Homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe

Pizza is one of those classic comfort foods that everyone loves. A piping hot pie with a crispy crust, fresh tomatoes, and gooey mozzarella is hard to resist. And while there are a million different ways to top a pizza, sometimes the simplest is the best. Case in point: the Margherita pizza.

A true Margherita pizza is made with just three ingredients – fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. That’s it! But even with such few ingredients, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Keep reading for our tips on how to make the perfect Margherita pizza.

Use fresh ingredients

This one should be a no-brainer, but using fresh ingredients is key to making a great Margherita pizza. Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil will give your pizza an amazing flavor. And while you can use canned tomatoes in a pinch, they will never taste as good as fresh.

We already shared with you the recipe of the classic pizza dough, so you can refer to this one to make your own, or buy 1 ball of a thin crust dough.

For the sauce and toppings, you’ll need:

List of ingredients

  • Plum tomatoes
    500 Grams (g)
  • Small garlic clove
    1 Grams (g)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
    1 Table spoons (tbsp)
  • Dried oregano
    ½ Tea spoons (tsp)
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
    1 Cups (c)
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
    4-5 Units
  • Salt

Steps to make Homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

    Do it in advance so that you don’t have to wait later! Depending on your oven you might want to start preheating it around step 4, maybe even earlier.

  2. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface

    Or prepare your homemade neapolitan pizza dough with our recipe.

  3. Prepare the tomatoes

    Boil a large pot of water. Wash the tomatoes and cut a shallow “x” at the bottom of each tomato with a knife. Plunge the tomatoes in the boiling water gently, and wait until the skin starts to peel off. With a slotted spoon, transfer them into a bowl of iced water. Magic: the skin peels off by itself! Gently remove all the skin from the tomatoes.

  4. Make the pizza sauce

    Cut the garlic into a few rough pieces. Roughly cut the skinned tomatoes into chunks. Grab a blender and add the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, and kosher salt inside. Once everything is inside, blend until it’s all combined smoothly.

  5. Prepare the cheese

    If the mozzarella is packed, drain it in the water before cutting it into slices.

  6. Assemble your margherita pizza!

    Spread the pizza sauce evenly on the whole pizza dough with a spoon. Start from the center and keep some blank spice for the crust on the edges! Do the same with the mozzarella. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

  7. Cook 10-12 min at 500ºF (260ºC)

    If you home oven does not reach a high enough temperature, just set it to the maximum. You can always use an oven stone to concentrate the heat, plus it will give your pie an extra crisp!

    Supervise so you won’t let it burn! You’ll know it’s good when the mozzarella has melted over the pizza and the edges are slightly brown.

  8. Add the basil and a drizzle of olive oil when out of the oven

    And voilà! You have the perfect homemade Margherita Pizza! Enjoy and tell us what you think!

And if you want your first homemade margherita pizza to be an authentic success, here are 4 tips that will make a difference in your cooking.

Don’t overdo it on the cheese

While you do want to use a decent amount of cheese on your pizza, you don’t want to go overboard. Too much cheese will make your pizza greasy and heavy. Stick to using fresh mozzarella, and use just enough to cover the pizza.

Other cultures, such as the Argentinian, like to put lots of cheese on their pizza, but traditional Italian pizza actually uses quite little quantities. On a traditional margherita pizza it is common for the cheese not to cover the whole pie. Just sprinkles of mozzarella are sufficient, and seeing the red color of the tomato sauce in between is perfectly fine.

Use a good quality olive oil

Another important ingredient in a Margherita pizza is olive oil. You’ll want to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. This will give your pizza great flavor. Be sure to to add the oil carefully though, you don’t want your pizza to be swimming in it.

Choose the right type of tomato

There are different types of tomatoes you can use for your Margherita pizza, but we prefer to use plum tomatoes. They have a firmer texture and not as much water content, which means they won’t make your pizza soggy.

Bake your pizza at a high temperature

Baking your pizza at a high temperature is crucial to getting a crispy crust. We recommend baking your pizza at 500 degrees Fahrenheit if possible for the best results, and always recommend using a pizza stone to make sure it is cooked evenly.

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My name is Guillermo Luciano Carone. I’m a food enthusiast, and as I’m sure you can tell by my middle and last names, Italy is well embedded into my DNA! I love cooking, eating and learning about the things I cook and eat. My goal here is to share my passion for traditional Italian food, and hopefully make you a little bit more of an Italian-food-fan than you might already be yourself!

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