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Easy Caprese Pizza

This rustic homemade Caprese Pizza is the perfect summer patio dinner. It’s full of fresh flavors and lets you use up fresh tomatoes and basil right from your garden!

Overhead shot of Caprese Pizza cut into slices.

Pizza nights have changed so much for us over the last year. We used to automatically order in—and we still do from time to time—but we’ve become really keen on making our own. There are endless ways to get creative! We typically make one classic pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and then some other random style depending on what we’re feeling that night. Lately, we’ve been a little crazy for Caprese in this house. Just a few weeks ago we brought you these Summer Caprese Burgers, but that wasn’t enough. We needed more of those refreshing flavors—and they were absolutely perfect on top of a crispy golden crust.

Overhead shot of Caprese pizza.

What is a Caprese pizza?

Picture a Caprese salad baked onto a pizza crust and there you have it—Caprese pizza! Pillow-y mozzarella, thinly sliced tomatoes, and torn fresh basil leaves, all finished with a drizzle of sweet and tangy balsamic reduction. The latter is what really sets this pizza apart from the Margherita or Neapolitan pizzas. All three have similar flavors and ingredients, but the balsamic glaze makes the Caprese.

Left photo: Sauce being spread on pizza; Right photo: uncooked Caprese Pizza.

Balsamic Glaze vs Balsamic Vinegar.

A balsamic glaze is balsamic vinegar that’s been reduced to a thicker, stickier, and sweeter liquid. You  can purchase balsamic glaze at most grocers, but if you can’t find it, it’s easy to make. Simply bring 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil over the stovetop and let it simmer until the mixture has reduced to about 1/4 cup. The liquid will become much thicker, stickier, and sweeter—perfect for drizzling!

Side view of Caprese Pizza.

The dough is up to you!

This recipe turns out beautifully whether you use a home-made dough recipe, a fresh store-bought ball of dough, or a ready-to-use crust. Though we do encourage fresh. We’re forever tampering with dough recipes in this house and we’ve yet to find one we absolutely love; we’re allowing ourselves to be picky. When we do finally hit the jackpot, you’ll be the first to know ;)

Close up of Caprese Pizza drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Overhead shot of Caprese Pizza cut into slices.

 

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Easy Caprese Pizza

This rustic homemade Caprese Pizza is the perfect summer patio dinner. It's full of fresh flavors and lets you use up fresh tomatoes and basil right from your garden!
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 16 oz ball of fresh pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, drained (if in water) and pat dry, then thinly sliced
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup balsamic glaze *See notes

Instructions

  • If you're using your own from-scratch dough, preheat the oven as per your recipes instructions. If store-bought, preheat the oven as per the directions on the packaging.
  • On a lightly oiled pizza pan, work your dough out and form your pizza. If you're using a pizza stone, skip the oil and sprinkle cornmeal over the surface to keep the dough from sticking. Once you've got a nice round pizza dough going, spoon and evenly spread 1 cup of marinara sauce over it, leaving about 1/2 - 1 inch of space at the edges for your crust.
  • Place the slices of mozzarella cheese over the sauce leaving enough space in between for the tomato slices, then proceed by placing the tomato slices in between mozzarella slices. (You'll likely be left with some extra mozzarella; save it, or do as we do and just eat it.) Take half of the basil leaves, tear them in halves, and evenly distribute them over the pizza.
  • Place in the oven and bake according to your recipes instructions or, if using store-bought, use the package's instructions. With fresh dough, you typically want to bake it at 425° F for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough has crisped and turned golden in color (time will vary by oven). Always double check with the dough recipe/package you're using, though. When done, let the pizza sit to cool off for about 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. Right before cutting into it, drizzle it with a nice and thick balsamic glaze, and garnish with the rest of the fresh basil leaves. You could also drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over the pizza, and add freshly cracked black pepper.

Notes

Making your own balsamic glaze. Bring 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil over the stovetop and let it simmer until the mixture has reduced to about 1/4 cup. The liquid will become much thicker, stickier, and sweeter
Want to jazz up your crust? Brush some olive oil or melted butter over the edges of the dough you left naked for a crust to form. Sprinkle with some garlic salt and/or Italian herbs.

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