Pizza Margherita Recipe (2024)



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I'm always a bit confused abut the term fresh mozzarella. Is this the buffala type sold in water (sometimes also sold as fiore di latte, not buffal but less expensive) or like boccancini? Or the firmer type sold in plastic?


DO NOT shy away from making the dough recommended here (Roberta's). Do not give in to the temptation to use store-bought dough. I've made this pizza with both, and the difference between the two can be measured in light years. Make it. You can do it. It's not hard. And it is A-MAY-ZING.


I followed this recipe to the letter, and I have to tell you, it was pretty bland. If you really want to do pizza sauce the right way, you must add oregano -- along with chopped onions and garlic. Otherwise, the sauce has no kick at all.

Eric Fleischer

I have had great success using a bit of corn meal on the peel. It acts like little ball bearings, and adds to the flavor.


I use parchment paper to transport the pizza to the oven. After about 30 seconds, you can easily pull the parchment paper out from under the dough and allow the crust to crisp directly on the pizza stone.


For those of you saying the sauce is bland it really isn't for those of us who lived in Naples. They cook it just like this and it's delicious. You can add your spices and all you're doing is americanizing it. I use San Marzano tomatoes, put them through a mill to remove the seeds and just bake it on the pie. The best pizza is the one where the taste of tomatoes linger on your palate insead of confusing it with so many different tastes.


Since home ovens don't get hot enough, precook your crust on the stone for about 8-10 minutes before adding sauce and cheese. This will eliminate the chance of a soggy or underdone crust.Preheat for 30 minutes, you don't need an hour.Use whole, canned San Marzano tomatoes and crush them by hand.True "fresh" mozzarella floating in water is too bland and doesn't melt properly. Use the packaged fresh whole milk style in "balls" or "logs".

Eric Workman

So, I have yet to perfect the technique of sliding the pie off the peeler onto the stone. This caused some off the topping to spill onto the stone which, of course, started to smoke as the pizza was cooking, setting off my fire alarm and scaring the poop out of my poor dog. Otherwise, the pizza was delicious.


1. If you have a cast iron pizza stone, try heating the stone over a stove burner after spreading the dough on the (unheated) cast iron stone. Wait until you start to see cheese on top melting from the heat below to put pizza in oven

2. Some herbs, especially oregano, + fresh garlic, are essential to give the tomato sauce flavor

3. Use best canned tomatoes possible. Try either imported Italian, or fire roasted

4. I add basil leaves after cooking pizza; otherwise they shrivel


I sprinkle a piece of Reynolds non-stick aluminum foil with cornmeal and form the pizza on the foil. Then I place the foil on the pizza peel. The foil holding the pizza slips easily onto the stone. The presence of the foil does not impair the effect of the stone-baking.


Use Cento San Marzano canned tomatoes. I found them at walmart and Publix supermarket which are just regular chain supermarkets. Use a mill to get the seeds out ,the result will be pure sauce minus the seeds. I add just a little salt no oil. I lived in Naples Italy for three years so I adopted the Neapolitan way of doing this. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the dough, put the sauce, mozarella, and basil as directed and sprinkle again with parmesan.


Definitely refrigerate the dough for 24 hrs to develop the taste, light texture, and bubbly crust. My grandma used to add 1 clove of slightly crushed garlic to her sauce to infuse the garlic flavor without overpowering the sauce, giving it a more savory flavor. I agree with others who commented that the sauce needs this addition of garlic and 4-5 tablespoons on each pizza.

scott trerrotola

I wouldn't put the basil on until after the pizza cooks. I think its better when it's fresh and unburnt. Otherwise, the recipe sounds delish!


1. Make sure dough is properly hydrated...just dry enough to keep from sticking to hands and countertop. This is particularly important in a home oven where a maximum 550 degree temp means a longer bake time than in a high-temp commercial oven.2. When stretching the dough, DO NOT FIGHT IT. I cannot stress this enough. If it does not stretch very easily, cover it and come back to it. You can proof in oven for a short while just before working. A warmer dough will be easier to work.


We tried the recipe for the first time today. Pretty good but still needs tuning to be perfect.After cooking it, we though the crust was to hard/tough on edges.My question is: is this due to the flour since only used multipurpose, lack of kneading the dough, oven temperature (being too long inside it dehydrates) or dough needs more hydration?Any suggestions? Thank you!

