Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza — Damn Delicious

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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.

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

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

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

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!


  • 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


  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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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!

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.

This def on my menu for the weekend!!

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

I personally love Trader Joe’s pizza dough!

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!

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

Nope, you can just put it right in the oven as mentioned 🙂

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!!

I am using a 10-inch cast iron skillet. I also love Trader Joe’s pizza dough!

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

I personally love Trader Joe’s pizza dough!

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.”

Yes! Let us know how it turns out!

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

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?

Hi Deborah! You would have to improvise, we unfortunately can’t answer that with certainty. For the 10 inch skillet we rolled the dough out to 12 inches, so that you have a nice, deep crust. So for the 12 inch you would have to roll out the dough to 14 inches. I hope that helps! Let us know how it goes if you try it.

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