Pizza Margherita: A Neopolitan Classic
SUMMERTIME! And the livin’ is easy!
And so is the grillin’ of a home-made Pizza Margherita with all of the ripe tomatoes from the garden.
Besides the infamous thin crust, the ingredients that distinguish this unique pizza include fresh tomatoes, fresh bufalo mozzarella and fresh basil, each representing the red, white, and green colors of the Italian flag.
Pizza Margherita originated in Naples somewhere around 1899. A guy named Raffaelle Esposito created it for Queen Margherita when she was in the area to escape a cholera epidemic that was taking place in Northern Italy. The chef named the pizza after the queen when he received a letter from her stating how much she enjoyed the pizza.
This traditional Neapolitan pizza’s popularity has been steadily growing in the States. But for years you could only find this hallmark pizza in larger cities such as New York City. One difference that I noticed with the traditional New York pizzas, although they have thin crusts . . . is that they aren’t as ‘firm’ as those prepared in Italy. You know how New Yorker’s are infamous for folding those large slices of pizzas in half. . . the crust is more pliable! To me, the crust is yummy both ways.
This pizza truly rivals any of those offered in New York City and (some pizzas) in Italy! There’s some bad pizza made everywhere, including Italy. I know that sounds sort of sacrilegious, but it’s the truth. Just because you’re eating pizza in Italy, doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be perfect everywhere.
The good news is that if made correctly, you can enjoy this delicious pizza at home!
If you have a pizza stone, that’s great! But if not, use a perforated pizza pan to allow the oven’s heat to come through and cook the bottom of the pizza dough better. Several keys to success for a Margherita Pizza is a super thin crust with minimal toppings . . . actually less is more, so remember not to overload toppings on this pizza. Always use the highest quality ingredients of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil too; this is so important to attain the level of taste and quality that this pizza is known for.
How to Grill Pizza
1) Preheat the grill.
Set the temperature between 400 to 500 F degrees. Be watchful to see if it is getting TOO hot for your grill. You’re at risk of burning the pizza too. What a sad thing to happen after you’ve put the whole thing together!
Tip: If your grill doesn’t have a built-in temperature gauge, simply use your hand to determine the correct heat. The grill is hot enough when you can hold your hand about five inches above the grates for just one second.
2) Roll out the pizza dough.
Simply roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to help prevent it from sticking to the pizza pan.
3) Prepare the pizzas.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until ¼” thick. Ladel pizza sauce on top except for a 1″ edge around the crust should be left bare. Place ingredients on top. Place slices of cheese on top. Sprinkle with herbs.
Place the pizza on a perforated aluminum pizza pan. Grill the pizza until the cheese is melted.
5) Serve your pizza and enjoy!
Here are some shots of the Pizza Margherita that I enjoyed in Naples:
and THIS Pizza Margherita is what we made at home!
Here are two mini grilled pizza recipes you might enjoy!
Grilled Prosciutto, Fig, and Marinated Mozzarella Pizza
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- 1–1/4 oz. package active dry yeast (2–1/4 tsp.); Use NEW dry yeast, not old
- 1–3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, divided in half, plus more flour for dusting surfaces
- 3/4 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees), divided in half
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Blend yeast, 1 Tbsp. flour and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl.
- Let stand for about 5 minutes, until the surface looks slightly creamy.
- Add 1-1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup warm water, salt and oil.
- Stir until smooth.
- Add in enough more flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) for dough to start to pull away from the sides of the bowl (it will be somewhat wet).
- On a floured surface (wooden is best), knead the dough until smooth, soft and elastic for 10 minutes.
- Add more flour dusting to surface if dough becomes too sticky.
- Form dough into a ball, put in a dusted bowl, dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with plastic wrap or (non-terry cloth) kitchen towel.
- Let dough rise in a draft-free, warm room until doubled in size, 1-1/4 hours.
Products that will help you enjoy cooking more:
This is my go to pizza, just as soon as I get some basil growing!
Your home pizza looks really fabulous. i can’t wait to try it!
OMG roz.. you hit my weak spot!!!It’s so hard to get the right crust because that’s what makes it soooo good!!!
This is my favorite pizza…the thinner crust the better. Yours is beautiful. I can’t wait to try your recipe.
This is my favourite pizza. I have a pizza stone and now that my reno is done (yeah) I can hardly wait to make it.
wow what a pizza my fav and love the history of it also great new look for your blog Roz
That looks so very delicious!!! 🙂
My dinner was pizza too, but yours is just looking delicious…
Looks delicious, maybe Pizza this evening, but we do not make our own, either enjoy our neighbours or visit one of the local excellent pizzerias.
For me there is no better way to eat pizza, yours looks like a real pro did this for sure! I would pay you for one! Lovely picture, mouth watering and computer screen eating worthy!
