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Deep Dish Pizza – Chicago Style

Yes, you can absolutely make Chicago style deep dish pizza, right in your own home. It’s hard to beat the chewy, crunchy crust and melty cheese beneath the luscious sauce.

Deep Dish Pizza 3

Make Your Own Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

I know we’re in good company when I say our family is comprised of pizza lovers. People literally jump for joy on occasions when I declare that it’s “pizza night.”  Thin crust, regular crust, stuffed crust… we love ’em all.  From Pepperoni to a yummy BBQ Chicken Pizza, the pies don’t last long here. But nothing – nothing – beats a truly great Deep Dish Pizza.

The last time we were in Chicago, we made a point of visiting well-known joints popular for their deep dish pizzas.  Perhaps it was the huge crowds of people waiting and maxing out the kitchen… or maybe we needed to manage our expectations, but we were left a bit in wanting.

Deep Dish Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza: Better from Your Own Oven

Of course, there have been moments we’ve experienced pizza heaven at certain little pizza joints, and those memories always made me wish I could make my own deep dish pizza at home so we could have it anytime the craving hit.

Deep Dish Pizza 4
Rolling up the dough, starting from the short side

One day I noticed this deep dish pizza recipe resting in my humungous Cook’s Illustrated cookbook.  Nothing I’ve ever made in that beloved cookbook has ever turned out wrong, so I had a feeling this deep dish pizza would not disappoint.  We have never looked back.

Deep Dish Pizza 5
Slice rolled dough in half

Dough That Bakes up wonderfully chewy and crunchy

This Chicago-style deep dish pizza turns out deeply flavorful and delish, so much so that the guys proclaimed it “way better at home.”  Deep dish victory! The crust is appropriately crusty and deep, chewy yet tender, and not greasy at all.  The filling is a-ma-zing.  Awesome.  Mouthwatering. Other pies are literally jealous of this deep dish pizza.

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Roll both dough halves into balls. Two pizza crusts, ready to press into pan!

Follow the order for Placing the Toppings

If you decide to make this, definitely follow original order for placing of the toppings. The cheese goes first, then toppings, followed by sauce.  The cheese on the bottom is what prevents the crust from getting soggy…genius!  Wish I came up with that on my own. The cooked pizza will yield a beautiful deep dish with cheese that stays melty underneath all the toppings your familiy desires.

This recipe is for an awesome cheese/sausage combo, which is what we were craving the day I made this. Feel free to make it your own, with toppings of your choice. Just be sure to follow the order of placing toppings, cheese, and sauce.

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Did you make this?

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Chicago deep dish pizza, homemade pizza

Deep Dish Pizza – Chicago Style

5 from 5 ratings
Yes, you can absolutely make Chicago style deep dish pizza, right in your own home. It’s hard to beat the chewy, crunchy crust and melty cheese beneath the luscious sauce.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong


For the Dough:

  • 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant, rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp table salt
  • 1 ¼ cups room temp water
  • 3 TB melted butter
  • 4 TB softened butter
  • olive oil

For the Sauce:

  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can, 28 oz crushed tomatoes with juices
  • ½ tsp white sugar
  • 2 TB dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 lb 4 cups freshly shredded mozzarella
  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage, browned and crumbled
  • 4 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • For the dough:  
  • Using stand mixer and dough hook, mix flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar, and salt on low until combined.  Add water and 3 TB melted butter and mix 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth, 4-5 minutes.  Pliable dough should pull away from sides of bowl.
  • Coat large bowl with olive oil and place dough ball in bowl.  Turn dough around in the bowl to ensure all sides of dough are protected by oil.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • For the sauce:  
  • Saute minced onion and garlic in 3 TB olive oil over medium heat until soft.  Add rest of sauce ingredients, except for salt/pepper.  Bring sauce to simmer and cook until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 25-30 min.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  • Heat oven to 425F with rack on lowest position.  Turn dough out onto large surface.  Roll into 15×12 inch rectangle.  Spread 4 TB softened butter evenly over top of dough, leaving 1/2 in border along edges.  At the short end, roll dough into a tight cylinder (see photo.) 
  • With seam side down, flatten cylinder to 18×4 in. rectangle.  Slice rectangle in half crosswise.  Working with one half at a time, fold dough into thirds and pinch seams together into a dough ball.  Return dough balls to oiled bowl, ensure all sides of the dough are protected with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise in fridge until doubled, 40-50 min.
  • Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 TB olive oil each.  Transfer one dough ball to large surface and roll into disk, 1/4 in. thick.  Transfer to cake pan and gently press into pan, working into corners and up sides.  Repeat with other dough ball.  (If dough resists stretching, let it sit for 5 min covered and try again.)
  • Divide the 4 cups mozzarella in half and sprinkle on top of each pizza dough.  Follow by browned sausage (plus any other toppings desired.)  Next, spread 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce per pizza.  Last, sprinkle 2 TB Parmesan cheese per pizza.  Bake until crust is golden brown about 20-25 min.  Remove and let sit for 10 min. before serving.


