Imagine being transported to Italy, surrounded by the tantalizing aroma of fresh herbs from your pizza garden and gooey, melted cheese enveloping your senses.
Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to achieve this experience. Our guide to the top herbs for homemade pizza will show you how to incorporate oregano, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, parsley, basil, and thyme into your cooking, allowing you to savor the essence of authentic Italian cuisine.
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These herbs will not only add depth to your pizza’s flavor but also make it look and smell amazing. Additionally, they offer a range of health benefits. Many of these herbs are readily available at your local grocery store or even in your own garden, making it easy to create delicious pizzas that everyone will love.
Why you should Add Herbs to your Homemade Pizza
Why add herbs to your homemade pizza, you ask? For starters, they will elevate your pizza game and make you the star of your next family or friend’s pizza night. These plants have the ability to transform the flavor profile of your pizza and offer numerous health benefits.
For instance, fresh basil will impart a sweet, fragrant essence that’s perfect for Margherita pizzas. Meanwhile, crushed red pepper will add a spicy kick to meaty, pineapple-topped pies. Experiment with different herb combinations to create personalized, mouth-watering pizzas.
In addition to enhancing the taste, culinary herbs will stimulate your sense of smell with rich, earthy aromas, making your pizza even more appetizing. The inviting scent of garlic powder, the earthy aroma of thyme, and the fragrant bouquet of fresh basil contribute to a pizza experience that transcends taste alone.
Herbs also offer potential health benefits, making homemade pizza not just delicious but also nutritious. Oregano has anti-inflammatory properties, garlic powder supports heart health, parsley aids in digestion, and basil has antioxidant properties.
Finally, herbs and spices enhance the visual appeal of your homemade pizza, adding vibrant color and texture. Chopped parsley sprinkled atop cooked pizza provides a pop of green, while gently torn basil leaves create an artisanal presentation.
6 Best Herbs for Homemade Pizza
Now, let’s dive into the six best herbs for homemade pizza:
This classic herb adds an earthy taste to homemade pizza, bridging the flavor of tomato sauce with toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and olives. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of dried oregano on your pizza sauce before adding toppings, or mix it into the sauce for even distribution.
Oregano is also known for its potential anti-inflammatory and phytonutrient properties. Sometimes we put our oregano directly on the dough before laying the sauce. Does wonders. Don’t tell the missus, but I also add a little dried oregano to our scrambled eggs, huzzah! Let’s just say we go through a LOT of oregano.
Garlic powder adds savory notes to pizza, enhancing flavors and blending seamlessly with other top ingredients like sausage, bell peppers, and spinach. This easy-to-use seasoning offers a concentrated garlic flavor without having to chop fresh cloves.
This wonderfully aromatic, flavor-boosting herb also supports heart health and the immune system. Distribute it evenly over your pizza for consistent taste, ensuring that each bite is packed with delicious garlic. Or do as we do, and add it directly to your dough. Needless to say, buy the biggest jar you can find.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Crushed red pepper is a staple of great pizza in restaurants, but it’s often overlooked at home. Add a spicy kick to your pie with crushed red pepper flakes, ideal for toppings like sausage, jalapeños, and onions. These fiery flakes add heat and depth to any pizza, satisfying even the spiciest eaters in your family.
Sprinkle on each slice individually based on everyone’s heat preferences, so that someone doesn’t have to chug water all night. And just like the other pizza herbs, crushed red pepper flakes have a number of upsides specifically like the metabolism-boosting ones. Seriously, buy in bulk!
Chopped parsley is less common than the other herbs, but brings a refreshing taste to pizzas topped with ingredients like shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. In addition to its fresh flavor, this vibrant herb also adds a pop of color, making your homemade pizza feel like its gourmet.
Scatter dried chopped parsley flakes atop cooked pizza for a visually appealing & tasteful finishing touch. Beyond its culinary power, parsley boasts better digestion for everyone involved. Hey, even we know we have to eat our vegetables sometimes.
There’s a reason that fresh basil is one of the few ingredients on the classic Margherita pizza. The savory leaves deliver sweet, fresh flavor to pizzas featuring tomato, mozzarella, and prosciutto. Gently tear the basil leaves and add just after baking or wood-firing for maximum flavor.
Fresh basil not only elevates the taste of homemade pizza but also offers more green color. Which we all know is the way to go, especially as we get older. But your young ones will appreciate it, too. When we started growing our own basil, we loved pulling straight off the plant to the pizza.
Versatile thyme imparts subtle, earthy undertones to pizza, harmonizing with toppings like roasted vegetables, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. This subtly fragrant herb adds depth to any pizza, quickly increasing the sophistication of a simple homemade pizza.
Mix ¼ teaspoon of thyme into your tomato sauce or sprinkle sparingly over toppings before baking, allowing the herb’s essence to penetrate each slice. Thyme not only enhances your pizza’s flavor but also offers potential health benefits, such as antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Incorporating fresh herbs like dried oregano, crushed red pepper, fresh basil, and thyme into your homemade pizza will significantly enhance the flavor and make you the star of your next family dinner night. Each of these herbs bring something unique to the table and pair specifically with the best toppings, meaning you can experiment with several at once.
And with a number of health side effects, these organic pizza herbs can also positively affect your well-being. Transform your homemade pizzas by testing these herbs and discovering the perfect combinations to tantalize your taste buds.
So, next time you’re making pizza at home, don’t forget to add some herbs to the mix. Your taste buds (and your health) will thank you!