Margherita Pizza is a classic pizza recipe topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil!

This easy recipe is a classic for good reason and the perfect way to enjoy fresh produce straight out of the garden. Add in a side salad for a great meal!

Slices of Margherita Pizza

Sure, pepperoni is great, but sometimes isn’t it nice to just go back to the basics? A classic, simple, Margherita Pizza recipe is just that.

What is Margherita Pizza?

Ingredients include homemade dough, pizza sauce, tomatoes, cheese, and fresh basil.

For the dough use homemade but store-bought works well too! If you don’t have fresh basil, substitute a drizzle of pesto!

Raw Margherita Pizza with mozza cheese

Fresh Toppings

These are the key components that make for a classic Margherita pizza.

Basil and tomatoes are also great for growing in your garden (I grow my garden specifically for making fresh Margherita pizza and summer salads like my Macaroni salad).

The tomatoes are added before cooking while we add the basil after cooking so it’s fresh.

How do you Make a Margherita Pizza?

Pizza Margherita should always start with a good classic pizza crust.

I chose to use my favorite homemade pizza dough recipe, a simple recipe that doesn’t require any fancy ingredients and can be ready after just 5 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of rising. Of course, you can use a pre-made dough if you prefer or if you’re in a time crunch or even a cauliflower crust but with how simple my homemade recipe is I really hope you’ll give it a try!

Once the dough is made, you’ll drizzle it generously with olive oil, add some marinara and well-minced garlic, a few slices of Roma/plum tomatoes, shreds of basil and plenty of mozzarella cheese.

While you can use shredded mozzarella cheese for this recipe, for a classic Margherita recipe I really recommend using a block of mozzarella cheese and slicing that into rounds or wedges or squares and dotting the pieces generously over the pizza (see photo above).

Margherita Pizza on a pizza sheet

Why is it Called Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza actually has an interesting namesake and was so named in honor of the Italian Queen consort, Margherita.

Queen Margherita loved pizza (most of us can relate) and a famous pizza maker is said to have created this specific flavor in her honor.

It also pays homage to the Italian flag, flaunting its colors proudly in the green basil, white mozzarella, and red tomato. Some people ask what is margarita pizza, but it IS Margherita Pizza!

Pizza Favorites

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Slices of Margherita Pizza
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Margherita Pizza

A classic homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Samantha
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Pizza Dough

  • 2-2 ⅓ cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing bowl and dough
  • ¾ cup warm water

Margherita Pizza Toppings

  • cup marinara pizza sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • Fresh basil leaves washed, patted dry, and sliced into ribbons (I used about 8 basil leaves)
  • 2 plum tomatoes sliced ¼" thick
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese you can use shredded but I recommend using a brick that's been cut into wedges or slices


Pizza Dough

  • Prepare your dough first by combining 1 cup of flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Combine oil and warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and stir very well until smooth.
  • Gradually add remaining flour until completely combined and dough is sticky and cohesive and pulling away from the sides of the bowl as you mix.
  • Brush a large bowl with olive oil and place your dough in the bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place and allow it to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Once dough is finished rising, preheat your oven to 425°F and line a pizza pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Gently deflate the dough with your hands and transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface. Dust dough with additional flour and use a rolling pin to roll out to 12" wide circle. Transfer to prepared pizza pan and roll over the edges to form a crust. Brush the whole surface of the crust with olive oil and then add your Margherita Pizza Toppings.

Margherita Pizza Toppings

  • Stir minced garlic into your pizza sauce and then evenly spread sauce over the center of the pizza.
  • Top with about half of your basil leaves and then evenly distribute plum tomato slices over the top. Scatter mozzarella cheese evenly over the tomatoes (see second picture in post) and then top with remaining basil ribbons.
  • Transfer to 425°F oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and just beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Slice, and serve!
4.86 from 14 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 173 | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian

Repin this Perfect Pizza Recipe!

Slices of Margherita Pizza with writing

Margherita Pizza on a baking sheet with writing


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. Can I use a sheet pan or similar? I don’t have a round pizza stone or pizza pan. Will it change the amount of time for cooking?

      1. I’m confused on step 2 where it says add oil and water and combine, then it says to add the warm water.
        Can you clarify?
        This looks wonderful!
        Thanks3 stars

      2. I’ve updated the recipe Rhea. For step 2, combine oil and warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and stir very well until smooth.

  2. Its nice ingredients recipe.
    This content creates great experience to me.

    The pizza topping ingredients specially cloves, garlic and cheese make it more tastier.

  3. Making homemade pizza dough is such a treat! Nothing like a turning a takeaway classic into a homemade treat. 

  4. Aw, the mozzarella cheese is so perfect on the pizza, it looks super super yummy, I gotta order a pizza right now!! xD