This Caprese pizza recipe takes the classic Italian combination of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil and transforms them into an irresistible, easy-to-prep pizza pie. A drizzle of balsamic glaze will add the finishing touches to your ode to the Italian flag and its wonderful flavors.
What is Caprese Pizza & Why Should You Make It?
Like the Caprese salad it is patterned after, Caprese pizza centers around the flavors of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The three ingredients are thought to resemble the colors of the Italian flag (red, white, and green).
Making a pizza Caprese just takes those same ingredients and adds them to a pizza crust. Additionally, you can drizzle balsamic glaze on top of the pizza after baking just like you might drizzle it over a Caprese salad.
Whether you use store-bought pizza dough or use the pizza dough recipe below, it takes minutes to assemble and bake your Caprese pizza, so that alone is worth it. The flavors are already tried and true, and the Caprese basil pizza is a nice change from the usual cheese or Margherita styles of homemade pizza.
You’ll need a stand mixer or your hands if making the pizza dough yourself. Otherwise, a pizza pan comes in handy, but you can always use a baking sheet. Lastly, a rolling pin and/or your hands are the best tools of all.
Also, if you love making recipes using pizza dough check out these amazing parmesan bread bites; they make a great appetizer.
- Pizza Dough (see recipe below if making your own)
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Balsamic Glaze
- Olive Oil
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Black Pepper
🔪 How to make Caprese Pizza (Step-by-Step Instructions)
For the Pizza Dough (skip if buying pre-made pizza dough)
1. Allow the yeast mixture to rise.
2. Mix and then knead the ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
3. Allow the dough to rise.
For The Caprese Pizza
4. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
5. Flatten the dough into a round and form it into a pizza.
6. Add the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
7. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown crust.
8. Drizzle balsamic glaze and add fresh basil to serve.
💭Tips For Making Caprese Pizza
- When leaving the pizza dough to rise in a warm place, you can preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. Once you place the covered dough into the oven, shut it off. Prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. The heat will remain the ideal amount to gently encourage the maximum rise possible.
- When using mozzarella cheese for this Caprese pizza, you can save time by getting the cheese pre-sliced thin at a deli or in a ready-made package. That way, you’ll have almost no preparation and can enjoy building the Caprese pizza.
- When baking the pizza, make sure to check the bottom of the crust for a golden brown color. You can even put the oven on the broil setting for a few minutes to ensure the cheese is melted. Don’t walk away, though...broil is a fast process!
What does Caprese mean in cooking?
The term Caprese refers to the origin story of the Caprese salad, which was in the Isle Of Capri in Italy. The salad was meant to be a visual tribute to the Italian flag since it consisted of red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil.
How do you say Caprese?
Caprese is pronounced cuh-PRAY-zay, and is “of” the Isle of Capri in Italy.
What kind of crust to use to make Caprese pizza?
How to make Caprese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze?
The process of making Caprese pizza with balsamic glaze is very simple, especially when you are buying pre-made pizza dough. Either way, you form the dough into a round shape.
You add thin slices of mozzarella cheese, slices of tomato or halves of cherry tomato, and salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. That’s all. After baking, you’d only then drizzle the pizza with balsamic glaze and add fresh basil.
Can you make Caprese pizza with Grape Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes?
This recipe uses cherry tomatoes, so yes. If using larger tomatoes, make sure to slice them thinly. If using cherry tomatoes, you might want to halve the larger ones and place them all over the pizza or just let them fall where they may. It all depends on the Caprese look you’re going for.
How long can leftover Caprese pizza be stored?
Caprese pizza can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
What are the best tomatoes for homemade pizza?
Cherry tomatoes offer a tasty pop of flavor. If using larger slices of tomatoes for your Caprese pizza, plum tomatoes are the most flavorful and are also the best choice when making your own tomato sauce for other types of pizza.
Caprese Pizza Recipe
For Pizza Dough
- 1 ⅓ cups warm water between 110-115°F
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 TBSP granulated sugar
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 ½ - 4 cups all-purpose flour
For Caprese Pizza
- 1 tsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 12- oz. package of cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 TBSP balsamic glaze
- Fresh basil leaves
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
For The Pizza Dough (skip is using store-bought pizza dough)
- Whisk the water, yeast, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Cover and leave for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- Add 3 ½ cups of flour and salt, followed by olive oil. Beat at a lower speed for 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and allow to knead for 4-5 minutes. You can add in the remaining ½ cup flour if the dough is too sticky. It should come away from the sides of the bowl after a few minutes.
- 3, Grease a bowl with cooking spray or some additional olive oil. Add the dough to the bowl, making sure all sides are coated. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
For The Caprese Pizza
- Turn the pizza dough out onto a floured surface and start rolling it out to a circle.
- Place the dough onto a lightly greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Either with the rolling pin or your hands, press your fingers into the dough and flatten the surface. You can let the excess dough gather around the crust so you’ll have a Neopolitan style crust with a thinner middle and thicker sides.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Drizzle some olive oil onto the dough and rub it in.
- Place the mozzarella cheese slices around the pizza.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and place them around the pizza.
- Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flake to taste.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or more, until the cheese is melted and beginning to darken. Make sure the crust is golden brown beneath the pizza.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle fresh basil over the pizza. Enjoy your Caprese pizza!