Homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe

Margherita Pizza

This homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe is a fantastic dish to make at home, and especially fun to make with kids! You only need a few ingredients to make this Italian speciality. Keep reading for tips and tricks of how to make homemade pizza sauce and also how to level up your crust! 

The year I lived in Italy, I spent the majority of my time in Rome. Every few weekends, I would venture away from my Roman paradise and explore a different part of the beautiful country I was living in. I visited the Cinque Terre, Bologna, Frascati, Pompeii, Sicily.

One weekend, I went to…. Naples. 

There are a lot of opinions in the world on Naples. Some people absolutely love the city and can’t get enough of the Napoli people and their rough and tumble attitudes. Some people think that the city is on the dirtier side and that the people of Naples can be intimidating. 

I visited the city with an open mind, but at a first glance, I wasn’t sure how I felt. But as I started to venture further out and experience the city as it was meant to be seen, I learned to love Naples!

alexandria with a margherita pizza in Naples

Pizza in Naples

The best part, of course, was the pizza. I did the stereotypical tourist thing. I visited the pizzeria that Sarah Jessica Parker gave her fantastic, perspective-altering monologue about it being okay to eat calories in Eat, Pray, Love. In the movie, she ate the whole pizza. *I* ate the whole pizza. 

That pizza was, to put it lightly, life-changing. I have never eaten another pizza so delicious in my life, and I’m not sure I ever will. But this Margherita Pizza Recipe… this Margherita Pizza Recipe right here does its best. I won’t ever claim to be as good as one of the oldest pizzerias in Naples, but I can try my hardest to come close. We’ve done a great job, folks, if I do say so myself. 

I can’t wait for you to try this Margherita Pizza Recipe at home! I just know you’ll love it. And I can’t wait to hear about it when you do 🙂 

What Does Margherita Pizza Have on It?

Margherita pizza is made with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, roma tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves. 

The Margherita Pizza is an Italian (and Neapolitan, specifically) classic. If done right, the ingredients on the pie are fresh and flavorful, making for a spectacular taste in every bite. 

Pile on as much basil and as many tomatoes as you wish. You won’t regret it 🙂

full pizza with a slice pulled out

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make this Margherita Pizza Recipe? 

1 Pizza Crust (I like Tiseo’s Frozen Pizza Dough)
1 ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 Roma Tomatoes, cut into thin rounds
10 Large Basil Leaves
½ cup Pizza Sauce 
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated 

What Ingredients are in Homemade Pizza Sauce? 

6 oz tomato paste
¼ cup olive oil 
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp oregano 
¾ tsp rosemary 
½ tsp sage 
¼ tsp marjoram 
¼ tsp salt 

How to Make Homemade Margherita Pizza 

Thaw your pizza dough according to package instructions. Flour a working surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out your pizza dough to your desired size. Lay it on a pizza stone or a greased pizza pan. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for pizza sauce. 

Use a pastry brush or spoon to spread pizza sauce on the pizza dough. 

Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the pizza dough. Then layer the sliced roma tomatoes on top. 

Bake the pizza in the oven according to pizza dough instructions. I baked mine at 450 degrees for 18 minutes. 

When pizza is done baking, remove from the oven. 

Melt the butter in a microwave safe dish. Use a pastry brush to brush butter on the crust of the pizza. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the crust. 

Lay fresh basil leaves on top of the baked pizza. Enjoy! 

a slice of margherita pizza

Why is It Called a Margherita Pizza? 

There are a few rumors about how Margherita Pizza got its name. The most well-known theory is that the pizza is named after the Queen of Italy (queen during the late 1800s-early 1900s), Margherita of Savoy. 

The decoration of Margherita pizza can also be the credited for its name. The pizza features slices of mozzarella cheese and basil leaves in a beautiful ring on the surface of the pizza. Some say that this design is reminiscent of a daisy, the word for which is “Margherita” in Italian. 

How Do I Make Pizza Crust Taste Better? 

Pizza crust can either be the absolute BEST part of this pizza or the absolute worst. So you have to treat it right! 

To make sure that you’re gracing your pizza crust with maximum deliciousness, follow my instructions carefully. Melt some butter, scoop some roasted garlic, and grab a handful of grated parmesan cheese (not all at once, that would be difficult). 

Mix a little garlic into the butter and then brush that wonderful concoction on the pizza dough. Then take your handful of parmesan and sprinkle it allllll over that bad boy. 

Viola! The most delicious pizza crust in the world! Butter, garlic and parmesan: the greatest combination known to man. 

Can I Add Meat to this Pizza? 