Milan Solarz-Patel

I don't know why, but this recipe says to add basil when the pizza is put in the oven. Basil is delicate and I would recommend adding after it comes out of the oven or adding when there are only a few minutes left. It surprises me that the recipe would suggest adding basil at the start of cooking.


Why doesn’t this recipe say what temperature to preheat the oven to?! Seems like a basic instruction is missing.

Name Gerry

Ordinary home ovens do not heat to much more than 500 degrees, and CANNOT cook this pizza in 4-6 minutes. A pizza steel will help, and either that or a pizza stone, is a necessity. Put the stone 6 inches from the top element of the oven. Heat to temp for >30 minutes. Prior to placing the pizza on the stone or steel, turn on the broiler element and allow to heat fully. Leave the broiler on for the first 4-6 minutes, then return to baking at 500 degees or more. Monitor to avoid scortching.


Our solution to burnt/dried basil is to toss the basil with olive oil, which we prefer to adding fresh basil after cooking.


I didn’t find the sauce to be bland — it was actually really wonderful, very bright and fresh. I put cento san marzano whole peeled tomatoes through a food mill, then added salt and olive oil to taste. I also threw in two crushed garlic cloves and let it all sit in the fridge for a few hours.If you’re using a pizza stone like I did, definitely let the crust cook for a few minutes and then apply the toppings. Otherwise the cheese cooks too much or you have underdone crust.


After reading many of the comments I decided to use parchment paper!! What a mistake. It started clean to the crust like 100 yr old wallpaper. We could not eat the pizza at all.


I put the pie in the over on parchment. After 5 minutes, I lift the pie slightly with a metal peal or large spatula to remove the parchment for the rest of the bake, which results in a perfectly crisp crust.

Mike on the road

Who's bright idea was it to use wet/fresh/buffalo mozzarella on a pizza? Firstl, I learned while in Naples that pizza was invented to use up old dried up mozzarella that's sat in the frig too long. Secondly, the "wet" mozzarella leaves the pie soggy with the large slices of cheese prone to slip off the slice and onto your plate, if you're lucky or if not on to your lap if not. Store bought low moisture mozzarella from the deli case works far better.


Important to NOT keep tomato sauce in fridge for weeks! Someone I know didn’t realize this and ended up with Botulism poisoning. Freeze it instead.


If lucky enough to have an outdoor grill, use it. Heat it up, put the dough on the racks naked and cook for about 3 mins, then turn over for 2 mins. Remove from heat it will be firm and not sticky at all. Top as you like and return to the heat for 5 to 9 mins depending on the grill. Best pizza ever.

Max Alexander, MasterChef Italia, Rome, Italy

Always use fresh mozzarella in water. In America it can be hard to find buffalo milk mozzarella but cow's milk is fine so long as it is fresh and in water. In fact, here in Italy the cow's milk version ("fior di latte") is the norm in most neighborhood pizzerias; pizzas with buffalo milk cheese are usually a separate menu item and cost a few more euros per pizza.


Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle it on top after you pull your pizza from the oven.

Max Alexander, Rome, Italy

It wouldn't be the classic Italian presentation, but of course you can do as you wish...


I made this twice so far and both turned out good but I was unhappy with the crispness of the dough, which is my ovens fault. So next time I will be taking the advice of other commenters and cooking my dough for a few minutes before adding the toppings


Put on parchment, remove paper after 30 secs then Pre bake 3 minsThen cook 5 mins


I am surprised to see how few people know the “trick” of putting parchment paper under the dough. It slides on and off the pizza peel very easily. Then the pie slides easily off it onto the cutting/serving board. It only chars a small bit in a hot oven and leaves no residue.


I thought your trick would be good and was looking forward to try it. Well I tried and it didn't go well at all. The parchment paper just slid with the pizza onto the stone and caught on fire. It was stuck to the pizza no matter how much flour I added at the bottom. I usually put cornmeal on the bottom and then slide it on the stone with pizza peel. So I didn't have luck with your method so I had to ditch the pizza. No matter it was worth a try.


