Caramelized garlic pizza with fresh basil for garlic lovers 🍕

You’ll love this pizza with slices of garlic caramelized in butter. Make extra caramelized butter so you can save the leftovers and add it as a salad topping.

Overhead view of the baked pizza garnished with basil, tomatoes, and onions. Recipe from

This garlic recipe is the way to a garlic lover’s heart. While pizza is always tasty, this recipe takes it to a different level. Sliced garlic is slowly caramelized in butter, which brings out the complex flavors in garlic.

Insert pizza pun

You Stole A Pizza My Heart illustration with a slice of pizzaPin
Groaning is optional

What kind of garlic to use

If you have access to hardneck garlic, this is a terrific recipe to showcase your gourmet garlic because you’ll be able to taste it front and center.

If you can’t buy hardneck garlic, never fear. You can use conventional garlic sold at the grocery store and still get a great result.

If you’re super busy and worried about the time required to peel so many garlic cloves, use peeled garlic or one of these garlic substitutes. While garlic substitutes aren’t quite as tasty as fresh cloves, you’ll still end up with a terrific result.

Plus, you can even use garlic powder. Just follow the process in this garlic bread recipe to learn how to make garlic butter using garlic powder.

Why this recipe works

There are copious amounts of garlic in this garlic pizza recipe. Garlic shows up in the garlic pizza sauce and as pizza toppings.

A large amount of sliced garlic on a bamboo chopping board. Recipe from

Because the garlic is slowly cooked both in the garlic pizza sauce and in butter, the garlic brings a sweet taste, instead of the pungent punch you would taste if you ate the garlic raw.

This recipe won’t give you bad breath. But it will make your mouth water as you wait impatiently for the pizza to come out of the oven.

Tips for success

Caramelized Garlic Pizza with Fresh Basil

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This garlic pizza recipe is a revamp of the traditional Margherita pizza. The secret to this extra garlicky pizza is the generous mountain of sliced garlic, lovingly fried in butter. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Anna&Alex
Keyword: 10 ingredients or less, baking, batch-cooking, carbs, comfort, family-friendly, freezer-friendly, helping-hands, vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 349kcal
Author: Anna Rider


  • Chopping Board
  • Knife
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pizza Stone


Pizza Foundation

  • 2 balls (2 balls) Pizza Dough
  • 2 cup (490 g) Garlic Pizza Sauce, See our recipe for Garlic Pizza Sauce.
  • 2 large sheets (2 large sheets) Parchment Paper

Pizza Toppings

  • 16 oz. (453.59 g) Mozzarella, Grated
  • 8 oz. (226.8 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grated
  • 1 sprig (1 sprig) Basil, Approximately 6 inches (15 cm), about a handful of basil leaves.

Fried Garlic

  • 3 tablespoon (44.36 g) butter, Salted
  • 3 heads (3 heads) garlic


  • Preheat the oven to 500ºF (260ºC).
  • Collect all the ingredients.
    All the ingredients for garlic pizza on white plates, including pizza sauce, basil, garlic, and cheese. Recipe from

Prepare The Garlic

  • Peel the garlic cloves. Slice every clove thinly.
    Alex slicing garlic on white chopping board with chef's knife. Recipe from
  • Heat the butter in a frypan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the garlic to fry in the butter for 10 minutes. The garlic should be golden brown. If it looks dark brown, turn the heat down to low to avoid burning the garlic.
    A view of adding the sliced garlic into a fry pan of hot butter. Recipe from

Prepare The Pizza

  • While waiting for the garlic to cook, roll out the pizza dough. Use a clean surface and dust lightly with flour.
    Alex rolling out the pizza dough with a rolling pin on granite countertop. Recipe from
  • Move the rolled-out pizza dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Use your fingers to stretch out if you want the pizza to be thinner.
    Overhead view of the flat pizza dough moved on top of parchment paper. Recipe from
  • Smear the garlic pizza sauce over the pizza dough.
    Overhead view of pizza sauce spread over pizza dough. Recipe from
  • Evenly sprinkle half of the grated mozzarella cheese. 
    Alex topping a red pizza with grated mozzarella from a white bowl of shredded cheese.Pin
  • Add half of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
    Alex topping the pizza with grated mozzarella from a white bowl of shredded cheese. Recipe from
  • Add the fried garlic slices on top of the cheese. Distribute half of the fried garlic evenly across the pizza.
    Alex topping the pizza with fried garlic using a blue spatula. Recipe from
  • Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
    Overhead view of the pizza topped with cheese and fried garlic. Recipe from
  • Keep an eye on the pizza to ensure the crust doesn’t burn. If the edge of the crust turns dark brown, like it is on the verge of burning, turn the oven down to 450ºF (232ºC). Repeat steps 1-6 for the second ball of pizza dough to make another garlic pizza with the remaining ingredients.
  • While the pizza is baking, thinly slice the basil. Stack the leaves together and roll into a cigar shape. Very thinly slice the basil. Garnish the pizza with the basil and cut into slices.
    Overhead view of the baked pizza on bamboo cutting board and garnished with basil, tomatoes, and onions. Recipe from
  • Enjoy the garlic pizza!
    Overhead view of the 2 slices of pizza next to the bowl of pizza sauce. Recipe from


  • We didn’t include a recipe for pizza dough because there are so many great pizza dough recipes out there. The particular recipe we used has these ingredients:
    • 4 cups flour
    • 1 envelope yeast
    • 2 teaspoon salt
    • 1.5 cups water (110ºF water)
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • This recipe already contains plenty of salt from the garlic pizza sauce, salted butter, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Feel free to season with extra salt and pepper to taste.


Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1171mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1015IU | Vitamin C: 7.6mg | Calcium: 650mg | Iron: 1.3mg
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Can you make this in advance?

Yes, while pizzas taste great fresh out of the oven, pizza is still delicious the next day. You can make this pizza ahead of time and enjoy it within 3 days. You can also freeze this pizza to eat later.

How to store and reheat leftovers

After the pizza has cooled, cover the pizza and store it in the fridge. You can reheat the leftovers in the microwave, pan fry it, or reheat in the oven. If you don’t have a microwave, my next favorite way to reheat pizza is to pan fry in a nonstick pan.

If you’re reheating pizza, you’ll want to bake it in a preheated oven at 500º F/260º C for about 10 minutes or until the crust is warmed and the toppings are hot.

What to eat with garlic pizza

Sautéed Garlic Scapes with Bacon and Shallots
This simple dish of sautéed garlic scapes is packed with flavor. It's a fantastic introduction to garlic scapes if you've never tried them before. The shallots add a sweetness to balance the bacon and garlicky flavor.
Get the Recipe
5-minute spicy garlic cucumber salad
This refreshing garlic cucumber salad is an ideal side dish to balance a heavy main course thanks to its crisp texture and addictive spicy sauce. You'll love it with the original Chinese sauce or the variation sauce if you can't source the exotic ingredients.
Get the Recipe
Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella & Cherry Tomatoes
The spaghetti squash takes a tad longer to make than pasta from a box. But it’s a wonderful variation on the traditional pasta salad. 
Get the Recipe

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About Anna Rider

Hi! I'm Anna, a food writer who documents kitchen experiments on with the help of my physicist and taste-testing husband, Alex. I have an insatiable appetite for noodles 🍜 and believe in "improv cooking".

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