With a garlic and shallot infused olive oil sauce and four different types of cheese, this ultra cheesy white pizza with goat cheese crumbles has a ton of flavor! It bakes up in less than 10 minutes on a scorching hot baking steel giving it a thin, crispy crust.
Using a combination of mozzarella, white cheddar, goat cheese crumbles, and parmesan cheese creates just the right amount of stretchy, melty, cheesy goodness with a ton of flavor too.
The pops of tangy flavor from the goat cheese crumbles make this white pizza great plain, but you can also add your own favorite white pizza toppings!
Looking for other white pizza recipes? Try my arugula and prosciutto pizza or my cheeseburger pizza. They both use variations of the same garlic and shallot infused olive oil white pizza sauce and cook up on a baking steel!
About This Recipe - What is a White Pizza?
The primary defining factor of a white pizza is that it's made without a tomato sauce base. But I don't think it's fair to define anyone — or any pizza — by what they lack. A white pizza has so much to celebrate!
So when I began to hone in on my ideal white pizza recipe, I focused on what I wanted it to have. Namely, a blend of different cheeses, each bringing their own special skill to the table.
You've got the excellently gooey meltability from the low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella, the sharpness and fattiness of the cheddar blending well with crumbled, tangy gems of goat cheese, and the salty dusting of parmesan cheese on top to finish.
This uses my favorite quick and easy white pizza sauce — a simple olive oil infusion with shallots, rosemary, and garlic — and then the toppings are really up to you!
There's so much flavor in the four cheese blend that you don't really need toppings. This is a fantastic pizza bianca (that's Italian for "white pizza") without them. But you can definitely add what you like!
I think broccoli and thinly sliced tomatoes are some of the most underrated pizza toppings so that's what you'll see in these photos, but I've included some other suggestions as well!
(And in case you're wondering why the tomatoes and broccoli aren't evenly dispersed across the pizza in these photos it's because my husband doesn't like tomatoes. I never want the food I photograph to go to waste, so I arranged the toppings so I could cut slices of broccoli white pizza for him and slices with both broccoli and thinly sliced tomatoes for me.)
Here are the ingredients that you'll need to make this four cheese white pizza recipe! See recipe card for quantities.
- Pizza Dough - I used my overnight thin crust pizza dough recipe here, as usual. You can use any pizza dough you like, but you will get better results with a homemade pizza dough that has a longer rise time because the gluten has more time to relax so it can be stretched thinner, which will bake up crispier.
- The Four Cheeses: This four cheese blend is well balanced to melt and brown in the oven. Too much moisture in your cheese = soggy pizza!
- Mozzarella Cheese - Low-moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese that you grate by hand is the best melty cheese for pizza. That said, if you can't or don't want to grate cheese by hand, pre-shredded is fine. Just make sure it's low-moisture AND whole milk for the best melt!
- White Cheddar Cheese - Don't get fancy with your white cheddar — a medium or sharp cheddar that hasn't been aged works best. Aged cheddar has less moisture in it, and we need that moisture to help the cheddar melt.
- Goat Cheese - Use the pre-crumbled goat cheese for best results. It has a lower moisture content compared to the little logs of goat cheese. The low moisture content helps the crumbles keep their shape instead of melting into puddles on the pizza. See practical tips & recipe notes (below) for how to use homemade goat cheese or goat cheese logs!
- Parmesan Cheese - No classic pizza pie is complete without a dusting of finely grated cheese. I recommend finely grating fresh parmesan or parmesan reggiano, but the pre-grated or powdered stuff works too. Pecorino Romano will also work if that's all you've got!
- Infused Olive Oil White Pizza Sauce:
- Olive Oil: Since olive oil is the base of this pizza sauce I recommend using one from a reputable brand (Kirkland, California Olive Ranch, Filippo Berio, Cento, etc.) with a flavor you like. I like to use a fairly mild flavored olive oil so it doesn't compete with the other flavors in the pizza or leave behind a strange bitter aftertaste.
- Shallot - Shallots have a really mild, delicate onion-like flavor. They're slightly sweeter than onions and don't have that raw, pungent bite that raw onions have. Shallots can range in size from a large marble to a small onion; you may need two or three small shallots or just one bulb from a large shallot.
- Garlic - I always look for the biggest, fattest garlic cloves. If your garlic bulb has smaller cloves, add an extra one or two!
