Why we love it

I’m just loving pizza fritta right now. From making it all the way to devouring it, it’s just so enjoyable. It’s mesmerising watching the pizza dough puff up and get bubbly in the pan and when they’re topped they’re the best combo of flavour and texture. Amazing!

  • They taste just like a delicious margherita pizza.
  • Crispy, puffy and golden outside.
  • Soft and chewy inside.
  • Once the dough is made, these are so quick to make.
  • Perfect for parties or family pizza night.

Thank the Italians for this gem. They’re genuine ability to make the simplest things taste amazing is unlimited. You can make the pizza dough from scratch like I do and if you do make sure to read my tips on making it ahead so that pizza night can happen quickly. You could also use store-bought pizza dough if you’re in a place where you can get it.

Once you have your pizza dough ready, the rest is simple. In one pan, you’ll heat your sauce for topping while in another you’ll be frying the pizza and they are literally the work of minutes. This recipe also gives you two topping options – margherita (made with my own pizza sauce) or pesto and prosciutto. Topping ideas are unlimited though – choose your favourites and pile them on.

Top down view of 6 pizza fritta on a wooden board.

What is pizza fritta?

Well, we all know what pizza is and fritta means fried in Italian, hence pizza fritta literally translates to fried pizza. Originating in Napoli (Naples) disks of fried pizza dough are topped with sauce and cheese or really any topping you like.

Pizza fritta (singular) or pizza fritte (plural) can also be made stuffed with the filling before being fried, instead of being topped, much like a calzone.

Traditionally, pizza fritta is deep fried and, while there are some things I will deep fry, it’s certainly not something Iove to do. Thankfully, shallow frying the pizza dough works just perfectly. Phew! Shallow frying is easy, no splattering and no buckets of oil left to deal with.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for pizza fritta on a baking tray.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

For the pizza dough

The dough uses basic ingredients but you can certainly take a shortcut use store-bought if it’s available though I can only vouch for the flavour of my own pizza dough 😊. You can make the dough ahead so check my tips lower down the page for that.

  • Flour: Use bread flour for the pizza dough.
  • Yeast: Use instant dry yeast or active dry yeast.
  • Sugar: A little sugar helps the yeast to grow.
  • Oil: A little extra virgin olive oil in the dough adds fantastic flavour.
  • Salt: A little salt for flavour.

For the margherita topping

  • Pizza sauce: I make my own pizza sauce from scratch. It’s a no cook, 2 minute tomato sauce recipe and can be made ahead of time but feel free to use store-bought if you know of a good one.
  • Mozzarella: Buy the mozzarella in whey. Found in bags or in plastic tubs, this is traditional mozzarella.
  • Basil: Grab some fresh basil leaves and don’t hold back they add so much flavour. You could also dollop over basil pesto in place of the fresh basil.

For the ricotta, pesto and parmesan

  • Ricotta: Use a firm, smooth ricotta for best results.
  • Prosciutto: One slice of prosciutto is enough for each pizza fritta but you can certainly add more.
  • Pesto: Another one I make from scratch that, again you can buy ready-made is the basil pesto. This simple herby paste is loaded with flavour.
  • Olives: I use green olives but you can use any that you like.

How to make pizza fritta (step-by-step)

Pizza fritta is incredibly simple to make. Even making the dough from scratch isn’t hard but just keep in mind time for rising and make it ahead if you prefer. If you use store-bought pizza dough, just skip to the shaping section.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

To make your own pizza dough

A collage showing how to rise the dough.
  1. Bloom the yeast: Start by combining the yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes to bloom (it should start to puff up).
  2. Make the dough: Combine all the dough ingredients, including the yeast mixture, in the bowl of a stand mixer (see my tips section if you want to make it by hand). Mix on low for 3 minutes.
  3. Rest the dough: Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for about 1 hour. If you have a proving drawer or dough rising setting on your oven use that, otherwise just leave it in a warm spot.

After the dough has doubled, it’s ready to be turned into pizza fritte.

