Margherita Pizza with Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil

When it comes to toppings for this Margherita pizza, less is more, especially with sauce. And when you spread the sauce on the dough, it's key to leave a 1-inch border around the edge to ensure the perfect mozzarella pizza. Slideshow: More Great Pizza Recipes 

Pizza Margherita
Photo: Photo by Joel Goldberg / Food Styling by Mallory Lance
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
1 10-inch pizza


  • One portion Perfect Neapolitan Pizza Dough

  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce

  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

  • 10 fresh basil leaves

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for grating


  1. Set a pizza stone on a rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500° for at least 45 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the dough ball from the refrigerator and let stand for 20 minutes.

  2. Working on a floured surface and using your fingers, press and stretch the dough ball out to a 10-inch round, working from the center toward the edge; avoid pressing on the outermost edge. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel. Spread the Pizza Sauce onto the dough, making sure to leave a 1-inch border around the edge, and top with the mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, a drizzle of the extra-virgin olive oil and a light grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

  3. Turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes, then return it to 500°. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, opening and closing the oven door as quickly as possible. Bake until the bottom is lightly charred and the toppings are bubbling, about 6 minutes for a chewier crust and 8 minutes for a crispier one; avoid opening the oven door during baking.

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