Quick and easy margherita pizza on homemade crust is your new weeknight go to. A simple, delicious rapid-rise crust is topped with pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, Italian seasonings, tomatoes, basil, and the best balsamic glaze!
For more pizza-spiration, check out my posts for Personal Pizzas, Pesto Chicken Pizza, Fruit Pizza (best EVER), and Meat Lover’s Pizza.
This post is sponsored by Fleischmann’s® Yeast. All opinions are my own.
Why This Recipe Works
Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast – To get that perfectly easy pizza crust, I always use Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast. Why? Well, because as much as I love a homemade pizza crust, I despise waiting to chow down on my pizza. Nothing tastes better than a homemade pizza crust, and Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast is perfect for impatient people like myself who want the crust but don’t want to wait for the crust to rise. By adding this yeast, it saves me time because it only requires one 10-minute rise! All you have to do is add the yeast to the dry ingredients and follow the recipe as-is. No need to hydrate the yeast in water first. Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast also works great in bread machines, you get three packets every time you buy it, and it’s gluten-free!
Fresh tomatoes – Even if tomatoes aren’t in season, it’s still yummy to put whatever tomatoes you can find on this margherita pizza recipe. For me, a margherita pizza isn’t a margherita pizza without the addition of fresh tomatoes.
Basil – Just like the fresh tomatoes, you also need fresh basil. I’ve personally seen margherita pizza with anywhere from a couple of fresh basil leaves to a large scattering. Personally, I love it with more basil so you’re getting some in nearly every bite. Go with your gut on this! In my opinion, you really can’t have too much.
Family-friendly – I don’t know how it is at your house, but at my house my kids are usually all about the plain cheese pizza. This easy pizza crust topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic is essentially a cheese + red sauce pizza at its base but is also full of other yummy goodness my kids will gobble up. Which makes me feel like I’m at least turning them on to different flavor profiles in their pizza, which can translate to other swaps down the road. Small steps!
Here’s How You Make It
You’re just 30 minutes away from the best easy pizza crust and margherita pizza toppings ever!
- First, preheat that oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Get out a large bowl to make the easy pizza crust by whisking together 1 ¾ cup of flour, the undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt.
- Now add to that the water and oil and mix till everything comes together in a sticky ball.
- Take the pizza dough out of the bowl and knead it on a floured surface, adding a little flour as you go until the ball is smooth and elastic. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while you move on to the next step.
- Prepare the glaze by adding the balsamic to a medium sauce pan. Bring it to a boil and allow to continue boiling for about 6-10 minutes or until it’s reduced by about half. Take it off the heat and stir in the honey and salt.
- Go back to the dough and roll it out into a 12-inch circle on the lined baking sheet. Pinch the edges to create a crust.
- Spread the sauce over (leave the edges uncovered). Add the cheese, tomatoes, and Herbs de Provence. Pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes or till the cheese is bubble and the crust has turned a golden-brown.
- Take the pizza out, top with fresh basil, some coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper as well as a drizzle of that delightful glaze. Eat!
Expert Tips and Tricks
- If you want to make the crust ahead of time, work through step 4. Remove the dough and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Let it thaw/come up to room temperature all the way before rolling out and making this easy pizza crust into something fabulous.
- I also like to bake the basil with the pizza rather than sprinkle on top after baking. It won’t be as pretty because the basil will bake and brown but still delicious!
- Other ingredients that go well in this pizza include roasted garlic, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.
- Add a dash of red pepper flakes for a hint of heat before serving.
My first babies – my twins – just turned six years old. SIX. I can hardly believe that it was six years ago that we were sitting in an Italian restaurant eating dinner with two newborns in car seats by our feet, when a kind stranger asked about our babies and wanted to know if they were twins. When we told him yes, he pulled out a two-dollar bill and gave it to us with a wish for good luck saying that two-dollar bills are rare these days, just like healthy twin babies. I still have that two-dollar bill and every time I catch a glimpse of it, or taste margherita pizza, I get a dash of nostalgia. Isn’t it funny how food can bring back memories like that? It’s kind of magical.
This margherita pizza recipe combines all of my favorite things: carbs, red sauce, tomatoes, cheese, and balsamic glaze. The best part is the easy pizza crust takes almost no time to make and is just as tender, chewy, and perfectly flavored as the crust from your favorite pizza place!