Grilled Flatbreads

Finished Tarte Flambe dish.

David WilhelmRecipes

You’re probably doing a lot of backyard grilling this summer so next time you’ve got it fired up I’m going to show you a really simple way of preparing flatbreads for your parties that make great buffet table appetizers. It’s a two part process where you first grill your dough over your gas or charcoal grill then when you’re ready to serve it you can finish it on the grill with a closed lid or in a hot oven in your kitchen.

Grilling of flatbreads or pizzas is something that started long ago in both Italy and Argentina and you can make your own delicious, slightly charred versions without a fancy pizza oven.

Yeah, you say, but I don’t have the time to make and proof my own dough. Not to worry….you can buy frozen dough balls, let them sit overnight in the fridge and roll them out and grill when you’re ready to grill.

I’ll be sharing lots of different takes on flatbreads in future posts but I wanted to start with one of my all-time favorites.

It’s a take on an German classic called “Flammkuchen” which means simply ‘flame-pie’ but it’s more commonly known as ‘Alsatian Tarte Flambe’.

Basically it’s a thin-crust pizza made with crème fraiche, sliced onions, cheese, and bacon traditionally baked in a wood-burning oven. The onions and thinly sliced bacon are both raw but when baked over high heat the bacon renders the fat over the onions and creates one amazing flavor bomb! This is one of my favorite all-time appetizers to serve with cocktails or wine when entertaining. Add a green salad to make a great, light and flavorful lunch or supper. If y want to try something really different for Brunch…top this with 2 or 3 sunnyside eggs and you’ve got some serious morning goodness!

Recipe – Grilled Tarte Flambe


» 1 each 5-6 oz pizza dough ball

» 1/8 cup Cornmeal or Masa Harina

» 3 ounces Sour Cream

» ¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese

» 1 teaspoon Fresh thyme leaves

» 1/2 teaspoon Coarse sea salt

» 4 ounces Thinly sliced onions (thin as possible)

» 5 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

» 2 oz Bacon, preferably Applewood smoked, placed in freezer 30 minutes before use

» 1 teaspoon Chopped chives

» As needed Olive oil


Place frozen dough ball in small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator. Sprinkle counter top or wooding cutting board lightly with cornmeal and place dough ball on top. You can also use flour if you don’t have cornmeal but I like the extra crunch and texture that the cornmeal adds to the dough. Allow to proof approximately one hour.

Dough Ball

Dough Ball

Next sprinkle top of ball lightly with a little cornmeal and roll out into a rectangular shape approximately 7″ x 11″. Next place the dough on a hot grill and cook until both sides are lightly charred. Depending on how hot the grill is this should take approximately 30-45 seconds per side. You want to make sure that all the translucency in the dough has disappeared. If you’re ready to bake the flatbread you can proceed but if you’re doing these ahead of time allow it to cool then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. It will keep up to 2 days at room temperature.

Rolling dough

Rolling Dough

On the Grill

On the Grill

When you’re ready to bake the flatbreads pre-heat your home oven to 500 degrees or as hot as you can get it. I would recommend baking the flatbread on a Teflon coated perforated pan (I recommend the ‘AirBake Nonstick Pizza Pan’ for $7 on Amazon) but you can use any thin, flat cookie sheet as well. This should be placed in the oven while the oven pre-heats and you assemble the toppings. Start by spreading the sour cream evenly on the top of the flatbread leaving about ½” or so border around the outer edge. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and half the sea salt. Next sprinkle the cheese evenly on top followed by the sliced onions. Sprinkle with salt. Remove bacon from freezer and lay bacon strips on top of each other on cutting board and slice crosswise into 1/8 inch strips. Sprinkle bacon around top of flatbread. Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until bacon and onions are lightly browned.

Ready for the Oven

Ready for the Oven

Removed from oven and place on cutting board. Dip pastry brush in olive oil and brush out edges of crust lightly. Next cut into pieces, sprinkle with chives and enjoy!