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This Cheese and Tomato Pizza is a crowd favorite for good reason! It’s inspired by the popular California Pizza Kitchen recipe, but is easy to make at home! Instead of using marinara sauce, this pizza uses fresh tomatoes, a flavorful garlic oil, and LOTS of cheese.

You can’t beat pizza night! We love to pair this tomato and cheese pizza with some other family favorites on the side, like these mini garlic knots, homemade garlic breadsticks, and Caesar salad.

Cheese and Tomato Pizza with basil.
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Why We Love This Recipe

  • California Pizza Kitchen Inspired – You can make the restaurant favorite at home!
  • Five Cheeses – If you thought pizza couldn’t get better, you have to try it with multiple cheeses!
  • Fresh Tomatoes – Using all fresh ingredients makes this pizza so yummy! The fresh flavor is just phenomenal.
  • Easy Homemade Dough – Making pizza dough is easier than you think and there is no kneading or rising required!

Ingredients

For The Pizza Dough

  • Warm, But Not Hot, Water – When proofing yeast, the water should be around 105℉.
  • Active Dry Yeast – The yeast should fizz and bubble as it reacts to the sugar and water. If it does nothing, it’s dead and should not be used.
  • White Granulated Sugar – Just a little sweetness for the crust but also to help activate the yeast.
  • Olive Oil – Both to make the dough and you’ll use extra to grease the pan.
  • Salt
  • Flour – Start with 3 cups. If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour a half cup at a time.

Pizza Toppings

  • Olive Oil and Garlic Cloves – You’ll peel and slice the cloves, then heat in the oil to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor before brushing on the crust.
  • Shredded Cheese – Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Gouda.
  • Grated Cheese – Romano and Parmesan.
  • Roma Tomatoes – I recommend seeding the tomatoes so they are less liquidy
  • Fresh Basil Leaves – Or use dried basil if you prefer.

How To Make This 5 Cheese and Tomato Pizza Recipe

This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

garlic simmering in olive oil.

Garlic Oil – Make garlic infused oil by cooking garlic slices in olive oil. Discard the garlic slices and save the oil to brush on the crust.

Yeast blooming in a bowl with water and sugar.

Make Dough – Make the pizza dough by combining warm water with the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it stand until foamy,

Ball of pizza dough.

Finish Dough – Then add the flour, oil, and salt. Mix together using the dough hook until a smooth ball forms. Let rest for 5 minutes. No kneading necessary! 

Assemble Pizza – Press the dough into a large circle on the greased pan and roll the edges in slightly to form the crust. Brush the garlic oil over the crust.

Garlic oil, tomatoe and cheese on top of the crust.

Add Toppings – Sprinkle half of the cheeses (except the parmesan) over the top. Arrange the tomatoes on top.

cheese and tomatoes on top of pizza.

Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the tomatoes.

Tomato and cheese pizza with basil.

Bake Pizza – Bake in a preheated 450℉ oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is golden brown. After baking, sprinkle the grated parmesan on the pizza and top with torn basil leaves. Enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

How do you make cheese pizza more flavorful?

If you want to add flavor to a cheese pizza, you can sprinkle dried oregano or Italian seasoning on top. Or brush the pizza crust with a garlic oil like in this recipe.

What is the best cheese to melt on pizza?

The best cheese to melt on pizza is mozzarella! Whether you’re using the fresh ball of mozzarella cut into slices or shredded low-moisture mozzarella, it’s the best and classic choice for pizza!

Is a margarita pizza just cheese and tomato?

A margarita pizza traditionally has fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves on a thin crust.

Storage

Leftover pizza can be stored in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for up to 4 days. I prefer to reheat pizza in the oven at 425℉ for about 5 minutes to crisp up the crust again. Or check out how to reheat pizza in the air fryer.

Pizza slices on plates, a pizza cutter.

Helpful Tips

  • Other Cheeses – While using all 5 cheeses is what makes this pizza super special, you can omit one or two and use more of another. But the mozzarella cheese is a must!
  • Seed the Tomatoes – Removing the seeds from the tomatoes helps get rid of the excess liquid so it doesn’t make the pizza soggy.
  • Store Bought Pizza Dough – If you’re in a pinch, you can also use store-bought dough. Most grocery stores sell frozen balls of pizza dough or refrigerated fresh yeast dough as well.

More Pizza Recipes

Recipe

5 Cheese and Tomato Pizza

5
Cheese and Tomato Pizza is inspired by California Pizza Kitchen, but is easy to make at home! With fresh tomatoes, garlic oil, and 5 cheeses.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
  

Pizza Crust:

  • 1 cup very warm not hot water
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • Extra olive oil for greasing the pizza stone or pan

Toppings:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup shredded Mozzarella
  • ½ cup shredded Gouda
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup Grated Romano Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese or more as desired
  • 3 Roma tomatoes seeded and sliced into ¼-½ -inch rounds
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
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Instructions
 

  • Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat and pour in ¼ cup of olive oil. Heat to shimmering, then drop in the sliced garlic. Turn heat to low to infuse the oil with the garlic for about 5-10 minutes. Discard the garlic slices and set the oil aside for brushing on the pizza.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a round pizza pan, or a sheet pan with sides, with nonstick cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer and stir in yeast and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture should become foamy.
  • Add flour, oil and salt to the yeast mixture and, using the dough hook attachment, mix at low speed until dough forms a smooth ball; about 5 minutes. You can also beat with a wooden spoon. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Press the dough into a large circle on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Roll the edges in slightly to form the crust.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the olive oil over the pizza crust.
  • Combine the cheese together (except the parmesan) and sprinkle half over the crust. Arrange tomatoes on top of the cheese and sprinkle the rest of the cheese around the pizza.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • If desired, sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top of the pizza. Slice or tear the fresh basil leaves and sprinkle over the top. Serve hot.

Notes

Seed the Tomatoes – Removing the seeds from the tomatoes helps get rid of the excess liquid so it doesn’t make the pizza soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 19gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 721mgPotassium: 228mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 543IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 318mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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