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This recipes uses a major shortcut — Boboli pizza crust — to make the famed recipe from Tony's Napoletana Pizza in San Francisco easy for the home cook.


  • One 12-inch Boboli pizza crust
  • Caputo flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 Cup salsa semplice, or pizza sauce
  • 2 Ounces fresh mozzarella di bufala, squeezed gently to release moisture, sliced, then drained on paper towels
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh basil leaves


Calories Per Serving477

Folate equivalent (total)350µg87%

Riboflavin (B2)0.4mg25.4%

Pizza Margherita

Legend holds the Pizza Margherita was named in 1889 for the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, by the chef Raffaelle Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi its festive colors reflect the three colors of the Italian flag. While we've made the crust with whole wheat flour, feel free to substitute all-purpose flour for a more traditional American-style crust.


  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) warm water (100°F to 115°F)
  • 2 tablespoons (43g) honey
  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups (396g to 425g) King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (18g) sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons (35g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 cups (227g) diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bread Salt or other fine salt


To make the dough: Stir together the yeast, water, honey, and 1 cup of the flour in a large mixing bowl, in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in the bucket of a bread machine. Cover the mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes it'll be very soupy.

Add 2 cups of the remaining flour, the vital wheat gluten, and the salt to the yeast mixture, along with the olive oil and sesame seeds. Mix and knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a smooth elastic dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for at least 2 hours, or until it's puffy in size.

An hour before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F. If you're using a baking stone, preheat the oven to 450°F.

To assemble the pizza: Divide the dough in half, roll each piece on a floured surface into a 13" to 15" round (depending on the size of your pizza pans), and place the rounds on lightly oiled pans. (A 13" diameter yields a thin crust a 15" diameter yields a cracker-thin crust.)

Turn in the overhanging edge to form a rim. If you plan to use a baking stone to bake the pizza, place the dough on two baker's peels, dusted with cornmeal or surfaced with parchment.

Brush each round with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Divide the tomato slices between the rounds. Divide the cheese and sprinkle it on top of the tomatoes. Divide the basil leaves and sprinkle them on top of the cheese. Divide and sprinkle on the salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

Bake the pizzas in the pans for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top and bottom crusts are nicely browned. If you're using baking stones, bake for 15 to 25 minutes (leaving the pizza on the parchment), or until the crust is nicely browned on the bottom.

Cut into wedges and serve immediately, garnished with additional fresh basil, if desired.

Storage information: Leftover pizza can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Just Mozzarella and Tomato

Ingredients for 1 pizza

250 g pizza dough
80 g peeled tomatoes
80 g fiordilatte mozzarella
basil leaves
extra-virgin olive oil

Crush the tomatoes with your hands or a fork and flavour with a pinch of salt. Cut the mozzarella into small cubes and, in a sieve, let the milky-water drain out of them.

Roll out the pizza dough following the instructions on how to make it
on the next pages.
Spread the tomatoes evenly on the pizza, add the drained mozzarella cubes, a few leaves of basil and salt to taste.

Drizzle with quality olive oil and put in a 280 °C oven for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the oven. Remove and garnish with some more fresh basil leaves just before serving.

Margherita Pizza Toppings:

Ok, that was a lot of discussion about pizza equipment. Let’s get to the toppings! I’ve experimented a lot with homemade pizzas over the years and have generally been disappointed in my early attempts at margherita pizzas for various reasons.

What Tomato Sauce Is Best For Pizza?

I have learned along the way that raw tomato sauces are the way to go. They are also extremely easy, flavorful, and authentic. Pureed San Marzano canned tomatoes (if you can’t find San Marzano, Italian plum tomatoes are the next best option), garlic (pressed or grated with a microplane), a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper. That’s it!

Whatever you do, avoid putting a thick layer of sauce on the pizza as it will result in a less crisp crust. It should be very thin.

What is the Best Mozzarella for Pizza?

Mozzarella! Buy fresh mozzarella, preferably not packed in water. Avoid the cheap variety that you find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store alongside the milk and yogurt (please don’t buy grated cheese).

Go to the special cheese section and buy the good-quality cheese. It makes a huge difference. I recommend BelGioisio mozzarella, which is widely available.