Of course! You can honestly add whatever you want on top of this pizza. A typical margherita pizza has only mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. If you add anything else to your pizza, it can’t technically be considered a margherita anymore (but shhhh I won’t tell if you wont! 😉 ). 

Some other yummy options to add to this pizza would be chicken breast, bacon, ham, onions, olives, mushrooms or…. Literally anything else you can think of in the world!

Don’t feel boxed into a true Margherita if that’s not what you’re craving. Get creative, you can do whatever you want

pulling a cheesy slice of pizza

Be Careful with Your Basil Leaves! 

When making this pizza, be very careful not to put the basil leaves on your pizza before you bake it! This will cause them to burn and flake and overall be not very delicious at all. 

The best move is to remove your pizza from the oven, glam up the crust, and then lay your basil leaves on top. 

The longer that the basil sits on a hot pizza, the quicker the leaves will get brown. If you’re cooking to impress, don’t put the basil on pizza until right before you serve it. 

Homemade Margherita Pizza Recipe

What Goes Well as a Side to this Recipe? 

So many things! You can always make a delicious salad to go alongside this margherita pizza recipe. One of my favorite options is this Quinoa Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese.

If you want a traditional Italian dessert to go with your traditional Italian meal, try this Easy Tiramisu Recipe I Learned in Italy

Thanks for reading everyone! If you liked this recipe, post a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! And if you make it, make sure to take a photo and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork. I can’t wait to see your creations! 

Pastel de Choclo Recipe from Chile

Pastel de Choclo on a plate

This pastel de choclo is a unique and delicious casserole recipe! Beef is topped with a cream of corn mixture and then baked. The result is a sweet, savory, and delicious casserole that is guaranteed to mix up your everyday dinner!

I’m a midwestern girl, which means that casseroles are big in my household. My mom doesn’t cook very much, but she did have about 5 favorite recipes she would make when we were growing up, about three of which were casseroles…. 

There’s something about a casserole that makes the dinner table feel so much like home. One big dish filled with everything you need– vegetables, meat, sauces– steaming hot and waiting to be dug into. I love a good casserole! Apparently, so too, do the Chileans! 

What is Pastel de Choclo?

This Pastel de Choclo is a really fun rendition of a casserole. Vaguely shepards-pie-like in structure, it’s familiar to Western taste. What’s more exciting though, is the topping of this casserole. Instead of mashed potatoes, corn is blended up in a blender and mixed with spices to top the meat in the casserole dish. 

The other interesting part about this pastel de choclo is the other ingredients in the base of the casserole dish. Not only does the casserole dish include beef, it also features chicken, hard boiled eggs and raisins. 

For some of us, this may sound like a strange combination… normally unheard of in dishes in America. But give it a chance and I promise you’ll love it. This casserole is delicious!! 

Pastel de Choclo with spoon to scoop

What Ingredients are in Pastel de Choclo?

Ground beef
Olive oil 
Onions
Cumin 
Paprika
Corn kernels 
Milk
Butter
Hard boiled eggs
Roasted chicken 
Raisins
Cayenne pepper
Paprika
Fresh basil

How to Make the Corn Topping

If you have a blender or food processor, add the corn and ¼ cup milk and pulse until a cream is created. Then add the spices and pulse again. Pour this blend into a medium-sized pan with butter and another ½ cup milk. Mix this combination on the stove until the mixture begins to bubble. This is how you know it is ready! 

To Add Sugar or Not to Add Sugar? 

I know what you’re thinking… Why are you bringing up sugar when this is a casserole recipe? I’ll tell ya!

When Chileans make pastel de choclo, they sometimes will stir sugar into the corn topping to make it sweeter. You can choose to add the sugar or omit. I personally elected to keep my pastel de choclo sugar-less, though I’m sure sugar would be an interested addition. Maybe I’ll try it next time!

If you add sugar to your corn topping, make sure to leave a comment telling me what you thought. 

What Kind of Chicken Should I Use in My Filling?

I was kind of lazy when I was making my pastel de choclo, so I chose to travel the path of least resistance. My family regularly buys a rotisserie chicken from our grocery store every week, which we use in meal prep or salad situations. (If you’d like to try making your own oven-roasted rotisserie chicken, try this recipe from A Mindfull Mom).

Instead of cooking chicken for this recipe, I used the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. This made the process of cooking this dish a lot faster than it could have been, which is always welcome. 

Did you like this pastel de choclo recipe? Then you should also check out these other Foreign Fork casserole recipes!: 

Thanks for reading everyone! If you loved this recipe, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Pastel de Choclo

This pastel de choclo is a unique and delicious casserole recipe! Beef is topped with a cream of corn mixture and then baked. The result is a sweet, savory, and delicious casserole that is guaranteed to mix up your everyday dinner!

