Summer at Home: Family Pizza Night!

EntertainingFamily-FriendlyPizza

If you’re not already making pizza every week, what are you waiting for? This is a fantastic tradition to start for your family. And thanks to our method for pizza on the grill, it’s also a great way to enjoy pizza at home in your backyard this summer!

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Photography Credit: Claudia Cash

Like so many of you, my family has been hunkered down for the past several months due to Coronavirus. While so many things in our lives have been turned upside down and backwards through distance learning, sports and activities being cancelled, and just living in the world of COVID-19, one thing that has remained an absolute constant and the anchor for grounding us each week is our Family Pizza Night!

A Weekly Ritual: Family Pizza Night

We started the tradition of making pizza every week a few years ago right after my twins were born, and now it’s just part of our weekly routine. Like clockwork, I start my two batches of pizza dough every Friday at 3 pm, and have done it so many times, it has become a sort of meditation routine for me.

We recently started doing personal pizzas, and it was such a hit! I heard my girls say, “This is the best pizza ever!” and “It’s so much more fun to make your own pizza!” and “I want to make mine look like a Nintendo Switch!” As you can see, it has been thrilling for me to watch them create their own dinner and feel empowered to try new things.

Since this has brought so much joy to me, I thought I’d share a few tips that help our Family Pizza Night go smoothly and leave us all with full bellies and smiling faces.

A person holds a sliced pizza on a cutting board.

1. Setting Up Your Pizza Night

  • Portion your pizza dough into eight balls.
  • Put the toppings in the middle of the table so they’re easily accessible.
  • Place pieces of parchment paper at each chair with a ball of dough on top so everyone has their own work station, then let the kids shape the pizza however they want! My husband and I like a thinner crust while our kids like thicker crusts, so this do-it-your-own-way method makes everyone happy.

I like this setup, because then you’re all sitting down and talking while making the pizzas. The interaction is half the fun!

HOT TIP: Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. This way the dough flattens easily without making a giant mess on the table!

How to grill pizza. Hands flatten a pizza dough ball on a piece of parchment.

A rolling pin rolls out pizza between pieced of parchment paper.

2. PIZZA ON THE GRILL!

Grilling is by far the quickest and easiest way to cook individual pizzas.

While I help get everyone’s dough rolled out, my husband fires up the grill. I follow Simply Recipes’ How To Grill Pizza guide:

  1. Grill the dough briefly on one side first.
  2. Then flip it so the grilled side is on top, and add the toppings.
  3. Finish grilling.

A pizza is on the grill and loaded with toppings and tongs hold it. A rectangular piece of dough is on the other side of the grill to show how to make pizza on the grill.

3. THE PIZZA TOPPINGS

Pizza is a great way to clear out the fridge and to also get kids to try new pizza toppings. I like to set out all the toppings in little ramekins on a tray to keep them anchored to a certain spot on the table. This not only keeps the toppings separated, but it makes it easier for the kids to reach and pass around. I put the cheese and sauce in regular bowls since we tend to use more of those ingredients.

Here are some toppings we commonly use:

The more available toppings, the better! Let your kids mix and match, because you never know what they’ll end up trying and loving.

My 13-year-old daughter discovered she loves feta on pizza, and my seven-year-old decided to mix BBQ sauce with marinara. It seemed weird, but she was so proud and loved it.

Somehow, food just tastes a thousand percent better when on a pizza.

Overhead view of a wooden tray on a table with bowls of pizza toppings.

4. HAVE FUN!

This isn’t a competition of who has the prettiest pizza (although my 13-year-old would beg to differ). In the words of my husband, “It may not look the prettiest, but it sure is going to taste amazing.” So true!

We love our Family Pizza Nights and hope you will, too!

Check out my other fun Summer at Home idea: Throw a Backyard S’mores Party!

How to make pizza on the grill. Pizza sliced in rectangles and loaded with toppings.

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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4 Comments

No ImageSummer at Home: Family Pizza Night!

  1. Mary

    Friday is also our family pizza night. We have a pizza oven that uses the barbecue so it doesn’t heat up the house in the summertime. I’ve never grilled pizza before so I might have to give that a try!

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  2. Sara Bir

    Our friends, who have an ourdoor cob pizza oven, often hosted pizza parties with a setup like this. They were so fun, and I miss them, but love the idea of replicating the ritual at home with our regular oven. And what a riot to make a pizza that looks like a Nintendo Switch! Kids really do have some of the best ideas.

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A person holds a sliced pizza on a cutting board.Summer at Home: Family Pizza Night!