Filed Under: Main Dish | Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza

Recipe By Tessa Arias
September 2nd, 2013

Get that thick, slightly crisp, and buttery Chicago restaurant-style deep dish pizza at home with this recipe!

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The crust is buttery, the cheese is fresh yet slightly salty, the sausage is a little spicy and rich, and the tomatoes are acidic yet savory thanks to the dried herbs and garlic.
Texture: Oh so thick and full of incredible cheesy, meaty, juicy texture but the crust is where it’s at with its thick, buttery, and soft yet crunchy bite.
Ease: Definitely not harder than any other pizza. In fact, I think this dough is even easier to work with! I’ve included step-by-step photos below so you can see exactly what happens and that it’s nothing to be intimidated by!
Appearance: I used two 9-inch cake pans and my crust ended up being pretty fat on the sides so this looked more like a pan pizza but it was still certainly deep.
Pros: Chicago style pizza at home! Also, if you don’t have a 14-inch deep dish pizza pan you can use two 9-inch cake pans.
Cons: Heavy and rich, definitely for special occasions.
Would I make this again? Yes! There are so many variations to this as well.

Get that thick, slightly crisp, and buttery Chicago restaurant-style deep dish pizza at home with this recipe!
Deep Dish Pizza from

For those of you who didn’t know, during the past 4+ years of blogging I’ve almost always gone to school full-time and worked a part-time retail job. I recently finished school, earning both my Bachelor’s degree and my separate culinary degree, but was still working that part-time retail job. Lately I’ve been focusing my energies on blogging and creating other opportunities related to blogging, such as writing for other publications, working with brands, and creating YouTube videos. It’s been A LOT of fun and when I work on these things it doesn’t feel like work at all (except when it’s time to do the dishes). My blog has been continuing to grow, especially now that I’ve been treating it more like a business.

All my hard work is starting to pay off and I’ve been able to cut back my hours significantly at my part-time job. So much so that I’ll only be working one day a week in order to dedicate the rest of the time to Handle the Heat and other fun things! I’m giving myself somewhat of a test period to see if I can do the blog and self-employed entrepreneurial thing and actually make a living from it. So far it’s been going surprisingly well, which I could not be more excited about. It’s such a privilege to wake up and love what I do. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and never really envisioned working for anyone but myself so I feel like I am doing the right thing right now. Cross your fingers for me that I can continue to grow and make this work!!

I thought I’d share this exciting little update about my life but if you just came here for the deep dish pizza, here it is! It’s perfectly thick, rich, cheesy, meaty, and wonderful. Plus, it’s actually easier than you might think. You can really have restaurant style Chicago pizza at home!

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comCombine all the crust ingredients in an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and soft. You can also knead by hand or with a bread machine.
Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comPlace the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour.

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comOnce the dough is risen, use your hands to stretch it out into a large circle slightly bigger than a 14-inch deep dish pizza pan. You can also stretch it out into two circles slightly bigger than two 9-inch cake pans.

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comLay the dough in the pan and stretch it out towards the edges until it starts springing back. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes before continuing to stretch until it comes up the side of the pan(s).

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comPar bake the crust in a 425ยฐF oven for 10 minutes or until it’s set and barely beginning to brown.

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comLayer the slices of mozzarella over the crust.

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comTop with the sausage and tomato mixture.

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comSprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Deep Dish Pizza from HandletheHeat.comBake for about 25 minutes, less time for the smaller cake pans, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and use a giant spatula to remove the pizza from the pan and onto a cooling rack. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Products used in this post:

How to make
Deep Dish Pizza

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Get that thick, slightly crisp, and buttery Chicago restaurant-style deep dish pizza at home with this recipe!



  • 4 cups (17 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water


  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound Italian sweet or hot sausage
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. For the crust:
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the crust ingredients. Knead on medium-low speed until the dough becomes smooth and soft, about 7 minutes. The dough can also be kneaded by hand or with a bread machine.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour.
  4. While the dough is rising, grease one large 14-inch deep dish pizza pan or two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.
  5. Once the dough is risen, use your hands to stretch it out into a circle that is slightly larger than the pizza pan or two circles slightly larger than the cake pans. Lay the dough in the pan(s), and stretch it towards the edges until it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425ยฐF while the dough rests.
  6. Continue stretching the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. Let the crust rest for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it's set and barely beginning to brown.
  7. For the filling:
  8. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes thoroughly. In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, and Italian herbs. Cover the bottom of the crust with the sliced mozzarella. Add the sausage then the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.
  9. Bake the pizza for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and use a large spatula to carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack. Allow the pizza to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Recipe Notes

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Lauren @ Hall Nesting — September 2, 2013 at 4:22 am

    That is so exciting about the success of your blog! Good luck! And I will definitely be making this deep dish recipe, the hubby and I just got back from Chicago and ate a ton of it there!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Thank you! So jealous of your Chicago trip!

  2. #
    Tieghan — September 2, 2013 at 6:09 am

    You are amazing!! You have done so much all while working hard on this site! Incredible and so inspiring!

    This deep dish pizza looks AWESOME! I have never made a deep dish pizza, but I think it is time to. YUM!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Thanks a bunch Tieghan! You inspire me with your creativity and amazing photography!!

