It is the fresh tomato season and today I am here with an easy Caprese Pizza recipe that is perfect for using all the tomatoes that are currently in abundance.
Having grown up in a Mediterranean country, recipes made with fresh tomatoes were a staple in our house. Whether it is a simple Tomato Galette, an easy Cucumber Tomato Mozzarella Salad or a next-level Tomato Ricotta Tart recipe, my mom never needed an excuse to incorporate fresh summer tomatoes into her cooking.
This Pizza Caprese recipe is the newest addition to my collection of fresh tomato recipes. I served it with my current favorite wine, Decoy.
If you are not familiar, Decoy wines are produced in Napa Valley with grapes grown in the perfect climate of beautiful California for over 30 years. They advertise themselves as “The Everyday Wine for The Well Informed.” And rightfully so, as it not only tastes incredibly smooth but also pairs well with everyday food like, you guessed it, pizza!
What is Caprese Pizza & Why Should You Make It?
If you are a lover of Italian food, you probably heard of their famous Caprese Salad. It is basically a dish made up of fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and tomatoes and then sprinkled with salt and pepper. You finish it with a drizzle of olive oil, and serve with some crusty bread.
This Homemade Caprese Pizza recipe is a version of that. Simply put: it is tomato-basil-mozzarella pizza cooked to perfection. It is also:
- A great way to use fresh tomatoes that are in abundance
- An easy dinner that you can make easily on a Tuesday night in less than 30 minutes
- Made with simple fresh ingredients that are every day staples
In my opinion, the best part of this recipe is that it comes together in less than 30 minutes and that you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. Below are a few ingredient notes to help you as you make this easy Caprese pizza in your own kitchen:
- Store bought pizza dough: While you can certainly make your own pizza dough, I opted for a store-bought one for the ease of it, especially because nowadays you can easily find homemade pizza dough in most grocery stores. I find it to be a time-saver, but you can certainly make your own as well.
Below are a few of my favorite pizza dough recipes if you’d rather make your own:
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough – This is the pizza crust recipe I use when I make my own pizza dough
- Gluten-Free Pizza Crust – If you are following a gluten-free diet, my friend Traci’s recipe is perfect for a gluten-free pizza.
- Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Dough – From what I understand, this is the most popular pizza dough recipe that a lot people swear by.
- Tomatoes: I use cherry tomatoes, but any other tomato varieties would also work. During the summer months I also use heirloom tomatoes and during the winter months I go for Roma tomatoes.
- Fresh Mozzarella: I use fresh creamy mozzarella, but you can use shredded mozzarella as well.
How to make Pizza Caprese?
The process of making this mozzarella and basil pizza has 3 parts.
- Roast the tomatoes: Cut tomatoes in quarters and place them on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give them a toss. Roast until tomatoes start to burst, 9-10 minutes in a preheat 450 F degree oven. Set aside.
- Make the quick basil sauce: Place basil leaves, garlic cloves, and salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it a few times and then add in the olive oil. The goal here is to turn it into a paste that is easy to spread so you may have to stop the machine and scrape the sides a few times to get that paste-like consistency.
- Assemble: While it is so easy to assemble it, there are a few things I would like to point out for the best tomato and mozzarella pizza.
- Roll dough: I prefer my pizza to have a thin crust so I rolled my 1-pound fresh pizza dough into 14.5 inches. However, if you’d rather have a thicker slice, you can opt-in for a smaller pizza, somewhere between 12-13-inches in diameter.
It is great if you have a pizza stone or a pizza pan. If you don’t, I recommend this inexpensive one from Target.
- Spread the basil sauce on top: At first, you might feel like you do not have enough sauce, but all you want is for it to change the color of the dough and create a nice base for the tomatoes. Simply use a spoon or a spatula to spread it as evenly as you can.
- Distribute the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella evenly on top: Equally distribute the roasted tomatoes on top. Be sure to discard any of the juices remaining in the pan, you do not need those! Top it off with small pieces (I tear them by hand) of mozzarella or you can use precut mozzarella slices as well.
