This isn’t necessarily a “healthy” pizza by the macro-friendly definition, as we’re not making any substitutions to make it super low calorie or high protein. But by only using quality ingredients, we’re going to make an absolutely delicious pizza that is still quite healthy by all other definitions!
If you want an authentic pizza recipe, look no further. If something lower calorie or lower carb is more your speed, there are plenty of other pizza recipes out there for ya!
What is Neapolitan Style Pizza?
A true Neapolitan pizza hails from Naples, Italy. It’s made with simple, fresh ingredients, has a charred, airy crust, and is cooked in a super hot oven in about one minute.
If you’ve never been to Italy, you’ve likely seen this style of pizza at a local “wood fired pizza” spot. The pizza is nice and thin, and the crust is super airy and delicious.
But here’s the thing: true Neapolitan pizza is an art form. There is actually an official certification in Italy to prove that restaurants are meeting the requirements. And true Neapolitan pizza takes days to sit and develop flavor before baking.
While we’re going to be making a Neapolitan style pizza, it’s not TRUE Neapolitan pizza. If any pizza officianatos are reading this, I want to make that very clear. This pizza will come out nice and airy, but isn’t quite authentic. We’re all about simple recipes here, so we’re simplifying the process a bit.
And before we go any further: yes, you can make a quality pizza in your home oven! A pizza oven will ALWAYS result in a superior pizza, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed if you use a regular oven. More on that soon.
Traditional Neapolitan pizza has dough sitting for days before baking. This helps activate the yeast, giving you that super airy crust, and develops a deeper flavor. I tried leaving my dough in the fridge for 2 days before baking, and I can confirm the dough does indeed get VERY airy.
However, when compared to the dough that I let sit for just one hour, I couldn’t taste much of a difference. Maybe I just don’t have a sophisticated enough pallette, but I found a 1-hour rise time to be plenty. If you do want to make dough ahead of time, just know that you can keep them covered in the fridge for 1-3 days!
Do I need fancy ingredients?
Here’s the thing, you don’t NEED special ingredients, but if you want to have a beautifully bubbly crust, you’re going to want to buy a specific type of flour.
Before I set out on my pizza making journey, I had absolutely no idea that pizza flour existed. If you’re new to the pizza game, I’m betting you weren’t aware of this, either.
Pizza flour, otherwise known as Italian 00 flour, is a super fine flour. The 00 refers to how finely ground the wheat is, and the flour feels almost like a baby powder. It has strong, elastic gluten and is higher in protein than most flours, which helps make the dough stretchy and easy to work with.
Where regular flour can lead to dough tearing easily, check out just how thin you can stretch dough made with pizza flour:
That may be thinner than you want it, but it surprisingly baked up well and doesn’t fall apart, even if it is that thin!
Truly, this flour makes a world of difference. Even if you’re going to be making pizza in a standard oven, I highly recommend you grab yourself some pizza flour.
If you want to use the same exact flour I used, you can pick up a bag on Amazon! This is the one I based the nutrition on, and all photos you see are using this specific brand. There was no reason in particular that I chose this specific brand, other than it popped up when I searched for pizza flour.
That being said, I’ve more recently learned about a different brand that I will be using going forward: Antimo Caputo, which comes directly from Naples. You can also get it right on Amazon, which I recently bought for myself.
While any 00 pizza flour will work great, Antimo Caputo brand actually has 2 different versions depending on what type of oven you are using. Traditional 00 flour is meant for pizza ovens that reach 700-900 degrees F, but they have a slightly different 00 flour that is specifically made for traditional ovens that only reach about 500 degrees F.
If you have a pizza oven, check out their pizzeria flour (for hotter ovens) here.
If you’re going to be using a standard home oven, check out their chef’s flour here.
Antimo Caputo flour is actually slightly less calories as well, so this entire recipe will be 500 calories instead of 550.
