Margherita Pizza

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Savor the classic flavors (and colors) of Italy with a crispy thin-crust Margherita pizza that rivals your favorite pizzeria!

Sliced margherita pizza on a wooden cutting board.

Margherita pizza, a classic thin-crust Italian pizza from Naples, owes its name to Queen Margherita of Savoy. Legend has it that during her visit to Naples in 1889, she was served a pizza that was made with the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella cheese), and green (basil leaves). This marked the creation of the now universally loved Margherita pizza.

Though this pizza is traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven, you can easily recreate it at home without one. I use a rich homemade pizza dough (store-bought works too), a blazing hot oven, and a sheet pan to produce a crisp yet chewy pizza crust. The no-cook Neapolitan pizza sauce is made made from canned San Marzano crushed tomatoes and can be whipped up in just 5 minutes! Pro tip: when making Margherita pizza, it’s essential to use high-quality ingredients and not overload the pizza with too many toppings. Less is more here—too much sauce and cheese will make the crust soggy.

“Made the sauce, dough, and pizza. It’s the best pizza I’ve had or made and I’ve tried many.”


What You’ll Need To Make Margherita Pizza

margherita pizza ingredients
  • Pizza dough: Homemade pizza dough is ideal, but store-bought may be substituted (these dough balls weigh about 1 pound each).
  • San Marzano crushed tomatoes: A variety of plum tomatoes that originate from the town of San Marzano sul Sarno near Naples, Italy, these tomatoes 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.
  • Fresh Mozzarella: 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.)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: 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.”
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Make the sauce by combining the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl.

neapolitan pizza sauce ingredients in bowl

Mix to combine. Alternatively, if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the ingredients in a food processor or blender. (Note: This recipe makes enough sauce for four pizzas. You can refrigerate extra sauce for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months.)

neapolitan pizza sauce

On a lightly floured surface, using your hands, stretch and press one ball of dough into an 12-inch round.

Circle of pizza dough on a marbled surface.

Transfer the dough to a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, and gently stretch it out again so that it maintains its shape.

Circle of pizza dough on a baking sheet.

Spread 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.

spreading the sauce on the dough

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 7 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked.

Pizza dough topped with red sauce.

Remove from the oven, and scatter half of the mozzarella cubes over the sauce, followed by half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Chunks of cheese on a pizza.

Slide the pan back into the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 4 minutes more.

Pizza topped with melted cheese.

Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle with the basil and slice. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough and ingredients. (If you’d like to bake the two pizzas at the same time, you can fire up two ovens. Or, if you don’t mind the crust a little thicker, you can form the two dough balls into 8×12-inch rectangles and place them side by side on the baking sheet.)

Sliced margherita pizza on a wooden cutting board.

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Margherita Pizza

Savor the classic flavors (and colors) of Italy with a crispy thin-crust Margherita pizza that rivals your favorite pizzeria!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus time to make the pizza dough and let it rise


  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flour, for stretching the dough
  • 2 (1-lb) homemade pizza doughs
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, not packed in water, cubed
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal, for baking


  1. Make the Sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, garlic, salt, sugar, pepper, and oil. (Alternatively, for a completely smooth sauce, you can blend the ingredients in a small food processor or blender.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 500°F and set an oven rack in the bottom position. Dust a 13x18-inch baking sheet with half of the cornmeal.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, using your hands, stretch and press one ball of dough into an 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to the cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, and gently stretch it out again so that it maintains its shape.
  4. Spread about ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 7 minutes, until the crust is partially cooked. Remove from the oven, and scatter half of the mozzarella cubes over the sauce, followed by half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slide the pan back into the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 4 minutes more. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle with the basil and slice. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough and ingredients. (If you'd like to bake the two pizzas at the same time, you can fire up two ovens. Or, if you don't mind the crust a little thicker, you can form the two dough balls into 8x12-inch rectangles and place them side by side on the baking sheet.)
  5. Note: This recipe makes enough sauce for 4 (12-inch) pizzas. Refrigerate extra sauce for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Serving size: 3 slices
  • Calories: 734
  • Fat: 32 g
  • Saturated fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 80 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Sodium: 710 mg
  • Cholesterol: 57 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • I just made this EXACTLY as directed… I rolled it super thin (because we like thin crust)… and cooked it on a pizza stone (which I had preheated). A couple of things: First, I would recommend adding some more flavor (maybe add parmesan cheese as well as the mozzarella). The crust was delicious. Secondly, I cooked it for 14 minutes and the only thing crispy or even done, was the crust. The whole middle was still raw. Not sure why!?!
    Otherwise, this is a good, pretty quick healthy option to pizza