  3. #
    DessertForTwo — September 2, 2013 at 6:39 am

    This is exciting news! Congrats! Make sure you have health insurance + a 401k/roth plan for the future ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We just got back from Chicago, and I’m itching for some deep dish pizza again. This recipe is so timely! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Haha thanks for the advice… I don’t even want to think about those things!!

  4. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 2, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Love that crust! Deep dish is so fun to make.

  5. #
    Greg — September 2, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Congratulations!!! You have done well when so many choose to sit back and wait for things to come to them.
    “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” ~ Sam Ewing

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Thank you! What a great quote.

  6. #
    Tracey — September 2, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Congratulations Tessa!! Such great news!

    We were already planning to make pizza today, but now I want to switch our plans and do deep dish – this looks awesome!!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Thanks a bunch Tracey. And yay pizza night!

  7. #
    JulieD — September 2, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Yay!! Congrats!!! And this pizza looks amazing!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Thank you Julie!!

  8. #
    Gaby — September 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

    yayy!!! so excited for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Awh thanks Gaby!! I’m so excited!

  9. #
    Ericka Sanchez — September 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

    That’s great news, Tessa! I just recently quit my job too for the same reason! Wishing you lots if luck!!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Oh really?! Thank you – best of luck to you as well. I hope we cross paths again soon.

  10. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — September 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Congrats – that’s so great!
    And, omg. The pizza. I LOVE pizza, but especially deep dish and this looks soooo fabulous!

  11. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — September 2, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Awesome! I’m so happy about your success too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was just lamenting the fact that we have no pizza places around here with good deep dish pizza. I finally found a thin-crust pizza place I like, but I love a bready pizza every so often. Now, I can make my own!

    DEFINITELY pinning for our next pizza night. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Thanks!! I’m the same way – sometimes you just gotta have that thick bready crust.

  12. #
    Gerry @ foodness gracious — September 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I commend you on taking your blog to another level! I’m slowly pushing mine in that direction and as hard as it can be, i still love doing it everyday! Your pizza is screamingggggg my name,

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Thank you Gerry. That’s awesome that you’re still loving it – that’s most important, right?!

  13. #
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — September 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Yum, I haven’t had deep dish pizza in forever!

  14. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — September 2, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Mmm this looks so so good! How awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. #
    Indrฤ— — September 3, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Oh my god! I know what I will cook this weekend! I just looooove deep dish pizzas

  16. #
    Shawn @ IWYD — September 3, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Love pizza, and the crust is always my favorite part. This looks like a must try! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. #
    Coty and Mariah — September 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    This is what pizza is all about. We love ourselves some deep dish!

  18. #
    Jen @ Jen’s Favorite Cookies — September 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Good luck on your entrepreneurial endeavors! I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. #
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — September 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    That is awesome news about your blog! You are going to do great at blogging full time when it comes to that! We love a good Chicago style deep dish pizza…this looks great!

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. #
    Diana Lamon — September 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS ON EVERYTHING!!! Also, this pizza looks incredible.

    • #
      Tessa — September 4, 2013 at 11:25 am


  21. #
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — September 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Congrats on the success! That’s so awesome. And this pizza. Oh. Em. GEE.

  22. #
    Linda | The Urban Mrs — September 16, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Congrats on your graduation and new venture. It’s definitely an exciting journey and I adore your guts to do so…and the pizza, yummyyy!

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Thank you!

  23. #
    Megan G — September 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Made this tonight and mind was blown. So so so good. A pizza after my own heart.

  24. #
    Helga — November 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I’m happy to read your blog, I like your recipes! A lot of them are just not tasty but clear and easy enough. I’m a beginner in cooking and it’s important for me:) I once made โ€‹โ€‹a deep dish pizza. Then I used this recipe The stuffing reminds yours, by the way. But as you can see, the dough was not made by me. But now I’m going to make the dough using your own recipe. Thank you for sharing it!

  25. #
    anon — October 5, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Your recipe is not correct. In authentic Chicago deep dish pizza there is no cornmeal–this is a myth promulgated years ago on the Internet by an entirely wrong recipe. The buttery flavor of Chicago deep dish comes from the use of corn oil, not butter (although some pizzerias grease their pans with butter). Your recipe doesn’t have nearly enough oil–you need 3 Tablespoons for every cup of flour. Mix for 1 minutes, then knead for 2 at the most–the whole point is to make a biscuit-like dough (as little gluten formation as possible)–so you will need to pre-proof the yeast in warm water (I recommend regular yeast and let the dough rise for as much as 8 hours to develop flavor). If you knead for 5 minutes, your result will be closer to bread than to authentic Chicago deep dish. For the sauce, use a high-quality brand of ground or crushed tomatoes (6-in-1, Pagliacci, etc.) and DO NOT COOK. Use a half-and-half mix of part-skim and whole milk mozzarella (again, a quality brand, like Stella or Frigo).

  26. #
    Marie — October 22, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I am curious about the sausage in this recipe. Must one brown it before applying to the pizza or is the raw sausage crumbled over the pizza?
    I have been searching since my youth (that was a loooooooooooong time ago) for the key to the tender sausage used by our local pizza house. My sausage, no matter how good of a quality it is) is never tender-tasty like theirs.
    SO, what is the story on the sausage, please?

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