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When To Put Basil On Pizza: Best 6 Tips & Helpful Guide

When to put basil on pizza: the best guide

As you know, basil is considered a very common spice. It is used in both dried and fresh basil leaves. However, for almost everyone, it causes associations with pizza. Therefore, a logical question arises, when to put basil on pizza for preparation on the pizza stone?

when to put basil on pizza

When should you add basil to pizza?

If you wonder when to put basil on pizza, then it’s best to do it after you’ve made the pizza. This applies if you use fresh basil. Otherwise, when cooking pizza, the basil leaves wither or roast, which begins to release bitterness.

If you plan to use dried basil leaves, it’s best to add them to the sauce and brush it over the pizza before baking. This emphasizes the intense basil flavor of the dish, and the pizza acquires a pleasant herbaceousness.

The need to sprinkle basil on pizza

As you know, basil leaves are considered very common in cooking. Based on it, many recipes are prepared. This spice helps to saturate dishes with a pleasant aroma. It is impossible not to note the fresh and spicy taste.

Therefore, it is impossible to confuse it with another spice.

There is no way to accurately describe what sweet basil tastes like. We can say for sure that it makes any dish and sauce more summery. Thanks to the aroma that stands out from the leaves, the pizza becomes more appetizing. You appreciate the combination of aromatic herbs and the piquancy of marinara sauce with golden cheese bubbles.

Methods for using basil in pizza

As already mentioned, basil leaves can be used in a variety of ways in the pizza-making process. On the market, you can find fresh basil, which is in the greatest demand. If you do not have such an opportunity, you can use dried spices for basil pizza.

No less common are various oils that are infused with this fragrant spice.

Uses of dried basil leaves

You can use it as a single herb, or you can combine it with other dried herbs. As already mentioned, it is appropriate to sprinkle basil on marinara sauce, which is smeared on the pizza dough or filling before baking.

Using fresh basil on pizza

You can chop the leaves and also add marinara sauce. You can also add fresh basil, whole or torn, to an already-cooked pizza before serving. This makes the main dish more appetizing and flavorful.

The use of oils infused with basil leaves

Such oils can be used to pour over already-cooked pizza. This makes it more tender in taste. Guests appreciate your culinary skills.

The taste of basil on pizza

It is important to understand that the taste and texture of the herbs depend on which type of basil you prefer to use. Fresh basil should be added to the finished pizza. Yes, they wilt slightly due to the heat generated from the main course. However, they retain fresh in taste and texture.

If you choose to add the leaves before baking the pizza, they take on bitterness while losing sweetness. The hue of the leaves also becomes more muted, which spoils the appearance of the dish.

Dried basil initially tastes bitter. Especially if you sprinkle it on the dough instead of adding it to the sauce. That is why it makes sense to add dried basil only to the marinara sauce, which will soften the bitterness.

The oil infused with basil is fresh and fragrant. Almost all of them are made based on cold or extra virgin olive oil. Such oil options should be added only after the pizza has been cooked. Otherwise, under the influence of high temperatures, their taste will change.

If you don’t want to drizzle oil on your pizza after it’s done because it’ll get a little greasy, don’t get discouraged. You can pour oil over the dish 2-3 minutes before the end of the cooking process. The taste of the oil does not deteriorate, and the excess fat evaporates, and you get a very pleasant dish.

The use of fresh basil, depending on the type of pizza

As you know, all chefs add certain ingredients to each type of pizza. That is why they all taste different. This applies not only to the main filling but also to the greens used in the cooking process. More information about which basil would be appropriate for each type of pizza will be discussed below.


This is the most classic version of pizza that you can cook at home. The crispy dough is used for the base. It is topped with a classic marinara sauce, mozzarella shreds, and thin slices of sweet tomatoes.

Basil must be included in this recipe. It needs to be used fresh only and added after the finished baking process. It needs to be scattered over the still-bubbling cheese. Even though the leaves fade, they retain their attractiveness and taste.


This version of pizza is a bit like a Margarita. The difference is that a little rich balsamic glaze is added to the recipe. This version of pizza is also recommended to be sprinkled with some fresh basil, which must first be chopped with a knife or torn.

It is allowed to add a small amount of hot oil, which is infused with basil.

It is beautifully combined with balsamic glaze.


Melanzane is a sumptuous pizza variant that some consider a true delicacy. This is a classic version of pizza topped with mozzarella cheese and some eggplant thinly sliced that are pre-fried in olive oil.

It is recommended to complement the pizza with dried basil. They need to sprinkle a base made of tomato. This helps to emphasize the herbal fresh flavor, and the filling retains its tenderness.


To prepare such a pizza, boiled ham is used, which is laid out on top of a tomato sauce base, which adds spice. It is recommended to add more basil to this pizza. You can use either dried basil or fresh basil.

As already mentioned, the dried basil should be added to the tomato sauce. This makes every inch of the dish more herbal. Chopped fresh basil should be used to sprinkle the finished pizza. You can grease the crust with a small amount of oil, which is infused with basil.

