Deep Dish Pizza (Authentic Chicago Style!)

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Authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza! A thick, crispy and flaky crust topped with an easy homemade marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese! It’s comfort food at its finest and something the whole family will love.

Looking for more Italian-inspired recipes?! Try this chicken parmesan, marry me salmon, or baked rigatoni!

Hero image of a full deep dish pizza.

Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

My family is pretty pizza obsessed. We have it at least once a week! When I saw this recipe for deep dish pizza I knew we had to try it! It’s one of our favorite things about Chicago and is the ultimate comfort food. Trust me, this recipe does not disappoint! It’s loaded with thick, flaky layers of crust and topped with gooey cheese and marinara. It is the BEST deep dish pizza you will ever have! And the best part is? No trip to Chicago required!

I adapted the crust recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. For the crust we use a technique referred to as laminating the dough. This is where the pizza dough is rolled out then softened butter is spread on top of the dough. Then you roll it out again. It’s similar to the method for making croissants and is what gives the dough its delicious flakiness. So, let’s get into everything you’ll need to put this tasty Chicago-style pizza together.

Pizza Dough Ingredients

The most tender and flaky crust made from super simple ingredients!

  • Warm Water: Adds the necessary moisture to activate the yeast and create the dough.
  • Honey: Adds sweetness to the dough and also helps activate the yeast for rising.
  • Instant Yeast: Leavens the dough, causing it to rise and create a light, airy crust.
  • Unsalted Butter: Makes the dough nice and tender!
  • All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of the dough, providing structure.
  • Cornmeal: Adds a crunchy texture to the crust and prevents sticking to the pan.
  • Salt: So the crust doesn’t taste bland.
  • Olive Oil: Coats the pans to prevent sticking and also adds a subtle olive flavor to the crust.

Toppings

This deep dish pizza is then topped with an easy homemade marinara sauce. I make the sauce and let it simmer while I am letting the dough rise.

  • Marinara Sauce: Serves as the pizza sauce, adding flavor and moisture to the toppings. You can use your favorite jarred sauce or (my personal recommendation) make some from scratch!
  • Mozzarella cheese: Melts and creates a gooey, creamy layer over the sauce and toppings.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a salty, nutty flavor to the pizza.
  • Green Bell Pepper: So your pizza has some flavor and texture!
  • Mushrooms: For some earthy, savory flavor.
  • Pepperoni: Adds a spicy and salty taste, a classic pizza topping.
  • Sausage: More savory, meaty goodness!
  • Fresh Basil: Garnishes the deep dish pizza with a fresh, aromatic touch.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasonings that enhance the overall taste of the pizza. Adjust to taste.

How to Make Deep Dish Pizza

For the Dough:

  1. Activate Yeast: Add water, honey, and instant yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Briefly whisk to combine and allow the yeast to bubble up, about 5 minutes.
  2. Dough Mixture: Add in the butter, 1 1/4 cups of flour, cornmeal, and salt. Mix on low speed to bring everything together. the dough should begin to pull away from the sides of the mixer, if it is still really sticky, add more flour in 1/4 cup at a time. 
  3. Knead: Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it pulls aways from the sides of the bowl, 5 minutes.
  4. Rest: Coat a large bowl with olive oil and then add the dough ball to the bowl turning to coat the dough ball in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about an hour.

Baking/Assembling

  1. Prepare Pan: Prepare large springform pan by lightly oiling it with olive oil. Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Shape Dough: Transfer the dough ball on a lightly floured work surface and roll into round that will fit a large spring form pan, or round pan. Then transfer it to the prepared pan. Lightly press dough into pan and then push dough up the sides about 1 inch. 
  3. Add Toppings: Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on the dough. Then spread the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle the parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheeses evenly across the top of the sauce. Evenly distribute the toppings across the top of the pizza. 
  4. Bake: Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 
  5. Serve: Allow pizza to rest for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing.
Collage of the pizza being prepared step-by-step.

Tips and Variations for Deep Dish Pizza

  • Different Toppings: You can customize this pizza by adding any toppings you want! The few I listed are just a general guide. Make a deep dish BBQ pizza, Hawaiian pizza, buffalo pizza, you name it!
  • Premade Dough for Easy Prep: If you want to skip making your own dough, store bought works just as well, just make sure it is enough dough to fill your baking dish.
  • Pizza Sauce: I suggest using my homemade marinara sauce, but you can use any sauce you prefer!

Top-down view of deep dish pizza topped with pepperoni, peppers, and mushrooms.

Storing Leftovers

Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

To reheat, pop a slice of deep dish pizza in the microwave for a minute or two. You can also reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Picking up a slice of deep dish pizza.

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Pizza Dough:

  • Add water, honey, and instant yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. briefly whisk to combine and allow the yeast to bubble up, about 5 minutes.

  • Add in the butter, 1 1/4 cups of flour, cornmeal, and salt. Mix on low speed to bring everything together. the dough should begin to pull away from the sides of the mixer, if it is still really sticky, add more flour in 1/4 cup at a time.

  • Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it pulls aways from the sides of the bowl, 5 minutes.

  • Coat a large bowl with olive oil and add the dough ball to the bowl turning to coat the dough ball in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about an hour.

Assemble / Bake:

  • Prepare large springform pan by lightly oiling it with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Transfer the dough ball on a lightly floured work surface and roll into round that will fit a large spring form pan, or round pan. Transfer it to the prepared pan. Lightly press dough into pan and push dough up the sides about 1 inch.

  • Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on the dough. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle the parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheeses evenly across the top of the sauce. Evenly distribute the toppings across the top of the pizza.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

  • Allow pizza to rest for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing.

Originally posted August 21, 2020
Updated on September 15, 2023

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 14gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 793mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 408IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 156mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.



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