No need to travel all the way to Chicago for this incredible Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza recipe, when you can make it at home! Try this easy, detailed deep dish pizza with step-by-step directions and a how to video for a thick and buttery, flaky crust and a rich, chunky tomato sauce, with plenty of gooey cheese.
If I was stuck on an island for the rest of my life and could only eat one dish, it would be pizza. I never get tired of pizza and love making it at home. According to Pizza Hut, pizza is often voted the number one most popular food in America and in fact, 94 percent of Americans eat it at least once a month! I love knowing that I’m doing my part as a pizza loving American 🙂
This deep dish pizza recipe makes enough dough and sauce for two 9-inch pizzas. I baked one pizza in a 9-inch cast iron skillet and the other in a 9-inch cake pan. Both came out beautifully but just a little different. The cast iron yielded a slightly crispier crust while the cake pan produced a softer, chewier crust. Both are fantastic and hold up extremely well under the thick layer of toppings.
If you allow the pizza to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving, it can easily be removed to a cutting board for slicing. This extra time to rest and cool ensures the toppings and cheese won’t spill out onto your plate. Not saying that’s a bad thing, in fact it’s super appealing to me! But if you don’t want to eat this deep dish pizza recipe with a fork, let it cool a while before enjoying.
Pizza is easily customizable to all your favorite toppings. We served this Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza recipe with big chunks of sweet Italian sausage and a few chopped kalamata olives. Since this recipe makes two pizzas, you can top each with different family favorites. Check the Notes section of the recipe for more delicious topping ideas. And please don’t let the long list of detailed instructions scare you off. This pizza dough and sauce recipes are easy to make and worth every single minute in the kitchen.
Once a month our adult children, their spouses and our grandchildren come over for Sunday supper. This Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza recipe is on the menu for our next family gathering. I’m going to double the recipe and let the whole family help by adding their favorite toppings. Such a fun way to enjoy family time and America’s favorite food!
Here are a few more pizza inspired recipes you might enjoy:
- Easy Pizza Dough
- Skillet Pizza Margherita
- Skinny Taco Pizza
- Easy Homemade Pizza Buns
- Basic Pizza Sauce
- Grilled Berry Pizza with Whipped Ricotta
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- One .25-ounce package rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1¼ cups water (at room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium red onion (minced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, no salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage (casings removed)
- 1/2 cup sliced olives
- 16 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
TO MAKE THE PIZZA DOUGH:
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar, salt on low speed until blended. Add the water and melted butter. Mix until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again until well blended. Increase speed to medium and knead until the dough is shiny and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Coat the sides and bottom of a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Transfer the pizza dough to the clean, oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.
TO MAKE THE PIZZA SAUCE:
- While the dough rises, prepare the pizza sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add the minced onion crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the fresh basil and olive oil. Check the seasoning and add salt if needed. Cover and set aside.
TO LAMINATE THE PIZZA DOUGH:
- Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop. Roll the dough into a 15 by 12-inch rectangle. Using an off-set spatula, spread the softened butter over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border along the edges. Starting at the short end, tightly roll the dough into a cyclinder. With the seam-side down, flatten the dough into a 18 by 4-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half at a time, fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Pinch the seams together to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and transfer the balls to the oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until nearly double in size, 45 to 50 minutes.
- While the dough rising, cook the Italian sausage in a large non-stick skillet. Break the sausage up into chunks and sauté until cooked through. Drain well and set aside.
TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE PIZZAS:
- Coat two 9-inch cast iron skillets or cake pans with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil each.
- On a clean countertop, roll one of the dough balls into a 13-inch round disk about 1/4-inch thick. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared skillet. Unroll the dough and lightly press into the pan, making sure you work it into the corners and 1-inch up the sides. If the dough resists, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with the remaining dough ball.
- Sprinkle each pizza with 2 cups of the shredded mozzarella. Divide the sauce between the two pizzas, spreading with the back of a spoon until evenly distributed over the cheese layer. Divide the cooked Italian sausage between the two pizzas, scattering to cover the sauce. Top with the olives, then the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. If over-browning, tent the pizza with foil until cooked through. Remove the pizza from the oven and cool for 10-minutes before serving.
- vegetables such as fresh jalapeño peppers, spinach, olives, mushrooms, sweet bell peppers or red onions
- ham, Canadian bacon and sweet pineapple
- sliced pepperoni
- chopped cooked meatballs
- cooked and crumbled ground beef
- chopped browned smoked bacon
- grilled chicken
Wow what can I say this is a fabulous pizza recipe. I have made it about a dozen times and the whole family loves it! Excellent instructions. A few tips from experience on the assembly instructions: 1) Coat the bottom only of the pan with the olive oil; this helps to keep the sides of the crust up against the edges of the pans. 3) I layer in this order: cheese(s), meats and veggies, then sauce on last with a sprinkling of parmesan on the top. 4) If you brush the top edges of the crust with some melted butter, it creates a golden, crisp edge. Lastly, I only use 1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper since we are spice wimps. Still has a little edge to it!
