Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

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(238 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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    3rd Jul, 2014
    This was so easy and turned out perfect. I took a tip from here and used a teaspoon of caster sugar and also let it rest a while longer. Also added the water gradually when mixing so I didn't make the mixture too wet. I used passata with onion and garlic already infused through it to save time and my toppings were sliced mozzarella, goats cheese, red onion and both red and green pesto. It was delicious. It was so easy I honestly don't think I'll buy shop bought or even take away pizza again. Would have been easy to convert to deep pan or calzone. Loved it.
    12th Jun, 2014
    Made this last night for fiancee and his best friend and they thought it 100x better than takeaway and 1000x better than frozen pizza! I didn't used as much water as experience has taught me, always to add gradually until the the dough comes together and is kneadable. I also added a teaspoon of golden caster sugar to the dough to help the yeast rise. I let the dough rise for an hour to give it the perfect base. Another tip would be to oil your surface (rather than flouring it) where you're going to roll out the dough For the tomato base I just used a couple of tablespoons of pasta sauce from a jar, added dried basil and seasoned to taste. I made 2 pizzas out of this recipe; 1 margherita and 1 BBQ chicken. For the BBQ chicken I squirted a good few dollops of the HP BBQ sauce and mixed it with a little bit of my tomato base and then spread it with the back of a spoon over the pizza. I then sprinkled over left over roast chicken and topped with mozzarella.
    31st May, 2014
    Have made these twice now, and they really are the easiest, most satisfying things to make with a real 'smug factor'! Children and teenagers love them, and my husband and I fight over the leftovers.. Not that there's been much left...
    Harrysu's picture
    29th Apr, 2014
    My daughter cooked this for our weekly family get together, delicious, we all enjoyed it very much and I can't wait to cook it myself. She used 200ml of passata and 250g mozzarella, only a slight variation to the recipe other than that wouldn't change a thing.
    23rd Mar, 2014
    We made this last night for 4 children with weights given and it comfortably made 4 10 inch thin base pizzas. Kids REALLY enjoyed them, this recipe has been an absolute hit and I do have to say although there wasn't any left overs, my daughter allowed me a nibble and it was superb! Will definitely make this one again. To note we used the jamie Oliver tomato sauce and it was a good combination and flavour.
    15th Mar, 2014
    I only gave this recipe 3 stars because, although the taste of the pizza is very nice, I had trouble getting the base to cook. I had another go with the remaining dough, but this time 'part baked' the base and used a proper pizza tray with holes in it, and it worked. I think the dough would be better split in to 4 rather than 2. I also added oregano to the sauce.
    27th Feb, 2014
    Me and the kids have just made these and they are delicious. Going to try with varies toppings next. The kids had great fun making them. Definitely a winner!!
    25th Feb, 2014
    Made this for the first time tonight and I have to say me and my family were impressed lovely taste and a really nice family affair everyone making their own toppings will Defo be a time and time again recipe in this house hold thank you x
    19th Feb, 2014
    Made this yesterday with my 7 & 10yr olds. Dough very easy to make. We rolled it out very thin to about 30cms each. Delicious with a lovely taste of herbs and garlic coming through. Split them up & we each added our different toppings. Will definitely become a favourite in our family. No more shop brought or take out pizza's for us. One tip only added about 150-175mls of water and it wasn't too sticky.
    23rd Jan, 2014
    Simple, quick and tasty...what more could you ask for...10 stars!


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