While I highly recommend getting quality pizza flour, this recipe can also be made with bread flour or regular AP flour. Bread flour will work slightly better (due to the gluten content), but I did test with AP and it still worked.
If you do use a regular flour, just note that you’re not going to be able to stretch the pizza out with your hands very well, because it’s not going to be very elastic. Instead, you’ll need to roll your dough out, and it won’t be nearly as airy.
Don’t you need sugar for your yeast?
A lot of pizza dough recipes will call for sugar to help the yeast, but not here. By using quality ingredients, you can get a great rise in your dough and have that airy crust without needing to use any sugar at all.
Plus, we don’t need to dissolve our yeast in water before working it all together. We’re just adding water directly to the flour & yeast and making the dough. This recipe calls for instant yeast (otherwise called rapid-rise or quick-rise) instead of active dry yeast, which requires dissolving in water first. Remember, we’re all about simple!
What tools do I need?
I’m going to recommend using a pizza oven here, but I know that not everybody has one. We grabbed one that is on the cheaper side (authentic pizza ovens can be thousands of dollars), and it has been life changing.
We have a Pizzacraft propane pizza oven, which basically looks like a little grill, and gets up to about 800 degrees F. It has made some amazing pizzas for us!
We got it off Amazon, which you can see here, but at the time of writing this is currently sold out. Keep your eyes peeled if it comes back in stock.
A great alternative I’ve also seen is a stovetop pizza oven. The same brand that made the pizza oven I use came out with a small oven you can put right on your stovetop. I haven’t used it, but it looks like it would work really well! Check that one out here (plus, it’s under $100).
If you’re going to use a traditional home oven, you must pick yourself up a pizza stone or pizza steel! Pizza ovens are great because they get insanely hot, so the bottom of the pizza crisps up and the top chars nicely. They’re absolutely essential for authentic Neapolitan pizzas- the hot temperature paired with the pizza flour is magical.
With standard ovens that don’t get as hot, it’s a slower cook and you don’t get the same crispy bottom or airy, charred crust.
With a pizza stone, you add it to the oven and preheat it to get the stone nice and hot (usually 30-60 minutes). That way, you can slide the pizza right onto the stone in the oven, and the bottom will crisp up really well! A pizza steel is the same concept, but it’s more like a baking sheet rather than a round stone.
The absolute worst pizza you can have is a soggy pizza, and a pizza stone will solve that problem. Cuisinart has a pizza stone that comes with a pizza peel (the thing that allows you to slide the pizza into the hot oven) and it’s very cheap.
I’ve never tried this brand (my oven came with its own stone), and while I recommend investing in a quality pizza stone, I don’t think this can hurt. I recommend getting a quality stone if you plan to make pizzas often, but it’s not a bad option to get you started!
If all else fails, you can use a baking sheet or cast iron pan as well. Simply flip them upside down in the oven so you have a flat surface and preheat the oven so they can get nice and hot. Typically, 30 minutes at the highest your oven goes will suffice.
You should be able to cook the pizza right on that to get a nice crispy crust on the bottom. I’d say a cast iron is your best bet if you don’t have a pizza stone (because those get HOT), but a baking sheet should somewhat get the job done.
The result if you use regular flour & a regular oven…
I used this same exact recipe with all purpose flour and in my standard oven as a test (and did it as a breakfast pizza, because why not) since I know many will ask!
I can confirm that it cooks up very nicely! It doesn’t get quite as airy and charred as in a super hot pizza oven, but it was still light and crispy.
I couldn’t stretch the dough the same way, so I mostly just used my hands to press the dough out into a circle rather than picking it up and trying to stretch it. Other than that, it worked pretty well. I won’t lie and say it’s as good as the real-deal (seriously, get yourself some pizza flour! You will never, ever regret it) but you can make this work if it’s all you’ve got!
If you’re working with minimal equipment or ingredients, don’t sweat it.