Instead of thinly slicing the cheese and placing it in large slices over your pizza, I strongly recommend cutting it into 1/2-inch cubes and sprinkling it evenly over the pizza. Alternatively, you can tear it by hand into small pieces, no thicker than 1/2-inch. This extra step helps distribute the cheese and moisture evenly.

If you can only find water-packed mozzarella: Be sure to pat the cubed mozzarella dry with paper-towels before it goes onto your pizza. Otherwise, it can leach water during the cooking process, and result in a soggier crust.

Other Margherita Pizza Toppings:

Finishing touches! Fresh torn basil, a sprinkling of freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and a little drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Whatever you do, don’t over-do it with the toppings.

Minimalism is essential when it comes to a great pizza at home. Go forth and make pizza. If you want to make other variations, you’ll love this red pepper pizza. If you prefer pizzas without tomato sauce, try this arugula pizza or this mushroom pizza.

NOTE: If you want to save time (and be able to make this pizza on a weeknight, which is totally do-able!), this pizza dough can be prepared and frozen ahead of time. See the recipe notes for more details!

Reviews ( 25 )

You can definitely taste the difference between using supermarket and farmer's market tomatoes, so this pizza is best in summer. I make it using my in-laws' pizza dough recipe and it is a big hit with our friends, one of whom is a professional chef.

This one is definitely a keeper. So easy to make and the whole family just loves it. Who needs Papa Murphy's?? The only change I made was to infuse the garlic with minced fresh garlic for 30 minutes before using it. Then I just drained off the 1/2 teaspoon of oil into the vinegar and used a pastry brush to brush the garlic and oil onto the crust.

This was good and I loved how easy it was, but I would make some modifications next time. I used canned Pilsbury pizza dough, would definately use fresh next time. I also used grocery store tomatoes. I think fresh tomatoes in season would make this a 4 or 5 star recipe. I didn't think it needed the olive oil but would just drizzle with balsamic next time. I will make this again.

Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe as written. The tomatoes have so much flavor, and the balsamic/oil drizzle with fresh basil is so truly authentic. This is a definite keeper.

This was fantastic! We used a Trader Joes refidgerated crust. And local tomatoes! Yumm!

Tasty and very easy. Was sweeter than I expected. might use a bit more salt next time.

Honestly I'm not even a big fan of marg pizza, but this is fantastic! Also, the portion is super satisfying for only 300 calories. Love it. Try it. : )

We added some Marinara sauce, since we had it on hand. But with or without that, this is easy, quick, and very tasty. I'll definitely make it again.

We loved this recipe. I used my bread machine to make the pizza dough. Also used canned stewed tomatoes, which I drained really well (fresh tomatoes are not in season). Will definielty make this again.

This was fantastic! I used a prebaked crust I had picked up from the grocery store. Check out my full review at http://stitchingmomma.blogspot.com/2011/11/recipe-review-quick-pizza-margherita.html

I have made this for my wife and I 5X's now and it tastes great each time.I make my own dough with a 50% mix SemolinaFlour and UnBleached All-Pupose Flour. 110 degree H2O sugar and yeast let stand to proof the yeast mix until foamy add salt to the Flours and knead with an upright mixer. 11/2 cups each flour 1 C.warm water 1 packet yeast 2Tbsp sugar proof the yeast then add 2 Tbsp EVOO add 1/2 tsp of seas salt to FloursKnead w/ dough hooks for 8 min. lightly Oil a bowl place the dough in it and let dbl in size for 1-2hrs. divide into thirds as each third will make 1 14" pizza crust.

Great if you are watching your calories but you still want pizza!

A very yummy, quick weeknight dinner! I agree that the olive oil/balsalmic mixture really makes the dish. I will definitely be making this again!

Loved it! Used Pilsbury refrigerated pizza dough. It was wonderful. The fresh basil made it very aromatic and delicious. Followed the recipe exactly, except for the fresh mozzaerlla, had to use shredded. But still worked fine. Will use fresh next time. Next time I will also add a bit more tomato since the recipe does not call for pizza sauce. My 13 year old son loved every bite.

I cooked this with whole wheat flour, which was a mistake. I could tell though that the pizza ingredients were tasty. I would do it next time with regular crust.

This recipe was good. Serving size was generous compared to other CL pizzas. Substituted Wegmans balsamic glaze for vinegar/oil mix. Would have liked this better with a whole wheat crust. Next time will try with homemade dough.

