Marry Me Chickpeas

close up on a wooden spoon stirring a batch of Marry Me Chickpeas in a large skillet.This one-pan Marry Me Chickpeas recipe puts a vegan twist on the viral comfort food, Marry Me Chicken! Get ready to fall in love with this indulgent 15-minute meal. For more easy ways to use the canned chickpeas in your cupboard, check out my Chickpea Salad Sandwich, Italian Chickpea Soup, Chickpea Burger, and Biscuit Topped…

close up on a wooden spoon stirring a batch of Marry Me Chickpeas in a large skillet.

This one-pan Marry Me Chickpeas recipe puts a vegan twist on the viral comfort food, Marry Me Chicken! Get ready to fall in love with this indulgent 15-minute meal.

For more easy ways to use the canned chickpeas in your cupboard, check out my Chickpea Salad Sandwich, Italian Chickpea Soup, Chickpea Burger, and Biscuit Topped Chickpea Pot Pie recipes!

a wooden spoon stirring a batch of Marry Me Chickpeas in a large skillet.

The viral Marry Me Chicken recipe is no match for my vegan-friendly Marry Me Chickpeas. It’s as creamy, indulgent, and family-friendly as the original, but made without dairy or meat!

What’s better is that this one-pan meal is totally foolproof. Just simmer the protein-packed chickpeas in the dreamy Tuscan sun dried tomato cream sauce for 15 minutes, then enjoy it for family dinners or date nights at home. Don’t forget the hunks of crusty bread for scooping up every luxurious bite!

Why you’ll love this easy plant based recipe

  • Rich Tuscan-inspired flavors – Like my Tuscan Vegan Gnocchi, vegan marry me chickpeas feature incredible Italian-inspired flavors that will keep you going back for more.
  • Packed with protein – Two cans of chickpeas pack this dish with about 30 grams of plant-based protein!
  • An easy one-pan meal – The everyday ingredients in this dish are cooked together in one pan in just 15 minutes.
a piece of bread dunked in a bowl of Marry Me Chickpeas.

How to make marry me chickpeas

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

Warm the olive oil in a large pan over low-medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and ground black pepper.

Add the chickpeas, vegetable broth, tomato paste, vegan cream, and spinach to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is warmed through and the spinach is wilted.

Garnish the Tuscan chickpeas with chopped fresh basil and vegan parmesan. Scoop up every bite with crusty bread or serve it over rice, pasta, or baked sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

fresh spinach in a large pan with chickpeas and cream sauce.

Frequently asked questions

What is Marry Me Chicken?

Marry Me Chicken is a dish that combines cooked chicken with a sun dried tomato and garlic cream sauce. The original recipe is made with heavy cream and chicken breasts, but in vegan marry me chicken recipes, they’re swapped for vegan cream and canned chickpeas.

Why is it called Marry Me Chickpeas?

It’s simple: the silky smooth cashew cream sauce, Italian flavors, and hearty chickpeas in every bite are so good that you’re bound to get a marriage proposal from anyone you serve it to!

What can I use instead of chickpeas?

Canned cannellini beans or another white bean will work well. For a meatier dish, you can use my Vegan Chicken recipe, homemade seitan bites, or baked tofu.

My cream sauce is too thin. How can I thicken it?

I recommend making the cream sauce with cashew cream for a thick and luxurious consistency. While store-bought vegan cream (I love Ripple’s dairy free half and half) or coconut milk also work, they’ll make the sauce slightly thinner. To help thicken it, stir a cornstarch slurry (made by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl) into the sauce at the end and gently simmer until it thickens.

How do you store the leftovers?

The leftovers will keep for up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy them for quick and easy meals or meal prep throughout the week! To reheat, zap the chickpeas and sauce in the microwave or warm them in a saucepan on the stove until heated through.

using a piece of bread to scoop up a bite of Marry Me Chickpeas from a skillet.
close up on a wooden spoon stirring a batch of Marry Me Chickpeas in a large skillet.
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Marry Me Chickpeas

This one-pan Marry Me Chickpeas recipe puts a vegan twist on the viral comfort food, Marry Me Chicken! Get ready to fall in love with this indulgent 15-minute meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian-inspired
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 294kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • (2) 15-ounce cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegan cream See Notes
  • 2 cups baby spinach sliced
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • optional: 1/2 cup grated vegan parmesan cheese I used Violife

Instructions

  • In a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  • Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, oregano, red chili flakes, salt and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Now add the chickpeas, broth, tomato paste, cream and spinach and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until warm and the spinach has wilted. Taste; add more salt, pepper or red pepper flakes as desired.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and grated parmesan. Serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping, or on to of cooked rice, pasta or even a baked sweet potato. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For vegan marry me chicken, try substituting the chickpeas for any vegan chicken you like, including my homemade seitan chicken. Or make my crispy baked tofu and use that instead.
  2. For the cream, you can use any store bought dairy free creamer (I love Ripple’s Half and Half), full fat coconut milk, another unsweetened plant milk or best of all, homemade cashew cream.
  3. To make cashew cream for the cream – Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil (I use my tea kettle). Pour the hot water over ¾ cup raw cashews and let soak for 5 minutes or up to an hour. Drain the cashews and add to a high powered blender with 1 cup of fresh water and blend until creamy and smooth.
  4. If you use a store bought cream or coconut milk, you may want to thicken the chickpeas as the sauce won’t be as thick. To do this, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water in a bowl, then stir it into the chickpea mixture at the end. It should thicken up nicely.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1231IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 5mg

Limoncello Spritz

Here are the secrets to making a limoncello spritz, a delightful Italian cocktail bursting with sunshine lemon flavor and a…

Here are the secrets to making a limoncello spritz, a delightful Italian cocktail bursting with sunshine lemon flavor and a delightful fizz. It’s easy to prepare and guaranteed to transport you to a carefree summer state of mind.

Limoncello spritz in stemmed glass with mint.

Here’s an Italian cocktail that’s bubbly and flavored with pure lemon: the Limoncello Spritz! Limoncello is a liqueur that’s often sipped for after-dinner shots, but this ultra strong lemon elixir shines in mixed drinks, too.

