Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza Margherita in 4 easy steps

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(259 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 10 mins


Makes 2 pizzas, serves 4

Even a novice cook can master the art of pizza with our simple step-by-step guide. Bellissimo

Nutrition and extra info

  • Pizzas uncooked
  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal431
  • fat15g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre3g
  • protein19g
  • salt1.87g
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    For the base

    • 300g strong bread flour
    • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)



      Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    For the tomato sauce

    • 100ml passata
    • handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried



      Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

    • 1 garlic clove, crushed

    For the topping

    • 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
    • handful grated or shaved parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)



      Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

    • handful cherry tomatoes, halved

    To finish

    • handful basil leaves (optional)



      Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


    1. Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.

    2. Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base.

    3. Roll out the dough: If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.

    4. Top and bake: Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Lynda Jones's picture
    Lynda Jones
    12th Jan, 2018
    What a fantastic easy recipe. I changed the parmesan to grated cheddar as i dont lkke parnessn and I added some Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree to the passata I have made these pizzas almost daily for a week. I make 3 good size pizzas out of the dough and roll the base nice and thin. They turn out perfect every time.
    27th Dec, 2017
    This recipe is great! Quick and easy to make. I froze the other batch of dough and sauce. May need to add a little more salt next time I make it though
    17th Dec, 2017
    The dough is easy to handle but tastes ptetty nasty, but it's a nice starting point.
    14th Oct, 2017
    Sooo good! We made these pizzas for the first time tonight and the kids even made their own and they turned out perfect! Beautiful.Who needs to order takeaway now?!
    Lorna Dilleen
    2nd Oct, 2017
    So easy to make with the kids!
    1st Oct, 2017
    Utterly dreadful. Dough was far too wet, even with suggested addition of more flour, failed to rise, and left the pizza flooded. Ordered thai food instead. We'll find another recipe elsewhere.
    22nd Jul, 2017
    it's my first time to make a pizza! god! just following this recipe step by step, super easy, you can have pizza at home. base this recipe, you can creat various and unique pizza for your family. thanks for this recipe. definitely will try again and again.
    13th Jun, 2017
    This recipe is a keeper. I'm not great in the kitchen but the result it produced was fantastic. I preheated the dough before putting the toppings on and the pizza turned out beautifully. I will make this again but next time I will refrain from drizzling olive oil on top. The cheese already makes it oily. My kids loved it.
    10th Jun, 2017
    Brilliant recipe! I only used it for the dough and made 2 little ones for the kids and one big one for myself and partner. I love cooking but am really not great at baking but this recipe was so easy to follow and quickly done without even too much mess in the kitchen. I put the crust in the oven with no toppings for 4 minutes to make sure it was cooked properly and used a heavy based baking sheet to cook it on top of and it was just delicious.
    4th Jun, 2017
    So easy and tastes delicious!


    15th Jun, 2016
    Where can I find a big thick cast iron baking tray? I have the one from Kitchencraft but it has only 27cm diameter which is quite small. Thanks
    17th Dec, 2015
    can i put in plain white so i dont havt to go out and buy a new paket of flour
    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Dec, 2015
    A strong flour is usually recommended, as it has a higher gluten content that traps air and creates the open doughy texture, but plain flour will still work very well for a pizza, we wouldn’t really recommend using it for a loaf of bread though. 
    7th Nov, 2015
    Can I freeze after shaping and adding tomato base and cheese?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    19th Nov, 2015
    Yes, you can freeze unbaked pizza. Don't worry about proving it first, shape, top then get it into the freezer as soon as you can, open-freezing it on parchment lined baking trays. Wrap once solid.  They will keep like this for 6 weeks. To bake: unwrap and thaw at room temperature before baking according to the recipe or bake from frozen allowing approx. an extra 15 mins.
    29th Sep, 2015
    How long does it need to be left to rise? Thank you
    21st Apr, 2015
    Can you freeze the dough balls
    goodfoodteam's picture
    12th May, 2015
    Hi nichamster Thanks for your question. Yes - freeze after first rise. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then leave to sit on the work surface to come to room temp before shaping and proving. 
    9th Mar, 2015
    Am I wrong in thinking there should be some water in the pizza base?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    12th May, 2015
    Hi Hlstevo, thanks for getting in touch. As with all our recipes we do not list water in the ingredients - only in the method. Please refer to the method text to confirm the quanity of water needed. 
    22nd Feb, 2017
    Excellent authentic thin crust pizza! Super easy. BUT PLEASE read everyone's comments before cooking as they are truly very helpful. In summary though I found: (1) You will need loads of extra flour when kneading as the dough is really very wet. (2) Oil your hands a little (olive oil) at the beginning of kneading to stop sticking and panic. (3) I cooked the bases first for about 4 minutes then added toppings and cooked for a further 8-10mins. My bases although I rolled them really thin and pre cooked them still didn't seem totally 100% cooked but we gobbled them down anyway as they tasted great. Next time I'll cook them for 6 mins first. For the topping I used DOUBLE the amount of passata as we like a good rich tommy base. Overall a great first attempt at pizzas washed down with loads of red wine. Super Recipe. Super easy pizzas that actually taste and look authentic. If you're a deep pan lover you will not like these pizzas! They are for the thin crust fan club ;) Enjoy :) x
    19th Oct, 2014
    We used Plain flour rather than Strong and the recipe still tasted lovely!!
    12th Jun, 2014
    Add a teaspoon of golden caster sugar to the pizza dough as it'll help the yeast. For the tomato sauce base, you can use a couple of tablespoons of regular pasta sauce which most of us have tucked away in our cupboards. Add dried basil to the pasta sauce, a pinch of sugar and season to taste. You probably wont need all the water, i never use that much when i make this recipe. Use a bit of common sense and gradually add the water the dough until it forms a kneadable ball. I then drizzle the dough with oil and need for 5mins. Then cover and let it rise for an hour to give the base a nice texture. I also oil the surface that I'm going to roll the dough out onto rather than flour so it doesn't dry out the mix! This is a fantastic recipe that is completely adaptable for your taste! X