Caprese Pizza is topped with all your summer favorites: basil pesto, fresh hunks of mozzarella, tomato slices, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
When I was little, I wouldn’t eat a cheeseburger if it had even the tiniest remnant of a tomato slice on it. Little seeds? A dribble of juice? No, thank you. I’m out.
I was also a dramatic child, but I’m sure that’s not related in any way.
Fast forward 20 some years and here I am willingly, no–EXCITEDLY–loading up a caprese pizza with fresh tomato slices.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the art of reconsideration. It matters in the big stuff (our relationships, our faith, our politics), but it’s also a good practice for the silly and simple things (the music we listen to, the books we read, the food we eat).
There are many foods I’ve reconsidered as I’ve gotten older (onions, pickles, peas), but I’m most grateful I decided to give the tomato another try.
Caprese: The Best Summer Flavor
And perhaps most importantly, I’d be missing out on this incredible Caprese Pizza.
Caprese is the ultimate in summer flavors. I’ve said it before (see this Chicken Margherita), and I’ll say it again: the combo of mozzarella, basil, and tomato CAN’T LOSE.
All of those goodies piled on top of a chewy, crispy pizza might be caprese in its best form.
Luckily, it’s also easy to make. You can have Caprese Pizza assembled in just minutes, making it perfect for a lazy summer dinner.
Ingredients in Caprese Pizza
Here are the 6 ingredients you’ll need:
- Pizza crust- You can use store bought or homemade. I used this homemade pizza crust recipe.
- Olive oil
- Garlic salt
- Balsamic glaze- again, store bought or homemade balsamic reduction.
How to Make Caprese Pizza
- Before you start prepping anything, grab your pizza stone and put it in the oven. Preheat to 500 degrees or as high as your oven will go. Preheating the stone is the secret to a crisp crust, so don’t skip this step!
- Put a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel then place the crust on top.
- Brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle the outside with garlic salt. You could also add sesame seeds or grated Parmesan cheese to the outer crust. That’s the joy of homemade pizza–make it your own!
- Spread 1/4 cup of pesto over the bottom then layer with sliced tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella.
- Slide the parchment off the pizza peel onto the preheated stone and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is melty and brown.
- Serve the caprese pizza with more fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
Common Questions and Tips
Can you substitute shredded mozzarella cheese for fresh?
Definitely, and a mix of the two is also fantastic! I’m just especially fond of the taste and texture of fresh mozzarella.
What kind of tomatoes should I use for pizza caprese?
Traditional caprese salad uses slicer tomatoes. However, we’ve tested this with both slicer or heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. I liked them both. The Mr. slightly preferred the cherry tomatoes, I slightly preferred the slices–so do whatever works for you!
How to reheat pizza
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, don’t do them a disservice by reheating them in a microwave. Try one of these methods instead:
- Reheat pizza in the air fryer– this takes just a few minutes and is excellent for bringing day old pizza back to its crispy gooey self.
- Reheat on the stove top– Place a large pan or skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add pizza slices and sprinkle a little bit of water around them to create steam. Cover with a lid and cook until bottom is crisped and cheese is melted.
NOTE: This recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas. Divide the ingredients in half for a single pizza.
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Remove pizza crust from fridge and allow to rest on the counter for about 30 minutes or if the crust was just made proceed to step 2.
- Spread out a piece of parchment paper on top of a pizza peel. Alternatively, sprinkle a pizza peel lightly with cornmeal or semolina. Lightly flour your hands. Transfer the pizza dough to the parchment paper and use your fingers to press the crust into a circle. If it continually springs back, cover it with a damp cloth for 5 or so minutes then try again.
- Brush the entire crust with olive oil and sprinkle the outer crust with garlic salt. Spoon half the pesto over the crust. Arrange half the mozzarella rounds evenly over crust and top with sliced tomato. Slide the parchment paper off the pizza peel onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Sprinkle fresh basil on top then sprinkle salt, pepper, and Parmesan on top if desired. Serve while hot and gooey!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.