Why we love this recipe: This spin on the popular Aperol spritz is full of bright lemon flavor from the limoncello. As two cocktail experts and certified mixologists, we think it’s even better than the original! It’s bubbly and effervescent, with a searing citrus bite.

What’s a spritz?

The spritz is a drink invented in Italy that combines three ingredients: liqueur, sparkling wine (usually Prosecco) and soda water. You can make a spritz of any type using these two ingredients and any mixer of your choosing. The basic spritz ratio is 3 parts sparkling wine, 2 parts liqueur, 1 part soda water.

Ingredients in a limoncello spritz

The limoncello spritz is a spin on the popular Aperol spritz, an Italian aperitif. While the spritz concept has been around for hundreds of years, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the Aperol spritz took the form it has today. The limoncello spritz just substitutes limoncello for Aperol, an Italian amaro.

Spritzes are trending in popularity, so it’s not a surprise that this sunny spin is a top choice when it comes to summer cocktails. Here’s what you need to make a limoncello spritz:

  • Limoncello: A sweet, lemon-flavored liqueur originating from southern Italy.
  • Prosecco: A sparkling white wine from Italy’s Veneto region, known for its delicate flavor and light bubbles. You can use any type of champagne if desired.
  • Soda water: Use club soda or unflavored sparkling water (we use our SodaStream to make it at home). Avoid tonic water, since it is flavored with quinine and lightly sweetened.

🍾 Tip: A 750 ml bottle of Prosecco is 25 ounces, enough for 8 drinks. If you’re making 2 drinks, a mini bottle is perfect—it holds 187 mL or about 6 ounces!

How to make a limoncello spritz

The limoncello spritz is an incredibly easy to make drink! The spritz requires no cocktail shaker or juicing of citrus: you can build the drink it right in the glass. This makes it a great choice for entertaining, especially in the summer. Here are the basic steps for how to make a limoncello spritz:

Step 1: Add the limoncello to a glass with ice. Add Prosecco and soda water.

Step 1: Stir 2 oz limoncello in a glass with ice to make it cold. Add 3 oz Prosecco and 1 oz soda water.

Step 2: Garnish with mint and serve the limoncello spritz.

Step 2: Garnish with fresh mint and serve.

More about limoncello

If you’ve ever visited Italy, you know limoncello. But what actually is it this ultra strong yellow liquid?

  • Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur made by infusing lemon peels into vodka or other neutral spirits. It’s got a searing, straightforward lemon flavor and is the second most popular liqueur in Italy after Campari. You can get it everywhere in Italy, and it’s often served as shots after a big meal.
  • How much does limoncello cost? Limoncello has become very popular in the US, so you should be able to find it easily at your local liquor store. It costs about $20.
  • What else can limoncello be used for? The most popular use for limoncello is drinking it as shots, but it’s equally as good in cocktails! Try it in a Limoncello Mojito with lime and rum, or a Limoncello Martini with vodka and lemon juice.

Step it up: try clear ice!

Want to take your limoncello spritz to the next level? Try making clear ice! This type of ice is crystal clear and looks like what you’d get at a fancy bar. But you can make it at home! All you need is a cooler and 24 hours. Go to How to Make Clear Ice.

Limoncello spritz in stemmed glass with mint.

Other spritz recipes

The spritz is one of the most refreshing cocktails of all time! There are lots of different styles of spritz recipes to try after you try this limoncello spritz:

More lemon cocktails

Lemon flavored cocktails are some of the most refreshing alcoholic drinks! They’ve earned a place in our hearts for their forward citrusy flavor. Here are a few more lemon cocktails if you love limoncello:

Frequently asked questions

What is a Limoncello Spritz?

This refreshing Italian cocktail is a delightful blend of limoncello, prosecco, and soda water. It’s a close cousin to the Aperol Spritz, but with a brighter lemon flavor.

Is a Limoncello Spritz strong?

Compared to some cocktails, it’s on the lighter side. The prosecco has a lower alcohol content than some spirits, and the limoncello typically has less alcohol than rum or vodka. However, always drink responsibly.

What’s the ideal ratio for a Limoncello Spritz?

The classic ratio is 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts limoncello, and 1 part soda water. Feel free to adjust these proportions to your taste preference.

Do I need a special glass for a Limoncello Spritz?

Not at all! A stemmed wine glass or a tumbler filled with ice works perfectly.

What are some fun garnishes for a Limoncello Spritz?

A lemon wedge is a classic and refreshing choice. You can also get creative with a sprig of fresh mint, a few raspberries, or even a thin slice of orange.

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Limoncello spritz

Limoncello Spritz


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink

Description

Want a bubbly citrus cocktail? Try the limoncello spritz! Here are the secrets to making this delightful Italian cocktail, bursting with sunshine lemon flavor and a delightful fizz. It’s easy to prepare and guaranteed to transport you to a carefree summer state of mind.


Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) limoncello, chilled if possible
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) soda water
  • Ice (try clear ice!)
  • For the garnish: mint, lemon rounds

Instructions

  1. Add the limoncello to a glass filled with ice and stir.
  2. Top with the sparkling wine and soda water. Add mint and serve. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Poured
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Limoncello spritz

Homemade Margherita Pizza

This margherita pizza recipe tastes like an artisan pie from Italy! It’s the perfect meld of zingy tomato sauce, gooey…

This margherita pizza recipe tastes like an artisan pie from Italy! It’s the perfect meld of zingy tomato sauce, gooey cheese and chewy crust.

Margherita pizza

The ultimate pizza pie, in our opinion? The pure and simple pizza Margherita. This iconic Italian pie is truly something special: stretchy mozzarella cheese, garlicky pizza sauce, and peppery basil all piled on a chewy, charred crust.

Alex and I have spent over a decade researching authentic Italian pizza methods, interviewing experts, and even traveling to Naples Italy to taste it for ourselves! Here are the secrets to making the very best margherita pizza.

“I’ve used this recipe with the sauce and dough about 5 times now and every time in perfect! It tastes amazing and all my friends want it now. Super simple and not too time consuming. Love it!” -Christine

How to make margherita pizza: step by step

Here is an overview of how to make margherita pizza. For all the details, jump to the full recipe!

