If you are craving caprese pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and sliced mozzarella cheese, there’s no need to leave your own kitchen or call for takeout. This tomato season, treat yourself to a delicious homemade pizza caprese made from scratch. Read on for our top tips on how to make a fresh tomato pizza that isn’t soggy!
Why We Love This Recipe For Fresh Tomato Pizza Caprese
Here at HSR, we love making easy, tasty, family-friendly meals that highlight seasonal ingredients. This caprese pizza is an ideal summertime mealtime solution for busy families while fresh tomatoes are in season. It has all the components of the summertime classic Caprese salad: fresh mozzarella, garden-ripe tomatoes and fragrant fresh basil leaves, all baked together into a gorgeous homemade pizza!
- Seasonal: Great weeknight dinner recipe to make with fresh tomatoes while they are abundant this tomato season
- Not Soggy: While raw tomatoes and fresh mozzarella have a lot of integral moisture that can really weep while baking, we have come up with a sneaky hack to keep your pizza from getting soggy!
- Easy: It can be made with pre-made dough so it is super easy to make!
- Fast: Comes together in under 30 minutes.
- Simple: You can find all the ingredients to make this recipe in a regular supermarket.
Do you love Caprese? Try our Penne Pasta Caprese with cherry tomatoes.
Key Ingredients for this Fresh Tomato Pizza
- Pizza Dough: We used store-bought pizza dough to get this flavorful pizza on the table quickly. You can find it in the refrigerators in the deli section or the ready-made meals section of your grocery store. However, feel free to use your favorite from-scratch pizza dough recipe whether it be a traditional white homemade pizza dough or our personal favorite, this nutritious whole-wheat pizza dough.
- Fresh Mozzarella: Located in the deli or cheese section of most grocery stores, we recommend buying pre-sliced mozzarella to save on time! Fresh mozzarella is delicate, mild, and creamy and when melted gives that iconic cheese pull we all know and love on pizza!
- Multicolored Heirloom Tomatoes: Besides adding a beautiful array of colors to this pizza, Heirloom tomatoes add brightness and the right amount of acidity; however, any variety of tomatoes would be delicious.
- Basil: Most grocery stores carry fresh basil in the produce department in either potted plants or plastic containers. You can also use what you’ve grown in your garden! This sweet herb adds a pop of freshness and vibrancy to this decadent pizza.
- Italian Seasoning: Used to amp up the Italian flavors of this homemade caprese pizza. Alternatively we also love adding on a little bit of fresh oregano when we have that on hand.
- Garlic: A classic with basil, tomatoes and cheese! When buying fresh garlic, be sure to pick cloves that are firm and free of sprouting.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: We use oil when par baking the crust. It also adds fruity flavor to the simple fresh ingredients.
- Kitchen Staples: You’ll need salt, pepper and flour too.
Expert Tip: The store-bought pre-made dough is easiest to work with when at room temperature. So, if the dough is frozen, pull it from the freezer, and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, remove from the bag and place in an oiled bowl in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes before use.
How To Make Homemade Caprese Pizza
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F.
Step 2: Remove Excess Moisture from Tomatoes and Cheese
On a paper towel-lined large-rimmed baking sheet, place tomatoes, and mozzarella. Cover with paper towels and gently press down to remove excess moisture.
Step 3: Prepare Pizza Dough
Shape pizza dough on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle. You can also stretch it with lightly floured hands. Transfer the dough to a large piece of parchment paper set on a pizza peel, cutting board, or flat cookie sheet, adjusting to ensure it remains in a circle. Brush dough with olive oil.
Step 4: Prebake the Pizza Dough
Slide the pizza dough on the parchment into the oven, directly onto the rack. (See alternative ways of baking the pizza below if you want to bake it on a pan or stone.) Bake it until the dough is slightly set, about 5 minutes.
Step 5: Top with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Remove the pizza crust from the oven. Brush the par-baked dough with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and Italian seasoning. Lay the tomatoes and mozzarella in an alternating pattern around the top of the pizza.
Step 6: Bake the Pizza
Slide the pizza back into the oven and bake it until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is melted (about 10-12 minutes.)
Step 7: Cut and Enjoy
Remove the pizza from the oven. Cut into slices and sprinkle basil, coarse salt, and freshly cracked pepper over the pizza before serving.
Alternative Methods of Cooking
Pizza Stone: Place the pizza stone in a cold oven. Then preheat the oven to 500°F for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour. Instead of baking the pizza on the parchment on the oven rack, instead, slide the pizza onto the hot stone. Use a peel or the back of a baking sheet.
Pizza Steel: This is a new alternative to a pizza stone! This method cooks the pizza about 3 to 5 minutes faster because it conducts a large amount of heat for a longer period of time which gives the pizza the crispiest of crusts.
