Breads and Pizza

Squash and Black Bean Pizza with Queso Fresco

Squash and Black Bean Pizza with Queso Fresco

More Recipes from Episode 204: Green Meets Grill


Squash and Black Bean Pizza with Queso Fresco

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: 2 pizzas
  • Method: Direct and indirect grilling
  • Equipment: Rimless sheet pan or pizza peel; a wide-bladed spatula


For the Toppings

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
  • 12 ounces queso fresco, crumbled, or vegan cheese, such as Chao
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Recipe Steps

1: Make the Honey Beer Pizza Dough.

2: If using a charcoal grill, set it up for caveman grilling.   If using a gas grill, preheat to high.

3: Grill the squash in its skin until the outside is charred black and the inside is tender (test it with a slender skewer), 30 to 40 minutes.   Transfer the squash to sheet pan to cool, then scrape off the burnt skin.   Cut the squash crosswise into 1/4 inch slices, discarding the seeds.

4: Grill the pizza: Set up your grill for 2-zone direct grilling. One side or burner should be medium-high, the other low. (It doesn’t hurt to have a fire-free safety zone in case the pizza starts to burn.)

Generously oil a rimless sheet pan and place one of the dough balls in the center. Pat the dough flat, then stretch it out into a rectangle about 9 by 12 inches and 1/4-inch thick.  Generously oil the top of the crust.

5: Carry the sheet pan with the crust to the edge of the grill. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well. Gently and carefully lift the dough by one end and drape it flat on the grate over the hot section of the grill. Grill until the top bubbles and blisters and the bottom browns, 3 to 5 minutes.

6: Slide a wide-bladed spatula under the crust, and with the aid of tongs, move it to the cooler section of the grill. Brush it with olive oil and turn it over.

7: Arrange half the squash on top of the crust (on the grilled part).   Arrange half the black beans on top, then sprinkle with half the cheese, salt, pepper, and half the hot red pepper flakes.  Drizzle with more olive oil.

8: Slide the pizza back over the hot section of the grill. Close the grill lid to concentrate the heat.  Continue grilling until the crust is browned on the bottom and the cheese and toppings are sizzling, 3 to 4 minutes.  (Queso fresco has a tendency to hold its shape and won’t melt like, say, mozzarella.) Prepare the other pizza the same way.   Transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle with cilantro.   Cut into squares for serving.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.