The margherita pizza is simple yet wonderful. Anytime we serve pizzas during our garden’s basil season (May through October this year), we make at least one margherita pizza before getting more complex. We fell in love with tomato and basil during our honeymoon trip to Italy. Somehow in my first 25 years of life, I never tried this glorious (and somewhat common) combination. Pizza margherita is always a crowd favorite in our house, though our margherita pizza recipe isn’t quite the same as the fresh pizza and people watching on the Piazza Navona in Rome.
Nevertheless, we have practiced our method, and then some. We’ve burned, dropped, doused, torn, and pretty much screwed up a pizza in every way possible. But we finally have a margherita pizza recipe that we like that features a time saving no-cook sauce. Now, all we need is a return trip to Italy to grade our progress.
What is Margherita Pizza?
At first glance, a margherita pizza looks like your average cheese pizza (don’t tell the Italians I said that). However, once you taste an authentic margherita pizza, you’ll understand that it’s nothing like the cheese pizza you order from Domino’s. Allegedly invented in the 1800s, the pizza margherita showcases the colors of the Italian flag: red from the tomato sauce, white from the mozzarella, and green from the basil.
The key to making a high-quality margherita pizza is to use the best ingredients possible. Because there are so few toppings, it’s worth buying good canned tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Fresh basil is also a must, as the dried stuff can’t be used as a pizza topping. To get the slightly crispy crust authentic Italian pizza is known for, you need to bake the pizza at a high temperature, preferably on a pizza stone.
Serving This Margherita Pizza Recipe
This homemade margherita pizza is best eaten right away (try not to burn your tongue!). Add the fresh basil leaves a minute or two after the pizza comes out of the oven to prevent them from wilting. You can make one big pizza, or a few smaller pizzas for each person to enjoy. Keep things super simple with a green salad on the side and a glass (or two) of good wine to help wash it all down. If you have any leftover tomato sauce, use it on some pasta tomorrow or freeze it in an airtight container until your next pizza night.
Looking for more homemade pizza recipes?
- Yogurt Ranch Salad Pizza
- Umami Bomb Pita Pizza
- Pecan, Grape, and Onion Pizza
- Goat Cheese and Tomato Pita Pizza
- Very Veggie Vegan Pizza
This recipe is…
This homemade margherita pizza recipe features a time saving no-cook sauce. Although this pizza uses few ingredients, it packs in big flavor.
- 1 pizza dough (stand mixer or food processor method)
- 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes (makes enough sauce for about 4 pizzas)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. Follow the pizza dough recipe to make sure it is ready.
- Prepare the tomato sauce by mixing crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar. Stir together and add kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Mince the 3 cloves garlic.
- When the oven is ready, put the dough on a floured pizza peel, or pull the pizza stone out of the oven and carefully place the dough on it.
- Spread the tomato sauce thinly over the dough, then sprinkle on the minced garlic and mozzarella cheese. Top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a few pinches of kosher salt. Brush a a bit of olive oil on the crust to help it brown.
- Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, but just keep an eye on it.
- Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before adding the basil on top (whole leaves, lightly torn, or thinly sliced). Serve immediately.
Keywords: margherita pizza recipe