Pollo ad Astra

This pizza is made with chicken and basil. Both components create the perfect combination that does not leave anyone indifferent. Fresh basil is recommended to be added 2-3 minutes before the end of the baking process of the main dish. So, the tastes of meat and greens mix better and irritate human taste buds.

Basil pizza recipes

Basil belongs to the category of tender plants. Therefore, it must be protected from high temperatures.

For this reason, you should not bake it in a wood-fired oven.

If the green leaves are in contact with heat, this starts the process of their oxidation. The shade of the leaves immediately changes, which spoils the appearance of the finished dish.

The fresh basil no longer is green or purple. They change their hue to gray or brown. At the same time, they become covered with wrinkles, and may even fry and become crispy.


This version of pizza is considered traditional.

The temperature inside should be high – about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Pizza is baked quickly, only 2-3 minutes.

If you sprinkle the dough with basil, then it does not have time to change the shade and texture. After all, the impact of high temperatures is minimal.

Therefore, it may be difficult to add spices to the dish. If you cook pizza at home, you cannot avoid the blackening and wilt of the leaves.

Pizza in an oven

If you are fond of cooking pizza, then you have a special pizza oven at home. In this case, you can add basil to pizza before baking, in the middle of the process, or at the end of it. Given that special ovens are capable of heating up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, the pizza will cook in just 2 minutes.

During this time, the spice will not lose texture and taste. Even experienced bakers who work in restaurants and use such ovens add fresh basil leaves before sending the pizza to bake. Yes, you may notice how the leaves shrink and darken slightly.

However, this only makes the pizza more attractive. Especially if you sprinkled it with whole leaves on top of the cheese.

If you crush the leaves, they can withstand the high temperatures in the pizza oven. Because of this, their taste and texture will change.

You can also place the pizza inside the oven, bake it for about 1 minute, then take it out. When the pizza is half cooked, add fresh basil leaves and put in the oven for another minute. In this case, you can even use chopped leaves. However, it is better to choose whole.

How to make pizza in a conventional electric oven?

Recently, the demand for home electric ovens has increased. They are an excellent alternative to models that are built into gas stoves. As you know, it is best to cook pizza at high temperatures. Therefore, you have to preheat the oven to the maximum temperature.

On average, the process takes about half an hour.

This creates enough heat for the pizza to bake properly and not dry out. You can also put inside a special preheated pizza stone designed for baking pizza, or special steel.

Some housewives flip the baking sheet, which helps to replace the pizza steel.

Even if you preheat the oven to the maximum temperature, you still have to bake the pizza for at least 8 minutes. Often the time even increases to 12 minutes. It must be understood that this causes certain problems for the basil.

Given that it will have to stay at a high temperature for a long time, the texture, taste, and intense aroma, as well as the appearance, will deteriorate. That is why it is better to dwell on the use of dried basil or oil infused on it. If you can’t refuse fresh basil leaves, it is better to add them to an already-prepared pizza.

You can use whole fresh leaves or chopped ones. Some housewives bake pizza for 5 minutes, take it out, sprinkle it with fresh basil and cheese, and then send it to bake for another 5 minutes. You can also take out the finished pizza and let it rest for a few minutes.

This is the best solution if you prefer to use finely chopped basil.

After all, under the influence of high temperatures, it fades and becomes dark.

This is also possible if you sprinkle it on top of hot cheese. If the cheese cools down a bit, then the basil retains its freshness and pleasant shade.

The use of basil under cheese

Some chefs think it’s okay to add fresh basil leaves before baking a pizza. However, it needs to be hidden under a layer of mozzarella. The fat and moisture that are released from the cheese keep the basil from drying out and becoming bitter.

However, not everyone likes this method. After all, the aesthetics of pizza will deteriorate. Given that the basil leaves will be hidden, they can get to someone who does not like this spice at all. In this case, pleasant emotions from the tasting will be spoiled.


When it comes to using basil for pizza with intense flavor, people face plenty of questions. This is a very delicate spice, to which you need to find the right approach.

How to put fresh basil on pizza?

If you prefer to cook pizza with fresh basil, then it is best to do this after baking the dish. Chop up the leaves and sprinkle over the melted cheese.

The dish becomes more aromatic. However, it is better not to wait for a long time, and immediately start tasting. After all, the aroma becomes less intense with every minute.

How long do you cook basil on pizza?

If you decide to add spice in the middle of the cooking, then first you should place the pizza basil in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Then take it out and sprinkle it with cheese and fresh basil. Send to bake for another 5-7 minutes, then proceed to the tasting.

How do you keep basil green on a pizza?

To preserve the basil greens, it is recommended to add them at the end of baking pizza basil. Otherwise, the green turns black and loses its tenderness.

When should you cook basil?

It is impossible to accurately answer this question because it all depends on what kind of basil you will use. Dried basil is appropriate to add at the very beginning, namely, to the sauce. Fresh basil and oils infused with it are recommended to be added at the end of baking to make an amazing pungent flavor.


As you can see, basil can be added to pizza at different times. It all depends on the recipe for the main dish, as well as the type of basil used. You can also focus on your skills and preferences. If you like bitterness, feel free to sprinkle the pizza base with fresh basil, and send it to the oven.

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