Grilled Pizzas with Caramelized Onions, Sausage, and Manchego Cheese


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound chicken or turkey Italian sausage (about 4 links), casing removed
  • 1 recipe Pizza Dough (recipe here), or 1 pound fresh store-bought pizza dough
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup caramelized onions (see below)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves


  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown for 6 to 7 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula as it cooks. Once cooked through and broken up into crumbles, remove from the heat and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Lightly flour two rimless baking sheets. (If using purchased pizza dough, divide it into two balls.) Roll out a dough ball on a lightly floured surface to a thin 12-inch round for pizza. Coat both sides of the dough with olive oil cooking spray. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Arrange all the topping ingredients next to the grill.
  4. Transfer the dough to the grill and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the dough begins to puff and light grills marks appear on the bottom. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
  5. Using a large spatula, flip over the pizza rounds and move them to the coolest part of the grill. Spread each one evenly with a quarter of the cheeses, and half the sausage, onions and basil. Top with the remaining cheese. Move pizzas back to the center of the grill and cover for 3 minutes. Check and rotate them. Cover the grill and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn on the bottom. (You can use a pot cover if your barbecue doesn’t have a cover.) The cheese should be completely melted and the crust should be crisp and lightly charred. Remove from the grill and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting with a pizza wheel. Serve immediately.
  6. Alternatively, bake the pizzas in the oven: Preheat the oven to 475°F. Place the crusts on perforated pizza pans. Poke the crust gently and evenly with a fork. Cook in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and spread evenly with the topping. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Serves 8


Caramelized Onions


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large yellow, red or Maui onions, or a combination, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in large nonreactive saute pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring frequently, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until well softened.
  2. Add the wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar; reduce the heat to low; and simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are very tender and caramelized, about another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool the onions and serve at room temperature.

Advance Prep

The onions may be prepared up to 1 month ahead, covered in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s