Cast Iron Classic Margherita Pizza

Classic Margherita Pizza is a delicious, light, and fresh meal that has incredible flavor! The fresh basil really pulls everything together.

Cast Iron Classic Margherita Pizza

The Best Classic Margherita Pizza You Can Make At Home!

The ingredients of a classic Pizza Margherita represent the colors of Italy with its ripe red tomatoes, white Mozzarella cheese, and fresh green basil. This attractive combination of simple, yet delicious, ingredients explains why it is a favorite of pizza lovers everywhere.

This version combines all of the above with a well-seasoned cast iron cooking surface and a super-hot 500°F oven to deliver a delightfully crispy crust with a soft, but not overly chewy, interior.

It’s no secret that large cast iron skillets are great for making deep dish pizzas at home, but there are a couple drawbacks to this application. For starters, it is challenging to cut the pizza without damaging that highly coveted well-seasoned surface that makes cast iron cookware so famous. What’s more, it is also difficult to transfer the whole pizza from the skillet to a safe cutting surface to avoid this problem.  

For this reason, the flat surface of a 10½-inch square cast iron combo grill/griddle is used here instead. Because it doesn’t have high sides, this piece makes it super easy to slide the finished pizza onto a more suitable surface before slicing.

This classic margherita pizza recipe yields enough dough to make two medium-crust pizzas on the cast iron griddle shown. If preferred, the dough can be divided to create three thin-crust pizzas of this size. Unused dough can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated or frozen for later use

Fresh Basil on Classic Margherita Pizza

Classic Margherita Pizza Ingredients:

Dough Ingredients:

Very warm water (110˚-115°F)
Active dry yeast
White or brown sugar
Table salt
Extra virgin olive oil, divided
All-purpose flour, divided
Non-stick cooking spray

Toppings Ingredients (for one pizza):

Pizza sauce
Dried Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Campari tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
Low-moisture Mozzarella, shredded
Fresh basil, sliced (+ small sprigs for garnish)
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional, for garnish

San Marzano tomatoes are often used for Pizza Margherita, partly because they are less watery than other varieties. If they are not available locally, you can substitute other varieties, as well. The variety shown here are Campari, which are rounder and juicier than the San Marzano. If you are worried about a soggy crust, chop the tomatoes instead of slicing them and strain for excess liquid before placing on top.

How to Make Classic Margherita Pizza:

To proof the yeast, add the warm water to a large bowl, followed by the yeast and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Add salt and two tablespoons olive oil to the same bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add two-and-a-half cups flour, one-half cup at a time, stirring continually until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.

Sprinkle flour onto a clean work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the prepared work surface and knead in remaining flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Shape dough into a ball and add to a clean bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.  

Tip: It will take approximately 3½ cups of all-purpose flour for the dough to reach the correct consistency. (If the dough is still sticky at that point, work in a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time, just until no longer sticky). The additional flour in the ingredients list is for the work surface and your hands while working with the dough.

When the dough is almost ready, place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 500°F.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. After a couple minutes, divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a clean, well-floured surface until it is a little bit larger than the surface of your cast iron skillet or griddle, as shown.

Transfer the dough to the cast iron griddle and stretch it with your fingers until it completely fills the space, and the outer perimeter is slightly thicker than the rest of the crust.

Brush remaining olive oil around the perimeter of the dough, as shown. Then top the dough with the pizza sauce and spread into a thin, uniform layer up to the edge of the oil-brushed crust. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning and garlic powder on top of the sauce in an even, uniform layer.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with the low-moisture shredded Mozzarella and carefully place the pizza in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is brown and bubbly.

Carefully remove from oven and cool for several minutes before topping with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.

Tip: The pan will be very, very hot at this point, so use extreme caution while working around it.

To serve, carefully slide the baked pizza to a clean cutting surface and slice into individual pieces. Enjoy a classic margherita pizza!

Slice of Margherita Pizza being picked up by a spatula
Fresh Basil on Classic Margherita Pizza
Yield: 2 Servings Per Pizza

Cast Iron Classic Margherita Pizza

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Classic Margherita Pizza is a delicious, light, and fresh meal that has incredible flavor! The fresh basil really pulls everything together.

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1½ cup very warm water (110˚-115°F)
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided 
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Toppings (for one pizza)

  • ⅓ cup pizza sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 small Campari tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 oz. fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 3 oz. low-moisture Mozzarella, shredded 
  • 3 Tablespoon fresh basil, sliced (+ small sprigs for garnish)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional, for garnish

Instructions

To proof the yeast, add the warm water to a large bowl, followed by the yeast and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Add salt and two tablespoons olive oil to the same bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add two-and-a-half cups flour, one-half cup at a time, stirring continually until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.

Sprinkle flour onto a clean work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the prepared work surface and knead in remaining flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Shape dough into a ball and add to a clean bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.

Tip: It will take approximately 3½ cups of all-purpose flour for the dough to reach the correct consistency. (If the dough is still sticky at that point, work in a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time, just until no longer sticky). The additional flour in the ingredients list is for the work surface and your hands while working with the dough.

When the dough is almost ready, place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 500°F.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. After a couple minutes, divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a clean, well-floured surface until it is a little bit larger than the surface of your cast iron skillet or griddle, as shown.

Transfer the dough to the cast iron griddle and stretch it with your fingers until it completely fills the space, and the outer perimeter is slightly thicker than the rest of the crust.

Brush remaining olive oil around the perimeter of the dough, as shown. Then top the dough with the pizza sauce and spread into a thin, uniform layer up to the edge of the oil-brushed crust. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning and garlic powder on top of the sauce in an even, uniform layer.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with the low-moisture shredded Mozzarella and carefully place the pizza in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is brown and bubbly.

Carefully remove from oven and cool for several minutes before topping with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.

Tip: The pan will be very, very hot at this point, so use extreme caution while working around it.

To serve, carefully slide the baked pizza to a clean cutting surface and slice into individual pieces. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 713Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 901mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 25g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 2/7/2021

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Classic Margherita Pizza is a delicious, light, and fresh meal that has incredible flavor! The fresh basil really pulls everything together.

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