It’s been the Summer of Grilled Pizza here at the homestead. We’ve perfected the process, using Whole Foods wheat pizza dough and our pizza stone on the outdoor BBQ. John’s got the ideal thinness down, with a brush of olive oil on the crimped edges. The toppings have varied: fresh veggies, meats, fancy stuff like fig jam or straight up Margherita-style. The texture is perfect, with just the right amount of chewiness. And look at how beautiful they’ve been!
I spied a Southwestern twist on traditional pizza recently, using a black bean mixture as the sauce. Brilliant! I’ve got Italian AND Mexican blood. It got the wheels turning in my head and I decided to give a “south of the border” spin to our favorite grilled pizza. I started by marinating some chicken breasts in lime juice, a local Mexican-ish spice blend called Oomph (paprika, cumin, garlic salt, thyme, coriander ), some olive oil, and minced garlic and jalapeno. I let the bag sit in the fridge while I prepped the veggies.
I grilled two ears of corn to get a good char (but you could easily substitute frozen fire-roasted corn). I cut the kernels right off of the cob. I also chopped up some red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, poblano, and jalapeno. Veggie toppings are ready!
Since the indoor grill was hot, I grilled the chicken breasts. The package contained three, so I marinated and grilled them all. The pizzas only needed about one breast, so I’ll use the rest for salads this week. You could also substitute some herbed rotisserie chicken from the market, or leave it off completely. I chopped the chicken into bite-sized chunks and set it aside with the veggie toppings.
Time for the black bean sauce! I drained and rinsed a can of black beans and put them into a small food processor. I added a few chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (spicy!), lime juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I blended it all together and adjusted the texture by adding a little more olive oil. I wanted the sauce to be spreadable.
John uses a rolling pin to roll the pizza dough to our favorite thinness. He uses lots of flour on the counter so it doesn’t stick, and covers a sheet pan with flour and lots of cornmeal. The cornmeal is key: the little chunks help the dough slide easily off of the pan and onto the pizza stone. Before transferring the dough to the pan, he crimps the edge. Once the dough is onto the pan, I brush the crimped edges with olive oil. The edges get extra browned on the grill. Now I can add the toppings!
I started with a thin layer of the black bean sauce. Next, I sprinkled on a sparse layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Next came the zucchini, corn, onion, red pepper, poblano, and sliced jalapeños (spicier!). A sprinkling of traditional-pizza mozzarella cheese on top and we’re ready to grill. This pizza is loaded!
John likes the grill to be scorching, about 575 degrees. He gets it going a bit early so the pizza stone gets hot. With enough cornmeal and flour under it, the pizza slides right off of the pan and onto the stone. It bakes quickly– only 7 or 8 minutes and it’s done! YUM.
While the pizza cooked, I prepped a few fresh toppings: chopped tomato, cilantro, and avocado. I sprinkled the tomato and cilantro onto the hot pizza and served avocado wedges on the side. Simply gorgeous.
The moment of truth: with my first bite, I knew this was a winner. The chipotle black bean sauce gives a smoky heat and the lime provides a necessary acidity. The veggies on the pizza still had a bite to them, which added texture. The marinade on the chicken is subtle but delicious. The combination of toppings would be good in a quesadilla or on a tostada, but were divine on the perfectly crisp-chewy pizza crust.
Two small pieces of pizza each were plenty to fill our bellies- there’s a LOT on this pie! John may or may not have had a slice for a midnight snack. I may or may not have had a slice for breakfast. Muy bueno. Ole!
I wonder what our next crazy pizza will be?
Spicy Mexican Chicken Pizza
- A ball of pizza dough (we use Whole Foods wheat dough in the refrigerated section)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Flour and coarse grind cornmeal
- Pizza stone (with grill base if cooking on the BBQ)
Marinated Chicken (easier version: substitute chopped rotisserie chicken):
- 2-3 chicken breasts (there will be leftovers)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- Juice of one (juicy) lime
- 1 heaping tablespoon Mexican spice combination
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Black Bean Sauce
- One can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- Juice of one (juicy) lime
- 2-3 whole chipotle peppers in adobo (depending on your heat preference)
- Teaspoon of salt
- Tablespoon or more of olive oil (you want a spreadable consistency)
- 2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and charred (or at least one cup frozen fire-roasted corn, thawed)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/3 red onion, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ zucchini, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, sliced
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2/3 cup chopped cilantro
- Avocado slices for garnish
Place the pizza stone on the grill (follow manufacturer’s instructions; you might need a base for the pizza stone) and heat to 575 degrees. (You can also heat the pizza stone in the oven at 475 degrees.)
In a plastic freezer bag, combine marinade lime juice, Mexican spices, minced jalapeno and garlic, and olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and mush around until coated. Refrigerate until time to grill. In a small food processor, blend black beans, lime juice, chipotle peppers, salt, and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Grill chicken breasts until done. After they cool, chop and set aside.
Divide the pizza dough in half. Spread a generous amount of flour onto a countertop. Using a rolling pin, roll the pizza dough to your desired thickness. Crimp the edges to form a crust. Transfer dough from the counter to a metal sheet pan covered in more flour and cornmeal. Brush olive oil on the crust edges of the dough.
Using a spoon, spread a thin layer of the black bean sauce on the dough. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the sauce. Add the half of the corn, zucchini, onion, poblanos, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Add half of the chopped chicken. Add mozzarella cheese over the toppings. Transfer the pizza from the pan to the pizza stone on the grill (or oven) and cook for 7-9 minutes or until the crust is quite browned. Repeat with the second half of the pizza dough for two medium-sized pizzas (8 pieces each).
Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and cilantro over the pizza and serve with slices of avocado. Salud to the Summer of Pizza. Yum!
Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page!
Follow me on Pinterest to see my food inspiration!