- Salt - I wrote this recipe so it will work using table salt or fine sea salt, which most people have. I usually use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, which is half as salty as other brands. If you also use DCKS then you should use 2X the amount of salt.
- Optional Toppings - I like finely chopped raw broccoli and thinly sliced tomatoes on my white pizzas, but there's so much flavor happening here between the four cheeses cheese and the infused olive oil sauce that you can also skip the toppings altogether.
White Pizza Toppings
Okay, this is a diet-talk free zone. So when I tell you that the best toppings for this white pizza are low in fat please know that I'm coming from a science-of-pizza-toppings place and not a fat-is-inherently-bad place.
In the heat of the oven, the fat in high fat toppings like pepperoni, bacon, soppressata, sausage, prosciutto, etc. melts out and combines with the fats in the cheeses to make this white pizza soupy and greasy.
There's nothing wrong with a good greasy pizza, and there's nothing wrong with fat, but no one likes a soggy pizza!
Here are some of my recommended white pizza toppings:
- Broccoli florets
- Shredded, cubed, or sliced chicken
- Thinly sliced tomatoes (roma tomatoes work well!)
- Green or black olives
- Diced green peppers
- Sliced or diced raw red onions
- Sliced Mushrooms
- Thinly sliced or shaved steak
Remember: Pizza toppings should always be ready-to-eat (or pre-cooked) before adding to your pizza!
Preheating Your Pizza Steel
Start by preheating your oven to 500°F with a baking steel or pizza stone (read my baking steel review to know why I recommend a steel over a stone!) arranged as close to the heating unit as possible.
In most ovens, you'll want it about 7 inches below the broiler unit at the top of your oven. In ovens with a bottom drawer broiler, just get the baking steel as close to the heating unit in the oven as possible, and place an inverted sheet pan in the broiler area.
Give the steel 45-60 minutes to preheat, take your pizza dough out of the fridge, and use this time to prep the sauce and white pizza toppings.
Start by making a simple infused olive oil sauce. This is the same olive oil white pizza sauce I use on most of my white pizzas! It's very easy to make.
The garlic works best as a paste, which you can make by smashing and smearing it with knife using a pinch of salt to break the garlic down further. You can also grate it on a zester or use a garlic press to paste it.
The shallot and rosemary should also be minced super finely. You don't want chunks of shallot to tear the delicate pizza dough when you spread it!
Combine finely minced shallot, garlic, and rosemary with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Whisk well.
Spread a thin layer on the pizza dough using the back of a spoon.
I usually start with a spoonful or two of mostly the shallot mixture, then switch to spreading small spoonfuls of just the infused oil to help fill in any gaps.
Why do you spread pizza sauce with the back of a spoon? The curved back of the spoon glides gently over the delicate pizza dough. Because the edges of the spoon are curved away from the dough, they won't catch or tear it the way a knife or spatula would!
Now it's time for cheese and toppings.
Start with a generous blanket of shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, followed by goat cheese crumbles.
Next, arrange any toppings you're using on the pizza, and finish with a dusting of finely grated parmesan cheese.
Get some of the parmesan cheese on the edges of the crust too — a cheesy crust is a good crust!
Give the pizza a little shimmy back and forth on the pizza peel to make sure it isn't stuck. If any parts seem to be sticking, carefully lift them up and dust additional semolina flour underneath.
Launch the pizza onto the baking steel:
- Place the tip of the pizza peel an inch or two in front of the back edge of the baking steel.
- Lift the handle of the peel up slightly at about a 20 degree angle.
- In a quick movement, thrust the peel forward about an inch, so the edge of the pizza slides off the end of the peel and onto the steel. Then pull the peel back and out of the oven, keeping the tip of the peel on the steel the whole time to let the pizza slide off.
Cook this four cheese white pizza for about 2-3 minutes, then use the peel or a long spatula to help rotate the pizza and bake 2-3 minutes more. This helps avoid any hot spots in the oven for even browning.
To finish, broil the white pizza for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese and crust are as browned as you like.
Then remove the pizza from the oven with the peel (sometimes it helps to use a pair of tongs to gently grip the edge of the crust and tug it onto the peel). Top with thinly sliced fresh basil, then slice and serve immediately!
Note: Broilers are VERY hot and their power can vary widely from oven to oven. Once you switch to broiling, check on your pizza every 30 seconds to make sure it doesn't burn!
Every oven is different, but pizza does cook quickly — after the first 5 minutes on the steel, the pizza dough will be cooked through.
