Deep dish pizza is easier to make then you think! This recipe for homemade deep dish pizza includes recipes for pizza dough, pizza sauce, and Italian sausage.
If you are new around here, HEY! I’m a northern southerner… I know, confusing.
But, what I mean is I have spent the majority of my life now in the south, currently living in Florida but I grew up in the north. Chicago suburbs to be exact.
So… I like to think I know a thing or two about Chicago deep dish pizza.
What is deep dish pizza?
Deep dish pizza is a thick crust pizza made in a baking dish or cast iron skillet. It is layered first with cheese, then meat (optional), then sauce, and baked until golden brown deliciousness.
This style of pizza is known for being famous from Chicago, although I DO have to point out we have some kick-butt thin crust too… just sayin’!
You must be asking yourself, “Why is deep dish pizza the best?”
I personally think it is a very popular style of pizza because the crust gets crispy and caramelized in the pan. Also, the way the toppings are layered ensure maximum flavor, cheesiness, and a general state of euphoria in every bite!
I might be a little biased but… deep dish pizza is just plain GOOD. And, this recipe is tried and true and makes the best Chicago deep dish pizza!
I can’t take full credit for this recipe. My Dad loves to cook as well and he loves to perfect his recipes. This recipe for deep dish pizza is a knockout thanks to him!
There are four parts to this recipe; the crust, the sauce, the sausage, and the assembly. I have listed below the different aspects of each part.
I know this might seem overwhelming but trust me, broken down into each recipe, this is really a super easy Chicago deep dish pizza recipe.
How to make deep dish pizza crust?
I highly suggest a stand mixer to make deep dish pizza dough, but a hand mixer will work too. If using a hand mixer, that arm is about to get a workout!
- Place the yeast, sugar, water, butter, and oils in the bottom of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer.) stir to combine and let sit for about 5 minutes until bubbles form.
- Gradually add the flour mixture (kosher salt, cornmeal, and all-purpose flour) a little at a time to the bowl with the hook attachment in place on low speed. Scrapping the sides as necessary.
- When everything is mixed in, beat on high speed for 6 minutes. Turn off the mixer, cover with a clean towel, and place the bowl in a warm spot. Let rise for one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, we will make the remaining recipes for the pizza sauce and Italian sausage.
How to make deep dish pizza sauce?
- Crush canned tomatoes by hand, taking out the stems.
- Mix with the remaining ingredients including dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to assemble the pizza.
How to make Italian sausage for deep dish pizzas?
- Mix ground pork with dried oregano, dried basil, minced garlic, crushed fennel seeds, salt, and pepper.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to assemble the pizza.
How to layer deep dish pizza?
- Grease two 9-inch round baking dishes with butter. Place half of the dough into each dish (or, to make one large pizza use a 16-inch round baking dish).
- Spray your hands with cooking spray and work the dough into the bottom of the pan(s) and slightly up the sides into an even layer.
- Using sliced mozzarella, make an even layer. Press cheese into the creases of the pan corners.
- Dollops the sausage evenly all over the cheese. Top evenly with sauce.
- Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on top and sprinkle some parmesan.
Pro tip: Yes, we are putting raw sausage on the pizza. The sausage WILL FULLY COOK in the oven, it is in there for 45 minutes… I have made this at least 20 times. Trust me.
How to bake deep dish pizza?
- Place pizza into a preheated 400 degree oven.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and everything is bubbly.
- Place pan directly on a wire rack. Let the pizza cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing, this is very important. If you do not allow it to cool slightly, cheese and juice and everything will run off the pizza.
- Slice in the pan and serve.
How to make deep dish pizza at home:
Deep Dish Pizza
- 1 1/4 ounce packet rapid-rise yeast
- pinch granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick) melted and cooled
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups + 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds crushed fine with mortar and pestle or in a coffee/spice grinder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cracks fresh black pepper
- 1 3/4 cups canned San Marzano plum tomatoes half of a 28 ounce can
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- cooking spray
- 1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or parmesan cheese
- It is easier to make the dough in a stand mixer, however, a hand mixer can be used. Place the yeast, sugar, warm water, vegetable oil, olive oil, and butter in the bottom of the stand mixer (or large bowl). Stir to combine, let sit until bubbles form, about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, cornmeal, and flour. Set aside.
- Which the mixer on low speed with the dough hook attachment, gradually start adding the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once all the dry is mixed into the wet, place the mixer on high speed and beat for 6 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place in a warm spot, such as a microwave or an oven with the light turned on. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in size. While the dough is rising, make the rest of the components.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to assemble.
- Crush plum tomatoes by hand, discard any stems. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to assemble.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With the butter generously grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round baking pans (or one 16-inch round baking pan). Divide the dough between the two pans. Spray hands with cooking spray, work the dough into an even layer in the bottom of each pan and up the sides as much as you can.
- Divide the cheese between the two pizzas, making an even layer in the bottom. Press cheese into the corners of the pan, this will help the crust to stay put up the sides of the pan.
- Evenly dollop the sausage on top of the cheese. Evenly spread sauce on top. Top each with a drizzle of olive oil and the parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and place the pans directly on a wired rack to cool. Cool slightly for 10-15 minutes before cutting, this is very important. You want the pizza to set up slightly. Slice in the pan and serve.