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Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza Recipe | Iconic Windy City Delight

Chicago Classic Deep Dish

Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure that takes you straight to the heart of Chicago’s food scene? Look no further! In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of flavors and textures as we explore the iconic Chicago Classic Deep Dish Recipe. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster of taste sensations and learn how to recreate this legendary dish right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Get your apron on and let’s get cooking!



As we delve into the delectable world of the Chicago Classic Deep Dish recipe, it’s only fitting that we uncover the fascinating history and love that have shaped this iconic dish. Like many culinary wonders, the story of the deep dish pizza is a blend of innovation, tradition, and a dash of Chicago’s unmistakable spirit.

In the Beginning: Birth of a Culinary Marvel

The origins of the deep dish pizza can be traced back to the bustling streets of Chicago in the mid-20th century. It was during this time that the city’s food scene was experiencing a transformation, as various culinary cultures converged to create a unique gastronomic identity. The deep dish pizza emerged as a response to the prevailing thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza that had already made its mark.

A Hearty Response to Cravings

Legend has it that the deep dish was first crafted in the 1940s by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, founders of Pizzeria Uno. Their goal was to offer a pizza experience that differed from the conventional thin and foldable slices. They envisioned a pizza that could satisfy heartier appetites, indulging in flavors without compromise.

Constructing the Culinary Masterpiece

With a culinary vision in mind, Sewell and Riccardo set to work on creating the deep dish masterpiece. The foundation of this creation was a sturdy and buttery crust that could stand up to the generous layers of toppings. This marked the beginning of the deep dish’s characteristic buttery and flaky crust, a hallmark of the recipe to this day.

The Rise to Fame

As Pizzeria Uno gained popularity, so did their signature deep dish pizza. Its unique and indulgent nature resonated with the hungry masses, leading to an explosion of interest in this novel take on pizza. Locals and visitors alike flocked to the pizzeria, eager to savor the layers of cheese, toppings, and rich tomato sauce that set the deep dish apart.

A Symbol of Chicago’s Culinary Identity

Over the years, the deep dish pizza became more than just a dish; it became a symbol of Chicago’s vibrant food culture. As the city’s food scene continued to evolve, the deep dish stood its ground, a testament to the city’s love for hearty and soul-satisfying fare. It wasn’t long before the dish gained recognition beyond Chicago’s borders, making its way onto menus around the world.

Continuing the Tradition: A Culinary Legacy

Today, the Chicago Classic Deep Dish recipe stands as a cherished culinary legacy, passed down through generations. Home cooks and professional chefs alike continue to recreate this iconic dish, adding their own twists and variations while staying true to the deep dish’s heartwarming essence.

A Slice of Love and Tradition

In conclusion, the history of the Chicago Classic Deep Dish recipe is a tale of culinary innovation, a hearty response to cravings, and a symbol of Chicago’s culinary identity. From its humble beginnings to its global fame, the deep dish pizza remains a testament to the power of love for food and the joy of sharing flavors that touch the heart. So, as you embark on your own deep dish journey, remember that each slice is a taste of history and a celebration of a culinary tradition that continues to bring joy to every palate it graces.


Preparation of Ingredients20 minutes
Making the Dough15 minutes
Dough Resting1 hour
Assembling the Layers10 minutes
Baking in the Oven25-30 minutes
Cooling Time10 minutes
TotalApproximately 2 hours and 20-25 minutes

Please note that the times provided are approximate and may vary based on individual cooking experience and equipment. Enjoy your deep dish adventure!


All-purpose flour1 ¼ cups
Yellow cornmeal¼ cup
Active dry yeast½ teaspoon
Warm water½ cup
Unsalted butter¼ cup (cut into cubes)
Sugar½ teaspoon
Salt½ teaspoon
Shredded mozzarella cheese1 ½ cups
Italian sausage½ cup (cooked and crumbled)
Sliced bell peppers½ cup
Sliced mushrooms¼ cup
Chopped onions¼ cup
Crushed tomatoes1 cup
Dried oregano1 teaspoon
Garlic powder½ teaspoon
Olive oil1 tablespoon
Fresh basil leavesFor garnish
Grated Parmesan cheeseFor topping

Please adjust the quantities based on your preferences and enjoy your delicious deep dish pizza!


Step 1: Preparation of Ingredients

Gather all the required ingredients and measure them out according to the quantities mentioned in the recipe.

Step 2: Making the Dough

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and active dry yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the cubed unsalted butter to the flour mixture. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Pour in the yeast mixture and gently knead until a dough forms.

Step 3: Dough Resting

  1. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

Step 4: Assembling the Layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Roll out the rested dough on a floured surface to fit a greased deep-dish pizza pan.
  3. Press the dough into the pan, ensuring it covers the bottom and sides evenly.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese over the dough.
  5. Spread the cooked and crumbled Italian sausage over the cheese layer.
  6. Arrange the sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, and chopped onions over the sausage.

Step 5: Building the Flavorful Tomato Blanket

  1. In a bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil.
  2. Spread the tomato mixture over the vegetable layer, ensuring even coverage.

Step 6: Baking in the Oven

  1. Place the deep-dish pizza in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Step 7: Cooling Time

  1. Once baked, remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Step 8: Garnishing and Serving

  1. Before serving, garnish the deep dish pizza with fresh basil leaves and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.
  2. Slice and serve your Chicago Classic Deep Dish pizza while it’s still warm and inviting.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationPer Serving
Serving Size1/4 of the pizza
CaloriesApproximately 450
Total Fat22g
Saturated Fat10g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates41g
Dietary Fiber3g

Please note that the nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on the specific brands of ingredients used and portion sizes. Adjustments can be made based on dietary needs and preferences. Enjoy your deep dish pizza while keeping your nutritional goals in mind!