- Brush dough with oil: This step is optional, but if you are a lover of pizza crust like I am, I recommend brushing the sides of the dough lightly with olive oil.
- Bake it in the oven: If you have ever made pizza before you probably know the importance of the having a hot oven. Because the most delicious pizza is one that cooks fast in a very hot oven. That is why it is imperative that you take the time to preheat your oven.
The highest temperature my oven goes is 450 F (232 C) degrees, but if yours go higher feel free to heat it all the way up to 475-500 F degrees. Though if you do so, please be aware that it will cook faster.
Once it is out of the oven, sprinkle it with a few leaves of fresh basil. That is it!
Now, all you need to do is to open a bottle of Decoy wine and treat yourself for the best pizza night ever!
Best Way To Store:
If you have any leftovers, be sure to place in an airtight container and store in the fridge up to 2 days. When ready to serve, heat each slice in a preheat 300 F degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
Love the idea of serving this delicious Pizza Caprese with wine? Be sure to check out and purchase the collection of Decoy wines here.
Similar Spring Inspired Recipes You Might Like
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Spinach Tomato and Olive Flatbread Pizza
- Goat Cheese and Asparagus Tart
- Tomato Ricotta Tart
- Cucumber Tomato Mozzarella Salad
- Tomato Galette Recipe
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our Vegetarian Meal Recipes
Caprese Pizza Recipe
For The Tomatoes:
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes halved (heirloom tomatoes or Roma tomatoes would also work)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For The Basil Mixture:
- ¾ cup fresh basil leaves loosely packed – more to use as a garnish at the end
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For The Pizza:
- 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough thawed if frozen
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut/torn into small pieces (227 grams)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction optional
- Place the oven rack at the very top setting and preheat the oven to 450 F (232C) degrees.
- Place tomatoes on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give them a toss. Roast until tomatoes start to burst, 9-10 minutes. Set aside. Do not turn the oven off.
- Place a sheet pan or a pizza stone on the top shelf in your oven.
- While the tomatoes are roasting make the basil mixture. To do so, place basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to break it into smaller pieces. While the machine is running, drizzle it with olive oil. You may have to scrape the sides with a spatula a few times to turn it into a paste.
- Roll the pizza dough into a 14.5-inch circle. Spread it evenly with the basil mixture leaving an inch on the sides. The basil sauce will be a very thin layer. Scatter the roasted tomatoes and mozzarella pieces on top. Lightly brush the sides with olive oil.
- Using a pizza peel or the back of a sheet pan, carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated sheet pan or pizza stone. Bake 12-14 minutes or until the cheese is totally melted and the sides turned golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle it with fresh basil. Let it rest for a few minutes, cut into 8 slices, drizzle with the balsamic reduction (if using), and enjoy.
- Do not skip roasting the tomatoes: It may sound like an extra step but roasting tomatoes is a crucial step in that it helps with getting rid of some of the juices of the tomatoes and prevents your pizza from turning soggy after it is fully baked.
Though I have to mention, even after they are roasted you will end up with some juices on the baking sheet. I usually leave those behind (use them in salad dressings) and just use the tomatoes instead.
- A quick note on oven temperature: In my 450 F degree oven, this 14.5-inch Caprese pizza cooked in 12-13 minutes (or you can keep it in there until cheese is melted). However, in a hotter (i.e. 500 F degree) oven, it might cook in about 9-10 minutes. Luckily, you can get your cues of doneness from the edges because they turn golden brown when it is time to take it out of the oven.
- Caprese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze: It is traditional to drizzle Caprese Salad with balsamic reduction (aka balsamic glaze). If you have some, feel free to finish it off with a drizzle of it.
- To store: If you have any leftovers place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. When ready to serve, warm each slice in a preheated 300 F degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
- No pizza pan, no problem: If you do not have a pizza pan, you can bake the pizza on a large cookie sheet as well.
This post was originally published on April 2019. It has been updated with helpful information and no changes to the originally published recipe.