Feel free to play with the toppings, but do be sure to follow instructions for order of topping in regards to cheese vs. sauce.
Prep time already includes time it takes for dough to rise.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 55.8g | Protein: 22.7g | Fat: 31.8g | Saturated Fat: 15.3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 74.3mg | Sodium: 1103.8mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 4.9g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian American
Method: Bake

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Recipe Rating


    • Stefano Velia
    • 5 stars

    I’ve been making NY style and Neapolitan pizza for about 10 years now, even doing pop-ups in my area (for charity) with my gas pizza ovens. But Chicago style is something I’ve never attempted before this. I followed this recipe exactly and it turned out incredible. From some quick research before settling on this one, it seems many believe cornmeal is the secret ingredient. I was amazed at how good it came out compared to restaurants. Thanks a lot for sharing this and in great detail.

    Thank you,
    Stefano Velia

      • Amy Dong

      That’s amazing to hear! So glad you loved it.

    • RP
    • 5 stars

    Great pizzas!
    I usually like to let the sauce go for hours and continue to taste, then add seasonings and water throughout the day as needed.
    Before adding the dough to the pan, I add EEVO and sprinkle cornmeal right into the pan.
    I also recommend trying the Chicago classic, with hot italian sausage, roasted green pepper and mushroom.
    Thanks for this!

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you liked these pizzas!

    • Pizzaware

    Love this recipe. We would like to include a link to it in our upcoming blog post about best Chicago style pizza recipes. Want us to add you to the list?

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, and thank you for coming over today.

    • Lee
    • 5 stars

    This recipe is Amazing! Since we are only two in the house, i froze the other dough ball and thawed it out another day for our second pizza. It was just as wonderful as the first one!!! i had never made my own pizza crust before and this was easy

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you all enjoyed this. It is our favorite deep dish 🙂 🙂

    • Ed Stalzer
    • 5 stars

    Outstanding. Baked this today and it was a hit.

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Ed! So glad to hear it 🙂

    • Kristen

    This recipe is amazing! I made the dough yesterday and kept it in the refrigerator until an hour before baking the pizzas tonight. So good! Since a little Chicago style pizza joint shut down in the town I went to college in I have been craving pizza like it and this hit the spot! No more take out pizza in our home! My two year old couldnt get enough of the pizza either!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Kristen! So glad you guys loved this as much as our family does! 🙂 It really IS the best deep dish pizza that hits the spot! Thanks for coming over today 🙂

    • Kayla

    Could you cook this in a cast iron skillet?

      • chewoutloud

      Kayla, yes, just grease down the inside of the skillet so the dough/crust doesn’t stick. Enjoy! 🙂

        • Lee

        i cooked mine in a 9 inch cast iron LeCrueset pan and it came right out of the pan and i sliced it on a pizza peel

    • anon

    Your recipe is not correct (Cook’s Illustrated really botched this one!). In authentic Chicago deep dish pizza there is no cornmeal–this is a myth promulgated years ago on the Internet by an entirely wrong recipe. The buttery flavor of Chicago deep dish comes from the use of corn oil, not butter (although some pizzerias grease their pans with butter). Your recipe doesn’t have nearly enough oil–you need 3 Tablespoons for every cup of flour. Mix for 1 minutes, then knead for 2 at the most–the whole point is to make a biscuit-like dough (as little gluten formation as possible)–so you will need to pre-proof the yeast in warm water (I recommend regular yeast and let the dough rise for as much as 8 hours to develop flavor). If you knead for 5 minutes, your result will be closer to bread than to authentic Chicago deep dish–this is where CI really dropped the ball, because if you knead it correctly, there’s no need to laminate (pizzerias don’t laminate). For the sauce, use a high-quality brand of ground or crushed tomatoes (6-in-1, Pagliacci, etc.) and DO NOT COOK. Use a half-and-half mix of part-skim and whole milk mozzarella (again, a quality brand, like Stella or Frigo).

    • Caitlin

    Do you think I could make this and freeze before baking?

      • chewoutloud

      I have never done that before, but you sure could give it a try! I would prep the pizza up to the point of baking and then cover tightly and freeze until ready to bake.

    • Beth @ Good to be the Cook

    I cannot believe you made this. Holy hell… it looks freakin’ amazing.

    • Andrew

    Will low moisture mozzarella work or should I keep searching for fresh?

      • chewoutloud

      Fresh is definitely best,but go ahead and try the mozzarella you have and give it a go! 🙂

    • Andrew

    Would low moisture mozzarella work as well or should I keep looking to find fresh?

    • Yii-Huei

    This looks heavenly.

    • Diane

    I live in the Chicago area and have eaten more than my share of very good deep dish pizza. This, without a doubt, blows them all away. From the perfect crust, excellent sauce to the right amounty of cheese — YUMMM! I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog!!!

    • Loulou

    My oh my! This looks sinful!!!

    • The Porto Bellas

    Wow!!! I am very impressed with this dish. This is something my co-blogger JulieB would make… Love this very much.

    • ohiocook

    Reblogged this on My Meals are on Wheels.

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