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Easy Margherita Pizza Recipe

A quick and easy Margherita pizza recipe with a simple twist, savory marinara. The added sauce keeps the pizza moist and adds a touch of color to the pie!

Pizza is one of Kim’s favorite dishes. Our site has tons of pizza influenced lunch and dinner options.

Our Instant Pot supreme pizza pasta and our hearty supreme pizza grilled cheese are just 2 examples of how much we adore pizza.

For today’s post, we’re sharing a non-traditional easy Margherita pizza recipe. Why non-traditional you ask?

The finished easy Margherita pizza on a pizza stone.
A pizza stone is a great tool for creating perfectly cooks pizzas every time!

Simple, because it tastes good! Also, the added sauce can keep the dough from drying out. I’m not a fan of the amount of oil used on most pizza Margheritas.

So, we decided to add a savory sauce instead. Now that you know why, you can give it a try and see if prefer this method as well.

A close-up view of the pizza showing melted cheese.
Keep in mind that sauce is optional. You can use an olive oil drizzle in place of the marinara.

Does Margherita pizza have sauce?

Traditionally, it does not have a tomato based sauce like marinara or pizza sauce. In most cases, it’s topped with high-quality olive oil, fresh tomato slices, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. Then baked to perfection in a high-temperature pizza oven.

Why do they call it pizza Margherita?

Supposedly, it is called this because it was named after Queen Margherita of Italy over 100 years ago.
Raw pizza dough on a counter-top.
For our pizza, we used a homemade dough. A link to that dough is in the tips section of the post.

How to make a pizza Margherita?

First, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. After that, lay your raw pizza dough out onto a pizza pan or stone.

Next, evenly spread the marinara sauce across the dough. Be sure to leave about an inch of space uncovered around the edge of the dough.

Marinara sauce has been spread over the dough.
For a traditional Margherita pie, substitute olive oil and freshly sliced tomatoes instead of sauce.

Then, sprinkle the fresh mozzarella on top of the sauce, leaving a little room for the cheese to melt.

Fresh pearls of mozzarella have been added to the pie.
You can use pearls, slices, or shredded mozzarella cheese.

Afterward, sprinkle half the fresh basil over the pie. Transfer the pie into your oven to bake until the dough is done and cheese has melted.

Thinly sliced fresh basil leaves added to the pizza.
We thinly sliced our basil, but you can use whole fresh basil leaves if you want.

It should take between 18-20 minutes. However, cooking times may vary based on the dough you used.

Please refer to the tips for additional information.

Last, once the pie is done, remove it from your oven, slice and enjoy!

The pizza has cooked and is ready to slice.
Once the pie has baked it’s ready to cut and serve!

That’s it, your easy pizza Margherita recipe is done! Kim and I hope you enjoy the pie and wish you all the best 🙂

Recipe Tips:

  • For our pizza we used the recipe for homemade pizza dough found on our site and halved the amount of ingredients to make 1 crust instead of 2.
  • The times and temperatures for baking the pie are based on a raw pizza dough. If you use a different crust or dough, please adjust the times and temperatures accordingly. Especially, if you use a pre-cooked dough. In that case, the pizza Margherita will only need to cook until the cheese melts.
  • For a more traditional take on this dish, remove the marinara sauce and use sliced tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in place of the pizza sauce.
A top-down view of the finished easy Margherita pizza.
Look at all that gooey melted mozzarella cheese!
Yield: 4 Servings

Easy Margherita Pizza Recipe

The pizza has cooked and is ready to slice.

A quick and easy Margherita pizza recipe with a simple twist, savory marinara. The added sauce keeps the pizza moist and adds a touch of color to the pie!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 12-Inch Pizza Crust, (homemade or store-bought-see tips in post)
  • 1/3 Cup Marinara Sauce, (or pizza sauce)
  • 4 Ounces Fresh Mozzarella
  • 6 Ounces Fresh Basil, (divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (optional drizzle)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° degrees F, and place the dough on a large pizza pan.
  2. Place the sauce on the dough and smooth it around, leaving about 1-inch of crust without sauce around the edge.
  3. Take small pieces of mozzarella and dot it over the sauce. Ensure to space it out evenly, so the cheese will have room to spread as it melts.
  4. Cut the basil into small strips (chiffonade cut), and sprinkle half of it over the mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and a light drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  6. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe and serving size of 2-slices of the pizza Margherita. Actual calories will vary.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 Slices

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 586mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g

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