The Pizza Making Process
Let’s walk through the process really quickly so you can see a step by step on how easy this pizza is to make.
Step 1: Combine all your ingredients in a bowl
You’ll just need to combine everything until there are no dry ingredients left. It will be sticky, but that’s okay!
Step 2: Add your dough to a floured surface and knead it with your hands
The kneading of the dough is crucial- I did attempt a pizza without kneading, and while it still kind of worked, the pizza tasted way too dense. Kneading is what is going to make the crust light and airy.
Don’t be afraid to add additional flour if it’s extra sticky. Using pizza flour can be sticky sometimes. Even if you are generous with the flour, it’s not going to add a ton of extra calories, so I wouldn’t worry! From my experience, using too little water is way worse than using too much, because then the pizza is way too dense.
Use the method of folding your dough towards you, then using your palm to push down and away. Repeat this for 5-8 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth. Don’t be afraid to really get in there and work the dough- no need to be gentle with it!
Once it looks nice and smooth, it’s good to go.
Step 3: Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, then give them a couple more rolls to round them out.
Shape them into balls, then leave them on the counter a few inches apart (with the smooth side up), then rub the tops with olive oil and cover with a damp towel for one hour. Don’t worry about extra calories from olive oil here- I only used 1 teaspoon total for both of these dough balls, which is not much at all.
After 1 hour, they will have doubled in size and be nice and airy
Step 4: Preheat your oven
If you’re using a pizza oven, get it cranked up- they typically only take 10-15 minutes.
If you’re using a standard home oven, preheat your pizza stone for at least 30 minutes as hot as your oven goes (500-525 degrees F) to get it nice and hot.
In the standard oven, I put my rack the second to the highest, which is about 6 inches from the broiler. That way, you can bake your pizza until it’s almost done, then switch the broiler on to get a quick char!
Step 5: Form your pizza
I plan to put together a video on exactly how to form your pizza, but in the meantime, King Arthur Flour has a great video for exactly the method I use:
- Start by pressing your dough down in the center and working out towards the crust. This helps keep the air in the outer crust.
- Pick your pizza up and use the steering wheel method, allowing gravity to pull the dough apart.
- Use your knuckles to pull the pizza apart to the desired size.
If at any point your pizza is tough to stretch, put it down and let it rest for a minute before continuing.
You can form the pizza to be as thin or as thick as you want it. I like to make it nice and thin, but still make sure the outer crust is thick and airy. You can see the air bubbles in there!
My pizza ends up being 10-12″, roughly the size of my pizza peel. That equates to a medium(ish) pizza, which is more than plenty to satisfy my pizza addiction.
Note: if you’re using AP flour, you won’t be able to form the pizza the same way. In that case, you can just roll it out into a pizza shape.
Step 6: Add some semolina flour or cornmeal to your pizza peel to make it easy to slide the pizza off, then add your toppings.
The worst thing that can happen is topping your pizza, then having it stick to the pizza peel and fold over itself. I’ve been there, and it ruins your entire week. I use semolina to generously cover the pizza peel so the pizza will slide off easily, but cornmeal works great too.
Before you add your toppings, make sure the pizza dough slides around easily. If it doesn’t, add some more semolina until it moves around freely.
No pizza peel? You can use a baking sheet flipped upside down to be able to easily slide the pizza off.
Traditional Neapolitan pizza uses fresh tomatoes and mozzarella and doesn’t overdo it on the toppings (since the crust is the star) but you can top it however you want! Since this pizza is thin, just be careful to not go too heavy on the toppings.
As you can see by my photo, I didn’t go very heavy on the cheese. It melts well and ends up covering plenty of the pizza, I promise. This was 1.5 servings of cheese.
And a note on cheese: I wouldn’t worry about going “macro-friendly” here. Fat free or low fat cheese doesn’t melt nearly as well. Regular mozzarella melts significantly better, tastes better, and doesn’t add a crazy amount of extra calories.
