Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Is there such a thing as having too much pizza? I don’t think so. Each kind of pizza has its place in my opinion. Mini’s are great when you are short on time, or as an easy appetizer. Homemade thin crust pizzas are great for when you want pizza but not take-out. But, deep dish is perfect for when you really want to treat yourself!

My family has been making thin crust pizzas that could rival any take-out place for years. But deep dish is another story. Even though deep dish pizza is my favorite pizza (favorite food?) in the whole world, I had never attempted it myself. I just didn’t know where to start. What kind of dough should I make? What would I cook it in? How long does it need to be cooked? How do I get the dough to be sturdy enough to support all of the cheese I top it with? Could I ever make anything as good as Lou Malnati’s?

When I saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats, I decided to give it a try.  But I’m kind of a pizza snob. I have lived in the Chicago area all my life and I grew up eating the best deep dish pizza out there (in my opinion). Could this recipe satisfy me and my pizza snob family?

I’ll admit it is not quite as good as Lou Malnati’s, but it is amazing nonetheless and about 1,000 times better than I ever expected.  The whole family really, really liked it. I’m not joking around when I say Cliff could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Surprisingly it was not hard to make at all. This is probably not a meal I would recommend making on a work day though. I made the dough in the morning. In the afternoon I laminated it and then I finally cooked it around 6pm. Making the dough and laminating the dough took all of about 15 minutes. The rest of the time is letting the dough rise.

Although Annie does give directions for the crust, the sauce, and the assembly, I chose only to follow the directions for the crust. I cooked my pizza in a cast iron pan, and it worked out really well.  We will definitely be making this one over and over again. We prefer pepperoni, but you can make this with any topping you’d like. If you choose to use sausage, cook the sausage before you put the pizza in the oven to ensure it is cooked thoroughly.


Mix the dry ingredients

Add butter

Add water

Mix until the dough forms a ball

Coat with oil and let rise

Roll the dough out to a 8×6 rectangle


Roll into a cylinder; seam side down

Roll into 9×3 rectangle

Fold like a business letter

Sauté garlic with butter until fragrant; about 2 minutes

Add garlic butter to canned tomatoes

Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings

The dough has risen!

Grease the bottom and sides of your cast iron pan with olive oil

Press the dough into the bottom and sides

Layer it with mozzarella cheese

And toppings of your choice. We don’t skimp on the pepperoni

Pour the sauce on top à la Chicago style

Sprinkle with grated romano for good luck

You can see as it bakes it splits a little, that’s OK… Lou’s does too

Let it cool in the pan, by now your mouth should be watering

Slice it up and enjoy, so so sooo good!


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course


For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/8 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 oz.) water, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

For the sauce:

  • 1 14 oz can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1 tbsp  butter
  • salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste

For assembling and topping:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-7 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Romano cheese; grated


  • For the dough: combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook on low speed. Mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the water and melted butter and continue mixing on low speed until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4-5 minutes.
  • Using your hands, coat a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes. I left it for a few hours.
  • To laminate the dough, turn the dough out onto a dry work surface and roll into an 8- by 6-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- by 2 inch rectangle. Fold into thirds like a business letter, pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until nearly doubled in size, 40-50 minutes.  Once again I left it for a few hours.
  • While the dough is rising make your sauce. Sauté garlic with a little bit of butter until fragrant. Add the garlic to the tomatoes and season to taste.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the cast iron pan with olive oil. Roll out the dough to a 13 inch round circle.  Press the dough into the pan and up the sides of the pan.  Layer the sliced mozzarella cheese on the dough evenly. It is ok if it overlaps. Add the toppings of your choice, we chose pepperoni. Cover generously with sauce. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. After removing from the oven let the pizza rest in the pan for 10 minutes, before slicing and serving.
Keyword Pizza