What you're really looking at to determine if it's "done" is the browning on the crust and cheese. Some of that comes down to personal preference!
BONUS TIP: How to Hand Stretch Pizza Dough
To get the signature bubbly crust and crispy, thin crust bottom of this four cheese white pizza, you'll want to hand stretch your pizza dough.
Pre-shaping before you stretch is key to getting a perfectly round pizza dough. I've written all about how to do this in my guide to hand stretching pizza dough so head there for more detail.
As always, make sure you use plenty of flour, let gravity do most of the work, and always stretch on the backs of your hands so that you don't poke through the dough!
If at any time the dough seems like it's going to tear or it's fighting you and doesn't want to stretch, let it rest for a few minutes (even just 60 seconds!) on the counter.
Dust a pizza peel with semolina flour and plop your stretched pizza dough on top. It's now ready for sauce and toppings!
Why semolina flour? Semolina flour is coarser and rounder than all purpose flour and will help your pizza slide off the peel and onto the baking steel easily. This is another tip I picked up from Andris, the founder of the Baking Steel company. He uses a 50/50 blend of all purpose and semolina flours, but I find I prefer just the semolina.
- Pizza Steel - I use the Original Baking Steel to make all of my pizzas (note: I bought my Baking Steel with my own money but love it so much I became part of their affiliate program; use code TPK10 for 10% off!). A pizza stone will also work if that's all you've got, but it may take slightly longer to cook.
- Pizza Peel - A wooden pizza peel is the best tool for getting your pizza in and out of the oven. If you don't have a pizza peel, an upside down sheet pan will work for sliding it on to the steel. To remove it from the oven without a peel, use tongs (gently) or two spatulas to slide it off of the stone and onto a sheet pan.
- Pizza Cutter - You'll want a good, sharp pizza cutter. There are plenty of trendy, unique pizza cutter designs out there but you really can't beat one like Winco's 4" pizza cutter which is less than $10 and was designed for restaurants and the food service industry. If style is as important to you as functionality, however, Mercer Culinary makes a great pizza cutter with a "millennial purple" handle.
Wrap any leftover white pizza pizza slices in foil or plastic wrap and store them in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
Reheat day-old or cold pizza in a dry skillet over medium heat, or on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted again).
Practical Tips and Recipe Notes
- Using Goat Cheese Logs or Homemade Goat Cheese: Less is more! Their higher moisture content means they melt and spread out a lot. Too much will make your pizza soupy. Use no more than half an ounce. You'll still get that great tangy goat cheese flavor, but you definitely don't want soupy pizza.
- Freeze the Mozzarella: If the mozzarella cheese is too soft to grate, pop it in the freezer for about 10 minutes then try again.
- Using Store Bought Pizza Dough: Store bought pizza dough has LOTS of yeast in it to help it stay active longer. I really don't recommend using store bought dough as it's almost impossible to get a truly thin and crispy crust with it. If you DO use store bought pizza dough, you'll want to divide it in half or in thirds when you get home, pre-shape it into balls, and let it rise in the fridge (if not using immediately) or at room temperature if using within an hour or so.
- Don't Get Stuck: Once you add the sauce to the pizza, work quickly to add the cheese and toppings and get the pizza into the oven. The longer the pizza sits on the peel with the moisture from the sauce and the weight of the toppings, the more likely it is to stick to the peel!
- Let the pizza dough warm up: Hand stretching refrigerated pizza dough takes a bit of practice. You'll have a much easier time if you let it sit at room temperature for 60-90 minutes before stretching it.
- Room temperature: Room temperature is considered around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
I haven't tested any other methods, so can't tell you precisely how to do this. There are plenty of resources online that can guide you through the process of using an inverted baking sheet or pizza screen/pizza pan instead. Look for instructions that use a high temperature (475F+) and a short cooking time for best results.
In this recipe, you put the goat cheese crumbles on the pizza before baking. But you could add the goat cheese crumbles after baking instead if you prefer! If you're using fresh goat cheese, whether from a log or homemade, its higher moisture content means its more likely to make your pizza soupy — crumbling it on the pizza after baking will prevent the pizza from getting soggy.
Some other four cheese pizzas might, but this one does not!
You can use a mini food processor or bullet blender to chop the shallot and garlic, but this is such a small quantity, you'll need to pause and scrape down the bowl a few times to make sure they're really broken down into tiny pieces. Don't add the olive oil to the food processor — if you try to incorporate it that way you'll end up with an aioli!
