Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisEmail to someoneShare on Yummly

Chicago-Style Deep Dish PizzaSix months ago we listened to God’s calling for a ministry position and moved across the country, far away from our beloved city of Chicago.  Since then, we have missed many friends, family, landmarks and (more or less importantly) certain foods!  Chicago-style pizza is on the top of this list.

Yesterday, we were excited to root our Chicago Bears on to victory in the NFC conference championship, hoping to see them again in two weeks at the Super Bowl.  Unfortunately, the big V fell in the laps of a certain Wisconsin cheese-head team, but this didn’t change the fact that there was a big win in my kitchen with homemade Chicago-style pizza!

Chicago-Style Deep Dish PizzaIn Chicago, you primarily find two kinds of pie battling to be THE “Chicago-style” pizza.  Talk to a person who grew up in one side of Chicago and they will tell you that “Chicago-style” pizza is stuffed pizza, which has two layers of crust.  The popular chains Giordano’s and Nancy’s are known for this type of pizza.  Talk to another Chicagoan who is from the opposite end of town and they beg to differ, claiming deep dish is the authentic Chicago-style pizza, such as what is served at Pizzeria Uno and Lou Malnati’s.  I love both equally, but this weekend I made deep dish for my first attempt at homemade Chicago-style pizza.  Plus, I’ve been told Pizzeria Uno is the original by more than one person, so I’m leaning towards deep dish claiming the title.

This pizza was spot-on, delicious!  The crust was even better than at the restaurants, and the sauce was so perfectly reminiscent of the chunky tangy tomato sauces we enjoyed back in the Midwest.  Don’t even get me started on the ooey gooey yummy cheese!  Just after my first bite, I knew I would be making this even more often than we ever ordered it as take-out back home.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish PizzaThe dough recipe uses a method called “laminate”, which means pressing together alternating layers of butter and dough.  Typically, you roll out the dough, spread butter on top, then fold the dough on top of each other and repeat.  This method is found in many pastry recipes, giving the dough a flaky/puffy, yet crispy texture.  For this pizza dough, the steps were a little different than I’m used to when laminating for pastries, but it turned out a wonderfully flaky crust.  Do not let the laminating step shy you away!  It is much more simple than it sounds.

Originally, I was not going to share this recipe with you today.  But, after multiple requests from many of my Facebook friends, I decided to move it up in the schedule so you can soon make this at home and taste a piece of heaven.  🙂

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Printable Recipe

Yield: One 9-inch deep dish pizza (3-4 servings)

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can petite-diced tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

For assembling and topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces Mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/4 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tablespoons)

To make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, until well blended.  Attach the dough hook and mix in the water and melted butter on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.

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 to 60 minutes.

Once dough is risen, turn it out onto a dry work surface and roll into an 8- x 6-inch rectangle.  To laminate the dough, spread the softened butter over the surface, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.  Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.  With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- x 2-inch rectangle, then fold into thirds like a business letter.  Pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl.  Cover tightly again with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator for 40 to 50 minutes.  (Mine did not double in size, but it rose to about size and a half.)

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the onion, oregano and salt.  Saute until the liquid has nearly evaporated and the onion is golden brown, stirring often, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, then increase the heat to medium-high.  Bring the mixture just to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the basil and oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble and top the pizza:
Preheat oven to 425˚F.  Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil.  Move the dough to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about 1/4-inch thick.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pan and lightly press to line the bottom of the pan and 1 inch up the sides.  If the dough resists stretching, wait 5 minutes before trying again.

Sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella over the surface of the dough, then layer the sauce over the cheese.  Top with Parmesan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Note: This recipe is for one 9-inch deep dish pizza, whereas the original is for two.  I altered some of the steps as I found I didn’t need as much time for kneading the dough, cooking the sauce, or baking the pizza.  These changes are reflected in my version above.  If you double this recipe, your times may increase significantly for cooking the sauce, and slightly for kneading and baking.

