peppers and zucchini, firm young garlic, and sweet cherry tomatoes leave little to be desired for toppings. Winter pizza is another matter completely; for now, the vegetables deserve to shine.

Herbs also play a role in summer pizza toppings, as so Kalamata olives for some balance, and the whole pie is bound together by whatever cheese is hanging out in the crisper.

Two steps elevate a simple summer pizza from ho-hum to heavenly: the first is to grill the aforementioned sweet peppers before adding them to the pizza, and the second is to cook the crust directly on the grill.

In this post, we’ll look at how to do both.

How to Roast or Grill Sweet Bell Peppers

It’s not so much the roasting of the sweet bell peppers that is tricky, but peeling them can be tedious – unless you use a snappy little trick I learned in culinary school which I’ll share below. You can either grill your peppers, or roast them in the oven, both will cook the bell peppers nicely and bring out their sweetness.

  1. Β Wash peppers and cut in half from top to bottom. Use your hand or a small pairing knife to remove the seeds.
  2. Oil peppers lightly with olive oil and place, cut side down on a roasting pan or preheated gas grill.
  3. Β Roast or grill sweet peppers until the begin to char, about 15 minutes, depending on the grill. Grilled peppers should be flipped so the skin side can blacken, but roasted peppers will char on their own.
  4. Remove peppers from heat source and place in kitchen bowl. Cover top tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for 10-15 minutes. As the peppers cool and sweat, their skins will loosen.
  5. Using your hands, slip skins off of the peppers and discard. Rinse peppers quickly under cool running water to remove any clinging skin or seeds. Roasted peppers are now ready to be used.

Grilling Pizza

A wood-burning pizza oven is one of our long term goals for our little urban homestead, but until that happens, grilling pizza is about as close are we are going to get to the coveted smokey flavor and slightly charred bottom of a wood-fired pie.

Tossing a round of pizza dough on the grill isn’t complicated, but does require close attention for best results. I recommend you bring your iced tea along and camp out close to the barbecue for this one.

Both my Honey Pizza Dough or Whole Wheat Pizza Dough would work for grilling, with the whole wheat dough best suited for thin crust. Here are a few more tips:

  • Have all ingredients prepped ahead of time and standing by the grill on a tray or cookie sheet.
  • Grill some toppings ahead of time, such as zucchini, peppers and onions, to to add flavor and to also cut down on cooking time.
  • Don’t go too heavy on the toppings, or the crust will be cooked before the rest of the ingredients are warmed and the cheese melted.
  • High heat will produce lovely markings, but finish pizza on the top rack with the lid down to help the cheese melt.


Grilled Summer Vegetable Pizza
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Recipe type: Main
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6
Ingredients
  • 1/2 recipe Honey Pizza Dough
  • Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
  • Roasted sweet peppers (see post above), sliced
  • 2-3 young zucchini, sliced and grilled
  • 1/2 Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup fresh assorted herbs: basil, oregano, thyme
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Prepare dough and set to rise. Prep toppings and have them ready to go.
  2. Preheat grill to about 400, clean well with a brush, and oil lightly with a long handled brush.
  3. Divide pizza into 6 portions and roll then into rounds. Dust them well with flour, and layer them on a baking sheet.
  4. Place the a round of dough, floured side down, above the oiled grill and cook until the top of dough bubbles and bottom is grill-marked, about 1-2 minutes. With a long-handled spatula, flatten the bubbles. Brush the top with olive oil and flip the pizza crust over, then transfer it to the top rack on the grill.
  5. Quickly spread tomato sauce onto grilled dough, top with cheese, herbs, roasted bell peppers, and zucchini. Close lid and let dough brown and cheese melt until bubbling and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove pizza and repeat remaining rounds of dough. Serve at once.

Β 

What do you like to top your summer pizza with?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been AimΓ©e's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. That looks so good! Onions, sweet peppers, spinach and sauce.
    Steph’s last post: Will Our Kids Want to Come Home?

  2. Yum! I love roasted peppers but have never made my own! Will have to give it a try when we get some peppers in from the garden. My favorite pizza toppings are onions/spinach/greek olives…and don’t forget the red pepper flakes!
    Heather’s last post: i’m growing weeds for a living…

  3. I love carmelized onions, goat cheese, and a little fresh thyme. I’m also thinking this could be yummy with honeyed ricotta and some of the grilled fruit salad you posted about recently!

  4. Yes! I’m totally with you (well, obviously, since I don’t eat meat)… but I’m with you! Who needs meat when you can put all of this amazing seasonal produce on your pizza? And herbs! Oh gosh, I’m going to have to make pizza this week… I now have a serious craving for it.
    Brian @ A Thought For Food’s last post: Cherry Walnut Tartine

  5. Looks so good!!! I will be doing this for the 4th!

  6. Roasting peppers is something I learned this year. It’s easy and cheaper than buying them in the jar. I wonder….do you think they would freeze well? Then you could stock up when the peppers are sale and roast a bunch and freeze.
    Mel@TheDizzyMom’s last post: Soften Your Heart

    • They do freeze well! Better than fresh, blanched peppers, anyway. I suggest you pack them in a bit of olive oil before freezing, as this will help guard against freezer burn.

  7. I hope to tackle grilled pizza this summer. Yours looks great!
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel’s last post: Chocolate Chipper Cookies

    • You won’t regret it, Rachel! It’s a fun little party meal. I put out the toppings on the picnic table and let my friends build their own pizza.

  8. We love grilling pizzas here. A great way to keep the house cool and continue pizza night.
    Shaina’s last post: Red, White, and Blue Strawberry, Blueberry, and Lime Yogurt Pie

  9. This looks amazing! Some of my favourite foods all on pizza! mmm, I havent tried grilling pizza yet but I think I will have to give it a shot now this summer! thanks :)

  10. Are you guys suffering through the heat up there like we are? These are the weeks when “EVERYTHING grilled” becomes my mantra – pizza included!
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Homemade Sno Cone Syrups

  11. I love grilled pizza and that it only takes a few minutes to cook! Sometimes I throw my pizza stone on the grill to make it even easier. I made pizzas for 25 kids for my sons birthday party, grilled up the crust the day before and reheated with sauce and cheese just before serving, made it much easier and the kids all loved it.

  12. I do love home made pizzas. I have a pizza stone in my oven and love to place it directly on it instead of using a tray. We probably have fresh basil on EVERY pizza we make. Sometimes if I am in a rush I just use a Turkish pide or Lebanese flat bread rubbed with olive oil topped with vegies and cheese (and of course basil!). yum! :-)

  13. Great post, Aimee! We love grilling pizza, but typically just used roasted tomatoes out of the jar. I’ll definitely give method a try!
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction’s last post: Mint Chocolate No Bake Cheesecake

  14. Grilled pizza is the best!! We were just talking about how we need to make more than we do during the summer :D Love the tips!
    Tickled Red’s last post: Blueberry Lemonade Granita

  15. I can’t get enough of grilled pizza. Yours looks like summer perfection!
    Tracy’s last post: Maple Scones with Maple Glaze

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