It may be controversial, but this Grilled Hawaiian Pizza is delicious no matter how you slice it! Topped with sweet pineapple and onions, salty ham, and spicy jalapeños, this cheesy pizza is ready in about 30 minutes and hides a secret ingredient that really takes it over the edge!
Hawaiian pizza: either you love it or you hate it.
If you’re reading this, you must love it! Or you’re just interested in learning how to grill pizza in general. Either way, you’re ’bout to learn to love both!
The debate of this umami-loaded pizza type has our nation divided…at least, it appears that way on social media.
Personally, I’ve never understood the hatred towards it.
If you can knowingly put tiny fish on a perfectly good pizza, why not pineapple?
When it comes to pizza, I’m an equal opportunity eater.
My all-time favorite pie is actually called “The Garbage Can” and is found at Pizzalley’s Chianti Room (me and Abe’s fave St. Augustine pizzeria). It’s basically a supreme pizza (I’ve learned to just pick off the olives), but it’s got such amazing flavor that we’ve never tried anything else on their menu.
When we order locally, however, we kind of just order based on mood and/or habit.
Judge me if you want to, but Domino’s Hawaiian pizza is one of our go-to’s.
What Is On A Hawaiian Pizza?
The ingredients that make up a Hawaiian pizza are
- Tomato sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pineapple chunks
- Ham or bacon
In the interest of being a little different, I added sliced jalapeños, freshly grated Parmesan, and a secret ingredient – bacon grease on the crust! I always seem to have an abundance of it in the fridge, and it’s great to use in place of butter or oil for things like fried potatoes, fried eggs…really anything fried.
Who Invented Hawaiian Pizza?
The man who invented this controversial pizza wasn’t even from it’s namesake state!
Sam Panopoulos, a Canadian man originally from Greece, use the pineapple pizza to attract customers to one of his Ontario-based restaurants in 1962.
The contrast between the sweetness of the canned pineapple (the inspiration for the name) and the salty ham captured the audience they were looking for. And the rest is history!
Despite the US debate, Hawaiian pizza is actually THE most popular pizza flavor in Australia.
Do You Need A Pizza Stone To Grill Pizza?
No worries about buying any special pizza stones for this recipe – you do not need one to grill pizza!
The dough won’t fall right through the grill grate. As long as your grill is super hot, that won’t be an issue. It will puff and stiffen and bake quicker than a frozen pizza in the oven!
If you’ve never grilled pizza before, you’ll find out everything you need to know in this post.
How To Grill Pizza
If you’ve ever had stone-fired pizza before, you know how absolutely delicious it is. A bit on the smokey side, with a nice crispy outside/soft inside crust.
You don’t need a fancy pizza oven to get that same flavor at home!
One of the best things about grilled pizza is just how fast it goes from raw dough to devourable. What other pizza can you make that’s ready in 10 minutes??
First things first, get your pizza dough going. Make a pound of your own (this recipe is a personal fave) or buy some from the grocery store, then divide it into two equal 8-ounce portions.
Flatten them into oblong shapes, place them on squares of lightly-floured foil, and allow them to rest while you prep your toppings.
Now you have a choice with your toppings, here. You can pre-sauté the pineapple, onion, and ham for more concentrated flavors and less moisture, or you can place them fresh on the dough as it cooks. There really are no wrong options.
Mis en place your toppings – place the pineapple, sweet onion, diced ham, cheeses, sauce, garlic, and melted bacon grease in separate bowls and set them close to the grill. You’ll have to work quickly building the pizza after the dough begins to cook.
Next, fire up that grill! You want a medium-high flame for that initial blast of heat on the dough, so aim for 400-450 degrees F. Brush the grate with some of that bacon grease (or oil) for extra flavor and to prevent sticking.
When the flames are hot, carefully flip one of the doughs onto the grill. You can technically grill both at the same time, but if it’s your first grilled pizza rodeo, I recommend doing one at a time until you get the timing down.
Close the lid and allow the dough to cook for 2-3 minutes (depending on how dark you want your grill marks). Use a pair of tongs to flip the dough in the same spot, then quickly brush some melted bacon grease on the grilled side.
CHEF’S NOTE: Seriously, if you love bacon, don’t skip this step. It adds a crazy amount of flavor and is such a simple hack (as well as a good way to use up all that grease).
Topping Your Grilled Pizza
After about 45 seconds, remove the dough to a baking sheet and start topping it!
At this point, you CAN leave the pizza on the flames while you pile on the toppings, but you run the risk of burning the bottom crust unless you reduce the heat to low. Take it from someone who tried it and had that exact thing happen.
After the grease, spread on some minced garlic and pizza sauce. Follow that with some of the pineapple, sweet onion, and ham. Don’t go too heavy on any of the toppings, or you may end up with soggy pizza!
(Though, if you pre-sautéed your pineapple, there will be considerably less sogginess!)
Top it off with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle on a bit more pineapple, onion, ham, and the jalapeños. Add another light sprinkle of cheese, and then return it to the heat for another 2-4 minutes.
You’ll know it’s ready when the cheese on top is melty and the bottom is a deep golden brown. It may have a few charred spots on it where the flames licked it, but that adds to the flavor, in my opinion!
Repeat all those steps with the second pizza crust, and you’ll have enough to feed 3-4 hungry people.
If you’re anything like me and you like a little crusty cheese, feel free to throw the pizza under a high oven broiler for a couple of minutes.
I also just adore the freshness of the pineapple, so I like to add a few more uncooked bits just before we eat. It’s so juicy, and the sweetness really does add something special to an otherwise savory meal.
Top everything off with a healthy sprinkle of Parm and some red pepper flakes, and your dinner will rival the best pizzeria you know!
Even more pizza recipes to love!
LOOKING FOR MORE RECIPES USING PINEAPPLE?
- Fresh Pineapple Coleslaw
- Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice
- Spicy Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas
- Crockpot Hawaiian Meatballs
- Sriracha Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Salsa
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING GRILLED HAWAIIAN PIZZA:
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Grilled Hawaiian Pizza
- 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple cut into small chunks
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch red pepper flakes plus more for topping
- ¾ cup ham diced
- 1 pound fresh pizza dough
- ¼ cup bacon grease or olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 2 small jalapenos thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Melt oil or bacon grease in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add pineapple and onion to the skillet; season with red pepper flakes and salt, to taste. Saute 4-5 minutes, or untill lightly browned; remove to a plate. Set all toppings (including garlic, sauce, jalapeno, and cheeseaside in separate bowls.
- Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grate with bacon grease or oil.
- Punch down pizza dough to deflate, and divide in equal halves. Using your hands or a rolling pin, shape each half into an oblong pizza, about ½-inch thick.
- Lightly flour two pieces of aluminum foil or parchment paper, and transfer dough to them.
- Carefully but quickly flip one piece of dough onto hot grill and close the lid. Grill for 2-3 minutes, then use tongs to flip. Grill that side for about 45 seconds before transferring it back to the foil square.
- Working quickly, with grilled side up, brush bacon grease (or oiover entire crust and sprinkle with garlic. Spoon ¼ cup pizza sauce over crust, leaving ½-inch edge empty. Arrange half the pineapple, onion, ham, and jalapenos over crust. Sprinkle with ¾ cup mozzarella.
- Return pizza to hot grates, close lid, and grill 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from grill and set aside to cool; repeat with second crust.
- Serve sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes.