Damn Delicious

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza - Now you don't have to go all the way to Chicago for a deep dish pizza! The crust is perfectly golden brown, the chunky tomato sauce is completely homemade, and a fresh layer of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese is simply the best combination ever!

Now you don’t have to go all the way to Chicago for a deep dish pizza! The crust is perfectly golden brown, the chunky tomato sauce is completely homemade, and a fresh layer of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese is simply the best combination ever!

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza - Now you don't have to go all the way to Chicago for a deep dish pizza! The crust is perfectly golden brown, the chunky tomato sauce is completely homemade, and a fresh layer of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese is simply the best combination ever!

I went to Chicago a few years ago and I fell in love with the city.

I fell in love for two reasons:

  1. They have the best donuts.
  2. They have the best deep dish pizzas.

I almost moved there for these exact reasons just so I can be living next door to Lou Malnati’s.

#pizzagoals, guys.

Except. Well, I figured out how to make their pizza right at home!

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza - Now you don't have to go all the way to Chicago for a deep dish pizza! The crust is perfectly golden brown, the chunky tomato sauce is completely homemade, and a fresh layer of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese is simply the best combination ever!

I found that the secret to achieving the best deep dish pizza was very simple and very specific.

It’s the use of a cast iron skillet!

This allows the dough to go in real deep and up the sides for that beautiful golden brown crust we all love so much.

Not to mention, the super chunky tomato sauce, the crumbled, salty sausage chunks, and the fresh Parmesan and basil on top.

And thanks to using refrigerated pizza dough, this comes together in just 1 hour!

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza - Now you don't have to go all the way to Chicago for a deep dish pizza! The crust is perfectly golden brown, the chunky tomato sauce is completely homemade, and a fresh layer of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese is simply the best combination ever!

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Now you don’t have to go all the way to Chicago for a deep dish pizza! The crust is perfectly golden brown, the chunky tomato sauce is completely homemade, and a fresh layer of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese is simply the best combination ever!

20 minutes45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 pounds pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  2. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes, if using; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10-12 minutes; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Move oven rack to the lowest position.
  4. Lightly coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle skillet with cornmeal.
  5. Working on a surface that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the pizza into a 12-inch-diameter round. Transfer to prepared cast iron skillet, carefully pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. Top with mozzarella, sausage and tomato mixture in an even layer; sprinkle with Parmesan.
  6. Place into oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20-24 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with basil, if desired.

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47 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I can’t even count how many times I’ve made this recipe! I live in Chicago, but refuse to order deep dish take out because I can make it at home now:)

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is better than Lou Malnati’s! I made the version with the sausage and one version with veggies. Thank you for this! It’s a keeper!

  3. Hi!

    This recipe looks amazing. I have a question on Step 5: When it says “Top with mozzarella, sausage and tomato mixture in an even layer”, what specifically does that mean? Is it a layer of the mozzarella straight onto the crust followed by the sausage/tomato combination? I want to make sure I nail this one.

    Thanks!

  4. I did this for our get together taste delicious but looks awful, had a hard time with transferring it… and starts to crumple while slicing it… beginner here.

  5. Made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious!  But I think we need one more direction added to the recipe, how to get it out of the pan in one piece.  It is definitely a heavy pizza, so even though I was able to get my spatula under it, it started crumpling before I could get it on the cutting board.  Thankfully that had no impact on the flavor!  This is now going to be my go to for deep dish and hopefully practice will improve my pizza removal skills.

  6. I have this pizza baking in my oven right now but just realized the instructions say bake for 20-24 minutes and the recipe info at the top indicates “Total Bake Time” as 45 minutes.

    What’s up?

  7. I just tried Chicago deep dish for the first time two weeks ago. This is now something I’d love to try and make at home – I love cooking with a cast iron pan and am sure it’s going to turn out great!

