As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
A Margherita Pizza is the most common pizza you’ll find in Italy, not because it’s basic, but because it’s delicious! Italians (and tourists) love it for a reason!
The good news is, you don’t have to fly to Italy to enjoy a good Margherita pizza. You can make it at home, fast and easy. This also happens to be one of my all-time favorite pizza recipes. In my humble opinion, this is the best pizza there is.
What Is A Margherita Pizza?
A traditional Margherita pizza is a classic Italian pizza that features a few very simple yet flavorful ingredients. The Margherita pizza is a loved and very traditional Italian classic.
Why Is It Called Margherita Pizza
It’s named after Queen Margherita of Italy and was created to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella cheese), and green (fresh basil).
What’s In A Margherita Pizza?
The base of a Margherita pizza typically consists of a thin crust that is topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, and whole basil leaves. It is then baked in a hot oven until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and slightly golden. The result is a delicious pizza with the perfect combination of tangy tomatoes, creamy cheese, and aromatic basil.
What Makes A Margherita Pizza Different From Regular Pizza?
A Margherita pizza is a specific type of pizza that differs from regular pizza in a few different ways:
- Toppings – This pizza is all about minimalism. It has just three ingredients and never diverts from those three ingredients. Namely San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. The idea is to keep the ingredients simple so that the flavors of each of them can really shine through. It’s a “less is more” type of pizza.
- Tomato Sauce – While it can sometimes be harder to come by here in the States, the traditional sauce of the Margherita Pizza is San Marzano tomato sauce. These types of tomatoes are known for being the best tomatoes for making pizza sauce in Italy. It’s made with either crushed or pureed San Marzano tomatoes, salt and some olive oil.
- Cheese – It’s not technically a Margherita Pizza if you don’t use fresh mozzarella cheese. You typically slice this cheese from a large ball of mozzarella and let the slices get your pizza all gooey in the oven. So if you have the option to use fresh mozzarella over the shredded stuff you find in the grocery store, do it! It’s well worth the experience.
- Basil – You can’t have a true Margherita Pizza without using fresh basil leaves. They are normally added just after the pizza comes out of the oven while it is still piping hot. This will wilt the leaves onto the pizza without burning them and infuse the basil flavor into the cheese.
In contrast, regular pizza can have just about any toppings you want to put on it. Regular pizza has a diverse range of toppings, while a Margherita pizza has very specific toppings.
Can I Use Regular White Pita Bread Instead Of Whole Wheat For Margherita Pita Pizza?
Yes, you can substitute regular white pita bread if you prefer. The whole wheat pita adds a nuttier flavor and additional fiber, but the choice is based on personal preference.
Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes Instead Of Tomato Sauce?
While tomato sauce is traditionally used for Margherita Pita, you can experiment with fresh tomatoes. Simply slice them thinly and arrange them on the pita before adding the other toppings. Keep in mind that fresh tomatoes may release more moisture during baking.
Can I Add Additional Toppings To Margherita Pita Pizza
Absolutely! While the Margherita Pita traditionally includes minimal toppings, you can customize it to your liking. Feel free to add ingredients like sliced olives, mushrooms, bell peppers, or even pepperoni for a twist on the classic Margherita flavor.
Homemade pizza is often leaps and bounds better than store-bought stuff. But very few people have time to make pizza dough at home. You can certainly purchase pizza crust, but that typically comes with a whole host of unwanted ingredients. So what’s the solution for a quick homemade Margherita pizza? Pita bread! You can purchase it at the store, or make your own at home if you love the make-it-from-scratch situation.
Can I Use Homemade Pizza Dough
You can! If you prefer the idea of pizza dough over using pita bread, you can absolutely do that. But you will want to increase the amount of pizza toppings accordingly as the measurements in the recipe below accommodate a pita bread-sized pizza.
- Pita Bread – This is the pizza dough recipe that was used in the pizza recipe you are currently reading.
- Oat flour pizza dough – This is great for those who are gluten-free.
- Vegan Chickpea Flour Pizza Dough – This can be used by gluten-free folks as well.
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough – For those who prefer whole grains.
What To Serve With Margherita Pizza
A fresh green salad is best. It complements a Margherita pizza wonderfully. Consider Italian salad dressing to keep the flavors complementary.
- Preheat the oven: Ensure that your oven is properly preheated to the specified temperature. This helps in achieving a crispy and evenly cooked pita.
