Party Planner: Pizza on the Patio

Dinner Parties, Entertain, Menu Ideas, On the Table

Party Planner: Pizza on the Patio

This weekend, turn your patio into a pizzeria by serving friends this menu of Italian-inspired eats al fresco. Kick off the meal with a classic cocktail, then please the crowd with a beautiful salad and a variety of delicious pizzas. 




Greet your guests with a Campari and soda, a popular Italian aperitif. The colorful drink has a complex taste reminiscent of bitter oranges — perfect for perking up your tastebuds. Snack on these rustic, super simple white bean and arugula crostini.


Pizzas are the perfect canvas for whatever seasonal ingredients you want to highlight. You can’t go wrong with the tried-and-true favorites: tomato-rich Margherita or a mild, wonderfully creamy white pizza. For something a little heartier, try this Italian sausage and fresh mozzarella pizza with a trio of bell peppers. Or, get creative and try your own combinations! On the side, serve an antipasto salad, filled with cured meats, cheese and arugula and featuring a bright peperoncini vinaigrette.


End the meal with a bite of refreshing, peak-season fruits. We love these wine-spiked berries spooned over ricotta cheese.


Party Planner: Pizza on the Patio


Party Planner


  • 1 day ahead: Make the pizza dough and refrigerate overnight to let rise (bring to room temperature before stretching and baking). Cook the syrup for the dessert.
  • Day of: Bake the crostini and cook the beans for the appetizer.
  • Just before serving: Assemble the crostini and make the salad. Finish and cook the pizzas. Mix the cocktails and serve. Finish the dessert.


Party Planner: Pizza on the PatioYes, you can bake the pizzas indoors, but there are also plenty of ways to cook pizzas outside — and it definitely makes the patio party run more smoothly. An outdoor grill gives pizza an entirely new, smoky character. Here are some different methods.


Serve pizzas directly off the pizza peels or on wooden boards for a relaxed feel. Instead of a set table, stand flatware in tumblers on the kitchen island and serve wine in stemless glasses. Pile extra vegetables in a bowl or place herb bunches in jars or glasses to create an easy, informal centerpiece.


Work ahead! Mix the dough and prep toppings a day before the party so you’re ready to go when guests arrive. It’s simple to make dough yourself, but high-quality prepared doughs work just as well. Chop vegetables and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.


Find more tips here!

2 comments about “Party Planner: Pizza on the Patio

  1. Susan Sallada

    In reading the comments on the food processor pizza dough recipe, the question was raised as to whether the steel blade in the food processor or the plastic blade in the food processor should be used. I did not see a response.

  2. Elizabeth

    My food processor comes with instructions about making pizza dough. It is usually about the amount of flour. I use the plastic blade for less than 3 cups and the metal blade for 3 cups and more.


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