Step 1: Make the pizza dough

Step 1: Make the pizza dough. You’ll need 15 minutes to make it, then allow it to rise for 45 minutes. You can also make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake.

Step 2: Stretch the pizza

Step 2: Stretch the pizza dough and place it into a pizza peel. Go to How to Stretch Pizza Dough for our tips. Top the pizza with pizza sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces.

Step 3 Bake the Margherita pizza on a pizza stone.

Step 3: Bake the pizza on a pizza stone in a 500°F oven for 6 to 7 minutes, or in a pizza oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and add fresh basil. Go to the full recipe for the tutorial.

Why is it called margherita pizza?

Pizza margherita showcases the colors of the Italian flag: red from the tomato sauce, white from the mozzarella, and green from the basil. The story goes that it was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, an Italian queen in the 1800’s.

How to pronounce margherita? With an proper Italian accent, it sounds like mar-geh-REE-ta. It sounds like the classic Mexican cocktail, the margarita, which incidentally is a common misspelling of this word!

Tools you’ll need for homemade margherita pizza

It’s easy to make margherita pizza with a few tools and tips! To get that authentic Italian crispy-on-the-outside crust, you need to bake it at a very high temperature on a blazing hot pizza stone. Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Pizza stone: This is what makes the crust crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here’s the pizza stone we recommend.
  • Pizza peel: A pizza peel is a paddle used to slide a pie onto the hot stone in the oven. We recommend this standard pizza peel. A conveyor pizza peel is worth the investment: it’s handy for easily sliding the pizza onto the stone.

🔥Try a pizza oven if you really want to step up your game! True artisan pizza is cooked at temperatures much hotter than your standard oven can achieve. The oven we recommend is relatively inexpensive and heats quickly to 1000°F.

Tips for the pizza dough

Alex and I worked on the pizza dough in this margherita pizza recipe for years, and it’s gotten lots of rave reviews from readers! The recipe incorporates what we’ve learned from some of the premiere pizza chefs in America, who themselves have studied the pizza in Naples. Here are a few tips:

  • The best flour for margherita pizza dough is Tipo 00 flour. This type of Italian flour is used by pizzerias and makes a supple, fluffy dough. We buy our Tipo 00 flour online. All-purpose or bread flour also work, but Tipo 00 makes the best pizza dough, hands down.
  • Use a great pizza dough recipe. Our master pizza dough recipe is the best method for fluffy, artisan-style pizza dough. You can make it using a stand mixer or knead it by hand. Or try thin crust pizza dough, which similar but rolled out using a rolling pin.
  • If desired, try alternative pizza dough recipes that are easier and don’t require a pizza stone or stretching. These sheet pan pizza or focaccia pizza recipes make two pizzas at once in a sheet pan. You can also make cast iron pizza or pan pizza in a skillet.

Pro tip: Make the pizza dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 3 days: it increases in flavor over time! Or, you can freeze pizza dough for up to 3 months.

Margherita pizza recipe with basil and mozzarella cheese.

Margherita pizza ingredients

In Italy, the traditional margherita pizza topping ingredients are fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and a sauce made from crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt and herbs. Often the cheese is mozzarella di bufala, a fresh cheese made from the milk of water buffalos that has a creamy texture.

The margherita pizza ingredients you need for topping this recipe are:

  • Tomatoes: Our simple pizza sauce recipe stars canned fire roasted tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and herbs. Fire roasted tomatoes have a sweet, developed flavor and are available at most US grocery stores. Substitutes include San Marzano tomatoes or other best quality canned tomatoes.
  • Cheese: Use fresh mozzarella cheese here, the kind sold in balls, and cut it into small pieces for overall coverage. We like to top with a light sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for flavor complexity (but it’s not required).
  • Basil: Fresh basil is key to the flavor of a great margherita pizza. Make sure to add to the pizza after baking so that is stays beautifully green (basil turns black in minutes in the oven).

Video with step by step instructions

Perfecting margherita pizza can be tricky: turns out, it’s easiest to learn by watching. This step-by-step video shows exactly how to make the pizza, from kneading to shaping to baking. We highly recommend watching this before you start!

Margherita pizza recipes

More homemade pizza recipes

Love a great homemade pizza? Here are a few more of our favorite pizza recipes:

Dietary notes

This margherita pizza recipe is vegetarian. For gluten-free, use our Gluten-Free Pizza Dough.

Frequently asked questions

What are the essential ingredients for a Margherita pizza?

A true Margherita pizza features a base of fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and a sprinkle of salt. They’re placed on a bed of classic tomato sauce atop a hand-stretched pizza dough.

Fresh mozzarella offers a creamy and slightly sweet taste that complements the other ingredients perfectly. If desired, you can top with a thin layer of grated Parmesan cheese.

Can I use other types of tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes are prized for their sweetness and acidity, making them ideal for Margherita pizza. We like using canned fire roasted tomatoes for a similar flavor profile.

What kind of pizza dough is best?

A classic Neapolitan pizza dough made with Tipo 00 flour and cooked in a very hot oven is ideal. However, homemade or store-bought pizza dough can work too!

What temperature should I bake my margherita pizza at?

Aim for a high temperature (around 450°F to 500°F) to achieve a crispy crust. Baking on a preheated pizza stone can further enhance the crust’s texture.

When is the best time to add the basil?

Fresh basil is best added after baking. The heat wilts the leaves slightly, releasing their fragrant aroma without burning them.

Can I make this pizza ahead of time?

The dough can be prepared in advance, but assemble and bake the pizza right before serving for optimal freshness and a crispy crust. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or in a dry skillet on the stovetop (add a drop or two of water and heat covered for a nice way to reheat).

How can I transfer the pizza to the hot oven without a pizza peel?

You can use a parchment paper “peel.” Slide the pizza onto a large piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Then, carefully slide the parchment paper with the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.

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Margherita pizza recipes

Homemade Margherita Pizza


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (2 slices each)

Description

This margherita pizza recipe tastes like an artisan pie from Italy! It’s the perfect meld of zingy tomato sauce, gooey cheese and chewy crust.