I followed the recipe to a T. Excellent flavor and I live in the suburbs of Chicago I actually froze the making for the second pizza for another day. It would have been to much for just my husband and I
I absolutely loved this dough recipe and it is very reminiscent of authentic deep dishes we have eaten in Chicago! I made this vegan by using no meat, vegan butter and cheese. The dough came out perfect and it was much easier than anticipated. Looking forward to making this again soon!
If I want to make one 15″ pizza – how would you recommend adjusting the cooking time?
Made this recipe for dinner today. It was delicious! Next time I’ll make the sauce ahead of time. Instructions were easy to follow. 👍
Can you make a 14 inch pizza with the dough? if so, how would that effect cooking time?
I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure!
Amazing! Honestly I have struggled with pizza dough recipes. This one was by far the best one and the only one I will use from now on! Kudos to Recipe Girl! For people using this recipe, watch the video… super helpful. My husband can’t stop talking about this and I’ll be honest I can’t either lol!
I heat the oven to 500 then turn it down to 425 when i put the pizza in. Seem’d to work better.
I loved this recipe so much!!! Can we freeze the dough??!
I think pizza dough freezes pretty well!
We loved the recipe. The crust was amazing buttery and flaky. Never going back to any other recipes.
I live in a suburb of Chicago and have experimented with many pizza dough recipes. This is my favorite. The corn meal and butter flakey crust is so delicious. I can stop experimenting finally. Thanks so much for this keeper.
What temperature do you bake at???? Made everything and now I don’t know what temp to bake it at!!
I hope you figured this out– the temperature is in the recipe- 425.
It as amazing! Growing up in the Chicago suburbs and them moving away, I’m always looking for good Chicago style pizza. The only thing I changed was putting the toppings under the sauce for a more authentic Chicago style. And I all came our perfect! So happy!
In making the dough, when and where is the 3 tbs of olive oil used?
Coating the cast iron skillets.
I’m disabled and have to rely on others to cook for me.I love homemade pizza and want to trydeep dish pizza.is there a way to use frozen french bread dough as a pizza dough?
I have no idea- sorry! Worth some experimenting, maybe?
Absolutely loved this recipe. I did change it up & put the sauce on top.
Really good! Definitely will make it again. My hubby didn’t love the corn meal crunchiness but I did! I layered the pizza Chicago style and wow the flavor is incredible!
We love this recipe. The sauce has just enough heat and the laminated corn meal crust is flakey and crispy. There is just two of us, it microwaves well the next day. Thank you for sharing,
This recipe looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. As a rule, I don’t cook with butter preferring to use olive oil, so can I skip the butter and just add more olive oil?
I’m not sure if using all olive oil in the dough will work out well. Hard to say since I haven’t tried it!
I can’t quite understand the amount of olive oil listed for the dough. Please help clarify.
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil is rubbed into each pan before adding the dough.
Everyone in my family loved the pizza, especially the crust.
Delicious stuff! It makes a ton of pizza, however. Wondering if you could recommend how best to freeze one of the pizzas.
I haven’t tried freezing them, but I suppose I’d assemble the whole pizza and then freeze it. Then defrost and bake when ready to serve.
I’d love to feature this recipe on our upcoming blog post for best Chicago style pizza recipes. Let me know if you want it featured on our site and we’ll add a link to your recipe.
That’s fine, thanks 🙂
Can i make everything thing the day before making baking? This recipe looks fabulous.
How do you the two pizzas in the oven? Do you do one at a time, can I do both at once in the same oven, or do I fire up both my ovens and put one in each?
They’d cook more evenly if both ovens are used, since you have that option 🙂
I always do them in the same oven. One on bottom one on the lower rack. Just rotate them and make sure they dont burn crust/toppings
I just made this dough but don’t want to start making the actual pizza until 5 hours from now. Should I put it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap instead of leaving it on the counter at room temperature for that long? Thanks!
Sorry I didn’t see this in time, but yes– that would probably be the best idea.
This recipe is great. My husband and I lived in Chicago for 6 years when we were in grad school. Now that we’ve moved away we miss deep dish and we’ve even ordered frozen Lou Malnati’s shipped to our home in Oklahoma. I’ve been spending a lot more time in the kitchen these days and wanted to try making my own deep dish. I used a cast iron skillet to bake the pizza and would recommend doing so to get the crust to be a bit crunchy. I also used provolone cheese slices instead of mozzarella and put my sausage on top of the cheese raw instead of pre-cooked to mimic what Lou Malnati’s does. The result was amazing. Definitely a keeper, and I have no need to order frozen deep dish pizzas ever again!
Its not the best pizza I’ve ever had, but its close! Great recipe! Have to put the toppings on the cheese though, sauce on top, for a true Chicago style! Otherwise, wouldn’t change a thing.
This pizza recipe was amazing and is now our favourite go to pizza.