    • — Paige on April 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this yesterday and it turned out perfectly on my second attempt (wasted my first batch of dough because I used a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon of yeast). I shared the pizza with friends and they all really enjoyed it!

    • — Chris on February 26, 2024
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  • I can’t eat garlic so always checked when ordering margarita pizza in Italy. And got the strangest looks followed by: Of course not. It’s margarita pizza, there is no garlic. It would feel like I insulted them that they couldn’t make a simple pizza!
    Love your baked goods though and the dough was good.

    • — Beach3 on January 16, 2024
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  • Way too much garlic in sauce

    • — K on December 31, 2023
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  • I am making the sauce as a side for calzones. Does the sauce need to be cooked down prior to serving or can it be used as-is? Thanks in advance, your recipes are the BEST!

    • — Rebecca on August 27, 2023
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  • Made the pizza last night using the dough recipe,easy and delicious.Assembled everything on the pizza peel then cooked on the pre heated pizza stone in the gas grill which gets to about 650-700 degrees,gets done in about 5 minutes.Freshly made tomato sauce and basil from the garden.Amazing. Thanks for the recipes Chef Jenn.

    • — lowandslow on July 20, 2023
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  • Turned out really good. My go to recipe

    • — Anisa on May 18, 2023
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  • My pizza crust never seems to be fully cooked, even in a 500 oven, without overcooking toppings. What are your thoughts on par-cooking crust before adding toppings?

    • — Maryann on April 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Maryann, This recipe does call for that; after you put the sauce on, you bake the crust for about 7 minutes/until it’s partially cooked. Have you tried this recipe yet?

      • — Jenn on April 29, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Jen,

        We make homemade pizza just like this but have never started by putting just the dough and sauce in the oven…the fully assembled pizza just goes in all at once. Can you tell me the advantage of doing it your way? Very curious! Many thanks! Mary in London

        • — Mary on May 5, 2023
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        • Hi Mary, Partially baking the dough ensures the center of the pizza doesn’t get soggy when you put the toppings on.

          • — Jenn on May 7, 2023
          • Reply
  • Jen… I can’t wait to make this recipe for the “Margherita Pizza” with fresh ingredients. We just got a new Weber Genesis grill; so I think I’ll have great results because, I can get it very hot to produce a better crust. I’ll post the results soon. Dee

    • — Dee on April 27, 2023
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  • I think you have a great website for baking. For cooking, if you can’t have garlic it’s a tough one. This is an example. I’ve ordered margarita pizza all over Italy and when I ask if it has garlic they give me a look and say no, it’s margarita, there is no garlic. So just a wish I guess, you find great recipes and good instructions, more based on herbs rather than garlic and onion. I yes. I know I’m very much the minority 🙂

    • — Beach on April 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi, you’re absolutely right, no garlic needed for pizza margherita, just basil and oregano 😉
      Anna, Italy

      • — Anna on June 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I haven’t been able to find a 14oz can of San Marzano tomatoes. The stores around here only have 28 oz cans. Can this recipe be doubled?

    • — Kelly H on March 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • Definitely!

      • — Jenn on March 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • The homemade dough recipe is AMAZING. I lost track of how many times I have used it. This pizza is amazing, and if you haven’t made the Stromboli…just as good if not better!

    I did try to swap the all-purpose flour with Gluten Free flour, but the dough was a bust. Not sure if you have a GF pizza dough recipe Jenn…hint hint.