To Make Ahead: Prepare the dough up until the time of baking.  Store in fridge overnight, or freeze and thaw in fridge.  When ready to bake, place pan in oven while preheating so that it warms up slowly.  Once oven is preheated to 425˚F, bake for 20 more minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Cook’s Illustrated, January/February 2010

(This month we are giving back to the King family.  Visit Pennies on a Platter from January 1st to 31st to increase the blog hits which will in turn raise more money for Veronica and her children.  Please read this post for more information. You may also make a monetary donation by clicking on the PayPal button in the left hand column above.)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisEmail to someoneShare on Yummly


  1. Looks AMAZING!

  2. Wish I can have a slice now! Looks very delicious. I love the deep dish chicago pizza. I always buy them from the frozen section of the supermarkets. I should be making now. Thanks very much for sharing.

  3. That’s looks amazing! Would it be weird to make pizza at 6 am? 😛

  4. I ADORE this pizza! Yours looks delicious! No sooner than we finish it up at dinner, my husband requests it again…and soon!

  5. This looks so good, especially for a cold night! I’ve been to Chicago once and we ate at Giordano’s. I loved the pizza, my mom did not. We’re from the Philly area and my mom insists that Chicago-style pizza is a casserole or a pie, not an actual pizza. I don’t care what you call it, I like it, especially with broccoli and cheese.

  6. OMG this was the pizza recipe I suggested in the giveaway post! I think I should get bonus points! 🙂

  7. YUMMMM!!!! Now, if only this were a part of my diet plan… hehe 🙂

  8. What an amazing pizza! I still prefer NY style pizza, but Chicago deep dish is nice to mix it up every now and again.

  9. This looks phenomenal! I will definitely be making this soon!

  10. Thanks so much! I grew up in Chicago and miss deep dish pizza so I will have to try and make this!!!

  11. My hubby went to school in Chicago and still raves about Uno’s deep dish pizza. I can’t wait to make this for him!

  12. This looks AMAZING! I’m having a pizza night this week!

  13. Now that’s a pizza! It looks absolutely perfect!

  14. Thanks for sharing this recipe…I’m looking forward to making it!

  15. looks amazing…would love a piece right about now!

  16. Oh my gosh Nikki! This looks so GOOD! I love the pizza at Pizzeria Uno, so I can’t wait to make this!

  17. I came across your blog off of foodie blog roll and I’m so glad I did! Your pictures are amazing and I can’t wait to try so many of your recipes including this pizza. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Just made the pizza- doubled batch and cooked directly on stone, no dish, at 475 for 12 min. Turned out great- thanks for posting the awesome recipe!!!!

  19. Hi Nikki- I’m a friend of Veronica’s so I’ve been stopping by daily this month. My husband, 2-year-old son and I literally just polished this off and it was awesome! I’ve made a lot of homemade pizzas and this was by far the easiest one ever… between not having to knead the dough by hand at all, just pressing everything in the pan, and super fast clean up, I am seriously impressed. Not to mention how authentic it tastes. Excited to add this to my recipe box. 🙂 Thanks, especially for what you’re doing for Vee!

  20. I really don’t know how you do it living away from Chicago. I just moved here from Kansas and I don’t ever wanna leave I love it here. Thanks for the Deep Dish recipe it looks amazing I can’t wait tell I have some time to make it myself.

  21. My boyfriend and I are planning on making this together for Valentine’s Day because we’re both obsessed with Pizzeria Uno and Lou Malnati’s. I was wondering if it would be alright to use a springform pan for this– would it make a difference? It just seems like it would be easier to serve it that way. Thanks!

  22. great post! keep it on!

  23. Nikki – If you ever make it up to Sacramento, you should head to Chicago Fire (they now have 3 locations). They offer thin crust, deep dish, and stuffed and we can never decide which one we want. We frequented it quite often when I was missing my midwest roots, but now we’ve just moved to follow God’s calling for my husband to minister in Canada. I LOVE this recipe when I can’t get the real thing 🙂

  24. What is ”pinch the seams to form a ball” mean?
    What seams, and how will the ‘folded letter’ form a ball?

    • Hi Georgina,

      When you fold the rectangle in thirds like a letter, it actually forms a thick square. Because it is so thick, when you pinch the seams of the folds, it will shape itself into sort of a ball. Does this help? Have you tried it yet? If not, I believe that once you’re doing it, it will actually make sense. 🙂

  25. I’ve made this at least once or twice a week for the last month. It’s absolutely phenomenal, and so easy to whip up. Makes living in Australia, away from my home in the US, much more tolerable now that I can have some of my favorite dishes!

  26. Chicken Fajita deep-dish pizza from Pizzeria Uno reminds me of my childhood. This looks beyond delicious – thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  27. My husband and I are from NY and grew up w/ NY style pizza- then my husband answered a call to ministry and we ended up near chicago for seminary- we now live in NOLA and miss both kinds of pizza. I make killer NY style but this is one we have to try- chicago pizza is great too. blessings to both of you on your journey.

  28. Amazing!!! Made this tonight for my family and it was so good!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!! I will be making it again!

  29. You’ve almost nailed it. Get rid of the gritty corn meal. The yellow of the real dough is yellow food coloring. Put a couple drops in the dough during mixing and you’ll see. You have the butter right!

    • Gah! No food coloring, please! 😉 There is actually corn meal in Chicago-style pizza. I can’t speak for all of the pizzerias, but the places we ordered, there definitely was. The crust doesn’t turn out gritty at all, but has a wonderful flavor to it from the cornmeal. Of course, I understand there are different variations and preferences, so thank you for sharing! 🙂 Maybe one of the readers who doesn’t like corn meal will benefit from your suggestion.

      • People believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.

        • Not sure what you mean by that, but the thread you provided proved what we both said – corn meal is used, and it’s not used. Gino’s East (the thread topic) was actually my least favorite Chicago-style pizza. My favorite deep-dish was Lou’s and my favorite stuffed was Giordano’s. Although, I never had the chance to try Pizzeria Uno. What’s yours?

  30. Not quite right! There is–and never has been–any cornmeal is Chicago deep dish pizza. The butter taste (if that’s what you’re going for) comes from corn oil. Your fat content is low–the ratio of 3 Tablespoons oil to 1 cup flour is correct. Also, to achieve the biscuit-like texture of authentic Chicago deep dish pizza, you need a very short kneading time (just like biscuits)–i minute mix and 2 minutes knead.

    • Hi Steve. I’m not sure what’s not quite right about this as there is not just ONE Chicago-style pizza recipe out there. Many variations exist, so while I”m sure your recipe is delicious, the one I have posted above (with cornmeal and with butter) is what I have now made several times and love. Judging from others’ comments, it’s a successful recipe. Have you even tried it?

  31. My husband and I just moved very far away from Chicago too! I made this pizza a couple weeks ago, I added extra toppings (pepperoni) because my husband pretty much won’t eat anything without meat on it. Anyway, WE LOVED IT, I think it is better than many deep dish pizzas I ate while we were in Chicago, and better than anything anyone can make out here…anyway, Thank you for this, I am making it again this Friday night and can’t wait!

    • I’m so glad you’re able to enjoy a piece of Chicago while living so far away. 🙂 I also make this with pepperoni most of the time now. Yum yum!!

  32. This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make this for dinner tonight! Thank you for sharing!

  33. Must try!!

  34. WOW. This was an amazing pizza! I was afraid of how it would turn out since my dough did not rise very much at all (I had active dry yeast, not instant) but it worked out just fine. In testament to the excellence of this pizza, my boyfriend at 3/4 of the whole thing in one sitting. Yummy!

  35. Made this tonight and it was AWESOME! I can’t believe I actually made a pizza that tasted that great!! Super easy and sooo good. Thanks for the great recipe. I will be making this again for sure!

  36. I am making this tonight for my husband who has been out of town. We were in Chicago last year and never got to have Lou Malnati’s because I ended up getting sick! Your recipe looks amazing and Im heading to the store and will let you know how it turns out! Thanks for sharing! This will be a great surprise for the hubbers! 🙂

    • I think you’ll love it, Victoria! It’s a favorite in our home, for sure! 🙂

      • I’d be nuts if I didnt give you an update to let you know that we (including my 2 little ones) demolished the pizza! I wish we would have made double recipe! It was soooooooooo good and it will be on rotation for our once a week pizza night! Thanks again soooo much for sharing this! 🙂

  37. Addison just made this for dinner for us tonight. My first experience with Chicago Pizza…YUM!!!

  38. OMG! i am so excited to try this! i love chicago style pizza- we are nancy’s people- we would go there everytime we would visit my grandma! i have had the frozen uno pizza and have been to the one in washington dc- it was fantastic and i was so excited to take my husband and son to the “original” uno when we went on a trip to chicago and much to my dismay it was terrible 🙁 the crust was dry and not buttery and the toppings were wattery- needless to say they weren’t impressed. this sounds great and i cant wait to try it tonite! maybe i can bring them back to the dark side 🙂

  39. Holy yum. As a Chicago girl who has sadly moved away a few years ago, I happen to prefer the double crust of Giordanos. HOWEVER, this would be a very very good runner up. LOVE IT.

  40. Looks amazing …I want to make this for my husband but I’m confused on the lamonating the dough part…. Do I butter the whole thing or just the edges …thanks

    • Hi Amanda. After rolling out the dough to the 8×6 inch rectangle, you want to spread the butter over the whole thing (the surface/top) and leave about a half-inch border around the edge that is not buttered. Hope this helps!

  41. Just wanted to stop by and let you know- I’ve used this recipe about a dozen times or so. It’s perfect. Thanks so much!!

  42. I clicked through the links and read about the King family. It was quite beautiful to see that 3 years later Veronica has remarried and donated monies generated from her blog in December to a newly widowed woman. A circle completed….

  43. Hi Nikki,

    How many people does a single pie serve? Do you have the instructions for doing 2 pies? I don’t have a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated or would look it up directly.


    • Hi Christine,
      One pie is about 3-4 servings, depending on how big the appetites are in your party. 🙂 I cut it into 8 small pieces and most people can eat at least two pieces. When I make two, I actually don’t double the recipe and instead just go through making it twice, separately. I no longer have a subscription to CI either, so I don’t have the instructions. Sorry!

  44. I don’t have a stand mixer…will a hand mixer work? I do have a bread machine that I could use for mixing and rising. Thoughts??? Thanks!

    • If your hand mixer has a dough hook, you can use that. Otherwise, this all can be done by hand or probably with the bread machine, too. I’ve never used a bread machine, but I’m pretty sure you can use it for the mixing and rising part. 🙂

  45. The worst recipe i have ever followed, the amounts must have been measured by a complete idiot. nothing is right with this recipe.

    Yours sincerely.

    Annoyed pizza lover

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Sorry, Annoyed Pizza Lover. We make this recipe all of the time, as shown above. Although I know not all recipes work out the same for everyone, I do wish you had chosen a nicer tone to share your experience. Sounds like you might be a novice homemade pizza maker, so you can always email me for help, as well.

  46. I made this yesterday and it was so good! For some reason the dough didn’t rise much, but when baked it tasted almost like a biscuit. I loved the cornmeal too. The downside is that there were 4 of us so we remained a little hungry 😛 But I had apples lying around so i fixed it with a quick apple crumble.

  47. Hi! My dough didn’t rise and was hard so I tossed it and made a simple pizza dough – it came out great. Sauce was very yummy!

  48. I just made this pizza tonight and it was awesome! I lived in Chicago for one year and I miss the pizza. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  49. People and their, “This isn’t authentic because of cornmeal!” comments crack me up / make me roll my eyes. I’ve been looking at different deep dish recipes and it’s not just yours – it’s like this on all of them with cornmeal (which I love and use :))

    You go on with your cornmeal! 😀

    And happy holidays!

  50. So freaking good! Like so, so, so, so, so good! Love this! I live in Chicago and love this recipe more than Uno’s, Gino’s, Lou’s or Giordano’s. Don’t make it often since it’s quite a calorie splurge, but when I do my family savors it. Thank you for posting!

  51. Just found this today on Pinterest, we are trying it tonight. I have never been to Chicago and had the real deal. Has anybody ever been to “Zelda’s Original Gourment Pizza” in Sacramento? I was taken there about 25 years ago and it is different than any pizza I have ever had and absolutely the best! I moved from Sacramento to Southern CA and have tried every place that I see that “claims” to be Chicago style. Always disappointed. So it is with high hopes we are going to try your recipe.

    Thanks for posting and keeping the dream alive!

  52. You nailed it, this is great pizza! This is the closet I have ever tasted to Zelda’s Chicago style. Our crust was a little too thick but nothing that will not be adjusted the next time. Sauce was excellent too.

    Thank you,

  53. Hello! I came across this recipe when it was posted a long time ago, and made it and loved it. I have made it so many times over the years that, not only do I no longer even need a recipe, I’ve made several adaptations of my own over time. It’s my favorite! I recently started my own food blog, and just posted my version of your delicious pizza tonight. And now I’m stopping by to say thank you 🙂

Leave a Comment