Ingredients

For the pizza dough

For the pizza sauce

  • 1 small garlic clove (1/2 medium)
  • 15 ounces crushed fire roasted tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (scant)

For the toppings

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pizza sauce
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or 2 to 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Make the pizza sauce: Cut the garlic into a few rough pieces. Place the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and kosher salt in a blender. Blend until fully combined. (You’ll use about ⅓ cup for the pizza; reserve the remaining sauce and refrigerate for up to 1 week.)
  4. Prepare the cheese: If using fresh mozzarella cheese, slice it into ¼ inch thick pieces (see the photos of the pre-baked pizza above). If it’s incredibly watery fresh mozzarella (all brands vary), you may want to let it sit on a paper towel to remove moisture for about 15 minutes then dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
  5. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel. 
  6. Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the dough, using about ¼ to ⅓ cup. Add the mozzarella cheese. Top with a thin layer of fresh grated Parmesan cheese (if using) and a few pinches of kosher salt.
  7. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
  8. Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before adding the basil on top (whole leaves, lightly torn, or thinly sliced). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

Notes

*Make the pizza dough 1 hour in advance (for day of preparation), or you can make it in advance and refrigerate up to 3 days. Refrigerating the dough actually adds to the flavor. Allow refrigerated dough to come to room temperature before using by letting it stand for about 30 to 45 minutes. You can also freeze the dough: go to How to Freeze Pizza Dough.

**Make the pizza sauce up to 1 week in advance and refrigerate.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: margherita pizza recipe, margarita pizza, homemade margarita pizza

Perfect Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

Master the art of authentic Italian pizza with this Neapolitan pizza recipe! This recipe unlocks the secrets of the perfect…

Master the art of authentic Italian pizza with this Neapolitan pizza recipe! This recipe unlocks the secrets of the perfect dough, simple yet flavorful sauce, and quick high-heat cooking for a pizzeria-worthy pie in your own oven.

Neapolitan pizza on pizza peel with basil and fresh mozzarella.

When you’ve had the best pizza in Naples Italy, it’s hard to go back. You know in the movie The Matrix when Neo is allowed to pick the blue and red pill, a choice between blissful ignorance or truth? Eating pizza in Naples, the place where pizza was invented, is like choosing the red pill.

Once you’ve tasted Neapolitan pizza, you’ll never go back. Then you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to recreate it at home! Luckily, we did that for you. Here are all our tips and tricks for the best homemade Neapolitan pizza!

“Awesome recipe. It is really authentic and so easy! Since we have young kids we decided to add a teaspoon of sugar and it was just perfect.” -Michael

What is Neapolitan pizza?

Neapolitan pizza is pizza made in the style that originated in Naples, Italy. Like any famous dish, there many opinions on what it means to be “authentic.” After eating some of what is considered the best pizza in the world on the ground in Naples, here’s what we found are characteristics of Neapolitan pizza:

  • Simple flavors: The best Neapolitan pizza restaurant we’ve been to, Da Michele, served only two flavors: Margherita and Marinara. Pizza margherita is tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, and pizza marinara is simply tomatoes and garlic.
  • Soft, thin crust, cooked in a very hot oven: Most Neapolitan pizzas are baked in a wood fired pizza oven that’s around 800 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. The crust is typically blackened by the fire, with puffed edges and very thin towards the middle.
  • Simple tomatoes: The crust on Neapolitan pizzas is typically spread simply with tomatoes, usually San Marzano variety. The recipe below uses a simple pizza sauce that mimics the flavors we had in Naples.
  • Mozzarella: The cheese in Italy is top notch. Neapolitan pizza often uses fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella cheese.
Neapolitan pizza with basil.

How to make Neapolitan pizza: step by step

Here is an overview of how to make Neapolitan pizza. For all the details, jump to the full recipe!

Step 1: Make the pizza dough

Step 1: Make the pizza dough. You’ll need 15 minutes to make it, then allow it to rise for 45 minutes. You can also make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. Go to this Pizza Dough recipe.

Step 2: Stretch the pizza

Step 2: Stretch the pizza dough and place it into a pizza peel. Go to How to Stretch Pizza Dough for our tips. Top the pizza with pizza sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces.

Step 3 Bake the Neapolitan pizza

Step 3: Bake the pizza on a pizza stone in a 500°F oven for 6 to 7 minutes, or in a pizza oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Go to the full recipe for the tutorial.

Tips for the pizza dough

The essential part of Neapolitan pizza is the pizza dough. Alex and I have been working on our pizza dough recipe for over 10 years. In the process, we’ve learned a few things from some of the premiere pizza restaurant chefs in America, who themselves have studied the pizza in Naples!

  • Use Tipo 00 flour. Tipo 00 flour is the type of Italian flour that Neapolitan pizza restaurants use. It makes for a supple and fluffy dough. You can find it at your local grocery or online. If you can’t find it, you can use all-purpose flour: it will still make great pizza!
  • Rest the dough for 45 minutes. This is key to the best fluffy pizza dough.
  • Or, refrigerate the dough 2 to 3 days before baking (optional). If you can, we recommend placing your pizza dough in a sealed container and refrigerating it for 2 to 3 days. This naturally ferments the dough and brings a nutty, complex flavor to the dough.
  • Review our dough stretching tips. When ready to make the pizza, go to How to Stretch Pizza Dough for our comprehensive guide.
How to stretch Neapolitan pizza dough

Do I need pizza oven?

No, you don’t need a Neapolitan pizza oven for this recipe. You can cook it in a standard oven at 500°F along with a preheated pizza stone. But if you want those beautiful black char marks on your crust like in these photos, you’ll need a pizza oven (and use this pizza oven dough).

  • A pizza oven can get much hotter than a regular oven. Your standard oven can get only to 550°F, but a pizza oven reaches temperatures of up to almost 1000°F!
  • What pizza oven to buy? Alex and I use this portable pizza oven. It’s small, transportable, and heats up to 1000°F in just 10 minutes! It’s powered by wood pellets. Using it takes a bit of practice, but it’s revolutionized our homemade pizza.
Neapolitan pizza oven

Toppings for Neapolitan pizza: the tomatoes

🍅 Most Neapolitan pizza recipes call for placing tomatoes right onto the dough. The San Marzano variety of tomato is a type of Italian tomato that is most often used on Neapolitan pizza. You can find canned San Marzano tomatoes in many grocery stores in the United States these days.