This recipe was easy and delicious! Great for a casual weeknight meal.

Wow! Great recipe. Fresh ingredients are best but using what’s on hand is almost as good, and in my house, more likely to happen. Here’s an even quicker and lighter version, which is easily made for just one person as follows: I used Flatout Light Italian Herb flatbread as mentioned by another member. (Thanks for that great suggestion) I also substituted, where appropriate, using ½ a large tomato, pinch of garlic powder, a shot of spray-on olive oil, pre-shredded cheese, and 2 or 3 sprays of Wishbone’s Salad Spritzers Balsamic Breeze for a quick finish. This makes a great lunch in minutes and clean up is next to nothing, especially if you use a sheet of parchment paper on your cookie sheet. With theses substitutions, one serving: Cal 169, fat 7g, Chol 15mg, Sod 503mg, Carbs 18mg, Fib 10g, Protein 15g, WW Points 3.

I gave this five stars because of its combined speed and taste-- I haven't had pizza in a few years, and I decided last-minute to throw this one together (used heirloom tomatoes instead of plum, and Trader Joe's garlic-herb pizza crust dough). I was done with prep work and it was out of the oven in about 30 minutes. I have two boys in the house whose taste buds are generally not adventurous, and they loved this. Will make again.

Three to four stars for taste, five for easy and quick. This was tasty, but I thought the canned crust had an off oily taste, not from the olive oil. Will try fresh pizza dough next time. Crust cooked beautifully on a stoneware baking sheet. Used bagged shredded cheese, but will try fresh next time. Added a handful of fresh arugula when it came out of the oven. That and the basil, oil, and vinegar added a lot of flavor. Easy to make other additions and would be a great appetizer if cut smaller. This was a spur of the moment dinner and two pieces weren't enough for an adult without a side dish, too. Definitely plan to make again.

Pizza Margherita

"This is the pizza that, like no other, defines 'pizza' in hearts and minds. It was famously named for Queen Margherita after she visited Naples on June 9, 1889, and was served this pizza by the pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito and his wife, Rosa Brandi.

Pizza Margherita is registered with the EU as a TSG (Traditional Specialties Guaranteed) product this recipe uses the ingredients and the allowed measures as defined by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). Still, there are differences: the texture of this pizza&mdashbaked in a home oven for about 7 minutes&mdashis crisper than that of a true pizza margherita, which bakes in 60 to 90 seconds in a wood-fired oven at 905°F. That pizza is softer in the rim, and especially in the middle. Do not take this point of differentiation as an apology, though this is a terrific pizza, and it&rsquos the one I make at home more often than any other. I love it in this version and in its true Neapolitan form.

The mozzarella cheese goes on the pizza after it has been in the oven for about 4 minutes this is to keep the texture of the cheese consistent with what you would find at a pizzeria in Naples. If you bake with the mozzarella on the pizza for the entire baking time, the cheese will completely liquefy and it will be more like a New York cheese pizza with basil than a real Neapolitan margherita pizza.

Basil on the pizza after it is baked or before? It&rsquos 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.

If you can eat this pizza whole, or just cut in half, I think you get the best experience. Slicing it like an American pizza usually means some of the ooze in the middle goes on the cutting board. I want the ooze on my fork! A pair of kitchen scissors is a useful service addition to a knife and fork at the table if you want to cut pieces instead of slicing." &mdashJBF Award winner Ken Forkish


  • 1 pizza dough ball
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cups tomato sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Scant 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 1/2 to 4 ounces fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese (fior di latte) or brine-packed mozzarella di bufala, sliced into short strips about 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 to 5 whole basil leaves


If you use a dough recipe that calls for refrigeration, remove your dough ball from the refrigerator about 60 to 90 minutes before baking pizza. Put your pizza steel or stone on an upper rack in your oven no more than 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to 550°F for 45 minutes.

Set up your pizza assembly station. Give yourself about 2 feet of width on the countertop. Moderately flour the work surface. Position your wooden peel next to the floured area and dust it lightly with flour. Have the sauce, oil, cheeses, and basil at hand, with a ladle or large spoon for the sauce. Switch the oven to broil 10 minutes before loading the pizza.

To shape the pizza, put the dough ball on the floured work surface and flip to coat both sides moderately with white flour. Transfer the disk of pizza dough to the peel and run your hands around the perimeter to relax it and work out the kinks.