  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to cheese and tomatoes. Fresh ingredients can make a significant difference in flavor.
  • Buttery Crust: When making the dough, ensure the butter is cold. Cold butter creates a flakier and more tender crust.
  • Yeasty Perfection: Make sure the yeast mixture is frothy before adding it to the flour. This ensures the dough rises properly.
  • Resting Time: Allow the dough to rest and rise adequately. This step contributes to the dough’s texture and flavor development.
  • Cheese Layer: Place a layer of cheese on the bottom of the crust. This creates a barrier between the crust and the toppings, preventing sogginess.
  • Even Distribution: When layering toppings, distribute them evenly to ensure every bite is packed with flavors.
  • Tomato Sauce: Strain the crushed tomatoes to remove excess liquid. This prevents the sauce from making the crust soggy.
  • Golden Brown Crust: Keep an eye on the pizza while baking. The crust should be golden brown, and the cheese should be bubbly and slightly browned.
  • Cooling Time: Allow the pizza to cool slightly before slicing. This prevents the toppings from sliding off when cutting.

Pros & Cons

✅ Hearty and Satisfying❌ Longer Preparation Time
✅ Bursting with Flavor❌ Higher Calorie Content
✅ Customizable Toppings❌ Rich and Indulgent
✅ Impressive Presentation❌ Requires Special Pan
✅ Perfect for Sharing❌ Potential Soggy Crust


And there you have it, an exciting journey through the world of the Chicago Classic Deep Dish recipe! From its humble beginnings to its rise as an iconic dish that embodies the heart and soul of Chicago’s culinary scene, the deep dish pizza is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored.

With its buttery and flaky crust, layers of gooey cheese, hearty toppings, and rich tomato sauce, this recipe promises a symphony of flavors and textures that will captivate your taste buds. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply craving a mouthwatering meal, the Chicago Classic Deep Dish has something to offer everyone.

The beauty of this recipe lies not only in its deliciousness but also in its versatility. You can customize the toppings to match your preferences and experiment with variations that suit your culinary imagination. It’s a dish that brings people together, creating moments of joy and connection around the dinner table.

So, why not roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on this culinary journey? Invite your loved ones to join you in the kitchen, and watch as the magic unfolds. With a little patience and a lot of heart, you’ll be rewarded with a deep dish masterpiece that’s worth every moment spent.

Remember, cooking is an art, and each dish is a canvas waiting to be painted with flavors and memories. So, take a leap, channel your inner chef, and create a Chicago Classic Deep Dish that’s uniquely yours. Your taste buds will thank you, and your kitchen will echo with the joy of a delicious triumph. Happy cooking! 🍕🎉


  • Fact 1: 🌆 Windy Beginnings
    • Did you know that the deep dish’s creation is often attributed to Chicago’s gusty winds? Legend has it that the hearty nature of the deep dish was inspired by the need for a pizza that wouldn’t flop over in the Windy City’s blustery weather. Talk about a pizza that can stand its ground!
  • Fact 2: 🎭 Theatrical Origins
    • The original deep dish pizzeria, Pizzeria Uno, was founded by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo in 1943. Interestingly, Ike Sewell was a former football player and not a trained chef. He brought his creativity to the kitchen, crafting the deep dish like a theatrical production, with each layer playing a role in the final masterpiece.
  • Fact 3: 🍅 A Tomato Blanket?
    • Ever wonder why the tomato sauce is on top of the toppings? It’s not a mistake! The original deep dish recipe actually calls for the tomato sauce to be spread on top to protect the delicate ingredients from the intense heat of the oven. It’s like tucking your pizza into a cozy tomato blanket.
  • Fact 4: 🏆 Pizza Hall of Fame
    • The Chicago Classic Deep Dish has earned its place of honor in the Culinary Hall of Fame. It was inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame in 2015, solidifying its status as a timeless culinary icon that continues to captivate taste buds around the world.
  • Fact 5: 🍽️ Deepest Deep Dish
    • The largest deep dish pizza ever made weighed a whopping 12,257 pounds! Created in 2018, this colossal creation measured 122 feet in diameter and was constructed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the state of Illinois. Now that’s taking “deep dish” to a whole new level!


Can I use pre-made pizza dough for the deep dish crust?

Yes, you can use pre-made pizza dough as a time-saving option. Just make sure it fits your deep-dish pan and follow the recipe steps accordingly.

Can I make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it?

Certainly! After the dough has risen, you can cover it tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before using it to make the deep dish.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover deep dish pizza?

Reheat slices in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp. Avoid using the microwave to maintain the crust’s texture.

Can I freeze the deep dish pizza for later?

Yes, you can freeze the unbaked deep dish. After assembling, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. When ready to enjoy, bake directly from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Is the Italian sausage necessary, or can I make a vegetarian version?

The Italian sausage adds a hearty flavor, but you can absolutely make a vegetarian version by omitting it or using plant-based alternatives like veggie crumbles.

Can I use a different type of cheese for the topping?

Absolutely! While mozzarella is classic, you can experiment with cheddar, provolone, or a cheese blend to create your preferred flavor profile.

What if I don’t have a deep-dish pizza pan?

If you don’t have a deep-dish pan, you can use a round cake pan or a cast-iron skillet as a substitute.

Can I make mini deep dish pizzas for individual servings?

Definitely! You can divide the dough and ingredients to make mini deep dish pizzas using muffin tins or small tart pans.

How do I prevent the crust from becoming soggy?

To prevent a soggy crust, ensure your tomato sauce isn’t too watery and layer cheese directly on the crust before adding wet toppings.

Can I use a gluten-free flour blend for the crust?

Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend for the crust to make the recipe gluten-free. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for substitution ratios.