Classic Margherita Pizza

Sometimes you just can’t beat fresh, simple, and classic Margherita Pizza. This pizza recipe begins with my homemade pizza dough. Top with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, then finish it off with garden-fresh basil. This is an easy pizza recipe with unbeatable flavor!

slices of margherita pizza on a pizza pan

2 images of margherita pizza

The best homemade margherita pizza begins with homemade pizza dough. Homemade pizza dough may sound difficult to you. Why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Well, here’s a fact: Homemade pizza dough has a delicious flavor and texture that only comes from YOU. I use the same homemade recipe for stromboli and garlic knots, too.

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  1. Yeast: Instant yeast makes the job quicker.
  2. Water: Use warm water to reduce the rise time, about 105ºF – 115ºF. Anything over 130ºF is too hot.
  3. Flour: It’s best to use unbleached all-purpose white flour in the pizza crust. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which reduces the amount of water the flour can absorb.
  4. Oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor. Don’t forget to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings, which prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
  5. Salt & Sugar: Salt adds flavor and sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough.
  6. Cornmeal: Use cornmeal to dust the pizza pan; it gives the pizza crust a little extra flavor and crisp.

Homemade Pizza Dough Video Tutorial

The homemade pizza crust is soft and fluffy in the center with deliciously crisp edges. It’s an all around basic pizza crust recipe and has quickly become a reader favorite. The best part? You can make the dough in advance. See pizza dough freezing instructions.

2 images of sliced tomatoes and tomatoes on top of pizza crust with sauce and cheese

Margherita Pizza Toppings

Despite how I feel about loading up on pizza toppings, less is more when it comes to margherita pizza. Plain, simple, and easy, margherita pizza is fulfilling without too much grease weighing it down. There are only 4-5 ingredients on top.

  1. For absolute best flavor, use homemade roasted garlic.
  2. Use your favorite homemade tomato sauce.
  3. Top with good quality mozzarella.
  4. And fresh juicy tomatoes, any size.
  5. Plus lots of fresh basil. And bonus if the basil is from your garden.

Garlic, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil also taste wonderful on top of homemade focaccia.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade Pizza Baking Equipment

There’s only 3 crucial tools you need for homemade pizza.

  • Stand Mixer: An electric stand mixer is preferred for making homemade pizza crust, but you don’t *NEED* it. You can simply mix and knead the dough by hand.
  • Pizza Pan: Some pizza enthusiasts own pizza stones, baking stones, and pizza peels. If you have them– awesome. If you don’t, just use a regular pizza pan or a baking sheet.
  • Pizza Cutter: This OXO pizza cutter because it’s sharp, comfortable, and easy.

2 images of margherita pizza

Homemade Pizza Recipes

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slices of margherita pizza on a pizza pan

Classic Margherita Pizza

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: one 12-inch pizza
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This margherita pizza recipe begins with my homemade pizza dough. Top with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, then finish it off with garden-fresh basil. This is an easy pizza recipe with unbeatable flavor!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe homemade pizza dough
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup your favorite pizza or tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced (or any tomato you like)
  • handful of fresh basil
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare pizza dough through step 5, including preheating the oven to 475°F (246°C). Cover the shaped dough lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to rest as the oven preheats.
  2. Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic together in a small dish. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Top with pizza sauce, then the mozzarella cheese slices, then the tomato slices.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and pepper. Slice pizza and serve immediately.
  5. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator. Reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 3 months. See pizza crust recipe for instructions on freezing the pizza dough.

Notes

  1. See homemade pizza crust recipe for how to freeze the pizza dough.
  2. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: margherita pizza

18 Comments

  1. Delicious…served it on pizza night…along with your bbq chicken pizza…I cooked them in my cast iron skillets…loved the addition of the garlic oil prior to cooking…made this for “What’s on the Menu” tag game…=)

  2. Just made this today, and it turned out absolutely delicious! Thank you!

  3. Chuck Warriner says:

    I made your dough in the bread machine. It was SO much easier to work with than the bread machine recipe. I was SURE there was no sauce in your recipe, and when I found out there was, I just made a simple rustic tomato sauce. It’s in the oven now, but knowing what’s on it, I have NO DOUBT that it will be spectacular!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  4. The pizza turned out amazingly! Thank you for the recipe. The only thing I want to note is that 14-16 minutes of baking was not nearly enough to cook the dough all the way through. My pizza with this recipe required at least 20 minutes in the oven.

  5. Hi Sally, Do I have to use roasted garlic, or can I use the jarred minced garlic? Also, if I use the jarred garlic, do I have to roast it? Thank you!

    1. You do not have to use roasted garlic.

  6. can i use gluten free flour for this pizza

    1. Hi Steven! I wish I could help, but I have very little experience baking with GF flours. Let me know if you try it or find a GF pizza crust recipe you love.

  7. Hi Sally,

    This recipe is perfect, like all the other recipes you provide! Would you mind sharing how to make rich flavored pizza sauce? It will be much appreciated. ♥️

    1. Hi Molly! I don’t have a perfect pizza or tomato sauce up my sleeve, but let me know if you find one you love!

  8. Loved it! The pizza and the dough were absolutely sensational. This is my favorite pizza crust. Followed the recipe as written. Continue to create amazing recipes!

  9. major fail dough was not cooked through even at 20 minutes in the oven and was very floppy. hopefully next time it works out better!

  10. Jeannie Fletcher says:

    The recipe looks great BUT ! there is no video and more importantly it does not give the amount of flour to use !! This makes it completely useless ! What i pity – the pictures look good.

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jeannie, you’ll find the full recipe if you scroll to the bottom of this post! For the video, look for the section “Homemade Pizza Dough Video Tutorial.” You’ll see a horizontal image of the pizza with the play button. Hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

  11. It was the first time I made pizza and I made it for dinner on Valentine’s day.
    It was a fun and delicious experience.
    Thank you.
    With love.

  12. After cooking at 475 for 15 minutes, the crust was still not at all crispy. I used a cookie sheet since I don’t have a pizza pan or stone yet. The flavor and texture of the outer crust was really good, just wish it had been more crispy. I think I used too much pizza sauce. Could that have been the problem? I do love your recipes so will give it another try.

    1. Hi Jean, there could have been too much sauce which prevented the crust from baking and crisping up properly. What may help for next time is par baking the crust before you add the toppings– even just for 5 minutes. Then remove from the oven and add your toppings before returning to the oven for 10-15 minutes.

  13. Sally love the simple crust have it memorized it’s that simple, added 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla to dough.

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