We discovered a trick for making a sauce for Neapolitan pizza: this pizza sauce recipe uses just 5 ingredients to make a flavor-popping sauce that reminds us of the best pizza in Naples, Italy. It uses fire-roasted tomatoes, which taste sweet and smoky right out of the can.

Tips for using fresh mozzarella cheese

Fresh mozzarella cheese has a lot of moisture in it, which can sometimes result in a watery pizza! The moisture varies based on the brand. If you’re using fresh mozzarella cheese for this Neapolitan pizza recipe, do the following:

  • Slice the mozzarella into ¼ inch thick pieces for topping your pizza. Using huge chunks causes a water build up after baking.
  • If the brand seems extra watery, let it sit on a towel for about 15 minutes, then blot away the extra moisture.
  • We like to top the mozzarella with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to tie it all together before baking.
Neapolitan pizza recipe | Best pizza in Naples Italy | Neapolitan pizza oven
Here’s a snapshot of eating the best pizza in Naples Italy at Da Michele. It goes down as our favorite pizza experience ever, immortalized here and in the pizza section of our cookbook!

Should Neapolitan pizza have basil?

🌱 Like any famous recipe, there are lots of opinions on what makes an authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe. If you’re making a Margherita pizza, we’d say basil is a must. When we had Naples pizza a few years ago, the pizza had one leaf of fresh basil on it. One leaf! Somehow, it brought in just the right basil flavor.

Should you put the basil on a pizza before or after baking? If you’re using a Neapolitan pizza oven, the bake time is only 1 minute. You can place the basil on before baking since it’s such a short cook time. But if you’re baking pizza in a standard oven, fresh basil turns black in the 6 to 7 minute cook time. If you’re using a standard oven, add the basil after baking.

Video with step by step instructions

Perfecting real Neapolitan pizza can be tricky. It’s easiest to learn by watching. Since we can’t come to your kitchen to show you ourselves, here’s the next best thing! This step-by-step video shows exactly how to make the pizza, from kneading to shaping to baking. We highly recommend watching this before you start the recipe!

More artisan pizza recipes

This Neapolitan pizza is one of our favorite artisan pizzas we’ve ever made at home! Here are a few of our other favorite homemade pizza recipes:

Dietary notes

This Neapolitan pizza recipe is vegetarian.

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to make authentic Neapolitan pizza at home without a wood-fired oven?

While a wood-fired oven is ideal, you can achieve a very good Neapolitan pizza at home with a standard oven using high heat. This recipe will guide you through adjustments for achieving a crispy crust despite the limitations of a home oven.

What makes Neapolitan pizza different from other pizzas?

Neapolitan pizza is known for its simplicity and focus on high-quality ingredients. It features a thin, airy crust with a slight char, a simple tomato sauce, and minimal toppings.

What type of flour should I use for Neapolitan pizza dough?

“00” flour, a finely-ground Italian flour, is traditionally used for Neapolitan pizza dough. It contributes to the characteristic light and airy texture. However, bread flour or all-purpose flour can be a suitable substitute.

My dough seems too sticky. What can I do?

Neapolitan pizza dough is on the wetter side. Add flour a little bit at a time until the dough comes together and is no longer sticking excessively to your hands.

How hot should my oven be for Neapolitan pizza?

The key to a Neapolitan pizza is very high heat. Aim to preheat your oven (ideally with a pizza stone) to its maximum temperature, which is usually around 500°F (260°C) or higher.

What if my oven doesn’t get that hot?

Don’t worry! You can still achieve a good result. Preheat your oven to the highest setting and preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet for at least 30 minutes to maximize heat retention.

How can I transfer the pizza to the hot oven without a pizza peel?

You can use a parchment paper “peel.” Slide the pizza onto a large piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Then, carefully slide the parchment paper with the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.

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Margherita pizza

Neapolitan Pizza Recipe


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 slices

Description

Master the art of authentic Italian pizza with this Neapolitan pizza recipe! This recipe unlocks the secrets of the perfect dough, simple yet flavorful sauce, and quick high-heat cooking for a pizzeria-worthy pie in your own oven.


Ingredients

  • 1 ball Homemade Pizza Dough*
  • ⅓ cup Easy Pizza Sauce**
  • 2 to 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (or about ¾ cup shredded mozzarella)
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 basil leaves
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Prepare the dough using this pizza dough recipe. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F (or preheat your pizza oven).
  3. Make the pizza sauce.
  4. Slice the mozzarella into ¼ inch thick pieces. If it’s incredibly watery fresh mozzarella (all brands vary), allow it to sit on a paper towel for 15 minutes, then dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
  5. When the oven is ready, stretch the dough into a circle (see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions). Sprinkle a pizza peel with semolina flour or cornmeal, then carefully place the dough on top. Spread the pizza sauce across the dough. Top with mozzarella cheese. Top with a thin layer of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a few pinches of kosher salt.
  6. If you’re baking in a pizza oven, add the basil leaves. For baking in a standard oven, skip this step.
  7. Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone on the pizza peel, then bake until the cheese is melted, about 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in the pizza oven). Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before adding the basil on top (whole leaves, lightly torn, or thinly sliced). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

Notes

*Make the pizza dough 1 hour in advance (for day of preparation), or you can make it in advance and refrigerate up to 3 days. Refrigerating the dough actually adds to the flavor! Allow refrigerated dough to come to room temperature before using by letting it stand for about 30 to 45 minutes.

**Make the pizza dough up to 1 week in advance and refrigerate.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Neapolitan Pizza, Neapolitan Pizza recipe

Italian Margarita

This Italian margarita recipe uses amaretto to give this classic cocktail a makeover! Fresh orange juice and almond liqueur bring…

This Italian margarita recipe uses amaretto to give this classic cocktail a makeover! Fresh orange juice and almond liqueur bring unique twist to the flavors that’s irresistible.

Italian Margarita in glass with salt rim and Amaretto.