Course casserole, Main Course
Cuisine Chile
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Beef Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup cooked chicken chopped
  • ¼ cup Raisins

Corn Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 cups corn kernels
  • ¾ cup milk separated
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper more or less to taste
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

Instructions

Beef Mixture

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pan on the stove, heat olive oil and then add chopped onions.
  3. Cook onions for about 5 minutes, until they turn translucent.
  4. Add the ground beef and spices into the pan and cook until meat is browned.
  5. Remove meat from heat and mix in raisins, hard boiled eggs, and chicken.

Corn Topping:

  1. In a food processor or blender, add corn and ¼ cup milk. Pulse until the corn is completely blended and forms a cream.
  2. Transfer this mixture to a medium-sized pot on the stove. Stir in butter, salt, cayenne, paprika, and another ½ cup milk.
  3. Stir until the butter melts and then continue stirring until mixture begins to bubble. Add in the basil and stir again.

Assembly:

  1. In a large casserole dish, lay the meat mixture. Pour the corn mixture over the meat.
  2. Place in the oven, uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until the corn mixture starts to stiffen and brown.
  3. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before enjoying.
  4. Leave a comment letting me know what you thought of this recipe!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Hibiscus Tea with Strawberry & Basil from Burkina Faso

Hibiscus Tea is a popular drink in Burkina Faso, oftentimes served with pineapple. I loved the idea of fruit-infused tea, so I paired my hibiscus tea recipe with strawberries and basil. This tea can be enjoyed warm or cold, but I particularly love it on ice!

I used to love having a variety of drinks with my meals. I loved milk and juices especially, and I was always very particular about combinations of drinks that paired well with different meals. For example… Pancakes with syrup HAD to go with orange juice. And if the restaurant we are at had crappy orange juice? Sorry, no pancakes for me today. Milk with pizza was a definite MUST. Anything else would have been pure idiocy!

one glass of hibiscus tea

Healthy Mindset Surrounding “Liquid Calories”

As I grew up and began struggling with my body image, any drink besides water became public enemy #1. An extra 120 calories at dinner just because I wanted a cup of milk? Dumb choice. And the thought of drinking orange juice was so absurd to me… why would I ever choose put that extra sugar in my body when I was counting (and restricting) every single gram of sugar that I ate?

Suddenly, drinking anything besides water lost its appeal. No coffee, no milk, NO alcohol, and no sweet tea.

Thankfully, I’ve come a far way since then. Truthfully, years of drinking water have made me partial to continuing to have water with my meals. To this day it is now very rare for me to order a coffee or a juice with breakfast, and I definitely don’t drink milk at the dinner table anymore. But, as I’ve since learned, there’s nothing to be scared about when it comes to drinking calories. Balance is key, no matter if the calories are liquid or not (and I try not to think about my food in terms of calories at all anymore).

two glasses of hibiscus tea with strawberries

Making this Hibiscus Tea is Simple

This cold hibiscus tea is so yummy and such a TREAT to drink! Of course, tea is always healthy. For this tea in particular, the instructions are to just boil the hibiscus tea in the water, steep with strawberries and basil, and then strain everything out. I did add in some honey to make the tea a little sweeter, something that I need if I’m going to be drinking tea. You can omit the honey if you’d like, but—obviously—I’m partial to including it.

I switched up the flavors of this tea a little bit by adding basil and strawberries. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it!

If you liked this drink recipe, be sure to check out my recipe for Cinnamon Tea from Armenia, or my recipe for Bahama Mamas from, you guessed it, The Bahamas! If you make this tea, take a photo and share it on Facebook or Instagram by tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. I can’t wait to see it! Please feel free to leave a review on my website letting me know what you thought. It would mean the world to me! Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I’ll talk to you all again soon!

Hibiscus Tea with Strawberries and Basil

Hibiscus Tea is a popular drink in Burkina Faso, oftentimes served with pineapple. I loved the idea of fruit-infused tea, so I paired my hibiscus tea recipe with strawberries and basil. This tea can be enjoyed warm or cold, but I particularly love it on ice!

Course Drinks, Tea
Cuisine Burkina Faso
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 8 cups water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Juice of half of a lime
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 10 small strawberries

Instructions

  1. Heat water and hibiscus leaves on high until the water starts to boil.
  2. Once boiling, turn off the heat. Add basil, strawberries, and lime juice and cover.

  3. Let sit, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the hibiscus flowers, basil leaves, and strawberries out of the liquid.
  5. Mix in honey. Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries and basil leaves. Enjoy!
  6. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought of this recipe. Thank you!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.