The key is a good parchment paper. I use parchment paper every time I make pizza, as well as underneath my sourdough bread to create a sling. I found out the hard way that generic grocery store parchment paper will do the opposite of what you are using the paper for. Picking bits of paper out of my sourdough was not an exercise I ever want to repeat. Went with more expensive parchment sheets and have been sliding sourdough and pizza in and out of the oven ever since.


A little chiffonade basil on the bottom, oh la la! Uncharred basil on top.

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Pizza Margherita Recipe (2024)


What are the ingredients for a Margherita pizza? ›

Pizza margherita, as the Italians call it, is a simple pizza hailing from Naples. When done right, margherita pizza features a bubbly crust, crushed San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. That is all.

What is margarita made of pizza? ›

Pizza Margherita or Margherita pizza is a typical Neapolitan pizza, roundish in shape with a raised edge (the cornicione) and garnished with hand-crushed peeled tomatoes, mozzarella (buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte), fresh basil leaves, and extra virgin olive oil.

What makes a Margherita pizza different from regular pizza? ›

The main distinction is that Margherita pizza is made with fresh mozzarella, which contains more liquid than regular mozzarella. The mozzarella on an American cheese pizza is drier than on a specialty pizza. Margherita's recipe calls for fresh tomatoes and basil every time.

Is Margherita pizza just cheese and tomato? ›

What is a Margherita pizza? Margherita pizza dough is made with flour, salt, and yeast and topped with fresh basil, tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt, garlic, and mozzarella. The tomatoes are sliced and put onto the dough, followed by the garlic and basil, and then rounds of sliced mozzarella.

What's the difference between margarita and margherita? ›

But you might not know the difference between them. Let's clear things up so you can use them both in your writing correctly. Margarita is an alcoholic beverage made with tequila and lime juice. Margherita is pizza made with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.

What is the white stuff on Margherita pizza? ›

Margherita pizza is known for its ingredients representing the colours of the Italian flag. These ingredients include red tomato sauce, white mozzarella and fresh green basil. When all of these delicious flavours are combined on a hand-kneaded pizza base, a universally-adored pizza is created.

What cheese do Italians use for pizza? ›

The Champion: Mozzarella

While other Italian cheeses can often be either too fatty or too dry, when combined with mozzarella, they can add their unique flavours to the aroma and texture of a pizza. For a 100% Italian pizza, the best partners alongside mozzarella are: Provolone – another stretched-curd cheese.

What are the three ingredients of a Margherita pizza meant to represent? ›

The colors on the pizza (red tomatoes, white mozzarella and green basil) were meant to represent the national colors of Italy. At 3 Sons Italian, we offer a traditional take on the Margherita pizza.

Does Margherita pizza have basil or oregano? ›

There are two classic Naples pizzas: marinara has a thin, crisp base topped with fresh tomato passata and dotted with garlic and oregano; margherita has the same base topped with fresh tomato passata, mozzarella and fresh basil.

Why is Margherita pizza so good? ›

There's just something about the combination of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil that makes it irresistible. In my opinion, it's the best pizza around. I could eat margherita pizza every day and never get bored. I even enjoy it when it's cold, which is a testament to how much I love it.

When to add basil to Margherita pizza? ›

It's traditional to put the basil leaves on the pizza before baking, and it bakes with the rest of the pizza. But Franco Pepe at Pepe in Grani puts fresh basil on his margherita after it is baked, and so do others I admire. I like it both ways.

Does Margherita pizza have sauce on it? ›

Made with fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil, Margherita pizza is simple, classic, so easy, and absolutely delicious!

What are the major ingredients of pizza? ›

Pizza has three main elements: crust, sauce, and toppings. All of them have a variety of preparation methods. Crust: Traditional pizza crust is similar to bread dough. It's a combination of flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil.

What is Margherita pizza sauce made of? ›

Step-By-Step Instructions. Make the sauce by combining the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Alternatively, if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the ingredients in a food processor or blender.

What ingredients are found in pizza? ›

Ingredients in Pizza
  • 10 Common Pizza Dough Ingredients: All-purpose flour. Yeast (active dry or instant) Warm water. Olive oil. Salt. ...
  • 10 Common Pizza Toppings: Mozzarella cheese (shredded or fresh) Tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Pepperoni slices. Sliced bell peppers (green, red, yellow) Sliced onions (red or yellow)


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