Want a simple makeover for your margarita? Try this Italian margarita recipe! Just like Mexican Pizza, this drink is a fusion of the best of Italian and Mexican cuisines: this time in cocktail form!

Why we love this recipe: This Mediterranean version of the classic cocktail swaps out orange liqueur for amaretto, and the almond essence adds a distinctly Italian vibe. Alex and I are big fans of traveling in Italy (Rome, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast are faves): so of course we had to try the Italian margarita!

Ingredients in an Italian margarita

An Italian margarita is a variation on a classic margarita that uses amaretto in place of the orange liqueur (Cointreau), in combination with orange juice, lime juice, and tequila. The flavor has notes of almond and citrus on the finish, but the beginning of the sip tastes like your favorite margarita. Think of it as a sophisticated version of a margarita, kind of like the Cadillac Margarita. Here’s what’s in an Italian margarita:

  • Tequila
  • Orange or blood orange juice
  • Amaretto
  • Lime juice
Amaretto with Italian margarita.

Use blood orange juice for the brilliant color

You can use orange juice from a standard navel orange and this Italian margarita turns out with a warm orange color. But for a brilliantly colored cocktail, use blood orange juice!

Blood oranges have sweet juice and a bright pink color. We love this spin on it because it’s so eye-catching, just like our blood orange margarita. If you can find blood oranges, they’re absolutely worth buying. You can also find bottled blood orange juice at many grocery stores.

Cheater tip: If you like the look but can’t find blood oranges, a drizzle of pomegranate juice or cranberry juice would work too!

What’s the best tequila to use?

Many people suggest using tequila blanco for margaritas, but generally we prefer the robust flavor of tequila reposado. Here’s what to know about the best tequila for margaritas

  • Tequila blanco (silver or white tequila) has been aged less than 2 months and has a strong, straightforward flavor.
  • Tequila reposado (“rested” in Spanish) is aged longer, from 2 to 12 months. It has a more nuanced flavor, with notes of oak and vanilla.

Either way, try to find a mid-price range tequila when you make an Italian margarita. Look for 750 ml bottles in the range of $22 to $35.

Amaretto bottle with Italian margarita.

What is amaretto?

Amaretto is an almond liqueur that originates from Italy. Today it’s made around the world and is stocked in bars worldwide. It has a distinctive flavor that’s both sweet and bitter (amaretto means in Italian “little bitter”). You may know the flavor from the popular amaretto cookies, a popular Italian sweet.

It’s worth getting a bottle for your shelf: you can use it in cocktails and in desserts! More drinks that feature amaretto are an Amaretto Sour, Amaretto Coffee, or a French Connection.

How to make an Italian margarita: step by step

The Italian margarita follows the typical margarita pattern: salt the rim, shake in a cocktail shaker, strain, garnish, serve. Shaking the drink allows it to get thoroughly chilled while slightly diluting the alcohol. Here’s an overview of how to make an Italian margarita (or jump to the recipe below):

  1. Step 1: Rim the glass with salt. Our favorite way is to cut a notch in a lime wedge and run it around the glass. Then dip the glass into a plate of kosher salt or flaky sea salt and rotate until the rim is covered.
  2. Step 2: Shake the tequila, orange juice, lime juice, and amaretto in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes until cold.
  3. Step 3: Strain into the glass and serve. Garnish with an orange and lime wedge. You’ve made your Italian margarita!

Food to serve with Italian margaritas

Quick note: what type of food would you serve with Italian margaritas? You can go either way: Mexican or Italian style!

Two ways to step it up

Last note: here are a few ways to take this Italian margarita over the top! Alex and I love to make these when we have time:

  • Clear ice is artisanal ice that is perfectly clear (not cloudy), and looks like fancy ice you’d get in a bar. It’s absolutely game changing for your homemade cocktails!
  • This margarita salt with colorful orange and green of citrus zest is eye-catching and perfect for entertaining.
Italian margarita

More margarita recipes

Alex and I are big margarita fans over here, so we’ve got lots of spins on this classic drink. Here are some of our favorite margarita recipes:

Frequently asked questions

Is it just a margarita with amaretto?

While amaretto is a key ingredient, an Italian Margarita offers a more complex flavor profile compared to a classic margarita. The amaretto adds a touch of almond sweetness that complements the tequila and lime.

What makes it “Italian”?

Amaretto, a sweet almond liqueur, is originally from Italy. This liqueur adds a distinctive Italian touch to the margarita.

Is it shaken or stirred?

An Italian Margarita is typically shaken with ice to create a frothy texture, similar to a classic margarita.

What’s the best way to rim the glass?

For an Italian touch, dip the rim of the glass in amaretto before coating it with sugar or a coarse salt like sea salt.

Do I have to use blood orange juice?

Not at all! You can use standard orange juice and the drink will be orange in color.

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Italian margarita

Italian Margarita


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink

Description

This Italian margarita recipe uses amaretto to give this classic cocktail a makeover! Fresh orange juice and almond liqueur bring unique twist to the flavors that’s irresistible.


Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) tequila blanco or reposado*
  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) fresh squeezed orange juice or blood orange juice
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) amaretto
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt (or margarita salt), for the rim
  • For the garnish: Lime wedge, orange slice
  • Clear ice, if serving on the rocks

Instructions

  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of kosher or flaky sea salt.
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve garnished with a lime wedge and orange slice. (Consider using our clear ice for an artisan touch.)

Notes

Using blood orange juice gives the drink a bright red color; you can also use fresh squeezed orange juice for an orange color. Both drinks taste similarly citrusy. 

For fun rim ideas, try margarita salt (with orange and lime zest), or a spicy Tajin rim. You could also use superfine sugar for rimming to bring out the sweet notes in the amaretto.

  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Italian Margarita

Pizza Sauce Recipe

This homemade pizza sauce recipe is full of zingy, garlicky flavor and gets rave reviews! It uses only 5 ingredients…

This homemade pizza sauce recipe is full of zingy, garlicky flavor and gets rave reviews! It uses only 5 ingredients and takes only 5 minutes: there’s no cooking required.

Pizza sauce recipe

Making a pizza? Here’s the go-to recipe you need: this homemade pizza sauce recipe! All you need are 5 ingredients and 5 minutes. Dip your spoon in, and you’ll be amazed at the flavor: it’s garlicky, rich, tangy and bright.

