This pizza with arugula pesto is basically summer on a perfectly grilled pizza. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, chewy, crunchy, subtly spicy (thanks, arugula!), and topped with creamy cheese. It’s everything you need in your life.

Overhead view of pizza topped with arugula, red onions, ham, and corn. One slice partially removed.
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I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys. Don’t let summer end without trying this one.

Grilled Pizzas

First, a story. Grilling pizza can be tough. You fire up the grill Then you take your carefully prepared pizza dough, stretch it into a perfectly-round circle (or something not even resembling a circle), and place it on a tray to bring outside.

Now all you have to do is transfer that sticky, stretchy, pizza dough onto the grill. I confess, this did not go well for me the first time. I ended up with a lump of tangled up dough not even resembling anything close to a pizza. It looked more like a funnel cake, if we’re being honest. I grilled it for a little longer just for fun and then pulled it off and snacked on it. Back to the drawing board.

I found that a pizza peel comes in super handy for this recipe. A baking sheet that doesn’t have a rim or a large cutting board are good substitutes for a pizza peel. A pizza stone works well, too. (Check out the video towards the end of this post to see one in use!).

Pizza on parchment with ricotta, red onion, arugula, and ham.

About this Pizza with Arugula Pesto

Let me tell you why I love this pizza so much. The arugula pesto gives it a major head-start into delicious town. It’s subtly spicy, bright from lemon, and packs a small punch of garlic. It’s a great flavor base for this summery pizza.

After the pesto, the crust is topped with dollops of creamy ricotta. The cheese adds saltiness and also makes this pizza filling and satisfying.

Beautiful fresh sweet corn, cut from the cob, gives this pizza a very summery feel, with beautiful sweetness and gentle crunch. Red onions add gorgeous color and their signature flavor. The final touch is salty ham, but prosciutto or crisp bacon or pancetta are fantastic, too.

A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan brings everything together.

Grilling the pizza is an advantage especially in the summer when you don’t care to heat up your kitchen with a hot oven. Enjoy the pizza with a cold drink, maybe a vodka lemonade or white wine spritzer!

Grilled pizza on a piece of parchment, topped with ricotta cheese, arugula, and more.

Make It A Party!

Love the idea of grilling pizza? Once you get the hang of it, throw a pizza grilling party! It’s a fun idea for people to get creative with their food and they bake super fast. You can even make smaller individual pizzas. Guests can stretch out their own dough, add their toppings, and all that’s left to do is grill it! Here are ideas for a toppings bar:

Sauce

Toppings (this list could go on forever!)

Cheese (there must be cheese!)

  • Ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Burrata
  • Brie
  • Fontina
  • The sky is the limit!
Piece of pizza being pulled away from a round grilled pizza.

PS: Extra arugula? Try a classic arugula salad.

Recipe

Grilled Pizza with Arugula Pesto, Corn, and Ham

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This pizza with arugula pesto is basically summer on a perfectly grilled pizza. It's sweet, salty, tangy, chewy, crunchy, subtly spicy (thanks, arugula!), and topped with creamy cheese. It's everything you need in your life.
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound pizza dough (at room temperature if using a refrigerated dough)
  • ½ cup arugula pesto
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup diced deli ham
  • ¾ cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 1 large cob)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat grill to medium heat (350°-400° F).
  • Flour pizza dough lightly and stretch or roll pizza to about ½ inch thickness (14 to 16 inch diameter). It doesn't have to be perfectly shaped.
  • Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on a large unrimmed baking sheet or pizza peel. Transfer the pizza dough to the baking sheet or peel.
  • Brush grill grate to clean it and oil it with an oil soaked paper towel and tongs (alternatively, you may use a pizza stone placed on top of the grill). Slide the dough off the baking sheet or peel onto the grill and cover and cook until it is bubbling on top and golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the dough over using the peel or tongs and baking sheet. If desired, pull it off the grill while you add toppings. Spread the pesto over the dough. Top with small dollops of ricotta, and the rest of the toppings.
  • Return the pizza to the grill if you took it off. Cover the grill and cook the pizza until the toppings are heated through and the bottom of the crust is crispy, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove from grill, slice and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Be sure to have all your toppings ready before you begin grilling.
  • Basil pesto can be substituted for arugula pesto, if you prefer.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 378kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.002g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 1070mg, Potassium: 148mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 565IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 142mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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10 Comments

  1. Rasbhari says:

    I bet this is absolutely fantastic! Cheers to grilling season!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      It really is! I hope you love it!

  2. Alyssa | EverydayMaven says:

    Grilling pizza can be so tricky – love how crispy you got the edges!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      It really can be! I had my struggles at first. :) Thanks!

  3. Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons says:

    Yum! I love all of these great toppings. I had corn on a pizza once in Turkey-it was FABULOUS!

  4. Hadia says:

    Beautiful pizza, and bursting with flavor!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thank you so much!

  5. Megan @ MegUnProcessed says:

    Love all those veggies! 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thank you!

  6. Liz says:

    Fresh corn is a must this time of year! LOVE this pizza!!