Margherita Pizza

Margherita pizza is my go-to meal when I have good tomatoes on hand but I'm craving comfort food. My recipe is fresh, delicious & easy to make!

Margherita Pizza

A simple Caprese salad is one of my default dinners in August, so naturally, when I start craving more substantial meals in September, I turn to its heartier cousin: the Margherita pizza. Like Caprese salad, Margherita pizza stars fresh basil, mozzarella, and the best tomatoes you can find. It’s still a delicious, simple showcase of good quality produce, but the addition of crisp, chewy pizza crust, melty cheese, and warm sauce makes it a cozier, heartier meal.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to go into full pumpkin and soup mode yet. Our farmers markets are still boasting juicy tomatoes, and our backyard basil plant is still chugging along, so we might as well enjoy them while we can! This homemade Margherita pizza recipe uses only 7 basic components, so good tomatoes are a must. It’ll be on repeat around here for the next few weeks, while we can still get our hands on A+ tomatoes.

We really love this one; I hope you do too!

Margherita pizza recipe ingredients

My Margherita Pizza Recipe Ingredients

With only 7 components, my homemade Margherita pizza recipe is fresh, comforting, and easy to toss together any night of the week. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Homemade pizza dough. I use my go-to homemade pizza dough recipe. The chewy/crisp crust is delicious under the juicy tomatoes and melty cheese.
  • Homemade pizza sauce. I use a food processor to blend together a 5-ingredient tomato sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, and I don’t cook it before spreading it on the pizza. As a result, it has a delicious, sweet flavor that complements the fresh tomatoes perfectly.
  • Cherry tomatoes. Rather than use large tomatoes here, I opt for cherry tomatoes. They’re less watery and have a more concentrated flavor than bigger varieties would, so they give this pizza a great taste and texture.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese. I seek out fresh bocconcini mozzarella for my Margherita pizza. You can use any fresh mozzarella in a pinch, but bocconcini mozzarella comes in nice, medium-sized balls. When you slice it, it matches the size of the cherry tomato slices, which makes for a pretty pizza.
  • Fresh basil. Sprinkle it over the pizza after it comes out of the oven, so it doesn’t burn or brown! For more basil goodness, a few dollops of pesto would also be delicious.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and red pepper flakes. The perfect finishing touches!

Margherita pizza recipe

Stretch your dough, spread on the sauce, and layer it with the thinly sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden, and add the remaining pizza toppings: a shower of fresh basil leaves, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Slice, and enjoy!

Margherita Pizza recipe

If you love this Margherita pizza recipe…

Try my vegan pizza, zucchini pizza, blackberry basil pizza, spinach artichoke pizza, or any of these homemade pizza recipes next!

Margherita Pizza

rate this recipe:
4.64 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves 3 to 4
This easy Margherita pizza recipe is a simple, fresh vegetarian dinner. Keep homemade pizza dough and sauce on hand in the freezer to make it especially quick & easy to assemble!



  • Preheat the oven to 500°F
  • Spread the pizza sauce onto the dough. Top with the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is browned. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Lainey

    5 stars
    Hi Jeanine.
    Its my 2nd time making your pizza dough recipe, both times turned out great. The 1st time I may have over cooked by 1 min or so, this 2nd time I went one shelf higher and 1 or 2 mins less. Perfect. You really need to keep your eye on it at 500.

    Now on to the your Margherita recipe. I loved that I didn’t cooked the sauce and it was perfection. I had to use a combo of mozzarella cheeses I was a bit shy of the 8 oz for the fresh so just added some shredded brick mozzarella and then the fresh on top. So good.
    Question: Do you have any trick when adding the basil. I did not add it immediately – because when the pizza is too hot it goes black. Also, if it gets hit with the olive oil is also blackens. I waited till it cooled a bit and then put it on top – but would have liked it hotter. Any suggestions?
    Another keeper – both the dough, and the tomato sauce – will never buy pizza dough again and will never cook a tomato sauce for pizza. Winner Dinner.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lainey, I’m so glad the pizza and it’s components were such a hit! Unfortunately, I don’t have a better tip for you, basil just bruises and wilts easily.

  2. Jessica Wolvin

    I used your dough and sauce recipe, and the pizza was delicious! Thank you, it was a hit!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear!

  3. Michele

    1 star
    Baked for 10 min then put on fresh mozzarella and in 5 min so much water from mozzarella made for soggy crust

    • Sue A Brown

      Fresh mozzarella was supposed to be put on prior to baking then bake for 12 minutes.

  4. Naomi Lee

    Sensational! I added some chicken, black olives, and extra fresh herbs to mine. Craving it after finishing it.

  5. Lisa Sorzano

    How would you recommend cooking the pizza on a grill?

  6. Kelly

    Excited to try this recipe! What do you do with leftover sauce? How long is it good for? Can it be frozen?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kelly, you can keep it in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze it!

  7. Sheri

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night as a trial run to making again on Friday for two other guests. Naturally, it was so beautiful I took pics and sent to my sisters of whom complimented the outcome. It was so satisfying, hearty and delicious I’m looking forward to preparing it for others! This will definitely satisfy a pizza craving. I will say that out of convenience and quirkiness, I did use an organic pizza crust I buy at Trader Joe’s. This pizza was absolutely perfect and I’m a picky pizza eater. I wish I could add a picture of my end result!

  8. Sabrina from

    a beautiful margarita pizza, thank you, I haven’t had one that looks like this since Naples

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks Sabrina!

  9. sandhya

    5 stars
    Add mushroom in the recipe, the taste is delicious.

    • Sara

      Thanks for the suggestion. Will try.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.