Shape and fry the pizza fritte

A collage showing how to shape the pizza dough.
  1. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 6 even portions and just use your fingertips to shape it into a circle about 13-15cm / 5-6 inches.
  2. Rest the dough for 15 minutes.
Two images showing the stages of frying.
  1. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan (about 1cm / ½ inch deep). Dip the end of a wooden spoon in and it should bubble when the oil is hot enough.
  2. Place 2-3 disks of dough in at a time – this will depend on the size of your pan – and cook until golden underneath. Flip and repeat. This process takes only about 3 minutes!
  3. Keep the fried pizza dough warm on a paper towel lined tray in the oven (on the warm setting or around 70C / 160F).

Add the toppings:

  1. For the margherita topping: Heat the sauce in a small pan over medium heat. You can have this sitting on low while the pizza dough is frying so it’s ready to go. Thinly slice the mozzarella and tear the basil leaves. Top the fried pizza dough disks with the sauce, then the mozzarella and basil and serve immediately.
  2. For the pesto & prosciutto topping: Simply spread the ricotta over the pizzas, then add the pesto. Top with a slice of prosciutto, letting it fall onto itself in delicate waves, then add the olives and rocket (arugula).

Tips and tricks

  • Making the dough by hand: Being a sticky dough, it really is best to make it with a stand mixer, however you can make it by hand just don’t be tempted to add too much flour as it will be sticking to your hands. Instead, use a bench scraper to help you lift and turn the dough, then press down with the other, just until it’s fairly smooth.
  • Bring the mozzarella to room temperature: This just helps the mozzarella to get melty on the pizza since it isn’t cooked. Being room temp will make it more able to melt just from the heat of the sauce and the dough.
  • Serve on warm plates: You want your pizzas to stay as hot as possible so the cheese remains gooey, so on top of making sure everything is hot when its ready to go, serving it on warmed plates will help keep them hot too. I often heat mine in the microwave for a couple of minutes on high but you can place them in the oven on a low setting to warm aswell.
A fried pizza topped with pesto and prosciutto.

Getting ahead

Many of the components of these pizza fritta can be made ahead of time so that things come together quickly on pizza night.

  • The dough: Make the pizza dough the night before and let it prove in the fridge, then move straight onto the shaping step the next day. You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months – let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • The pizza sauce: The pizza sauce is just a mix-and-done style sauce. You can mix it together up to a week before pizza time and keep it stored in the fridge in a mason jar or preserving jar.
  • The shallots: These can also be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • The pesto: If you’re making your pesto from scratch, you can do this up to 4 days ahead. Make sure this is stored in a jar with a very tight fitting lid. The top may turn a little black but it’s just oxidisation and you can scoop that out and throw it away. You can pour a little oil over the top before sealing the jar to help keep oxidisation at bay.


I first heard of pizza fritta when watching an episode of Jamie Oliver in Italy. Those ones were filled with cheese and deep fried (as opposed to topped). After doing some research, I worked out that both ways are totally acceptable and both are very common in Naples. So there are two different iterations you can try right there.

But you can also get extra creative with these.

  • Other toppings: You could add some salami, pepperoni, cooked sausage, roasted red peppers or sun dried tomatoes to either version that I’ve shared in the recipe card. You could go extra indulgent and use some burrata in place of the mozzarella.
  • Roasted shallot: I’ve made these pizza fritte using my roasted shallot recipe too. Similar to the prosciutto version, I mix some parmesan through the ricotta then spread that over followed by the pesto. Top it with reheated roasted shallots – yum!
  • Dust with sugar: There is also a sweet version, where the pizza fritta is dusted with icing sugar (powdered sugar) after frying.
  • Nutella: Stuff them with nutella before frying, then dust in cinnamon sugar once they’re done.

Yield and storage

This recipe makes 6 pizza fritta, roughly the size of 1- 1 ½ slices of thick-crust pizza. It’s great served with a side salad like this asparagus, rocket & parmesan salad.

The fried dough can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or ziplock bag and reheated in the oven at a later time. You can also treat this as pre-made pizzas and bake them with the toppings.

A hand holding a pizza fritta.

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Closeup of a pizza fritta.
5 from 1 rating
Pizza fritta is fried pizza dough topped with your favourite pizza toppings. Crisp, golden and puffy on the outside, they’re soft and chewy inside and utterly delicious.