- Choose high-quality ingredients: Select fresh and high-quality ingredients, including whole wheat pita bread, ripe tomatoes for the sauce, and fresh basil leaves. This will enhance the overall flavor of your Margherita Pita.
- Customize toppings: While the classic Margherita Pita traditionally includes tomato sauce, oregano, mozzarella cheese, and basil, feel free to experiment and add your favorite toppings such as sliced cherry tomatoes, black olives, or red pepper flakes for a touch of spice.
- Monitor baking time: Keep an eye on the pita while baking to avoid overcooking. The baking time may vary depending on your oven and/or thickness of the baking pan, so check for the desired level of cheese melt and pita crispness.
- Let it cool slightly: Allow the Margherita Pita to cool for a few minutes before slicing. This will make it easier to handle and prevent burning your mouth while enjoying it.
- Note: This recipe is meant to be a personal-size pizza made on pita bread. If your crust is larger, you will need to multiply the toppings accordingly.
About The Ingredients For Margherita Pizza
Whole wheat pita bread – Opt for whole wheat pita bread for a healthier option. You can find them in the bread or bakery section of your local grocery store. Look for pitas that are soft and fresh. (Or make your own pita bread at home.)
Tomato sauce – Use a good quality tomato sauce or marinara sauce. You can use store-bought tomato sauce or make your own at home. Look for options without added sugars or excessive sodium.
Dried Oregano – Dried Oregano adds a classic Italian flavor to the Margherita Pizza. You can adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences.
Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil works best for drizzling over your pizza. It adds a rich flavor. You can also use regular olive oil if that’s what you have on hand.
Mozzarella cheese – Use shredded mozzarella cheese for easy melting and even distribution, if that’s all you have access to. Fresh mozzarella is typically used, but it may release a bit more moisture during baking.
Fresh basil leaves – Fresh basil leaves add a wonderful aroma and freshness to the Margherita Pita. Tear or chop the leaves just before using them to expose their vibrant flavor.
Step-By-Step Instructions For Making Margherita Pizza
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), and gather measured your ingredients.
Place the whole wheat pita bread on a sheet pan, baking dish, or pizza stone.
Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pita bread, leaving a small border around the edges.
Sprinkle the dried oregano over the tomato sauce.
Add the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pizza.
If you wish, you can add some fresh basil leaves now, as well as add some after baking.
Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the pizza.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the pita are crispy. Remove the Margherita Pita from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
Sprinkle the torn or chopped fresh basil leaves over the top of the pizza.
Slice the Margherita Pita into wedges using a knife or pizza cutter and serve. You can sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan cheese over the top as an optional garnish if you wish.
After preparing Margherita Pizza, allow it to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container or by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This will help maintain its freshness and prevent it from drying out. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I Freeze Margherita Pizza?
It’s not recommended to freeze Margherita Pita once it’s baked, as the texture of the pita and the freshness of the toppings may be compromised upon thawing. It is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can freeze it after assembling it, before baking, so you have a ready-made pizza on hand in your freezer. Cooking times will vary. Put it straight into a preheated oven directly from the freezer. Do not thaw first.
How Can I Reheat Leftover Margherita Pizza?
To reheat leftover Margherita Pita, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), place the slices on a baking sheet, and bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pita is warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a toaster oven or microwave, but the texture may not be as crispy.
More Healthy Pita Pizza Recipes
Remember to subscribe to my free newsletter to receive all my latest recipes in your inbox. Click here to sign up!
Margherita Pizza Recipe Card
Margherita Pizza Recipe On A Pita CrustPrint Pin Rate Add to Collection Go to Collections
- 1 Baking sheet
- 1 Pizza Cutter (or sharp knife)
- 1 Cutting board
- 1 set of measuring cups (or kitchen scale)
- 1 standard whole wheat pita
- 3 tbsp. tomato sauce
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella (or 2 oz. sliced)
- fresh basil leaves (as much as you like)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and gather your measured ingredients.
- Place the whole wheat pita bread on a baking sheet or pizza stone.
- Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pita bread, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Sprinkle the dried oregano over the tomato sauce.
- Add the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pizza.
- If you wish, you can add some fresh basil now, and then add more when the pizza comes out of the oven. this is optional.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the pizza.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the pita are crispy. Remove the Margherita Pita from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle the torn or chopped fresh basil leaves over the top of the pizza.
- Slice the Margherita Pita into wedges using a knife or pizza cutter and serve.