You don't need a wood-burning pizza oven to get that iconic thin and soft crust with a perfectly crisp exterior, fresh tomato flavour, oozing slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and freshly picked basil leaves. All you need to bring the taste of Naples to your kitchen is your oven and this easy skillet Neapolitan margherita pizza recipe.
What is a Neapolitan Pizza?
Neaopolitan pizza is a type of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It has a thin and soft crust, and is made with fresh and simple ingredients including tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. It is cooked in a wood-burning oven (high heat) for just a minute or two.
We try to replicate the texture and taste of a classic Neapolitan margherita pizza by cooking the pizza in a cast-iron skillet for about 5 minutes (until the bottom cooks and chars), and then placing the pizza under a hot broiler for a few minutes to cook and char the top.
Ingredients in Margherita Pizza
- pizza dough - you can use homemade pizza dough, sourdough pizza dough or storebought. I used sourdough pizza dough for this one.
- pizza sauce - it’s super easy to make your own homemade sauce in 5 minutes with just a few ingredients. Store-bought works great too.
- mozzarella cheese - fresh mozzarella is the best. You can still use the shredded stuff, but the flavour does not compare. Slice up the fresh mozzarella or just tear some pieces off the mozzarella ball.
- basil leaves - fresh basil is best for maximum flavour and visual appeal.
How to Make the Best Skillet Neapolitan Margherita Pizza
- Preheat. Turn the oven broiler to high. Heat a cast-iron skillet on the stove, over medium-high heat.
- Shape the pizza dough. Transfer pizza dough onto a floured surface. Gently press the pizza dough with your fingers into an 8-inch circle. Sprinkle some flour if needed to prevent stickiness.
- Add toppings. Have your pizza sauce and ingredients prepped and ready close by. Once the skillet is hot, carefully place the flattened dough onto the skillet. Stretch out the dough a bit more to let it spread over the entire skillet. Immediately add the pizza sauce and spread evenly over the pizza crust. Place sliced fresh mozzarella cheese and basil leaves evenly on top.
- Cook on the skillet. Leave the pizza to cook on the skillet for 5 minutes or until the bottom of the crust starts to brown.
- Broil. Transfer the cast-iron skillet to the preheated broiler and cook for 3 minutes or until the crust is blistered and slightly charred. Keep your eye closely on the broil, because the intense heat can make pizza crust burn quite quickly.
- Serve. Remove the skillet and transfer the pizza onto a parchment lined cutting board. Slice pizza into 4-6 pieces with a knife or pizza cutter and serve.
Tips for Making Homemade Skillet Pizza
- Use a cast-iron skillet. A cast-iron skillet makes this recipe super easy because you can easily transfer the pizza from the stovetop to the oven without taking it out of the skillet. If you don't have a cast-iron, you can use a regular skillet, and then carefully transfer the pizza to a parchment-lined baking sheet to broil.
- Make your own pizza dough. I highly recommend making your own pizza dough, if you have the time. The difference in taste is unreal. I used my sourdough pizza dough for this recipe. The crust is airy and chewy with a delicious flavour. Or try my homemade pizza dough with commercial yeast.
- Prep your ingredients. Have your pizza sauce and toppings prepped and close by before you begin. Once you place your pizza dough on the skillet, you will need to add everything else immediately.
More Pizza Recipes
- Small Batch Sourdough Pizza Dough
- Mushroom and Arugula Skillet Pizza
- 30-Minute BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Salami and Mushroom Skillet Pizza
- Classic Roman Herbed Potato Pizza
- Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.