Spread the tomato sauce over the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge, smoothing it with the back of the spoon or ladle. Turn off the broiler, then gently slide the pizza onto the pizza stone or steel. Close the oven door and change the setting to bake at 550°F. Let the pizza bake for about 4 minutes, until the rim is just starting to turn golden. Use a pair of tongs to remove the pizza onto a plate. Drizzle a spoonful or so of olive oil on top of the pizza, then sprinkle the grated pecorino evenly over the sauce. Layer the mozzarella and basil leaves evenly over the pizza. Using your hands, place the pizza back onto the pizza steel or stone and continue baking for 1 to 2 minutes.

Change the oven setting from bake to broil and let the pizza bake until the cheese is softly melted and the crust is golden with spots of brown and a few small spots of char, about 2 minutes (check it after 1 minute to be safe). Use tongs or a fork to slide the pizza from the pizza steel or stone onto the plate. Drizzle a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil over the pizza and serve whole or sliced in half.

Variation: add sliced cherry tomatoes as soon as this pizza comes out of the oven for a margherita &ldquoextra.&rdquo

Reprinted with permission from The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography credit: Alan Weiner © 2016

What You’ll Need To Make Margherita Pizza

    is ideal, but store-bought may be substituted (these dough balls weigh about 12 ounces each).
  • San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes that originate from the town of San Marzano sul Sarno, near Naples, Italy. They have a sweeter, less acidic, and more concentrated flavor than typical roma tomatoes. Many supermarkets carry them but don’t worry if you can’t find them regular crushed tomatoes will work.
  • Look for a fresh mozzarella ball that is not packed in water. (Or, if the cheese is packed in water, be sure to dry it well.) Also, it’s important to use authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, which you can identify by looking at the rind, which is embossed with the name over and over. If the cheese is already grated, it should be labeled “Parmigiano Reggiano,” not “Parmesan.”

Makes one 9–10” pizza Servings

Step 1

Heat broiler with rack in top position place sheet of foil on rack below to catch any drips. Transfer crust to a baking sheet or pizza peel. Spread tomatoes over crust, leaving a 1/2” border, then top with cheese. Slide pizza onto rack and broil, checking often, until cheese is melted and bubbling and crust is charred and blistered in spots, 6–8 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove pizza from oven drizzle with oil and top with basil leaves.

How would you rate Pizza Margherita?

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a pizza stone on the rack in the lower third of the oven. (You can use a sheet pan or a cast iron skillet to bake the pizza if you do not have a stone.)

Divide the dough in half, then form it into a flat round and let rest on top of your knuckles on both raised fists. Use your knuckles to pull out and stretch the round into a thin circle. Place the dough circle on your work surface and press it out as thin as you can with your fingertips.

Place the dough circle on a piece of parchment on a pizza peel-paddle (or if you do not have a pizza paddle, slide the parchment paper with the pizza dough circle on the back of a sheet pan.) Spread half of the sauce onto the dough, use just enough sauce to dot about half of the pizza’s surface, leaving a lip around the edge. In the spaces where you haven’t dotted sauce, lay half of the cheese. Drizzle with half of the olive oil. Slide off the pizza peel or sheet pan onto the baking stone (or on your sheet pan/cast-iron skillet).

Bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is browned and crisp on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and repeat with remaining dough, sauce, cheese and olive oil.

* A Pizza stone is usually a rectangular stone made of terra cotta—it helps to bake a good crusty pizza and focaccia, because it heats to high temperature and disperses the heat evenly, cooking the bottom of the pizza evenly and crisply. A pizza stone should not be washed, since it is poreous—just scrape and brush any remaining debris.

Take about 60g to 70g of chopped tomatoes and using a wooden spoon place in the center of the disk of dough. With a spiraling motion, spread the tomato over the surface. Then add a pinch of salt on the tomatoes, 80 - 100 g of DOP buffalo mozzarella, cut into strips and some basil leaves. Again with a spiraling motion starting from the centre, add 4 to 5 grams of extra virgin olive oil.

Cook in a wood- brick oven at a temperature between 450C° to 480C°, rotating the position of the pizza frequently to make sure the heat is spread evenly.

Watch the video: How to Make PIZZA MARGHERITA like a Neapolitan Pizza Chef

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