Step 7: Bake your pizza
If you have a pizza oven, add your pizza and let it sit for about a minute, allowing it to poof up, then rotate it. The whole cooking process should only take a few minutes. Check out this poof, and why pizza ovens are so magical…
If you’re using a regular oven, as long as your pizza stone is preheated for at least 30 minutes, add your pizza and allow it took for about 7 minutes. If you’d like, you can flip the oven to broil (assuming your rack is close to the top) to get a quick char on the pizza before removing it.
Remove the pizza and enjoy!
I end up enjoying the whole pizza for myself! While this may not be your typical “healthy” pizza recipe, it’s certainly not unhealthy by any means. We’re only using quality ingredients, and this entire pizza you see here is:
690 Calories, 7.5g fat, 117g carbs, and 30g protein.
For an authentic pizza, I’ll take it!
If you’re looking for a healthier spin on pizza and don’t have any interest in picking up specialty ingredients, check out Mason Woodruff’s greek yogurt pizza. Before I dove into the world of pizza making, this pizza dough was a staple in my house. His skillet pizza is great, but the air fryer pizza was my go-to for quite a while.
Remember, the ingredients you use are important! If you’re really adamant about not buying pizza flour or a pizza stone, I can’t be held accountable for a subpar result. The ingredients, and/or a pizza stone & pizza peel, are worth the investments! Once you make this pizza once, you’re going to want to make it every single week.
And don’t be afraid to experiment! Meat, veggies, whatever you want! If you do make this pizza, share your results with me on Instagram!
- 300g Pizza Flour (Italian 00 Flour)
- 5g Instant Yeast (about 1 tsp) *may also be called rapid-rise or quick-rise
- 5g Salt (about 1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3/4 cup Warm Water + 2 Tbsp
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Semolina Flour or Cornmeal for dusting your pizza peel
- In a large bowl, combine your flour, yeast, salt, and garlic powder. Mix together.
- Pour 3/4 cup warm water into the bowl, and use a silicone spatula to mix it all up until there is no powder left. Add another 2 tbsp warm water, then use your hands to incorporate everything. It's okay if the dough is a bit sticky!
- Generously flour a clean surface and add your dough. Add some flour to your hands to help with the stickiness as well. Knead your dough until it becomes nice and smooth- this should take 5-8 minutes. You can use a stand mixer with a dough attachment, but I like to just use my hands.
- Use your palm to press and roll the dough, fold it towards you, and repeat.
- Once smooth, separate the dough into 2 equal sized pieces. I used a food scale to find the total weight and divide that evenly by 2. Once you have 2 balls, roll them a few more times to smooth them out. Form a ball and put them on the counter with the smooth side up.
- Take 1 teaspoon of olive oil (you don't need much) and rub the tops of each dough ball. Cover the dough with a damp towel for 1 hour to rise.
- After 1 hour, they should have doubled in size. Now it's time to form your pizzas! Lightly flour your surface, and press down the center of the dough ball working your way out towards the crust to keep the air bubbles in the crust. Once the center if flattened, pick the dough up and use the "steering wheel" method, letting gravity stretch the dough. Once stretched a bit, you should be able to use closed fists to pull the dough apart (carefully) to stretch it.
- I know that dough stretching directions are tough to follow. I plan to add a video walkthrough, but for now, King Arthur flour has a great video for this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcEIRm9nczk
- Dust a pizza peel with semolina flour (my preferred method) or cornmeal, add your pizza to it, then top it before baking! Refer to the notes above this recipe card for a full walkthrough on how to bake your pizza depending on what equipment you have.
With 1/4 cup tomato sauce and 1.5oz mozzarella, the entire pizza is 690 calories, 7.5g fat, 117g carbs, and 30g protein
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1 Pizza Crust (No Toppings)
Amount Per Serving Calories 550Carbohydrates 110gFiber 5gProtein 20g