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California Pizza Kitchenʻs Margherita Pizza

Updated on November 11, 2012
California Pizza Kitchen Margherita Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen Margherita Pizza | Source

When Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples in 1889, tavern owner Raffaele Esposito had three pizzas awaiting her. Her favorite was the one whose ingredients mirrored the red, white and green of Italyʻs flag. While some consider Esposito father of the modern pizza, he is more the father of the margherita pizza, which gained popularity and soon became an Italian classic. I recently tried California Pizza Kitchenʻs (CPK) frozen margherita pizza.

CPK says this is their best recipe yet.
CPK says this is their best recipe yet. | Source

Frozen vs Fresh

There are those who cringe at the idea of frozen food; My Italian American mother comes to mind. Modern society has a place for frozen pizza. Sure Iʻd rather have a hot homemade one fresh from the oven. Major cities with Little Italys are hotbeds for hot and cheesy margherita pizzas with only the freshest mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. My mouth waters remembering a fresh margherita pizza I had in San Francisco. Frozen pizzas are cheaper and more convenient that restaurant pizzas and sometimes just as tasty.

What happens when hungry cranky kids are ready to sabbotage your closet cleaning or or last minute tax filing session? Frozen pizza to the rescue, margherita for me, pepperoni for them.


According to Italy Magazine a true margherita pizza has a crust only 3 mm or .1 inch thick, and even thinner edges. As I enjoy a crispy, crunchy crust, the margherita is my favorite. If you are a deep dish crust lover, the margherita is not for you. Italy magazine says to hand toss the dough with no rolling pin for a genuine margherita pizza.

CPK Cons

  • The basil was there, but I could not taste it. It did not look fresh.
  • A bit bland. Something is missing in the spice department.

CPK Pros

  • How CPK creates their thin crust is anyoneʻs guess. I canʻt envision factory workers hand tossing dough. CPKʻs margherita crust was crispy enough for me. I baked it in my electric oven so my expectations werenʻt high.
  • The diced tomatoes were a delight - they tasted and looked fresh. I did not know you could freeze fresh tomatoes.
  • The hot melted cheese was fresh and tasty.
  • The pizza was ready in 16 minutes. Five minutes to preheat the oven and 11 minutes to bake.
  • My CPK 14.8 oz/ 419 g pizza cost $8.29 at Foodland.

3.7 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of CPK Margherita Pizza
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/3 pizza or 140g
Calories 350
Calories from Fat144
% Daily Value *
Fat 16 g25%
Saturated fat 6 g30%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 33 g11%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 19 g38%
Cholesterol 50 mg17%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


The simple margherita pizza makes the perfect base for culinary exploration. Adding fresh basil and red crushed pepper easily adds another star to this 3 star pizza. My garden has fresh oregano, rosemary, kale and red pepper. Adding any of these with a little diced garlic, onions or mushroom could create a whole new taste experience.

On the box, co-founders Larry and Rick suggest getting creative by pairing it with baby spinach salad that has been tossed in a vinaigrette. They suggest serving the salad on top of the hot pizza. Attorneys Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield created CPK in 1985, opening the first restaurant in Beverly Hills. I may take Larry and Rickʻs creative advice. With CPK frozen pizzas in most grocery stores and a restaurant chain that spans the globe, Larry and Rick are rolling in Pizza dough.


Italymagazine .com web 11/11/12


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    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Stessily, sorry to hear you are ill over he holidays. There is way too much food around this time of year. My belly is bloated from all the sweet treats at Christmas parties. I have not tried the spinach atop pizza yet, but it sounds delicious . . . next time for sure. Thanks for your kind words.

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      YogaKat, The historical, cultural background which you include is interesting and gives a fascinating view of cuisine. Food is more than what we eat; it tells its own story.

      Have you tried eating the spinach salad atop the pizza? I'll have to give that a go.

      I've been under the weather lately and not been able to eat much; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent in bed! I'm on the mend and finally am reinserting food into my routine. This frozen pizza series is perfect reading. Ah, the aromas, tastes, and textures of pizza hot out of the oven!

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Thanks Mhatter . . . I have seen these go as low as $6.00 for one large pizza. The crust is thin though. So one large could feed two to three adults.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      great review, Thank you. A favorite at this house, especially when on sale.

    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Thanks for commenting and rating Millionaire Tips. I am going to put lots of fresh basil on the next one I make. Donʻt you love the multiple rating format? eHealer, pizza is the best junk food . . . donʻt forget to come back and rate it after you try it. It will be fun to watch that reading fluctuate as commenters respond:)

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      The best junk food is pizza, and does have some nutritional value, great hub and can't wait to try it!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I really enjoy the thin crust of California Pizza Kitchen pizzas, and the margherita is my favorite. It is quick and easy to prepare. The basil tastes fresh, but I would like to have more on mine. Voted up - great idea to include the nutrition label!