Why we love this recipe: This pizza sauce is one of our most-used on this website: we’ve made it more times than we can count. The garlicky, tangy flavor can’t be beat, and it’s beyond simple to make. Once you try it, you’ll never go back. Come, experience the magic!

“Absolutely delicious and totally easy. I’ve been making it for years now, so it’s time to show my love with a 5 star rating. Had a pizza party with friends and they loved the sauce so much we put it on the table to drizzle on our slices!” -Leila

Ingredients in this pizza sauce recipe

There are just 5 ingredients in this pizza sauce recipe. Even better: it requires no cooking at all! The flavor depends on the quality of your ingredients, so choose wisely. Here are a few things to know about the ingredients:

  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes: Try to find this type of canned tomato if at all possible! Roasting tomatoes over an open flame adds a mellow, sweet flavor. Several brands carry this special type of tomato. If you can’t find them, use the highest quality crushed tomatoes you can find: San Marzano tomatoes are a good substitute. Double check that the can says crushed before purchasing.
  • Small garlic clove: Garlic cloves widely vary in size. This recipe calls for a small clove. If you don’t have one, use half a medium or a quarter of a large clove. This is important so that the sauce doesn’t end up too garlicky.
  • Dried oregano: Make sure to use dried oregano that’s fairly new so that the flavor is strong enough. If it’s been in your cabinet over 1 year, it’s time for a refresh!
  • Olive oil and salt: Use extra virgin olive oil, and no recipe is complete without a pop of kosher salt.

Pro tip

Keep one thing in mind about this pizza sauce: it has a loose texture that’s similar to what’s use in a traditional Neapolitan pizza. Don’t expect it to be like canned American pizza sauce, which can have extra ingredients like sugar and thickeners like cornstarch. Use a very thin layer of it on top of the pizza dough.

Margherita pizza with pizza sauce and pizza cutter.

How to make homemade pizza sauce

How to make homemade pizza sauce? Many methods simmer the sauce on the stovetop. But after loads of testing, we found that fire roasted tomatoes make it possible to mix right up without cooking. Every time we make it, when I dip my spoon into that beautiful red sauce, it’s beyond my wildest dreams. We used to make it in a blender, but it works simply mixed by hand too! Here are the steps:

Garlic

Step 1: Peel and finely mince the garlic. Or if you’re using the blender method, peel the garlic clove and slice it into a few rough pieces.

Homemade easy pizza sauce recipe | Italian pizza sauce recipe

Step 2: Mix the garlic with crushed fire roasted tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, and salt until the olive oil incorporates. Or, throw them in a blender and then blend until fully combined.

Homemade pizza

Step 3: Spread a very thin layer of the pizza sauce onto your favorite pizza dough recipe.

It’s as simple as that. Take a taste, and you’ll be amazed by the flavor! We’ve had countless people tell us that it’s the best pizza sauce they’ve ever had.

Top pizza dough recipes

We’ve made this pizza sauce recipe so many times, we’ve lost count! To make your own homemade pizza, try one of these pizza dough recipes for the crust:

Ways to use this pizza sauce

Use this easy pizza sauce recipe on any of your favorite pizza recipes! You can also use it as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese or breadsticks, in baked pasta, or for a pizza quesadilla. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:

  1. Pizza like classic Margherita pizza, goat cheese pizza, homemade cheese pizza, or any of these popular pizza toppings.
  2. Sheet-style pizza like sheet pan pizza that makes two pizzas at once, or fluffy focaccia pizza.
  3. Deep dish pizza like cast iron pizza or pan pizza.
  4. Dipping sauce for this easy calzone recipe or grilled cheese dippers.
  5. Quick pizzas like tortilla pizza, pita pizza, naan pizza, or French bread pizza.
  6. Alternative pizzas like portobello mushroom pizza or eggplant pizzas.

Dietary notes

This pizza sauce recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant based, dairy-free, and refined sugar free.

Frequently asked questions

Why make no-cook pizza sauce?

There are several advantages! It’s quicker and easier than cooked sauces, requires minimal ingredients, and allows the fresh flavors of the tomatoes to shine through. Additionally, cooking pizza sauce can make it lose its vibrant color and acidity.

Isn’t no-cook sauce too watery for pizza?

Fire-roasted tomatoes have a thicker consistency and more concentrated flavor than regular canned tomatoes. They offer the perfect base for a no-cook sauce that won’t leave your pizza soggy.

What kind of fire-roasted tomatoes should I use?

Crushed fire-roasted tomatoes work well. Don’t substitute diced unless you run the sauce through a blender first.

I don’t have fire-roasted tomatoes. Can I use regular canned tomatoes?

You can, but the flavor won’t be as rich and flavorful. Opt for high-quality canned tomatoes like San Marzano tomatoes, and consider adding a pinch of smoked paprika to mimic the fire-roasted flavor.

What herbs can I add to this sauce?

Finely minced fresh basil is a classic addition, but oregano, thyme, or a pinch of red pepper flakes are also delicious options.

How much garlic is too much garlic?

Garlic preference is subjective, but 1 small clove should be enough for a flavorful yet balanced sauce.

How long can I store leftover sauce?

Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

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Pizza sauce recipe

Pizza Sauce Recipe (5 Minutes!)


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups

Description

This homemade pizza sauce recipe gets rave reviews! It uses only 5 ingredients and takes only 5 minutes: no cooking required.


Ingredients

  • 15 ounces crushed fire roasted tomatoes*
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic (1/2 medium clove)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Finely mince the garlic (or if using the blender method, simply chop it into a few rough pieces).
  2. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl until the oil incorporates. Or, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until fully combined (this makes a slightly runnier textured sauce). 
  3. To serve, spread a very thin layer of sauce on top of pizza dough, keeping in mind that this sauce has a loose texture that’s similar to what’s used in a traditional Neapolitan pizza or Margherita pizza. (Don’t expect it to be like canned American pizza sauce, which can have extra ingredients like sugar and thickeners like cornstarch.) Store refrigerated for 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.

