Whole Wheat Pizza Margherita

Your Favorite Food Gets a Healthy Makeover

Author of "Now Eat This! Italian" prepares classic Italian dishes with a fraction of the fat.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Try Rocco DiSpirito's whole wheat pizza margherita. Who says pizza can't be good for you?


  • 1/2 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
  • 1/2 packet active dry yeast (4 grams)
  • .9 ounce vital wheat gluten
  • 6 ounces sifted whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning the pizza
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup no sugar added marinara sauce, such as Trader Joe's
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 8 slices
  • 8 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Place the warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, and stir in the agave nectar. Sprinkle in the yeast and mix gently to incorporate.

    Let stand somewhere warm until you see a bubbly foam form on top of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Make sure your water is 110 degrees F, precisely the correct temperature; otherwise, the yeast will be either inactive or killed, and your dough will not rise. Whisk in the vital wheat gluten until it is fully incorporated and smooth.

    Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture down, exchange the whisk for the dough hook attachment, and add the flour and salt in 2 additions. If you do not have an electric mixer, you can do this by hand in a large bowl. After the second addition of flour, add the second half of the salt.

    Mix everything together until you have a smooth ball of dough. Coat a large clean bowl with 4 seconds of cooking spray and place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until just about doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

    Coat a 15 x 21-inch nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour. Place the dough on the work surface and roll out the dough to the size of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, pushing it against the edges of the pan with your fingers.

    Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the sheet and keep in a warm place until the dough rises about an inch up the edges of the pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Place the pan in the oven, sprinkle the crust with salt, and bake until the surface of the dough is just cooked, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the oven and spread the tomato sauce evenly over the top of the pizza, leaving a 1-inch perimeter of crust all around. Return to the oven and continue to bake until the crust begins to brown and the dough is fully cooked, about 8 minutes.

    Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the garlic. Place the tomato slices on the pizza, then place 1 leaf of basil on each tomato slice, then top each basil leaf with a slice of mozzarella. Season the top of the pizza with salt and pepper, return to the oven, and bake until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven.

    With a stiff metal spatula, remove the pizza from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut the pizza into 8 individual slices. Place one slice each on 8 plates or eat 2 respectable-size slices for still under 250 calories.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Recipe courtesy Rocco DiSpirito.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: agave, dry yeast, water, mozzarella

    Course: Dinner

    More Info: Heart Healthy

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