Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Homemade Chicago style deep dish pizza with Italian sausage.

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza Recipe from

Can we please start off by discussing where April went? I’m all for warmer weather and longer days, but April seriously flew by.

So I’ve made the jump to level 2 of 30 day Shred. I have this new plan that I think will work wonders for me to get through it. I’m currently doing rotations of 5 days per level with the weekends off, then I’ll repeat. Of course I’m only on day 2 of level 2 but that’s my plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes. If our treadmill ever gets delivered my workout plan will likely change but until then…!

Also, this level is definitely easier in a way, but it’s kind of obnoxious in other ways. I mean double jump roping? Not happening. I’m way more sore after these two days than ever after doing level 1. I’m not really complaining because that’s a good thing but jeez. I can only imagine what I’ll feel like after level 3 starts. I guess that’s a good thing. Also… there is still one segment of jumping jacks, which I think we’ve established how much I hate for some really odd reason. I think those should be banned. I’m dealing though.

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza Recipe from

So, I’ve been wanting to make a deep dish pizza for the longest time. Obviously it wasn’t for me… I mean hello, there are tomatoes in there and you know how I feel about those. But it’s the concept of it all that intrigued me. The weirdest part, in my opinion of course, is the layer of ham on the bottom. I remember seeing an episode of some food show where they were having a deep dish pizza showdown between two big name Chicago pizzerias and there were layers of so many different things, so I knew I was at least sort of on the right path. I’m not claiming this is a true Chicago pizza, but to me… deep dish pizza is Chicago, thus Chicago style pizza. If it’s close to classic, well hey… great!

The crust… it’s pretty much amazing. I’ve never in my life tasted something like this. The huge difference with this over any other crust I’ve made… it has cornmeal! It helps make it crisp and flavorful. Ahh I want to make a tomato-less version just to eat the crust.

So what about the filling? You already know there is a layer of thick sliced ham. The main layer is a mixture of sautéed veggies, hot Italian sausage and crushed tomatoes. It is of utmost importance that you use whole milk mozzarella. No other cheese will do, so don’t let me catch you cheating and using part skim. If you want truly incredible pizza… this pizza or any other, it must always be whole milk mozzarella. Trust me.

More tasty pizza recipes to try:

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Homemade deep dish pizza with Italian sausage.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pizza
Servings: 8


Pizza dough:

  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 - 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 3 Tb cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  • 1 1/2 C button mushrooms sliced
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 8 oz Italian sausage casing removed
  • 1 C onion chopped
  • 1 C red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 C whole milk mozzarella shredded
  • 3/4 C crushed tomatoes divided
  • 1 Tb dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 oz sliced ham
  • Parmesan for sprinkling


  • Prepare pizza dough; begin proofing yeast by dissolving yeast and sugar in warm water. When puffed up and foamy, add olive oil to proofed yeast.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry dough ingredients. With mixer running on low, slowly add liquid ingredients. Mix until a smooth ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add additional flour as needed. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled or roughly 1 hour.
  • Begin preparing filling while dough rises. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown mushrooms with olive oil and salt to taste. Remove to a large bowl. Using the same skillet, saute sausage in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Drain and transfer to the bowl with mushrooms. Saute onion, pepper and garlic with optional red pepper flakes for 10 minutes or until tender. Transfer to large bowl, mix with sausage, mushrooms, 1 cup mozzarella, basil, oregano and 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes. Cover and set aside.
  • When dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" springform pan. Shape dough to fit the bottom of the pan and at least 3/4 up the sides. Lightly fork dough throughout. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F.
  • Reduce heat to 400°F. Lin the crust with ham. Top off with sausage mixture. Cover with additional 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and crust is golden and crisp.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to removing the sides of the pan and slicing. Slicing on a cutting board with drain grooves is recommend for this pizza.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

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43 Responses to “Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza”

  1. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — May 1, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Rachel, this looks incredible!!! Totally agree with you on the whole milk mozz- there is no other path!

  2. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — May 1, 2013 at 7:27 am

    This pizza looks CRAZY good. And I have no idea where April went, either!

  3. #
    Tasha @ ThatsSoYummy — May 1, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Swooning… I LOVE Deep dish pizza, yours looks droolworthy!

  4. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — May 1, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Rachel this took us back to our trip to Chicago. Looks delicious!!!

  5. #
    Tracey — May 1, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Deep dish pizza is the best!! Shane and I used to eat out at a place that served it when we were first dating, but it’s been ages since I’ve had it. Need to try this for sure :)

  6. #
    Tieghan — May 1, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Whoa! That is a whole lot of awesomeness! Typically I always go for thin crust and not meat, but this looks crazy good! My meat loving brothers would die over this!

  7. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

    My hubs is from Chicago and would love love this pizza! Great work on it! I

  8. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — May 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I am literally drooling and it’s not even 9AM!!!! I love deep dish.

  9. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — May 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Deep dish is the best! I may have to switch up our menu plan this week to include this pizza. It sounds so good!

  10. #
    Audra | The Baker Chick — May 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

    This sounds amazing! Growing up near Chicago- I’m a deep dish girl through and through.

    And yes- why do January and February creep along and then the springy months are over in a flash?

    • #
      Rachel — May 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      It’s the most depressing thing ever. I want a short winter and a long spring/fall/summer :)

  11. #
    Amy @ The Nifty Foodie — May 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

    OMG…my stomach is growling! That looks insanely good!

  12. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — May 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Oh man, I’ve never made it past Level 1 of “The Shred”. (But I do that one religiously!) :)

    This pizza looks CRAZY good! I want a slice!!

    • #
      Rachel — May 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      You should really try 2 – it’s a whole new world and a whole new kind of sore lol

  13. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — May 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I want to swan dive right into the center of that pizza. HOLY YUM.

  14. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — May 1, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I love any type of pizza but deep dish is the way to my heart!

  15. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — May 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    True story – I’ve never had a Chicago style pizza. Hangs head in shame. I know!! But i’ll start with this. Geez woman you kill me!

  16. #
    SaltySweetSour — May 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

    This looks amazing! Now I want to recreate my favorite deep dish pizza (from Lou Malnati’s, where I ate way too many times when I lived in Chicago).

    • #
      Rachel — May 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Ooh I think he was part of that showdown that I saw! Or at least his place was.

  17. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — May 1, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Takes me back to our newlywed years in Chicago! But my favorite pizza there was actually a giant piece that you had to fold over on top if itself to eat. Mmmmm. Pizzzzzza.

  18. #
    marcie@flavorthemoments — May 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve had Chicago style pizza once from Zachary’s Pizza — a very popular pizzeria here in the SF Bay Area. Yours looks just like it, and I can almost taste it. It looks amazing!

  19. #
    Valerie — May 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    If it’s not whole milk mozzarella, it’s not mozzarella. This pizza is epic!

    I did the shred series when Comcast offered it on OnDemand. Level three is brutal, and it send my cats far, far away from the me (and the room!), but the results were fabulous. Good luck! (They do get repetitive. Once you have the routine memorized, hit the mute button and play Bon Jovi.)

    • #
      Rachel — May 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Oh no! You’re scaring me now. Maybe if I push through level 2 okay, 3 won’t be so bad? We’ll see I guess! Love the idea of muting them and turning on some fun music. :)

  20. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted pizza THIS bad so early in the morning. Yes, please and thank you.

  21. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — May 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    We started working out again this weekend, and are determined not to quit this time… that is of course until Florida comes around. Then that plan will go caput i am sure ;) Anyway, I am dying of soreness, and all I can think about is food. Because working out gives you the excuse to eat more… right? And Im not usually a fan of deep dish pizza, but I could definitely take a big bite of this one!

    • #
      Rachel — May 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Exactly… all bets are off for FL.

  22. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — May 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    HOLY mother trucker! This looks insane!! I haven’t had good deep dish pizza since we moved from Chicago five years ago. I can’t wait to make this bad boy!!!

  23. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — May 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    This is seriously the best thing that I’ve seen all day! I’m a sucker for deep dish pizza, I just love all that crust!

  24. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — May 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    ok, I think Shred must’ve changed since the version I have b/c I couldn’t for the life of me remember double jump ropes in mine and it was driving me crazy after your email yesterday that I skimmed through the dvd on the tv last night…no jump ropes. WEIRD!
    ps- we do double unders at crossfit. took me about 10 months to master. they’re freakin’ HARD!

    • #
      Rachel — May 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      That is REALLY weird. They must have a free tv/on demand version and a dvd version? I’m not even sure what a double under is but it doesn’t sound fun.

  25. #
    Courtney @ BakeMeBetter — May 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    My jaw dropped when I saw this coming up on my computer. I have to have this.

  26. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — May 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Suddenly my little veggie pizza I made for dinner (that I thought was excellent) is paling in comparison to your monstrous beauty. :) I haven’t had good ole deep dish pizza in years. This looks amazing Rachel!

  27. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — May 2, 2013 at 7:58 am

    we had deep dish pizza in Chicago. This looks just like it. sooo yummy!!

  28. #
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — May 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Oh my word! I haven’t had a proper deep dish pizza in years, I have to make this, looks amazing!

  29. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    dude this is amazing!!!!

  30. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — May 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Oh yum, your pizza looks incredible! I cannot believe how fast April went either and congrats on reaching level 2 of the shred!

  31. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — May 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I have no words :) this pizza looks so amazing, I am in love!

  32. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — May 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Love deep dish! Definitely need to make some soon!

  33. #
    Kristen | Pixelated Crumb — May 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Oh wow. I love deep dish pizza and that crust looks amazing!!

    • #
      Rachel — May 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you! :) The crust truly was amazing.

  34. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — May 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Deep dish is one of my favorite types of pizza! There’s that and then there’s Pizza Hut pan pizza. I could eat them both every day and not be the least bit bored.

    This one looks incredible! So tall and… fat. :D

  35. #
    Meredith — September 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Ohh my word this pizza was delicious. My husband and I made it over the weekend to watch with football. It is super easy to make! We did add sausage to it as well. We even shared some leftovers with our neighbors who loved it!

    • #
      Rachel — September 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

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