Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

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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.

chicago deep dish pizza pulling out slices with a spatula

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 🙂

overhead shot of chicago style deep dish pizza displayed on a wooden board with a red print cloth napkin

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.

chicago style deep dish pizza pulling out a slice with a spatula

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.

chicago style deep dish pizza pulling out slices with a spatula

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:

chicago deep dish pizza pulling out slices with a spatula
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4.89 from 17 votes

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

Here's a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza recipe you can make at home. Try this easy, detailed recipe with step-by-step directions for a thick and buttery, flaky crust and a rich, chunky tomato sauce, with plenty of gooey cheese.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 6 minutes
Resting and Rising 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 6 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 525kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chicago style pizza, deep dish chicago pizza, deep dish pizza

Ingredients

PIZZA DOUGH

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • One .25-ounce package rapid rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
  • teaspoons salt
  • 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

PIZZA SAUCE

  • 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

TOPPINGS:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives
  • 16 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

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 2 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.

Video

Notes

TIP: I would start making this recipe about 2 1/2 to 3 hours before you want it on the table.  The sauce and toppings are easily made ahead and refrigerated until needed, and that would cut some time.   
Optional add-ins: Feel free to omit the Italian sausage and olives in this recipe, if preferred, and prepare the best plain cheese pizza you've ever had!   
More great topping ideas:
  • 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

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1129mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 346mg | Iron: 2.4mg
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Tricia Buice

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Comments

  • Scott wrote:

    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?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      They’d cook more evenly if both ovens are used, since you have that option 🙂

  • Amanda wrote:

    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!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sorry I didn’t see this in time, but yes– that would probably be the best idea.

  • Alyssa wrote:

    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!

  • Dennis Duffy wrote:

    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.

  • Brenda Moore wrote:

    This pizza recipe was amazing and is now our favourite go to pizza.

  • Bob wrote:

    Awesome recipe, however the toppings should go on the cheese layer and then the sauce becomes the last, top layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

  • A.M wrote:

    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.

  • Grant Dunstone wrote:

    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.

  • Steve wrote:

    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!!

  • Parker wrote:

    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?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Maybe? I’m not sure. What did you decide to do?

  • Debbie Protopapa wrote:

    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!!