Homemade deep dish pizza is easier than you might think! All you need is a cast iron skillet and some basic ingredients and you'll be whipping up a Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza in no time.
Let's talk about DEEP DISH.
This pizza. It's awesome. Also, I cooked it in a SKILLET.
I'd never really HAD deep dish until I moved to Illinois for college, but once I started dating my husband, his born-and-raised Chicago family made sure I tried alllllll the proper deep dish the city had to offer.
Fast forward a few years to when we moved to New York, and I suddenly found myself craving Chicago pizza in a big, big way.
So I started to make my own!
It took a few tries to get our recipe down pat, but I'm happy to say that this version is husband-approved (wooo) and is a pretty convincing substitute (in my humble non-Chicagoan opinion, at least) for Chicago's powerhouse deep-disheries.
Like a classic deep dish at Giordano's or Uno's or Gino's (the aforementioned powerhouses), it's built with thick layers of cheese and sausage and finished with a layer of crushed tomatoes.
The trick to this pizza is TECHNIQUE more than anything - you want to press the dough evenly into a cast iron skillet and get all those toppings in there so that everything bakes evenly.
I've found that thinner dough is better here, so stay away from pizza doughs with a lot of yeast (they'll rise too much during baking and you'll end up with a weird deep dish dutch baby situation. Delicious? Yes. But not quite what we're going for).
My fifteen minute pizza dough works well here, and if you want an even thinner crust, you can even reduce the yeast in that recipe by ½ teaspoon or so with good results. Try a sturdy, 10-12" cast iron skillet like this one from Lodge if you don't already have one!
More Homemade Pizza Recipes
Deep Dish Skillet Pizza
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 6 slices 1x
- Category: Pizza
- Cuisine: Italian-American
Homemade Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza made in a cast iron skillet!
- ½ lb. Spicy Italian Sausage
- 1 recipe of your favorite pizza dough
- ½ cup crushed tomatoes (or your favorite pizza sauce)
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
- Fresh sliced basil, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces as it cooks. Drain away any excess fat and set aside.
- Press pizza dough into a 10-12" cast iron skillet (I like this one). Flatten dough against the bottom of the pan and press it all the way up the sides of the skillet, like so:
- Spread a thin layer of crushed tomatoes on the bottom of the pizza. Top with half of the mozzarella, then add the cooked sausage and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the last layer of mozzarella with the remaining crushed tomatoes.
- Bake pizza at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil (optional), slice, and serve immediately.
If you don’t have a large cast iron skillet, use a deep pan or pot with very thick sides. The pizza has to bake for a long time so you want the heat to distribute very evenly. A ceramic casserole dish, cake pan, or dutch oven would also do the trick. A too-thin pan will burn the crust – you want it soft and chewy!
Use your favorite pizza sauce or tomato sauce here if you like. I love the simplicity of crushed tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce. Whatever you use, just make sure that it's THICK - runny tomato sauce will result in a soggy pizza crust. If you're using homemade tomato sauce, you may want to simmer it on the stove for a bit before adding it to your pizza to give the excess water a chance to cook off.
Use whatever pizza toppings you like here - peppers, onions, black olives, pepperoni, spinach, chicken, you name it!
If your crust starts to get too brown in the oven, cover your pizza with foil or an oven-safe lid for the remainder of the cooking time.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 328
- Sugar: 2.1 g
- Sodium: 732.8 mg
- Fat: 10.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 41.9 g
- Protein: 16.3 g
- Cholesterol: 12.2 mg
Keywords: pizza, deep dish, comfort food
I almost never get takeout pizza anymore because this recipe is so much better and really easy to make.
Team Life As A Strawberry
We're SO happy to hear how much you love this pizza!
Great recipe! I moved away from the Chicago area and was missing deep dish pizza, the crust and sauce in this recipe definitely holds its own against the city's established deep dish pizzerias. Watch your backs Uno, Lou's, and Gino's!
Team Life As A Strawberry
WAHOO! We're thrilled to hear this pizza rivals some of Chicago's finest!
I'm from the Chicago NE suburbs, but am now living in Michigan. I miss Chicago deep dish pizza. I've tried making my own, but I'm having problems finding good Italian sausage. Any recipe suggestions? Also, suggestions for turkey breakfast sausage? Thanks
Our local grocery store in NY (Wegman's) has great Italian sausage, and if you have a good butcher shop near you, that's a good place to start! You could also find some similarly high-quality Italian Sausage at Whole Foods. The key for me is also to buy the Spicy Italian Sausage - I find the spicier varieties are much more reminiscent of real Chicago Deep Dish than plain ol' ground pork. If you can't find a good spicy sausage, though, I've mixed my own before (though it's more work) - this recipe from Bon Appetit looks like it might be a good place to start. I've actually never used turkey breakfast sausage, so I'm afraid I'm no help there. But good luck with your Italian Sausage search, and I hope this recipe helps to bring you a little taste of Chicago out there in Michigan! 🙂
simple green moms
I want to make (and eat) this RIGHT NOW! =) looks so delicious!
Thanks! This is one of our top dinner favorites - especially now that we're in NY and not in deep dish country anymore!
I am definitely going to try this, it looks delicious and easy. I am originally from Chicago and yes we really do love our pizza. I'm thinking that I would maybe add green pepper slices and mushrooms. Thanks for the neat recipe.
You're welcome! I hope you like it. This pizza has made its way into our weekly rotation - I can have it in the oven within 20 minutes of deciding to make it, and we switch out the sauce and toppings all the time. We're leaving Illinois for New York in a few weeks, so I've been grabbing Gino's and Giordano's every time I'm in the city because I've gotten so attached and don't want to give it up! Thankfully this recipe will make a good substitute, though. Phew!