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baked margherita pizza on cutting board

Margherita Pizza

Homemade pizza crust topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil, sea salt and olive oil. This is the ultimate Margherita Pizza recipe!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword margherita pizza, margherita pizza recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 547kcal


For the Sauce*

  • 28 oz can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Pizza

  • 12 fresh basil leaves whole or chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into cubes
  • coarse sea salt + olive oil


  • Move oven rack to the bottom of the oven. Remove any extra racks from the oven. Add pizza stone to the bottom rack and preheat oven to 525 degrees or as high as it will go. Once oven is preheated, keep stone in there an extra 30 minutes to ensure it is hot.

Make the Sauce

  • To make the sauce, empty can of tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Add olive oil, garlic, sugar and salt. Pulse until mostly smooth, but still has texture with a few small chunks.
    pouring margherita pizza sauce into bowl
  • Cut mozzarella into small cubes. Press between paper towels to remove any extra moisture. Set aside. Pick fresh basil leaves off stems and set aside or chop into smaller pieces.
    diced fresh mozzarella cheese on paper towels

Form the Pizzas

  • Stretch pizza dough out to be 4 individual pizzas, or 2-12 inch pizzas. You want the crust to be about 1/4 inch straight across, with an optional thicker edge. It may take a few tries to get your crust perfect. Too thin and you'll have a hard time getting the bottom crispy, especially if there is too much sauce. Use extra flour and cornmeal to keep dough from sticking to pizza peel/cutting board/plate/whatever you're using to transfer the pizza directly onto the hot stone.
    Before you start adding the pizza toppings, shake the pizza peel gently to ensure the dough moves easily back and forth. If it's stuck, add more flour and/or cornmeal underneath so it slides easily.
    risen pizza dough in bowl
  • Add a thin layer of pizza sauce to the dough (less is more).
    spreading margherita pizza sauce onto pizza dough


  • Top with fresh mozzarella and transfer to the hot pizza stone. Bake 7 minutes or until bottom crust is browned and crispy and cheese is hot and bubbly.
    unbaked margherita pizza on plate
  • Remove hot pizza off the stone and onto a cutting board. Top with fresh basil, a small little drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Cut and serve.
    baked margherita pizza on cutting board


*The recipe for the fresh sauce makes plenty of sauce...more than you'll need for this recipe. Store extras in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to two months.
*If your oven only goes to 500 degrees, you'll want to bake your pizza for a few extra minutes to make sure the bottom gets plenty crusty. Of course check the progress as you go since every oven is different.
*If your crust it too thin, it won't get very crispy because of the sauce and moisture in the cheese. It's better to err on the side of thicker than thinner.


Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 873IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 357mg | Iron: 6mg