Notes

Recipe inspired by Flour Water Salt Yeast

*Fire roasted tomatoes are key to the flavor! They’re available at many mainstream groceries these days and have a mellow, sweet flavor. If you absolutely cannot find them, use a high quality brand of crushed tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are a good substitute. Do not use diced tomatoes, unless you use the blender method for the sauce. 

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Pizza Sauce Recipe, Pizza Sauce, Homemade Pizza Sauce

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Butter Beans Recipe

sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.This Tuscan-inspired butter beans recipe tosses canned butter beans in a rich and creamy sun dried tomato sauce. It’s incredibly comforting, healthy, and ready in just 20 minutes! Transform more of the canned beans in your pantry with these Best Vegan Baked Beans, Easy Chickpea Curry, and White Bean Soup recipes! You’ll never look at…

sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.

This Tuscan-inspired butter beans recipe tosses canned butter beans in a rich and creamy sun dried tomato sauce. It’s incredibly comforting, healthy, and ready in just 20 minutes!

Transform more of the canned beans in your pantry with these Best Vegan Baked Beans, Easy Chickpea Curry, and White Bean Soup recipes!

sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.

You’ll never look at a can of butter beans the same way again after trying this rich and comforting butter beans recipe! It combines canned butter beans with a luxurious cashew cream, sun dried tomato, and Italian herb sauce that’s easy to make in a blender. Every bite tastes like it came from your favorite Italian restaurant, especially when scooped up with crusty bread!

There’s really no chopping at all required (except the optional slicing of baby spinach), so this is truly a ridiculously easy and incredible meal!

Why you’ll fall in love with this butter beans recipe

  • Marry Me Butter Beans – Ever heard of Marry Me Chicken? This recipe is a play on that indulgent, creamy, and crave-worthy meal but uses non-dairy substitutes and canned butter beans instead of meat.
  • Creamy and indulgent, but healthy – Every bite of this canned butter beans recipe is rich, creamy, and comforting. You won’t even notice that it’s loaded with plant-based protein and fiber!
  • Incredibly comforting – Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread (maybe my Dutch Oven Bread?) on the side because you’ll want to scoop up every last drop of this heavenly comfort food.
ingredients for a Tuscan cashew cream sauce in a blender.

How to make this vegan butter beans recipe

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

First, quickly soak the cashews in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Afterward, drain the water and add the cashews to a high-powered blender along with the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

a creamy orange Tuscan sauce in a blender.

Pour the sauce into a large skillet. Stir in the drained and rinsed butter beans, then heat over medium heat. Simmer the sun dried tomato sauce and beans, stirring often, until heated through.

For a thinner consistency, stir splashes of water into the sauce until it’s as thin as you like.

Lastly, stir the spinach and more sun dried tomatoes (optional) into the sauce. Cook until the spinach wilts, then serve the creamy butter beans in a bowl with crusty bread on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

For a truly impressive presentation, top the Tuscan butter beans with chopped fresh basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, and/or vegan parmesan cheese.

butter beans on top of a creamy Tuscan sun dried tomato sauce in a large black skillet.

Frequently asked questions

Are butter beans the same as lima beans?

Yes, butter beans and lima beans are the exact same thing! Depending on where you are in the world, the can of beans may be labeled “butter beans” or “lima beans”.

Can I make this with dry butter beans instead?

Sure. To cook dry butter beans, soak 1.5 cups of dried butter beans in water overnight and boil them in fresh water the next day until they’re tender.

I can’t find butter beans. What can I use instead?

You can swap the canned butter beans for 2 cans of another soft and creamy white bean, like cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans. Even chickpeas work well!

What can I substitute for the cashews?

I haven’t tested it, but you should be fine to use blanched slivered almonds instead of cashews in the sauce. For a nut-free alternative, experiment with raw sunflower seeds or 1 can of full-fat coconut milk instead (don’t use as much water with this option, just add water as need to the pan).

How do you serve this easy butter beans recipe?

These creamy sun dried tomato butter beans are hearty enough to be served on their own, either by the spoonful or scooped up with fresh, crusty bread. I like it with a sliced baguette from the store or slices of my Dutch Oven Bread!

If you’d like to stretch the meal a bit further, spoon the beans over a bowl of pasta, cooked white or brown rice, or the whole grains of your choice. Include this Kale Caesar Salad on the side to round out every bite, and finish the meal with my Vegan Chocolate Cake for dessert!

How do you store leftover butter beans?

Once the beans and sauce are cooled to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw the leftovers overnight in the fridge before reheating.

sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.
sliced bread dipped in a batch of creamy butter beans.
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Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Butter Beans Recipe

This Tuscan-inspired butter beans recipe tosses canned butter beans in a rich and creamy sun dried tomato sauce. It’s incredibly comforting, healthy, and ready in just 20 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian-inspired
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 257kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes plus more if desired
  • 7-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water + more as needed
  • (2) 15-ounce cans butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach sliced
  • crusty bread for serving, optional

Instructions

  • Soak the cashews: Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil (I use my tea kettle). Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes or up to an hour.
  • Blend the sauce: Drain the cashews and add to a high powered blender, along with the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and water. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  • Cook sauce and beans: Pour the creamy sauce into a large skillet. Add the drained and rinsed beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add a little more water, if desired, for a thinner sauce.
  • Stir in spinach and finish: Stir in the spinach and more sun dried tomatoes, if desired. Cook until the spinach wilts and is bright green. Remove from heat and taste, adding salt or black pepper as needed. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

  1. You can substitute sunflower seeds or raw slivered almonds for the cashews, if needed. Or use a can of full fat coconut milk and omit the water (or use more as needed to thin the sauce).
  2. If you can’t find butter beans, this recipe works well with any kind of white beans – great northern, navy or chickpeas.
  3. I love to serve it with crusty bread for dipping, but it’s good over rice, quinoa or another grain as well.
  4. This is a great meal prep recipe! Store the leftovers in covered containers for up to 4 days. Reheat and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 5 servings | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 970mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1236IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 5mg

Roasted Tuscan Vegetables

Savor the flavor of these tender, roasted veggies!

Sheet pan roasted veggiesSavor the flavor of these tender, roasted veggies!