Sometimes you just can’t beat fresh, simple, and classic Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza recipe hits the spot and is so easy to make!
We’re back to the basics today.
Last Tuesday, we moved into our new house. After 12 hours on my feet and nothing but a few grapes and a handful of peanut M&Ms in my stomach (so many leftover), anything sounded good. We dashed to the nearest restaurant and found ourselves ordering appetizers and a five cheese + tomato pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.
I strayed from my favorite CPK pizza… very shocking.
I usually like pizza with a ton of fixings like salty gorgonzola cheese, honey, and apple. Seriously… try it. When I’m not making that particular pie, it’s usually this spinach artichoke number or my roasted veggie pizza.
And now all I want for breakfast today is pizza.
But after those incredible slices I had last week, my mind was set on making a fresh and simple pizza recipe at home. This classic margherita pizza recipe is like a regular cheese pizza… just all grown up. Look at all this beautiful basil! Man oh man, cheese pizza is so much better when you add a little freshness.
Despite how I feel about loading up my pizza toppings, less is definitely more when it comes to margherita pizza. This pizza is the best blend of easy and satisfying. Plain and simple, it just tastes GOOD. Fulfilling, without too much grease and gunk weighing you down. A slice or two with a salad makes one heck of a meal. Pair with a little wine and invite me over. Please?
I always use my favorite pizza dough when I make pizza. Which is more often than I care to share. It’s soft and fluffy in the center and crisps up beautifully on the edges. It tastes buttery and rich even though there is no butter used. It’s just an all around basic pizza crust recipe and has quickly become a reader favorite. The best part? You can make the dough in advance. My freezer is currently home to about 5 homemade pizza doughs.
Guess what? I have a whole wheat pizza crust recipe too. A honey-sweetened whole wheat pizza crust that is soft and flavorful. For the record, I loathe bland whole wheat crust. Feel free to use my actually-yummy-tasting-whole-wheat-dough instead of my regular version for today’s pizza recipe.
Besides the dough, there are only 4-5 ingredients here. Use homemade roasted garlic. Your favorite homemade tomato sauce – not too much, remember. Good quality mozzarella. Fresh, plump, juicy tomatoes. Lots of fresh basil… and bonus if it’s from your garden. Season with fresh ground pepper. That’s all.
If you’re having a pizza night soon (tonight! tonight!), this simple and perfect classic margherita pizza has to be on the menu.
Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza recipe hits the spot and is so easy to make!
Yield: one 12-inch pizza
Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Prepare the pizza dough through step 11, including preheating the oven to 475F as described in step 8.
Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic together in a small dish. After waiting 15 minutes as described in step 11, spread olive oil/garlic mixture on top of crust. Top with pizza sauce, then the mozzarella cheese slices, then the tomato slices.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. For the last minute, I move the oven rack to the top rack to really brown the edges. That's optional.
Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and pepper. Slice pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices may be frozen up to 1 month.
Please see homemade pizza crust recipe for how to make ahead and freeze the pizza dough.
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Try a few of my other favorite pizza recipes next.
See more savory recipes. Enjoy your new favorite pizza recipe!