Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tennessee Volunteer Big Orange Mini Pizzas! A New Tailgate Classic!

Vegetarians always get left out of tailgating. This is not only beacause most tailgating fare is high in meat, but also because tailgating means a sporting event, and a sporting event means happiness, and Vegetarians are uncomfortable with  happiness. Well, my Vegetarian friends, this one is for you. If you get forced into tailgating, steal the show with this extremely fun and delicious idea: Make grilled mini pizzas, and then use toppings that represent your team's colors.

 It is pretty easy to find toppings that will work in almost any team's colors, as long as you get a little creative. Plus, these pizzas can be made from start to finish on location as long as you have a grill, and they make a perfect size for eating while standing up.

Grilling pizza in general is extremely easy, and it takes almost no time at all. I use a pre-made dough that comes from the frozen section at the grocery store. You simply let it get completely unfrozen in the refrigerator, and then start rolling it out when you're ready to use it. You can make your own dough, but this is a cheap, easy and good tasting result.

I used a dough knife to cut the dough into six pieces that, when stretched, made little pies about three inches across.

Brush them lightly on both sides with olive oil, and just drop them onto a raging hot grill. It won't take but about two minutes to cook on one side, so watch them carefully. At this point, REMOVE THE CRUSTS FROM THE GRILL WITHOUT COOKING THE OTHER SIDE!!!!!
The other side will cook once you have added your toppings. If you cook it now, it will burn later.

The fun part is adding toppings that match your team and the away team. Today, the University of Tennessee will be whipping the University of Cincinatti, so we needed orange and white fot UT and red and black for Cincinatti.

We found a perfect orange pepper and an orange tomato, and added alfredo sauce and cheddar cheese for the Tennessee pizza. For the Red and Black, we used a red pepper, red pizza sauce, pepperonis and black olives. Place the toppings on the side you already grilled, and place the mini pizzas, uncooked side down, onto a baking sheet or pizza pan back on the grill. Close the top so that the toppings can brown and the cheese can melt.

When they are almost done, slip them off the sheet pan and directly onto the grill just long enough to get grill lines. It should only take about 1 minute.

And there you have it! You have little pizzas that look just like your team's colors, and they happen to be phenomenally delicious. And for you Vegetarians, my Tennessee pizzas were totally meat free, so there. I threw you a bone........and that's just a figure of speech, no actual animal bones were thrown.

Go Vols!!!!


  1. And the Alfredo sauce! Man, I guess i didn't think this through. Sorry Vegans, this is difficult.