It doesn’t get any better than the freshest ingredients atop a thin crust.
Time to get some basil planted!
What a spledid and mouthwatering pizza! Fantastic. Nothing can beat homemade pizzas.
Perfect pizza! A favorite of my family, especially me 🙁
I love this pizza Roz! Yummy!
I featured your blog tonight on my post.
Warmly, ~Melissa 🙂
I am so in love with your blog. The photo’s are just so appetizing:)
Already follow just stopping by to see what is for dinner.
Based on your gorgeous pictures I would say your pizza can certainly hold it’s own! I love a good margherita pizza. With ingredients like that, who needs the meat?
Wow…this pizza looks amazing. Wish I could take a bite right now!
I want to just dive into the computer screen – that photo looks so inviting. I just ordered a pizza stone by email and when it arrives – this will be on the agenda.
Bella Rozalinda! This is one of my favorite types of pizza! I adore the fresh mozzarella and the fresh basil! Growing up in and around NYC and especially Brooklyn, you can try so many different types of pizza, but I also love to use my stone and make my own. Thanks so much for sharing this on the hearth and soul hop! All the best! Alex
This looks absolutely amazing. I do love to make our own pizza…nothing better. yum
I’m a sucker for the classics ~ Looks delicious!
Thank you for the invite! 🙂
wow, that pizza look totally awesome. I don’t think I have the patience to make something as beautiful as that. I know of one or two really good Italian places that do it for me 🙂
Oh, I think I will be getting pizza for dinner!!! Your post is just so tempting!
Hi Roz! I’m inviting you to join me in a cook-along with Lidia! It’s pizza margherita this month! I knew you would have an awesome pic and recipe. Just visit my latest blog post! Thanks and have a great week!
Is there really anything better than a slice of margherita pizza?! I think not. SO summer perfect!
Joanne, It’s just one of my favorite pizzas too . . . just so fresh and vegetarian too! (Of course, my husband likes some sausage on the side for his meat-loving preference!
Have a great Sunday,
The Margherita pizza is by far my favorite pizzas. When it comes to pizza, simplicity best for me. I’m glad you recommended Publix dough. It’s almost as good as homemade.
Yes, I am unashamed to say that I use Publix pizza dough . . . it’s fresh and not frozen and delicious! It’s always so nice to have you stop by and visit. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer in the Carolina’s.
I am HUNGRY! I haven’t had a pizza in a really long while…now I am craving for a good margherita pizza!
I should be having ripe tomatoes from my garden soon and your pizza recipe is the perfect way to use some of them.
My mother is from Naples, and I knew this pizza originated there, but didn’t know the full story. Thanks for sharing it! I ate the best Pizza Margherita of my life in Capri, dining alfresco, many years ago. Some day, I will return…
There’s nothing better than the classic, and I adore New York style pizza!
I love pizza and yours looks delicious. My hubby makes homemade pizza but since he can’t eat it as much, he hasn’t made it in a while. Luckily I live in a place where good NYC pizza is readily available.
Your pizza looks perfect, Roz! I love the basil and oregano on the top. I haven’t made pizza in so long, and have been wanting to make it. My husband also likes meat on his pizza just like your husband so would have to add it on half of the pizza. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I loved hearing about the history, too!
Gosh, that is beautiful. A real Classic Margherita is both sauce and tomato slices. the balance of the tomato and cheese is very important. Yours is a work of art!
I can’t thank you enough for your sweet, kind compliments of my Pizza Margherita! I would have loved to have shared it with you Margot! Good luck with the giveaway and welcome to my blog and part of my family!
La Bella Vita Cucina
Wow! This looks so good! I would love to make it.
This is about as classic a recipe for Pizza Margherita out there. I hope that you make it, since it SUPER EASY. Get your hands on the freshest tomatoes possible and not those rubbery, tasteless tomatoes in the stores. Let me know what you think and I’ll be happy to feature you in this blog post!
A reminder to add this to our menu again! I’m going to make it with your crust recipe. P.S. Pompeii is on my bucket list–been to Italy 3 time and can’t wait to get back in 2025!
Beautiful! I don’t think pizza can get better than this. Sometimes I like a little extra sauce, sometimes more cheese, but these flavors can’t be beat.
Lucky you having your own garden tomatoes. The Pizzas look fabulous and I can only imagine how good they taste.
Sigh — such good stuff. The topping on a Margherita pizza are so simple, yet wonderful. You’re right that less is more. And yes, Pompeii is definitely worth spending an entire day visiting. Or two. 🙂
Parli lingua mia ! Baci !
Parli lingua mia ! Bacci !
Roz I love pizza Margarita and this looks amazing !
Now that’s a Margherita pizza! How gorgeous! I’ve made a couple of them this summer but they didn’t turn out near as good as yours looks. I’m going to have to try your recipe as well as make your dough. Thanks for sharing this again.