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Margherita pizza stars fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and the best ripe tomatoes. It’s simple, delicious, and light.

This pizza has a similar flavor profile and ingredients to Caprese Pizza. You’ll also want to make sure to try the bite-sized version: Mini Margherita Pizzas.

Hand grabbing a slice of margherita pizza.

What is Margherita Pizza?

Naples, Italy is famous for its simple Neapolitan pizzas: pizza Marinara, pizza margherita extra, and pizza margherita.

Some common characteristics between each type include a higher amount of tomato sauce than cheese, the use of fresh and all-natural ingredients, and a soft thin crust peppered with golden brown bubbles.  

Traditional margherita pizza is topped using san marzano tomatoes (both sauce & sliced), sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil, then topped with a drizzle of olive oil after it has been baked. You can then sprinkle on salt and black pepper to taste.  

With our homemade pizza dough, this looks like a fancy restaurant-quality slice but is effortless to make. It is by far one of my favorites, so be sure to give it a go!

Freshly sliced roma tomatoes on a cutting board.

How to Make Margherita Pizza

This margherita pizza recipe is a simply delicious classic.

PREP. Preheat the oven to 500°F. We like to use a pizza stone and throw this in while the oven is preheating for at least 15 minutes.

SAUCE & DOUGH. Make the homemade pizza sauce and the homemade pizza dough if going homemade. If you are using store-bought for both, you can skip this step.

ROLL. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to about 14-15 inches in diameter. **If you want more of a crust, be sure to fold in the outside edges of the pizza dough before adding sauce and toppings.

  • PIZZA STONE: If using a pizza stone, use a pizza peel to quickly and carefully transfer the dough to your stone, add the sauce (leaving a little around the edges for a crust), cheese slices, tomato slices, and pizza seasonings, and put in the oven.
  • SHEET PAN: If not using a stone, you can add the rolled-out dough to a lightly greased baking sheet. Then, add sauce, cheese, toppings and bake.

BAKE. Bake for about 5 minutes, then rotate the pizza and bake an additional 7-8 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and olive oil.

Recipe Tips

This fresh mozzarella pizza starts with a crispy crust.

Pizza pan. Using a pizza stone is my first choice, but any pizza pan will work. Just be sure to cook in a very hot oven and consider blind baking the crust.

Blind baking is great for making sure that the center of the crust cooks and doesn’t get soggy. This is especially helpful when using ingredients that tend to weep like mozzarella and tomatoes. Shape the dough and bake it for about 6 minutes without topping it. Remove the dough from the oven, add the toppings, then continue baking until the pizza is cooked. 

Cheese. When using fresh mozzarella try to draw out as much moisture as you can before topping the pizza

Sauce. Using a lighter layer of sauce will help keep the pizza more crisp.

Slices of roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on a blind baked pizza crust.

Storing Tips

Freezer pizza. There are a lot of great things about this homemade margherita pizza and one of them is that you can put it in the freezer to be baked later, but since tomatoes don’t thaw well you will want to save them to add until you’re ready to bake.

Blind bake a plain pizza crust for 6-8 minutes. Allow the pizza to cool a little and add the sauce and cheese and then place it into the freezer. Once frozen solid, wrap the pizza with plastic wrap and then again with aluminum foil. Freeze for 4-5 months. Remove packaging and thaw, add fresh tomatoes and basil then bake.

STORE leftover pizza in foil in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze it for 1-2 months. Simply wrap each piece with plastic wrap and again with foil for 1-2 months. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

Side Ideas

So many great side dishes go with this pizza. Here are some of our favorites:

Closeup of margherita pizza recipe topped with basil.

Recipe FAQ

Why is my margherita pizza soggy?

Due to the fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, which both contain moisture that can leak out during the baking time, this type of pizza is naturally wetter than a standard pizza. To help make sure it’s not too soggy, drain the tomatoes and cheese as much as possible before adding them to the pizza. Blind baking the crust is another way to ensure a fully cooked crust.

What tomatoes should I use on margherita pizza?

Traditional margherita pizza uses san marzano tomatoes which is a low moisture plum tomato. Another plum tomato that you may be more familiar with and that can be used on margherita pizza is roma tomatoes.

For More Pizza Favorite, Try:

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5 from 14 votes

Margherita Pizza Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Margherita pizza stars fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and the best ripe tomatoes. It's simple, delicious, and light.
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 23 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 16 ounces pizza dough store bought or homemade dough
  • ½ cup pizza sauce store bought or homemade sauce
  • 6 slices fresh mozzarella
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon pizza seasoning
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F. We like to use a pizza stone and throw this in while the oven is preheating for at least 15 minutes.
  • Make the sauce if going homemade. Also, make the homemade pizza dough if going homemade. If you are using store-bought for both, you can skip this step.
  • Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to about 14-15 inches in diameter. **If you want more of a crust, be sure to fold in the outside edges of the pizza dough before adding sauce and toppings.
  • If using a pizza stone, quickly and carefully transfer the dough to your stone, add the sauce (leaving a little around the edges for a crust), cheese slices, tomatoes, and pizza seasonings, and put in the oven.
  • If not using a stone, you can add the rolled-out dough to a lightly greased baking sheet. Then, add sauce, cheese, toppings and bake.
  • Bake for about 5 minutes, then rotate the pizza and bake an additional 7-8 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil and a light drizzle of olive oil.

Video

Notes

Freezer pizza. You can put it in the freezer to be baked later, but since tomatoes don’t thaw well you will want to save them to add until you’re ready to bake.
Blind bake a plain pizza crust for 6-8 minutes. Allow the pizza to cool a little and add the sauce and cheese and then place it into the freezer. Once frozen solid, wrap the pizza with plastic wrap and then again with aluminum foil. Freeze for 4-5 months. Remove packaging and thaw, add fresh tomatoes and basil then bake.
STORE leftover pizza in foil in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze it for 1-2 months. Simply wrap each piece with plastic wrap and again with foil for 1-2 months. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 625mg, Potassium: 140mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 466IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 114mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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5 from 14 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    A very flavorful pizza that your family will enjoy and devour!

  2. Kristina says:

    5 stars
    By cutting the pizza into squares it makes a really good appetizer at a party too.

  3. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    Wow! So good! Everyone wanted more.

    1. LilLunaTeam says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for trying it!

  4. Valentina says:

    5 stars
    This Margherita pizza recipe is AMAZING! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe, the whole family loves this homemade pizza.

    1. LilLunaTeam says:

      I’m so glad your family loves it as much as mine does!

  5. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    Margherita pizza – is the best great recipe! Easy to make and one of our favorites!

  6. Joy says:

    5 stars
    This is my favorite pizza to order anywhere! It tastes even better at home!