    Thanks for all the awesome recipes,’

    • — Vincent Tarantino on March 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • We love this recipe and make it often. I have also had success with making and freezing the dough.

    I’’m steadily stocking our freezer with batches of your freezer-friendly recipes in advance of postpartum; just wondering if you think I could do the initial bake, then top with sauce and cheese, pop in freezer for 15 min (?) to let toppings set, then wrap in foil/freezer bag and proceed with second bake when we’re ready to pull it out to actually eat it? I know this recipe is best as written, and isn’t labor intensive, but I’m remembering that even chopping garlic felt impossible in those hazy newborn days…
    Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

    • — Lauren on October 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Lauren – you sound really on top of it — I’m impressed! Yes, although this is best as written, I think you could get away with what you’re describing. Enjoy your new addition when he/she arrives!!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • I wanted to make a Margherita pizza the other day and realized after reading this that I had no understanding of what the pizza was supposed to be – nor had I ever tasted one that was made with the right kind of sauce. I therefore went to the effort to get premium Italian diced tomato, and experienced for the first time a fresh unprocessed sauce. The flavour and aromatics were absolutely amazing, and restraint was used to curb the urge to add other ingredients. This was definitely not just a cheese and basil pizza! We all loved it and it will now be a regular favourite. As a side note, a perfect pairing with Amarone – each exceptional on their own, but a perfect fit together. Thank you so much!

    • — Kelly B on August 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this last night with your dough recipe from your cookbook I bought for my Kindle which is different than website recipe.Does this one make more dough?We found the book recipe just right for us and rolled out nicely,tasted good and provided a good texture cooked on the pizza stone in the screamin hot Weber gas grill(to hot to run oven). The no cook sauce is delicious as well.One Margherita and one Italian sausage with peppers,onions and mushrooms.

    • — lowandslow on July 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed the pizza! Yes, earlier this year, I updated the version on the website to make a slightly larger quantity.

      • — Jenn on July 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • We recently purchased a pizza oven for our backyard and as such we have been on a quest to find the best pizza dough – look no further, this is it! Super simple and failproof!

  • This pizza is spectacular. Absolutely delicious! We lived in NYC, so we know good pizza. Thank you for all of your amazing recipes. I also bought both of your cookbooks-everything I have made has been incredible. You are a blessing to this mom of two little boys under the age of four. And you make me look like a total gourmet chef to my husband. Thank you, thank you, thank you! xoxo

  • First recipe that really disappointed me. The sauce wasn’t spectacular. The dough wasn’t noteworthy. Overall a very bland pizza

  • Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes I’ve had the pleasure of serving my family this year.
    On Christmas Eve, we are foregoing the usual big Christmas dinner for heavy hors d’ oeuvres. I would like to use this pizza recipe to add to other items. I have a large pampered chef rectangle pizza stone that I rarely use. Do you think it would work with this pizza and would you change the baking times in using a pizza stone?

    • Sure Jennie, I think a pizza stone would work here. (If you’re accustomed to using a pizza stone, I’m sure you know that you need to preheat it first.) I’m not sure if using a stone will impact the baking time at all so just keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

    • I used my round Pampered Chef stone to make this recipe. I use it for all pizzas I make. I did not preheat it (oops Jenn, I didn’t know!), but my pizzas always come out great. I had to bake it a little longer than the recipe states, maybe because I used the stone rather than the pan in the recipe. Also I didn’t heat the stone .

      • I have a Pampered Chef round stone and I don’t preheat it. There is conflicting info online about whether Pampered Chef stones should be preheated. I tried it once anf my family said the crust was too crispy. Just so others might want to know, an authentic pizza crust in the Italian North End of Boston is not crispy. It is kind of floppy and you fold it to eat it.

