Classic Margherita Pizza

Sometimes you just can’t beat fresh, simple, and classic Margherita Pizza.

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!

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

The BEST Classic Margherita Pizza (recipe)

We moved into our new house last week. After 12 hours on our feet moving boxes, we dashed to the nearest restaurant and found ourselves ordering appetizers and a five cheese + tomato pizza from a local joint.

I usually prefer pizza with a ton of fixings like this spinach artichoke pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, or overloaded Hawaiian pizza, but I’ve been craving pizza simplicity since noshing on those plain slices last week. Today’s classic margherita pizza recipe is like a regular cheese pizza, but all grown up. Look at all this beautiful basil!

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

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!

Pizza Dough Ingredients

Here’s my recipe for homemade pizza dough. There’s only 6 ingredients, plus some water.

  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!

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

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 of the pizza dough.

  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.

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

Homemade Pizza Recipes


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


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!


  • 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


  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.


  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


  1. Sally, this is absolutely my favorite kind of pizza…tomato sauce, tomatoes, and garlic! So amazing 🙂 Your photographs are great…they make me crave pizza, and it’s too early even for breakfast, haha. Thanks for the great recipe!

      1. I had an Italian aunt in CT that made pizza for breakfast. Great way to start the day.

  2. Sally this pizza looks delish! I love marg pizza (and okay, margaritas too :)) but this looks so tasty. The basil is so green, vibrant, and for me basil/tomatoes/mozz and any form of a caprese salad and I’m very happy1 pinned

  3. Hot or cold, pizza for breakfast is the best! Hope your move went well, it’s a great workout minus the PB M&M’s.

    This pizza looks scrumptious. I could pound it right now! Basil is my ultimate weakness, soooo nutritious and growing tons in my garden right now. So I don’t have to scrimp. Would love to share with everyone =)

    Simple and easy, you can’t beat it. And kids love pizza, don’t they?

    1. This pizza is a crowd pleaser – even for kids. And I love margherita pizza cold. 🙂 Send me some of your fresh basil! I need a basil plant in our yard ASAP.

  4. For the record, I love your Gorgonzola pizza. I’d never drizzled honey on pizza before you, and now I can’t stop!
    CPK’s tricked out pizzas are awesome! Still, sometimes basics are best. Love the vibrant tomatoes and basil here!

    1. Honey is the BEST pizza topping. Just had it on some pizza this past weekend. I now put it on all my pizzas too, Mir! Too funny I got you hooked on it.

  5. I have a ton of CSA tomatoes sitting in my pantry, waiting to be used. I think I just found their destination! This looks fabulous.

  6. I love me a pizza with all the fixin’s too…but sometimes you just need to keep
    ‘er simple, like in this gorgeous ‘za! Love how fresh this is! Pinned 🙂

  7. I know what you mean about liking pizza with lots of toppings on it. My favourite pizza has roasted eggplant & zucchini, spinach leaves, sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper! But sometimes the simplest things are the best. Er… Least when it comes to pizza

  8. Margherita pizza is one of my favorites, and this one looks delicious, Sally! Definitely a classic flavor that will never get old. Delish!

  9. Ooh this looks so good! I might have just found the winning way to use up my garden produce!

  10. This looks just perfect! I love fancy toppings, but sometimes you can’t beat a classic. And I’ll totally join you for pizza for breakfast 😉

  11. Margherita pizza is my F.A.V. kind of pizza. I think it’s the basil. I could eat a basil salad, I think. Ok, maybe not. Either way… Now I want pizza for lunch. And that’s not allowed because we were on vacation for a week and ate a ton of Grotto’s Pizza. Maybe after my week of regularly scheduled healthy eating… Because this sounds delightful!!

    1. I LOVE GROTTO’S PIZZA! Sorry, I’m just a little excited. You have to try this homemade margherita pizza Lynn. It’s perfect for your basil loving self.

  12. Congrats on your move! This pizza looks amazing…i cant wait to try it once i move in with my fiance…pizza nights have been on our wishlist of things to do together!

  13. This sounds yummy! I have some fresh tomatoes…might just make me some of this goodness.

  14. OMG! this is hevean! love this recipe <3 last time i made the BBQ chicken pizza and i was oh so good…. you should post more pizza recipes!

  15. Ohh, this looks so good! I love pizza, especially homemade ones, and this one looks delicious! And like you said, light, not greasy. I will definitely be trying this soon! 🙂

  16. Wow Sally! This margherita pizza looks amazing! Its essential to have a no-fail pizza crust recipe and I think I just found another one!

  17. Nice one Sally! I have only made my own pizzas a couple of times, must do that more often. Beautiful shots, as usual. Mel

  18. ooh . . . I love pizza and what couldn’t be better than margherita sauce?! The combination of course! Sally, I love how gourmet and professional {and yummy!} your pizzas look. Any tips?

    Now I’m hungry for pizza, especially after just coming home from a run! Thanks for posting, Sally!

    From your whole food-y!
    Janie Lynn

  19. I love margherita pizzas and this one looks super delicious! You can go wrong with tomatoes, basil, and cheese 🙂 I definitely need to get my butt in gear and start making my own dough!

  20. Margherita pizza is such a classic! Perfect for summer when the basil is exploding in the garden and the tomatoes are fresh, thanks for sharing!

  21. This is beautiful! I totally agree that sometimes basics are best and I’m continually surprised by how much fresh basil transforms dishes 😀 Now I want pizza haha!

  22. Ok, I’ll admit it, I miss the cheese on a pizza Margherita, and this looks so yummy! Fortunately, I’ve discovered how to make a fantastic vegan version, although, it’s still not quite the same.

    Fresh basil from the garden does taste better! I just read an article in one of my foodie magazines about how the head chef at The Laundry only picks herbs fresh from the garden just before adding them to his food. I must agree, that is the BEST way to do it.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally