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Basil and Garlic White Pizza

Traditional pizza is always delicious, but there’s something about a cheese-filled white pizza that really hits the spot. Add on a slathering of garlic oil and plenty of basil and you’ll be in pizza heaven!

Overhead view of multiple slices of basil and garlic white pizza on a marble tray with recipe title at the bottom of the image


(This recipe for Basil and Garlic White Pizza was originally published in May 2012, but has been updated with new photos and content in 2018.)

File this under an actual conversation that really happened in real life:

Check-out boy at grocery store, ringing in my baby basil plant: Hey, I hear some people actually eat this stuff!

Me: Um, yes; it’s basil.

Check-Out Boy: Ew. It’s a plant.

Me: Yes, basil.

Check-Out Boy: If it grows in the ground, you won’t find me eating it!

Me: Like pretty much all vegetables? What about this pepper? (holding up a green bell pepper)

Check-Out Boy: That’s spicy, so it’s OK! But that (pointing at basil) is a plant and it has leaves. Why do I want to eat leaves?

Me: Because they taste good? And they’re healthy? Have you ever tried basil before?

Check-Out Boy: NO! I don’t eat plants!

At this point, I give up, collect my bags, and leave. LE SIGH.

And then I proceeded to go home and make a pizza with plants on it. Because I like plants. And also because I love white pizza and white pizza always tastes better with basil. And I figured I at least need one plant on this cheese-filled pizza. Grocery store boy doesn’t know what he’s missing out on.


I almost never make whole wheat dough for my pizza, but now that I’ve tried this one half whole wheat dough again, I feel like I’m going to be making it all the time. It is seriously so, so good!

I adapted the recipe from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’sĀ Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day (affiliate link), which is a must-have book for anyone interested in learning absolutely everything about pizza dough making (in case you don’t know Jeff and Zoe are Gods in the bread-making world).

You only need about 1/3 of this recipe for one pizza, but you can always put the leftover in the fridge for a few days (until you start craving another one of these!) or you can even freeze it for up to 3 months. Of course, if you need a quick fix, you can use store-bought dough here, too.


This white pizza is a pretty simple one, but one that is going to be on your mind for days after it’s long gone… It basically involves garlic, cheese, and basil. Hello, heaven.

Collage showing process for making basil and garlic white pizza, including dough rolled out with garlic; mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and basil on dough; and pizza baked and just out of the oven

Call me crazy, but I love the little little burn marks on top of the cheese. Burnt cheese= best ever! I also love the combination of mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheese. Give me all your cheese, people.

But also, give me all your garlic olive oil because I will drink that ish out of a water bottle. Isn’t “slathered in garlic” one of the best phrases ever? Garlic-slathered white pizza? Yes, please!

Overhead close-up of a slice of basil and garlic white pizza on a marble tray with other slices of pizza in the background

Don’t forget to chiffonade your leftover basil and sprinkle that around, as well. Basil baked at 450 degrees is nice and crispy and yummy, but fresh basil is even better. I feel like basil is one of those things you can enjoy year round and it will give you a little bit of summer happiness in the middle of winter.

Also, my grocery store sells basil plants almost all the time and how happy is it to have a basil plant in your kitchen in the middle of winter?

Landscape overhead view of multiple slices of basil and garlic white pizza on a marble tray

This partially whole wheat crust was honestly perfect. Delightfully chewy, but not overly so. Hearty without being heavy. And really, more satisfying than the typical all-purpose flour crust.

I’ve totally been back on my pizza-making game lately and I never want to stop. It feels like 2011 again. It’s super rare that I make tomato sauce-based pizzas, but I also haven’t made a white pizza in forever.

Overhead view of multiple slices of basil and garlic white pizza on a marble tray

I typically brush my dough with olive oil and then use a bunch of random toppings. It’s funny because when I order pizza out, I almost always only want plain old pepperoni, but I never make it myself. For now, it’s going to be all white pizza all the time!

Oh, grocery store checkout boy, how I wish I could have brought you a slice. Maybe then you could have seen how glorious plants are. And not just those “spicy” peppers that are actually bell peppers. Oh man, I fear that the youth of today is in serious trouble.

Do you love white pizza or are you more of a tomato sauce traditionalist?Ā 

If you like this non-traditional pizza, check out my French Onion Soup Pizza and my Shrimp Scampi Pizza. Oh and for my fellow white pizza lovers, you have to try my Bacon White Pizza Dip! Oh, and I love the idea of burrata pizza like this one from Spices in my DNA.

5 from 2 votes
Basil and Garlic White Pizza -- Traditional pizza is always delicious, but there's something about a cheese-filled white pizza that really hits the spot. Add on a slathering of garlic oil and plenty of basil and you'll be in pizza heaven | wearenotmartha.com
Basil and Garlic White Pizza
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Traditional pizza is always delicious, but there's something about a cheese-filled white pizza that really hits the spot. Add on a slathering of garlic oil and plenty of basil and you'll be in pizza heaven!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthier Pizza Dough, Unique Pizzas, White Pizza
Servings: 1 pizza
Author: Sues
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Whole wheat pizza dough (1/3 of recipe below or you can use store-bought)
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 15 basil leaves, divided
  • 1 oz. shaved parmesan cheese
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp honey (can substitute with sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a 12-inch round pan with foil and lightly brush with 1 Tbsp olive oil.

  2. Mix together minced garlic and 2 1/2 T extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch round and place  on prepared pan. 

  4. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with garlic olive oil mixture. Layer slices of mozzarella on top of dough and spoon crumbles of ricotta cheese around.

  5. Cover pizza with 12 basil leaves and parmesan cheese shavings.

  6. Bake for about 18-22 minutes, until crust is browning and crispy. Chiffonade remaining 3 basil leaves and sprinkle over the top.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
  1. In a large bowl, combine yeast and water. Let sit for 3 minutes. Stir in salt, honey or sugar, and olive oil. 

  2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour until just blended. If dough is still wet, add in a bit more flour, 1 Tbsp at a time. 

  3. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside at room temperature for about two hours, so it can rise. Once risen, either use dough or refrigerate if not using right away.

Recipe Notes
  • Pizza dough recipe adapted from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day.
  • Leftover dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in fridge for 5 days.
  • You can also freeze it for up to three months. Just make sure to divide it into individual portions before freezing.

Basil and Garlic White Pizza -- Traditional pizza is always delicious, but there's something about a cheese-filled white pizza that really hits the spot. Add on a slathering of garlic oil and plenty of basil and you'll be in pizza heaven | wearenotmartha.com #pizza #whitepizza #wholewheatdough

26 Responses to "Basil and Garlic White Pizza"

  1. Blog is the New Black says:

    Looks AWESOME, ladies!

  2. Simply Life says:

    haha, what a funny conversation- bet he doesn’t know how many times he’s eaten basil before šŸ™‚

  3. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    That checkout boy is seriously missing out, this pizza sounds amazing!

  4. Katie says:

    Looks yummy!!! – even with the leaves on top šŸ™‚

  5. Stephanie says:

    First of all I have all three of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day books and have been a bread-making fiend since receiving them! I made a 1/3 whole wheat roll this morning for my lunch! Secondly, I have now accidentally killed both a basil and a parsley plant so I have given up on growing herbs in my apartment. Looking forward to trying this pizza! I looove garlic šŸ™‚

  6. Mal @ The Chic Geek says:

    wow, that conversation w/ the checkout boy is hilarious!

    I actually just bought a basil plant this weekend myself, I think I’ll have to put it to good use with this recipe!

  7. Erica @ In and Around Town says:

    I LOVE a good white pizza. Sometimes the red sauce is just unnecessary šŸ™‚

  8. Michelle says:

    Ha! That conversation is hysterical!

  9. Emily @ A Cambridge Story says:

    Yum! Well, I love plants and would have been equally frustrated with that check out boy. We’re growing some herbs (or attempting to) in planters outsides. So far the arugula and spinach are doing much better than the basil!

  10. Christine says:

    The conversation scares me…but the pizza looks lovely!

    How do you keep your basil plant alive? Mine always die after a week šŸ™

  11. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says:

    I love white pizza. And yes, “slathered in garlic” almost sounds like music to my ears!

  12. Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) says:

    Ohh yum! I love light pizzas like this! And that’s so funny the guy didn’t think plants were food? What does he think salad is?

  13. Windy P. says:

    That pizza looks fab. Heck yea I keep basil plants at home. Summer isn’t summer without all my herb plants. Have to have basil, mint, thyme, sage and lemon verbena at a minimum! I confess that I use the basil and the mint the absolute most.

  14. Emily @ The Happy Home says:

    this pizza looks delish, but white pizza + boy who won’t eat plants= flashbacks to my ex BF who patently REFUSED to eat vegetables or fruits. the entire four years we dated, he never ate ANYTHING but meat, cheese, and bread. not even herbs! four years of pizza with *no* red sauce!

  15. em says:

    seriously…nothing that comes from the ground?! no wonder most americans are constipated and have heart disease. šŸ™‚

    my boyfriend and i love pizza, especially anything involving basil. we need to try this!

  16. Meghan says:

    That is hilarious! I often have check out people asking what my vegetables are to ring them up.
    I love white pizza, looks great!

  17. sarah k. @ the pajama chef says:

    that checkout boy is ridiculous! the people at the grocery store never seem to know what i’m buying, or they crush produce when bagging using my reusable bags. so i just do self checkout most of the time. ha šŸ™‚ this pizza looks so flavorful!

  18. AllieBeau says:

    Rolling my eyes and laughing at the checkout boy. I bet he eats pizza… I would love for someone to explain cheese/dairy in general to the kid.

    This looks delicious. Basil is my favorite as well – in limeade/lime cocktails, and just wrapped around cherry tomatoes, and just fresh from the garden…so good!

    Hope your final weeks leading up to your wedding are going smoothly–congratulations!!

  19. Reeni says:

    That is beyond hilarious! If I knew him I’d trick him into eating a whole bunch of plants. I’d puree them up in pesto or something hee-hee. The pizza looks amazing! I grow lots of herbs!

  20. Shannon says:

    ha, i don’t eat plants. love this pizza šŸ™‚ a better version of the white pizza i grew up eating!

  21. Christina says:

    Think of it this way, you planted a seed in that young man and he will pause whenever he sees basil.
    Or not.

    Your pizza looks wonderful! I like a traditional tomato pizza, but sometimes I get tired of it. White pizza ftw.

  22. Megan says:

    I’ll eat any plants that taste like basil, especially on a pizza like this one!

  23. linday says:

    I made this (or an adaptation) a few nights ago and added crimini mushrooms and then arugula after it came out of the oven. It was AMAZING…better than any restaurant! Thank you!

  24. Lindsey says:

    Just made this pizza. Was delicious! Mad a different crust and it was waaaay too thick, but my first time ever making dough so I wasn’t sure what the thickness pre baking should be. Great recipe!

  25. April says:

    I love white pizza….and pesto…and garlic, lol This sounds phenomenal!

  26. Pam Greer says:

    I’ve had similar discussions with grocery store check out clerks. White pizza is my favorite kind of pizza, I prefer it over the traditional red!

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