Baking Sheet: If you are new to making pizza from scratch at home, you may like to bake the Caprese pizza on a pan. And the good news is that it works great! Simply follow the instructions in the recipe, with the only change being that you’ll want to brush 1 to 2 tablespoons oil on the baking sheet or round pizza pan then sprinkle with a little cornmeal before laying your dough out on it. Par bake as directed, then assemble and bake again.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Store leftover pizza in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat leftover fresh tomato pizza on a baking sheet at 300°F for 5-10 minutes or until warmed through.
Allow frozen pizza dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, remove from the plastic bag and place in an oiled bowl in a warm place for 30 minutes before using. You can leave the dough ball in the bag, however; it may stick somewhat when you try to remove it. If this happens place a little flour on your hands to help remove it.
Unlike pizzas made with tomato sauce or pizza sauce, those with fresh tomatoes can end up too watery and get soggy. We avoided this in two ways. First, pre-bake the dough. Second, drain and towel-dry the tomatoes and mozzarella before arranging them on the par-baked crust.
We prefer to bake on the middle rack for that perfectly even cook. But if you prefer a crispier crust, bake on the lower rack, and if you like a darker top, bake on the top! Read more here about where to bake your pizza.
Substitutions and Variations to Try
This easy Caprese pizza is customizable. Here are some substitutions and ways of adapting the recipe:
- Swap in shredded mozzarella or burrata cheese for the fresh mozzarella
- Feel free to use any type of tomato instead of the heirloom tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are also great if you have them as are other slicer tomatoes.
- Add your favorite pesto sauce to the crust (instead of oil and garlic) before topping it with fresh mozzarella cheese and tomato slices
- Use slicer tomatoes and cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes together for variation of texture.
Serving Tips and Suggestions
This homemade caprese pizza recipe can be served as is, or try one of the following serving suggestions or pairings:
- Add some red pepper flakes for a touch of heat
- Drizzle with a balsamic glaze when the pizza comes out of the oven for a touch of sweet and tangy flavor. If you don’t have glaze on hand, you can make your own balsamic reduction by simmering balsamic vinegar until thick and syrupy.
- Serve with watercress salad, spinach salad with warm bacon dressing or classic caesar salad.
Additional Fresh Tomato Recipes To Try
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~Katie
This easy Caprese Pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and sliced creamy mozzarella cheese is a delicious homemade treat that doesn’t require you to leave your kitchen or call for takeout! Made with 8 ingredients and ready in under 30 minutes, this pizza is a true summertime treat!
- 3–3 oz. small multicolored heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
- Flour for dusting
- 1 pound prepared pizza dough, whole grain if desired, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves, coarse salt, and freshly cracked pepper
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Meanwhile, place tomatoes and mozzarella onto a paper towel-lined large-rimmed baking sheet, cover with paper towels, and gently press down to remove excess moisture.
- Roll pizza dough with a rolling pin or shape on a lightly floured surface and with lightly floured hands, into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a large piece of parchment paper set on a pizza peel, cutting board, or flat cookie sheet, adjusting to ensure it remains evenly in the circle. Brush the top with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Bake the dough in preheated oven, until slightly set, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning. Shingle the tomatoes and mozzarella by alternating around the top of the pizza.
- Bake in the preheated oven by placing the parchment paper directly onto the rack, until the edges of the pizza are golden and the cheese is melted, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Cut into slices and sprinkle with fresh basil, coarse salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
- Any type of tomatoes would work, but the multicolored heirloom tomatoes are a showstopper
- Buy the pre-sliced mozzarella for convenience
- Pre-baking the crust and drying the tomatoes and mozzarella helps set the crust to avoid it getting soggy, don’t eliminate this step
- When using a pizza stone, preheat the oven for a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Work with pizza dough at room temperature for ease in rolling and the best crust results
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 246
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 11 g
Keywords: fresh tomato pizza, tomato pizza, pizza caprese, caprese pizza, pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella, tomato mozzarella pizza
About the Author
Laura Kanya is a freelance recipe developer and tester in Vermont. She has been active in the food industry for more than two decades in a variety of roles in Vermont, Washington, Pennsylvania, Utah and New York; including pastry chef, chef instructor, executive chef and director of operations in restaurants, resorts, catering, retail operations and food production companies.
Most recently working as a recipe tester and developer for EatingWell, Southern Living, Food & Wine, Allrecipes, Martha Stewart Living, and Better Homes & Garden. Laura lives in Vermont with her husband, son, and daughter. She enjoys biking with her family, spin classes, playing racquetball, swimming at the local swimming hole, walking her dog Blue, coffee and pastries with friends and finding the best maple creemees.