White Pizza Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min. + standing
White pizza turns your favorite food into a sauce-free, deliciously cheesy dish that uses olive oil instead of red sauce to fuse the cheese to the dough.

Updated: Apr. 08, 2024

White pizza may be one of the most underrated pizzas out there. Admittedly, this is coming from a born-and-raised Chicagoan who doesn’t like red sauce pizza. The uneven squares of a heavily sauced tavern-style ‘za should entice anyone to load up their plate on game days or at family parties, and deep dish pies should be a delicacy I love. But tomato-based sauce is not my thing, and I’ve spent years munching on garlic bread while my family has enjoyed pizza. As it turns out, white pizza is the solution.

Take out the red sauce and you have a crispy pizza dough smothered in multiple cheeses, sprinkled with herbs and baked until bubbly. It’s not quite traditional in terms of U.S.-style pies, but you will find pizza bianca on regional Italian menus. Whether you love classic red sauce pizza or not, white pizza will win you over in its own right. Here’s how to make it so you can add it to your list of easy pizza recipes. Oh, and don’t sleep on the variations you can make—they’re the best part!

Ingredients for White Pizza

  • Pizza dough: This recipe calls for prepared pizza dough. Use our recipe for the best pizza dough or pick up a store-bought crust. If you opt for a premade crust, skip the baking portion of the directions and go straight to topping the pizza.
  • Olive oil: Because no sauce coats the crust in white pizza, you’ll want a nice base of olive oil to soak into the dough and give the cheese another layer of flavor.
  • Garlic: Garlic is standard whether you’re making a red or a white pizza. The flavor just can’t be beat, plus it gives the pizza a wonderful aroma while it bakes.
  • White cheeses: Ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan marry into the most exquisite blend of cheeses. The soft ricotta acts as a base in place of red sauce, while mozzarella does its thing as the melting, gooey cheese on top. The perfect finish to white pizza is Parmesan with its sharp, nutty flavor and ability to lightly crisp under hot temperatures.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the dough

Pressing the dough on greased panTMB Studio

Preheat your oven to 400°F. The hotter the oven, the crispier your crust will be. Press the dough to fit a greased 14-inch pizza pan. Pinch the edges to form a small rim; this will prevent the oil and cheeses from dripping off the side. Bake the dough until the edges are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 2: Add the toppings

Spreading oil and garlic on pizza base TMB Studio

Combine the oil and garlic in a small bowl, and use an angled spatula to spread it over the crust.

Spreading ricotta mixture over pizza baseTMB Studio

In another small bowl, combine the ricotta, basil, oregano and pepper. Spread the mixture over the oiled crust.

sprinkling parmesan cheese on pizza baseTMB Studio

Top that base with mozzarella, and sprinkle it with Parmesan. Bake the pizza on a lower oven rack until it’s heated through and the crust is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

If desired, switch your oven to the broil function to let the cheese puff up and to achieve a beautiful golden crust. Broil the pizza 3 to 4 inches from the heat for one to two minutes. Any longer could burn the cheese. Let the pizza stand for 10 minutes before serving, and sprinkle it with red pepper flakes if you want a bit of heat.

White Pizza served on plate with drinks on sideTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Add other cheeses: Burrata and pepper jack are some top contenders when you want to experiment with other cheeses. When using burrata, add it once the pizza is done baking or when there are only a couple of minutes left in the oven. Burrata likes to stay at room temperature and could burn if cooked at too high a temp. Add pepper jack when you’d add the mozzarella, and cook the pizza normally.
  • Use fresh herbs: Julienne fresh basil over your white pizza and you’ll never go back. The sweet basil lends so much flavor to the simple pizza and gives it a restaurant-quality touch with barely any effort.
  • Layer in meats: Love a pepperoni or sausage red sauce pizza? Well, you can add meat to white pizzas too! Cut ribbons of salty prosciutto and layer them with the mozzarella cheese, or try cooked shredded chicken.
  • Give it a burst of greens: Homemade pesto slathered over the top of a white pizza adds a wonderfully fresh flavor, or you could add fresh arugula. If you go with the arugula, you can always keep it plain, but we recommend dressing it up with lemon vinaigrette for even more flavor. After all, white pizza does not equal boring pizza.
  • Drizzle with balsamic: A little balsamic vinegar goes a long way when flavoring white pizza. Drizzle a bit on your pizza when it comes out of the oven. This tastes especially good if you’ve also topped the pizza with fresh basil and arugula.

How to Store White Pizza

Allow the pizza to cool completely, then pull the slices apart. Layer them in an airtight container, and place parchment between the slices to prevent the cheese from sticking to the bottoms of the slices above. Plan to eat the leftovers in the next three to four days. To reheat pizza so it tastes just as good as when it was freshly baked, heat it in the oven at 375° for about 10 minutes.

Can you make white pizza ahead of time?

We recommend making white pizza fresh and enjoying it as soon as it comes out of the oven. But you can freeze pizza dough to use later. Once the dough defrosts, bake it as usual. Then, all you’ll have to do is layer on your toppings and pop it in the oven for another 10 minutes.

White Pizza Tips

White Pizza served on plate with drinks on sideTMB Studio

Is Alfredo sauce pizza the same as white pizza?

Not quite. Alfredo sauce can be used to make white pizza if you wish, but typically a white pizza leaves sauce out altogether in favor of olive oil, garlic and cheeses.

Is white pizza healthier than red?

Unfortunately, skipping the tomato sauce isn’t going to make white pizza a healthy option. And that’s OK! Comfort foods like pizza have never aspired to be healthy. White pizza gives you globs of melty cheese over fluffy, crisped crust, and while it might not be your arteries’ favorite food, it’s always there to enjoy in moderation.

Watch how to Make White Pizza

White Pizza

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 15 min
Yield 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • Basic Pizza Crust or 1 pound prepared pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Press dough to fit a greased 14-in. pizza pan. Pinch edges to form a rim. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.
  2. Combine oil and garlic; spread over crust. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, basil, oregano and pepper; spread over garlic mixture. Top with mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake on a lower oven rack until heated through and crust is golden brown, 10-12 minutes. If desired, switch to broil function 3-4 in. from heat until cheese is puffed and golden brown, 1-2 minutes Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 289 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 256mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 13g protein.

You'll feel like you're in a pizzeria when you serve up this white pizza. Garnish the top with fresh arugula or basil for a pop of flavor and color. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen