Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Pizza is a staple in many households–especially those with kids.  It’s an expectation at sleepovers, a lifesaver during study sessions, and a godsend for quick family dinners.  Of course the same dish can get old quickly–what about shaking things up with Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza?


Chicago Style Pizza has a lot of similarities with regular pizza, but the ingredients are arranged differently–enough to almost feel like a different dish.  The crust is thick and bready (I use whole wheat), there is a dense layer of cheese in the middle and the top is decked with chopped seasoned tomatoes.  Additional toppings, if you decide to use them, sit between the cheese and the sauce.

Slice of Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Slice of Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Beyond revitalizing a dinner mainstay, I had a secondary motive in learning to make this.  Last fall I bought a Le Creuset braiser and I needed to make sure I had plenty of ideas on how to use it.  Although I got it at the Outlet Mall, it was still an indulgence and, at just under 12 inches, the 3 1/2 qt pan was perfect!  Other people will use a deep dish pizza pan, or a cast iron frying pan and I think that even pie pans (probably two) would work.

Le Creuset braiser

A Le Creuset braiser makes a great pizza pan!

If you are a pro at pizza crust (which someday I want to be) or have a good source (e.g. Trader Joe’s at $1.19/dough ball), the pizza comes together very easily.  You pat in the crust (no tossing or rolling–hooray!), lay on sliced cheese, then top with seasoned diced tomatoes.   The hardest part is simmering the tomatoes with some herbs (for under a half hour).  I think I can manage that even on a busy night with a house full of teenagers!

Deep Dish Pizza with wine bottle

Pizza out of oven

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Sauce based on Emeril Lagasse


  • Pizza Dough–premade or your favorite recipe
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced plum tomatoes, partly drained (or regular coarsely crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 pound provolone or mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 lb Italian sausage or any other toppings you like (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


1.  In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the herbs, seeds, salt, and black and red peppers, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Simmer pizza sauce

Simmer pizza sauce

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the sides of a 12 inch pan with Pam (believe me this works a lot better than the traditional olive oil). Press pizza dough into the pan, pushing about 1 1/2 inches up the sides.

Press in deep dish pizza crust

Press in pizza crust

3.  Layer the provolone cheese on top of the dough. Top with toppings of your choice, if using.

Lay provolone on top of crust

Lay provolone on top of crust

4.  Ladle the sauce evenly on top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Top with sauce then grated Parmesan

Top with sauce then grated Parmesan

5.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve hot.  (If you use an enameled pan, remember not to use metal cutting tools in the pan–I find the pizza usually slips out intact with a little loosening if I have used Pam)


Deep Dish Pizza, Served

28 thoughts on “Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

  1. CCU

    Your pizza looks utterly beautiful, so delicious and full of flavour 😀


    P.S. I am going to be exam prepping for four weeks so won’t be commenting – see you in a month!

  2. Louise

    Dare i say it, okay I won’t:) But, if I had to eat pizza, Chicago Style is most definitely the way to go! Glad you indulged on that pan:) Happy to know Trader Joe’s dough is good too just in case I should ever get a craving for Pizza, lol…

    Thanks for sharing, Pattie…

    1. Inger Post author

      My kids weren’t sure at first but came right around. I sometimes feel guilty buying my crust but it is soooo easy!

      1. Louise

        Oh Inger, I’m so sorry. I really need to slow down. Please forgive me. If it’s any consolation, I called Pattie, Inger last week, lol…

        I wouldn’t feel guilty buying the crust. That’s one of those things that are pretty close to home made. I feel guilty for not loving Pizza!

        So, so, so sorry, Inger. I really need to get my act together, lol…

        1. Inger Post author

          Oh don’t worry Louise, I just laughed. I wrote “granola” instead of “yogurt” this week on a post about yogurt and had to write a correction. I had just read another post about granola and well… you know how it goes;-) Silly fingers…

          1. Louise

            I have so many things on my mind. I’m glad it’s the fingers and not the brain. I’m trying to help someone get a Pinterest button on their blog so I’m drawing pictures, which I really stink at! Actually, I haven’t had dinner yet. A slice would be GREAT!

    1. Inger Post author

      I think the color is spinach–the outlet store has both retired and non-retired colors. With a coupon the current colors are often just as discounted. I had to get my dutch oven in black to get one that came with a high heat knob (they were out of the separate knobs and I wanted to use it for Molly’s bread). I was excited to see you got yours from Le Creuset!

  3. grace

    the toppings are always my favorite component of pizza, and when made this way, there’s an ample amount for sure! gorgeous and tasty work!

  4. Kathy

    Inger, I never usually think to make deep dish pizza. A good reminder–and it looks like a mouth-watering recipe, too.

  5. Karis

    Can’t wait to try this recipe, I’ve never attempted deep-dish pizza. I think a trip to the Le Creuset outlet is in order…after the house sells 🙂

  6. Kathy

    Inger, your pizza looks amazing! My son buys the TJs pizza crust all the time and loves it. Wish I had a TJs closer to me. I have never tried to make a deep dish pizza…maybe the time has come.

    1. Inger Post author

      You should give it a try Kathy! There is an Italian bakery near us that sells pizza crust dough–perhaps if you asked around you might find another source. And if you happen to get to TJs, the crusts freeze well so you could buy more than one.

  7. Dan

    This looks delicious! How do you prevent the crust from coming back into the center of the pan when pressing it down?

    1. Inger Post author

      The pizza dough I have been buying from Trader Joe’s spreads quite nicely right out of the package. If a dough is “fighting” you, it can help to leave it alone for a bit to relax and try it again. The biggest problem I have had was sticking when I used olive oil to grease the pan instead of Pam. If you get a chance to try this, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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