        • — Paula on September 13, 2022
        • Reply
        • I didn’t make the sauce because my daughter had made some sauce for me and it sounded similar. Also , she had made dough that I had in my freezer. I had never made a pizza before by prebaking with the sauce – good idea. I baked this at 425 because when I bake at 500 my family says the crust is too crisp. As I mentioned above, we are used to a softer crust (old school Italian pizza in Boston). I had to bake it longer at 425. Thanks for a great recipe.

          • — Paula on September 13, 2022
          • Reply
  • I made this recipe using Trader Joe’s pizza crust to save time. I served it with a lovely salad. I had two guests that were used to very fine food. They said it was the best pizza they had ever tasted. Its absolutely delicious.
    I froze the sauce, without labeling it. A few months later I took it out of the freezer, thinking it was tomato soup. I ate the sauce as soup and it was delicious!. I haven’t tried that again, but it sure tasted good.😃
    I love the recipes I have used of yours, I am vegetarian so don’t make everything, but always check what you are posting. Thank you.

    • So glad you enjoyed this and your comment about eating the sauce as tomato soup cracked me up!!

  • Delicious recipe. The sauce is so easy and delicious. Next time I will try to make the dough.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • We made the the Margarita pizza and loved it. To get it a little more true Neapolitan, we made the crust a little thinner and turned up the heat a bit. Almost got the bubbly crust. It was fantastic. The dough is key and this recipe is completely on point and almost failproof. We now have homemade pizza night, affectionately call ‘Pizza Night Honey’, once a month. This crust does well for any toppings that we have thrown at it! Thanks Jenn! And a huge fan of your cookbook. Great recipes that are easy to execute!

    • — Randy Riemersma
    • Reply
  • Our family discovered Chef Jenn at the beginning of Covid a year ago. It was perfect timing! Every recipe has been a hit! I say I have a new chef! Not me! I really want to make awesome pizza at home. I have spent hours on the Margherita recipe and I can’t get it right! The dough is too thick and tough! What am I doing wrong?
    The pizza topping is too watery and I would recommend only one clove of garlic! I bought a pizza stone, but still not great! Help! Jenn G.

    • — Jennifer Gurry
    • Reply
    • So glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes! Regarding the pizza dough, I’m wondering if you’re using too much flour. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

  • I made this with Jenn’s homemade pizza dough as one big pizza rather than two small pizzas. The sauce was fantastic with the San Marzano tomatoes. I think the pizza could have used either less cheese or more sauce to really let the sauce shine as I felt it was overpowered by the cheese. As one pizza on a 14×17 baking sheet, I found I needed more time in the oven (I gave it an extra 4.5 minutes and it was perfect).

  • I found this recipe about 6 months ago and make it a couple times a month. Easy to make and so much better than carry out.

  • What I really like about this recipe is that it is delicious for my picky eaters. Thank you for always giving easy descriptions to follow. I love your recipes and I always consult them.

  • Thanks Jenn👩🏻‍🍳 for this recipe which has been our family‘s pizza night favorite for forever! I buy Slice of Vermont dough, make your homemade pesto sauce (so good!) and purchase heirloom tomatoes, whole mozzarella & basil at the Farmer’s Market or at our local Co-op. So easy and fast to make…boom bang bing! Everyone should try it 🥰🍕

  • This pizza is delicious. Perfect for either an appetizer or a meal. Once Upon a Chef recipes are my favorite. Always well written and yummy.

    • — Betsy Adams Hopkins
    • Reply
  • very nice pizza, very fresh but I have to confess my favorite OUAC pizza is white 3 cheese w arugula from cook book.

    • — Elizabeth Lockett
    • Reply
  • Made this version of pizza and the sauce many times since I first saw this last year- absolutely delicious – can be modified – thickness wise to your liking – I like mine with thin crust and there is nothing like making pizza on your own at home!

    • — priya rajkumar
    • Reply
  • Jenn:
    thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    My boyfriend & I just finished devouring the last bit, and it ( your recipe), made for a perfect rainy, December afternoon treat.

    BTW, the recipe reminds me of one I used to make when I was in high school. Making this today brought back a lot of good memories. Thank you so much!!!


