Grilled Greek Pizza

Grilled Greek Pizza from Our Best BitesI promise, I’m going to stop blogging about the food I ate in Hawaii…sometime…soon. But I’m not lying, you guys, some of the most delicious food I’ve eaten in my entire life was while we were on that trip. I think part of why that was kind of surprising to me was that most of this amazing food wasn’t on the west side of the island, which is where most of the tourists go–it was on the east side of the island, like in Hilo and in Pahoa, which is a tiny, sleepy, one-street town with a fabulous farmer’s market.

All food luck aside, I kind of tend to be really unlucky when I travel; in fact, my friend Jeni has gotten more than one middle of the night/obscenely early morning phone call when things have gone south. I’ve broken teeth more than once, I’ve had some seriously lost luggage, I found myself alone in a big, unfamiliar city when I was 8 months pregnant, I’ve had a kid in the PICU. So when we were in Hawaii and we saw this coming, heading straight for us…tropical storm flossieI just kind of laughed. And freaked out a tiny bit, because I’m Kate and that’s what I do. But it was just my luck.

The storm didn’t end up being too bad; we lost power for a few hours and I took that as a sign to take a nap. By the time we got power back and the storm had passed, we were stir-crazy and hungry and we headed over to Hilo to explore and see if anything was open for dinner. Which was how we stumbled into Cafe Pesto.

Turns out we weren’t the only ones who had that idea–it kind of felt like the movie theater on Christmas night when you’ve spent the day being lazy and gluttonous and then in a desperate attempt to not cause serious physical harm to the other members of your family on the day you’re supposed to be celebrating peace and love and the birth of baby Jesus, you go to a movie. Everyone was festive and happy to be out of harm’s way and out of their pajamas.

My husband ordered a pizza with Kalua pork and fresh pineapple that was to die for, but I think I liked mine even more–it was a Greek pizza. And I think about it all the time. It was maybe the best pizza I’d ever eaten, but that could have been the preceding hours worth of Golden Oreos talking.

When I got home, I decided I needed to replicate it. I definitely wanted to cook it on the grill to get that thin, crispy, smokey, fire-oven flavor. It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about grilled pizza, so if you need a refresher course, head over this way and check out how to do it. You need it.

First, you’re going to want to make some olive pesto. It might sound icky. It might sound weird. Eating it straight up might not be your alley, but on this pizza, it’s kind of amazing. Even my friend, a hater of olives, could not deny the deliciousness here. But if you trulytrulytruly hate olives (we’re talking like hate…like how I hate it when people spell “c” words with a “k”), just go with the regular pesto.


Place 1/2 cup of olives and 1/2 cup of pesto in a blender.

greek olive pesto

Pulse until the olives are very finely minced but are not totally smooth. Set aside.

To make the pizza, you’re going to need pizza dough, pizza sauce, pesto (either make your own or use the stuff in a jar or from the deli department), Kalamata olives, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, red onion, and fresh spinach.

greek pizza ingredients

Divide the pizza dough recipe into fourths and roll out each circle so it’s about 1/4″ thick. Prepare the grill according to the grilled pizza directions.

When the grill is hot, lightly brush the top of each circle with extra-virgin olive oil (I actually used garlic olive oil and it made things even better).

grilled pizza dough

Place the oiled side of the dough down on the grill and grill according to the grilled pizza directions. After you flip the dough, spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, then a layer of the olive pesto. Top with peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, and feta cheese. When the pizza is cooked through and the cheese is melted, remove from the grill (you can probably grill 2 pieces of dough at the same time with an average-sized grill). Repeat, if desired, with the remaining dough.

After you pull the pizzas off the grill, top with a handful or two of fresh baby spinach. Serve immediately. This will make 4 smallish pizzas–like 4 large personal-size pizzas, or you could split each pizza between 2 people and serve 8.

Grilled Greek Pizza from Our Best Bites



  1. Ha! I’m glad Flossie didn’t ruin your whole trip! I live on Kauai and we got the tail end of it– it made it crazy humid, way worse than normal. We felt like we were swimming through life for a day. And I love grilled pizza!

  2. Oh, and if you ever come back to Hawaii… check out Tidepools Restaurant at the Hyatt in Poipu. It will cost you $50/person minimum, but it is worth every single penny that you have to fork over. It is the best restaurant I have ever eaten at in my whole (25 years of) life. Seared ahi with forbidden rice? Volcano spiced opah with edamame, bacon, fresh corn, and some amazingly tasty tomato vinaigrette over yukon potatoes? Chocolate molten cake with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry coulis? All while you watch the fish swim in the tidepools surrounding the restaurant and gaze at the sun setting over the ocean. My husband and I go once a year. It is the best day of the year. Better than Christmas, and I am even a darn good cook.

  3. @Elizabeth – Tidepools is awesome! We love going there too!

    Kate – this looks super awesome, not a huge olive guy, but I’m going to have to give this a shot…looks so good and fresh!

  4. This sounds fantastic! I’ll be adding sliced tomatoes and maybe some chicken to the toppings……hubby ALWAYS needs meat on his pizza! lol We had our first grilled pizza at my son’s house this spring… was awesome! I can’t wait to make this!

  5. We love Cafe Pesto! It’s one of our go-to spots when visiting the big island. Thanks for sharing this recipe – I’d love to try and duplicate any of their recipes.

  6. You should leave the olives out if you hate them as much as I hate the use of shortened words in place of their complete and proper counterparts. Like the automated email I get at work that says “We are more than half way thru the billing cycle…” What?! This isn’t McDonalds! I think the person that set that up could have taken the extra two seconds to type the “o,g, and h” for an email that will be sent to over 200 employees on a weekly basis! Sorry…venting. BTW, never been to Hawaii, but grilled pizza rocks my socks!

  7. Pesto’s is my FAVE!!!! I should have told you to get the Blue Caesar Salad to share before your pizzas, and then the Coconut Tart for dessert. They’re both just lovely! Their pizza’s are always being replicated at my home:)

  8. This pizza looks awesome, can’t wait to try it. I love Hawaii, we try to find local places to eat wherever we travel and on our way back from the volcano we stopped at a little craft/farmers market and had a great lunch thanks to a vendors recommendation.

  9. Iam loving the pesto idea on a pizza with the colorful peppers. I bet this so yummy, can’t wait to try it. Your vacation luck made me laugh b/c my good friend has bad weather vacation luck. It’s laughable how’s my times hurricanes, snow storms and floods follow her on vacation. Glad yours wasn’t ruined.

  10. My husband and I grew up, married, and started our family in Hawaii (BYUH faculty brats). Tied for “the weather” the thing we miss most about Hawaii is THE FOOD! So many cultures together there and the food is the best of the best. A great cook book filled with local favorites is “Sam Choy’s Polynesian Kitchen” written by the famous chef (who is from Laie). I got a copy not too long ago from Amazon. Onolicious!

  11. We grill pizza all the time at our house, but we usually use our pizza stone. I might have to be brave enough to give it a try this way. Your directions seem too easy not to try it!

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