Four Cheese White Pizza with Goat Cheese
Infused Olive Oil Sauce for White Pizzas
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons shallot (very finely minced)
- 1 clove garlic (grated or pasted)
- 1 sprig rosemary (very finely minced)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (use 2X if using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt)
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
White Pizza Toppings & Assembly
- 1 ball overnight thin crust pizza dough (200-250 grams)
- ¾ cup low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup white cheddar cheese
- ⅛ cup goat cheese crumbles
- 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
- 4-5 leaves fresh basil (thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (for stretching the pizza dough)
- 1 tablespoon semolina flour (for the pizza peel)
- Preheat oven with baking steel at 500°F for 1 hour prior to baking. Remove pizza dough from fridge (if refrigerated) and allow to come to room temperature at least 60-90 minutes prior to stretching.
Prep The Sauce and Toppings
- Toward the end of the pre-heating time, shred mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on the large holes of a cheese grater. If the mozzarella is too soft to grate, pop it in the freezer for about 10 minutes first. Measure out the goat cheese crumbles and make sure you have your parmesan handy.
- Prep any additional toppings — cut broccoli florets, thinly slice tomatoes, etc.
- Make garlic paste. Use the flat side of of your knife under the heel of your hand to smash the garlic cloves. Rock the knife blade repeatedly across the smashed garlic to chop it, then drag the flat of the knife (with the sharp edge pressed down against the cutting board at about a 10-15 degree angle) across the garlic to smear it into a thin layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then chop across the garlic, gather it up into a pile, smear, and repeat until you have a fine garlic paste. Alternately, use a Microplane zester to finely grate the garlic into a paste.
- Finely mince the shallot. You're looking for pieces ⅛" or smaller.
- Finely mince the rosemary. Strip the leaves off the spring of rosemary by pinching firmly at the top with one hand and sliding the fingers of the other hand down the stem in the opposite direction of the leaves from tip to base. Remove any bits of tough, woody stem. Mince the rosemary leaves until very fine, almost powdery.
- Mix garlic paste, shallot, and rosemary together in a small bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Your sauce is now ready to use.
Four Cheese White Pizza Assembly
- Lightly dust a wooden pizza peel with semolina flour.
- Hand stretch pizza dough. Dust your counter well with flour. Turn the pizza dough ball out onto the counter and dust the top with flour too. Press down in the middle of the dough ball to begin flattening it, keeping a thicker (1½-2") outside edge as the crust. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking as you hand stretch the pizza dough into a round about 10-16" in size with a well-defined crust. The center of the dough should be more than 10" across and thin enough that you can see light through it when you hold it up. (See detailed stretching instructions: How to Hand Stretch Pizza Dough.)
- Sauce it. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread the infused olive oil sauce almost all the way to the crust. Be gentle with the minced shallot pieces so they don't tear the delicate pizza dough. You don't need as much sauce as you think — start with two spoonfuls of mostly minced shallot and garlic, then add small spoonfuls of just the infused oil as needed to lightly cover the pizza dough.
- Cheese and toppings. Add the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, top with goat cheese crumbles, then add any optional toppings. Finish with a light dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
White Pizza Baking
- Shimmy. Give the white pizza a shimmy on the wooden pizza peel to make sure that no parts of the crust have stuck. Dust additional flour underneath any stuck spots if needed.
- Launch. Open the oven and line up the tip of the pizza peel with the back of the steel. Tilt it at an angle (20° or so) and give it a quick thrust to help the pizza begin sliding off. As the pizza slides, pull the peel straight back, keeping the tip of the peel on the steel, depositing the pizza on to the hot surface to begin cooking.
- Bake. Bake the pizza for 2-3 minutes, then use the pizza peel to rotate it in place on the steel so it cooks evenly. Bake 2-3 minutes more, then broil for 1 minute or until as browned as you like. Remove from the oven.
- Let cool for 1 minute on the pizza peel, then top with thinly sliced ribbons of fresh basil. Slice and serve!
- The best toppings for this white pizza are low in fat like broccoli, chicken, tomatoes, olives, capers, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc. High fat toppings like pepperoni, bacon, sausage, etc. tend to combine with the natural fasts in the cheeses to make this white pizza soupy and greasy. There's nothing wrong with a good greasy pizza, but in this case it's just not a pleasant eating experience!
- The olive oil sauce for this pizza makes enough for one pizza. If you have any left over, it can be safely stored in the fridge for 3-4 days but must be discarded after that.