  8. This recipe looks great, but I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Could I make this in a glass brownie dish if I got creative and shaped the dough to a rectangle? If so, do I still put the oven rack on the lowest position? And, do I still cook it for the same time and temp? Would the bottom be soggy? I have cooked about 100 of your recipes, and I’ve loved them all, and I really want to make this one too, but I don’t want to go out and buy a skillet that I won’t use so much if I don’t have to.
    Thank You,
    Marie

    • Hi Marie! I wish I could answer this for you, but unfortunately we haven’t tried this in a baking dish so we can’t answer this with certainty. If I were you, I’d try and improvise with the glass brownie dish and follow the directions as much as you can. But please use your best judgement when it comes to modifications etc. I wish I could be of more help!

  9. Oh I will definitely be making this! It looks so good!

  10. Oh my yum! We just had pizza last night but maybe we need to have pizza again so we can indulge in this version!

  11. Oh wow we are from Chicago and are always looking for a place that has pizza nearly as good as Lou Malnati, Pizza Uno/Due or Gino’s East.  We found a place that serves close to it but it’s good to be able to make it.  Since we are vegetarian I assume we can just leave out the sausage and the rest of the recipe still stands.  Thank you,  Glad you got to enjoy what Chicago has to offer.  

  12. Hi this looks awesome.  Is there a calorie count per serving?  I notice some of these recipes have nutrition facts and some don’t.  It’s helpful for me as I’m cooking for my daughter with an eating disorder .  Thank you!

    • Hi LeeAnn. Nutritional information is provided only for select and some new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  13. I’m from Chicago, and Lou’s in my favorite pizza ever!  Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Sounds delish!  Can’t wait to try it!  By the way, what are your fav Chicago donuts? Go there every November for a girls’ trip!  Would love to donut hop around Chicago!  

  15. Making this tonight! It says 1-1/4 pounds of pizza dough, can you use all 26 oz of refrigerated dough if you use a 12 inch cast iron skillet? 

  16. An ideal comfort food, liked by many people, including me. Definitely I will try this, just love this recipe,thanks for shearing.

  17. My husband and son loves deep dish pizza, and I know they would love it if I made this for them.  Soooo, “I gotta get cooking.”

  18. Any good dough recipes by chance? Always LOVE your recipes!

  19. Oh my gosh! This is so exciting! May I ask, what size skillet are you using? Also, what brand of pizza dough did you use? Thanks!!

  20. No need to preheat the skillet in this one? Sounds delicious!

  21. Hi this looks great!  What is the best option if you don’t want to use sausage or other meat ?  Just the onions and peppers ?  And does the skillet need to be seasoned ?

    • You can omit the meat and if you want add other or more vegetables. Just be mindful with modifications and use your best judgement. More vegetables may contain more water than the original recipe version, so just be aware of that. As for seasoning the skillet – no, but you lightly coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle skillet with cornmeal (step 4). Have fun!

    • Sauteed mushrooms would add a nice meat-less meatiness to the onion and peppers. You could also try zucchini, fennel, black olives, or whatever veggies you want. Watch the water content as Jana wrote.

      Yes, the cast iron should be seasoned, because it helps make the skillet naturally non stick. My cast iron cookware was pre-seasoning when I bought them.

      FYI for those who don’t know about seasoning cast iron -“Seasoning is simply oil baked onto the iron that prevents rust and provides a natural, easy-release finish that continues to improve with use. Seasoning can refer to both the initial finish of the cookware as well as the ongoing process of maintaining that finish. “

      • Sorry for the typos above, I really should proof read! Great recipe by the way!

        PS: I bet Chungah will make her own pizza dough eventually. After all those tasty homemade bread rolls recently… pizza dough is just as easy. This deep dish pizza would go great with those garlic butter rosemary dinner rolls posted on this site a few weeks ago. Thanks for everything!

  22. This def on my menu for the weekend!!

    Do you have a pizza dough recipe that you prefer? Thanks!

  23. I only have a 12 inch cast iron.
    How much more dough/filling do you think I need to be able to increase the recipe for a 12 inch?

    • Hi Christina! We unfortunately can’t answer that with certainty, I can only tell you that instead of rolling out the dough to be 12 inches in diameter, you’d have to roll it out to cover 14 inches, so that you still have a nice, high crust. Please use your best judgement when modifying.

  24. Oh my gosh! Cannot wait to try this! My brother used to live in Chicago and we would go to Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, or Uno when I’d visit him. Thanks so much for this recipe!