Margherita Pizza Perfection – Italy’s Iconic Slice

Ah, Margherita pizza. This simple yet sublime Italian staple has conquered the world with its savory simplicity. But there’s more to this pizza than meets the eye.

A Slice of History

The Margherita pizza pie has a storied history. As legend goes, in 1889, the Margherita pizza was created in Naples, Italy to honor Queen Margherita. The red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil leaves were meant to represent the colors of the Italian flag.

Whether myth or fact, this colorful theory has certainly immortalized the Margherita pizza. Over 100 years later, it remains Italy’s most iconic pizza.

Ingredients Done Right

A stellar Margherita pizza comes down to two things:

  • high-quality ingredients
  • simplicity

For the crust, only a thin, chewy Neapolitan crust will do. The crisp exterior and airy interior provide the perfect canvas for the toppings.

The sauce plays a supporting role. Smooth, bright San Marzano tomatoes add tang without overpowering. Just a smear of this crushed tomato goodness does the trick.

Of course, fresh mozzarella is non-negotiable. This soft, milky cheese brings that irresistible ooze factor.

Finally, each pie is topped with verdant basil leaves. Their herbaceous flavor adds balance and freshness.

Finding Pizza Perfection

An authentic Margherita pizza can be tough to find outside of Italy. Many restaurants add unnecessary toppings or use subpar ingredients.

For pizza perfection, seek out Neapolitan-style pizzerias using imported ingredients. Wood-fired ovens are ideal for mimicking the charred, blistered crust.

Or for pizza whimsy, try adding savory pancetta or peppery arugula. Just don’t overdo it! In Margherita pizza, less is more.

No matter how you slice it, when done right, the classic Margherita pizza hits that intoxicating balance of crust, sauce, cheese and herb. Each bite will transport you straight to the cobbled streets of Naples!

How to Make Margherita Pizza at Home

Want to channel your inner Italian pizza maker? Making Margherita pizza at home is totally doable with simple ingredients and a hot oven.

Here is a straightforward recipe to recreate this iconic pie:


  • Pizza dough
  • Crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to highest temp. If you have a pizza stone, preheat for 1 hour.
  2. Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thick round.
  3. Spread crushed tomato sauce, leaving a small border.
  4. Add fresh mozzarella slices.
  5. Sprinkle with basil leaves.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Bake until crust is golden brown, 7-12 minutes.
  8. Let pizza cool before adding salt and serving.

The Takeaway

The simplicity of Margherita pizza is what makes it so craveable. With flavorful ingredients and a piping hot oven, you can achieve pizza perfection at home.

What are you waiting for? Fire up that oven and get ready to enjoy Italy’s most iconic pizza!

Want to try more iconic dishes? Check out this roundup of must-try local foods from around the world. Your taste buds will thank you!