FOR THE PIZZA FRITTA DOUGH (or use 250g / ½lb store-bought)

  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon warm water (200ml)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 260 g bread flour (2 cups / 9.1oz)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup neutral flavoured vegetable oil, like canola oil


  • 1 batch homemade pizza sauce (or ¾ cup store bought)
  • 2 small balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • Fresh basil leaves


  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ½ cup smooth ricotta
  • 6 olives, pits removed, sliced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Rocket leaves (arugula)

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided


    Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small jug and whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes until it starts to look puffy.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, add the flour, salt and olive oil. Pour in the yeast mixture and give it a rough mix with the dough hook until it starts coming together.
  • Knead on low setting for 3 minutes.
  • Rub a little oil on your hands to make handling the dough easier. Lightly oil a medium bowl and place the dough in, flipping until it's lightly oiled all over. Cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size – see notes.
  • After it has risen, remove the plastic wrap and gently turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough into 6 even pieces Use your fingers to shape it into a circle, roughly 13cm / 5 inches. If it's sticking to your hands just gently drop it in the flour.
  • Rub a little flour over the backs, then place the disks of dough flour side down onto a large baking paper covered baking sheet and let them sit for another 15 minutes to prove.
  • Preheat the oven to warming temperature. Line a medium baking tray with paper towel and place it inside the oven ready for keeping your pizzas warm.
  • In a deep non-stick skillet / frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. The oil should be about 8mm/⅓ inch deep. It’s hot enough when you dip the end of a wooden spoon in it and it bubbles.
  • Place a piece of dough (or up to 2-3 depending on the size of your pan) into the hot oil and fry until golden brown underneath – 1-2 minutes. Use tongs to turn them, and repeat on the other side. Transfer to the paper towel lined tray in the warm oven while you do the second batch.
  • FOR THE MARGHERITA TOPPING (or filling, see notes):
    Heat the pizza sauce in a small saucepan until hot.
  • Slice the mozzarella if you haven’t already and prepare your basil leaves.
  • Spread a tablespoon of hot sauce over each pizza fritta and immediately top with mozzarella slices and basil. Serve immediately.
  • FOR THE PESTO & PROSCIUTTO TOPPING (or filling, see notes):
    Spread 1 tablespoon of the ricotta over each pizza fritta followed by the pesto.
  • Top with a piece of prosciutto, letting it fall into a little pile then scatter over olives and rocket leaves.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. FOR BEST RESULTS: you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop)
  2. FLOUR: The bread flour can be swapped for plain / all purpose flour. Bread flour gives a slightly chewier texture to the baked pizza base.
  3. YEAST: You can use instant or active dry interchangeably. If you have rapid rise, the dough may rise quicker than this recipe states.
  4. KNEADING BY HAND: You can knead the dough by hand but it is a little sticky. Please resist the urge to add flour. It will eventually firm up and stop sticking to your hands and bench top. It should take around 10 minutes to get smooth and elastic.
  5. RISING TIME: Normally half an hour will be enough for the dough to double in size (especially if you place it under a warm light or lamp) but it may take up to an hour or longer in winter. Just make sure it doubles in size.
  6. SLOW RISE: For a more intense flavour to the pizza dough, leave it to rise overnight in the fridge.
  7. FILLING THE PIZZA FRITTA: Pizza fritte can be filled or topped. The recipe above is for topping them but you can fill them instead. The fillings can be cold. Simple add them to the centre of each disk of dough, then fold the two sides to meet in the middle above the fillings. Roll and pinch the seam together all the way along, then flatten out very slightly and fry just as you would the unfilled ones.
  8. FREEZING DOUGH: You can freeze pizza dough after the first rise. After turning it out onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball, coat with a little oil all over and place in a zip lock bag. Place it straight in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  9. TO THAW: Place in the fridge overnight. Take it out of the fridge ½ an hour before you’re ready to make pizza.
  10. Nutritional information based on the Margherita version.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Pizza Fritta (Fried Pizza) - with 2 toppings!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 596mg26%
Potassium 177mg5%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 302IU6%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 139mg14%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.