    • — Lisa D’ABRAMO
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I am obsessed with your recipes! Everything I have made so far has been so delish. I have a question about this dish. I would like to add onions, peppers, and turkey sausage…should I add it to the pizza or cook the toppings separate? Thanks Jenn 💗

    • So glad you like the recipes! I would definitely cook the turkey sausage first and depending upon how tender you like your onions and peppers, you could cook those too. (And I’d add all of the toppings along with the cheese.) Hope that helps!

  • I made this pizza dough last night. It went together so easy and it tasted wonderful. I had made some sauce from my leftover cherry tomatoes, so the rest was a piece of cake. I froze half of the dough for another pizza next week!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Thank you Jen! This is the best pizza ever! I had a favorite pizza recipe that I made for thirty years but this one is awsome! And no need to cook the sauce!
    I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful recipes. Just to let you know, whenever I type the word “Once” on Google, your site automatically pops up. ☺️

    • — Josseline Wood
    • Reply
    • 🙂

      • This recipe was awesome as are all your recipies Jen. The family absolutely love the pizzas I make with your recipe. Why get delivery when this is so easy to make and Superior. I am never disappointed in anything I make on your site. Love your cookbook too and I’m looking forward to your new one.

  • We have made this pizza several times now. The sauce is rich and flavorful as well as easy to make. I use a baking stone in the oven and the crust comes out perfect. Crispy on the bottom and the inside tender but a little chewy. The other ingredients you recommend make this the perfect combination. This is the perfect pizza for us. Thanks so much.

  • I have made this pizza many times as it is delicious and easy. I stretch the dough a lot bigger for a thinner crust.
    It’s a great base and I add more veggies like sautéed onions and mushrooms or fresh spinach 😋

  • When I told my husband I was making a Margarita pizza, he was really confused because I don’t drink tequila lol! So I explained what it was and he said, “no meat?” I did add thin sliced onions because we love them. By the second bite, he was a fan. I really enjoyed it too! I used the dough recipe linked and found it easy to make.

    • LOL — glad you both enjoyed it!

  • I made the pizza this weekend, what a wonderful treat. I used your recipe for pizza dough too which was so easy and delicious. Your recipes continue to be my favorite source.
    I keep raving about your latest recipes to my friends; they are quickly joining your fan club. Thanks for another winner Jenn.

    • Glad it was a hit! ❤️

  • Can I cheat and use some leftover marinara sauce?

    • It will taste a little different, but sure, that will work. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Hi Jen, if I wanted to double the dough recipe, would I run into any issues? I would be using a KitchenAid Epicurian mixer. I am making it tonight but thought from the other reviews , that I will be making it again and thought it would be easier to make extra dough!
    My family LOVES all of your recipies and you!:)

    • Hi Debbie, I think it’ll be fine to double the dough recipe. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Hi,
    Made the sauce, dough and pizza. It’s the best pizza I’ve had or made and I’ve tried many times. My dough never turned out like this. It’s was exactly how you described it, crunchy outside and chewy on the inside and so tasty. The sauce was yummy too and so easy. My hubby and I ate the whole thing! If I had made the second one that would have been gone too! Again, another fabulous recipe.

  • The dough was perfect, the pizza sauce, cheese, fresh basil was perfect. Crunchy crust, melty cheese. Jen it was perfect. I’ve not been able to make a pizza dough like this. Margherita pizza is my favorite and I’ve Found it. 🙏

    • — Virginia Murrell
    • Reply
  • Jenn, this recipe is awesome!!!
    Did not change anything, it’s flavorful and very very easy to make.
    My family loved it!
    Thank you so much for yet another great recipe.

  • Great pizza! Basil is hard to find in stores right now so I did without. For my vegetarian daughter I topped it with sautéed Crimini mushroom slices. The carnivores had the mushrooms and cooked sweet Italian turkey sausage. I did cheat and used jarred Rao’s pizza sauce because I had used it before and knew it was good. I made the dough yesterday and left it in the fridge until this evening. The dough was very easy to make and to work with.

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