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Margherita Pizza Recipe

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Margherita Pizza

Making a Margherita pizza at home can be easy and satisfying with a few simple ingredients. You’ll need fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and a good pizza dough.

Start with a crispy, thin crust as your base. Homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and some Parmigiano-Reggiano will make your pizza delicious. A splash of olive oil and fresh basil leaves elevate the flavors.

With these tips and ingredients, your homemade Margherita pizza will be a hit. Enjoy making this classic dish with a modern twist.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

When making a Margarita pizza, you’ll need a few basic ingredients. Here’s a breakdown:


  • Flour (3 1/2 cups): Use all-purpose flour. For a crisper crust, try bread flour.
  • Yeast (2 teaspoons): Active dry yeast or instant yeast both work well.
  • Water (1 1/4 cups): Warm, but not hot.
  • Salt (1 1/2 teaspoons): Sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons): Extra virgin is the best choice.


  • Tomatoes (2 cups): Fresh Roma tomatoes or canned San Marzano.
  • Garlic (2 cloves): Minced.
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons): Again, extra virgin.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.
  • Oregano (1 teaspoon): Fresh or dried.


  • Mozzarella cheese (8 ounces): Fresh mozzarella has the best texture.
  • Basil (a handful): Fresh leaves are essential.

Possible Substitutes

  • Flour: Whole wheat flour can be used for a healthier version.
  • Yeast: Baking powder can be used (though it will be a different texture).
  • Tomatoes: Tomato paste mixed with a little water if fresh isn’t available.
  • Garlic: Garlic powder if you’re out of fresh cloves.
  • Mozzarella: Provably could work, but won’t give the same melt.

Feel free to mix and match to your preference. Enjoy your pizza-making adventure!


  1. Preheat the Oven
    Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C). Place a heavy, rimmed baking sheet upside-down on a rack in the bottom third of the oven.

  2. Prepare the Dough
    Roll out your pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Aim for a thin, even crust. Transfer the dough to a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet to prevent sticking.

  3. Make the Sauce
    In a food processor, pulse 2-3 cloves of garlic until coarsely chopped. Roughly chop fresh tomatoes and add them to the food processor with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

  4. Assemble the Pizza
    Spread the sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Tear fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over the sauce. Arrange slices of mozzarella cheese evenly on top.

  5. Bake the Pizza
    Slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

  6. Serve
    Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and add extra fresh basil if you like. Slice and serve warm.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Margherita pizza!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes make your pizza tastier. Try to get the best quality you can find.

Preheat Your Oven: Heat your oven to the highest temperature. A very hot oven helps the crust become crispy. Some recipes suggest 450°F to 550°F.

Homemade Sauce: Crush canned tomatoes by hand for a simple sauce. Season with olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Baking Method: Place a heavy baking sheet upside-down in your oven. This helps create an even baking surface. A pizza stone works great too.

Cheese Tips: Tear fresh mozzarella into pieces. This helps it melt easier and creates that classic Margherita look.

Layering Order:

  1. Spread sauce on the dough.
  2. Add mozzarella pieces.
  3. Sprinkle torn basil leaves.

Storing Leftovers: Let the pizza cool completely before storing. Place slices in an airtight container. Store in the fridge up to 3 days.

Reheating Pizza:

  1. Oven: Preheat to 375°F, place pizza on a baking sheet, and heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Stovetop: Heat a skillet on medium, add pizza, cover, and cook for a few minutes.

Use a Pizza Peel: A pizza peel helps transfer the pizza into and out of the oven without a mess.

Ready-Made Dough: Store-bought dough can be a quick option. It works well if you’re short on time.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to customize your Margarita pizza to suit your taste.

Recipe Variations

Four Cheese Margarita: Add mozzarella, parmesan, feta, and gorgonzola for a rich, cheesy flavor.

Pesto Margarita: Swap the tomato sauce with pesto for a fresh, herbal taste.

Vegetable Toppings: Add sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, or olives for extra flavor and texture.

Serving Suggestions

Fresh Salad Pairing: Serve your pizza with a simple arugula salad topped with cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic Reduction: Drizzle a small amount of balsamic reduction over the pizza just before serving for a sweet and tangy touch.

Wine Pairing: Pair your pizza with a light red wine like Pinot Noir or a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc.

Experimenting with these variations and serving ideas can make your Margarita pizza experience more enjoyable.