Awesome recipe, however the toppings should go on the cheese layer and then the sauce becomes the last, top layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Made this pizza first time and it was absolutely amazing. Best pizza ever ate. We were thinking of going from Canada to Chicago to eat the Chicago style pizza and now I don’t think that’s gonna happen lol. ?? awesome recipe will definitely make it again.
Great recipe this was my first attempt at Chicago-Style deep pan pizza worked out a treat my wife and daughter said they would have it again . Lucky going to reheat the second one I made for dinner tomorrow night very filling and delicious thanks for sharing.
As a person that grew up in the Midwest Chicago stuffed pizza was always a treat. This crust and sauce are so good I will not order out for it anymore. It is the perfect mix of crust and toppings. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Making this right now! Can I save half of the dough in the refrigerator for use later this week? Or do I need to cook it all at once?
Maybe? I’m not sure. What did you decide to do?
I followed this recipe to the T and it was awesome!! I’ve made my own pizza at home plenty of times but never made my own dough. It was always store bought. And I’m a pretty good cook and a great baker. I make homemade kolachi with the best crust ever so I figured I can make this. And it turned out great. I did one with sausage toppings and the other with pepperoni and green peppers. Excellent! Props to you, Lori, for sharing this awesome and delicious recipe!!
I’m confused about the part where you oil the pan. It doesn’t say just the bottom, so i likes thensides too. The dough obviously wouldn’t stick to anything covered in olive oil, so how do you make it stay 1” up the sides? This ended up as just a flat very puffy pizza since all that excess that was supposed to go up the sides just fell down
Want to go real old school Chicago style. Put the butter around the pan, then put a layer of Parmesan on the butter before you lay the initial crust in. Then another layer of dough above the cheese, and sauce on top of that.
Going to try this but don’t have a stand mixer. Any suggestions to make dough by hand?
I’d use a wooden spoon to mix the dough, and then you’d need to use your hands to knead the dough.
Would this work with pizza yeast to decrease the preparation time?
I’ve never tried using it, so I’m not sure!
Delicious! Definitely worth the extra time. Laminating the butter into the dough sets this recipe apart…way apart…from others I’ve tried. This recipe is a KEEPER! Thanks so much!
Visited Chicago this summer for a few days but didn’t get a chance to try the local pizzas which looked amazing – so promised my daughter that I would try to make one and this recipe was brilliant, so well explained, and made it achievable. The whole family LOVED it! I think it will become a Christmas holiday tradition. Thank you
Outstanding, and completely satisfactory to the member of our household who has had many of these in Chicago. We have a 12″ cast iron pan, not 9″, so we just used all the dough and sauce for the one pie. Worked well. Fun Sunday afternoon project.
Can I cut recipe in half or freeze one half of dough? We don’t need that many pizzas.
Delicious and easy! Definitely captures the flavor of true Chicago deep dish. I made the dough, my wife who is a professional chef made the sauce. It was fun to work together and even though I am not that great a cook it was quite easy for me. Turned out amazing and tasted surprisingly like the Chicago deep dish I have had at Uno and Lou Malnati‘s. The real deal!
Sooo good. I’m a Chicago native and this takes me right back home.
So the dough rises twice? I’m not quite understanding the laminated part, how many times do you fold?
Yes, twice. Each half of the dough is folded and formed into a ball to rise a second time.
We were going to make this then realized we were out of flour so will save for the weekend. I have a question regarding laminating the dough. You say to preheat the oven to 425° then don’t say why?
You do say to prep and cover the dough and put in the refrigerator for an hour until it doubles in size. Haven’t made pizza from scratch and maybe the oven is for the next step but I don’t know one that takes over an hour to preheat to 425°
You are correct… the oven does not need to be pre-heated until just before baking!
Great recipe! It does take awhile to make, so I made a double batch. The pizza dough is fantastic.
I used the sauce recipe (had another tried and true one for the dough) and the family loved this sauce. Easy to make and so very yummy!
I’m lived in Michigan & I’ve had Deep Dish Chicago style pizza. When I look at your picture of the pizza & the ones that I’ve had, the sauce was always the last item to go one. Your picture looks like that but you instructions do not say that. Please clarify
The sauce goes on first in this recipe, but it’s pretty substantial… so the toppings just kind of sink into it while baking.
I need more clarity with the instructions. The ingredients had several listings of butter, oil, etc. It was not clear to me when to use what.
How would you freeze this? Can mail order Lou’s pizza frozen and then bake in oven. Should pizza be partially baked before freezing?
I have never tried freezing it, so I’m not sure…
thank you for this, I’m nowhere near Chicago, so not many deep dish options, but love the idea of making it, had always thought this best left to professionals with big pizza ovens, so glad you’ve put this recipe together!
Pizza is my fav!! But I am pretty lazy when it comes to cooking. But I think I am gonna make this recipe coz its sooo tempting!!
I love deep dish style pizza and this one looks and sounds amazing!