Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Ooey. Gooey. Melty. Mozzarella Cheese

Juicy sausage.

Slowly roasted green peppers.

Piles of sliced mushrooms and caramelized onions.

And did I mention cheese?  Melty, irresistible, smothering cheese. 

New York’s got nothing on Chicago.

Today I’m going to teach you how to make the best Chicago style deep dish pizza. You might want to grab a napkin because you’re going to be drooling in a few minutes…..

There’s nothing like homemade pizza. Yes, it’s more time consuming than calling up your local pizza place you’ve got on speed dial but making your own every once in a while is such a treat! And its really a lot easier than you might think.

Here we go!

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

(Adapted from Emeril Lagasse)


For the Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 teaspoons to grease bowl
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
For the Toppings:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • green bell pepper, cored and cut into thin rings
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 cup thinly sliced black olives
  • 1 pound crumbled hot Italian sausage, cooked
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
*Feel free to add or subtract any of these topping to your pizza. You can make it your own, that’s the best part! I ended up making ours half sausage and vegetable and half just cheese, delicious any way you make it!


Lets start the dough!

1. First we need to activate the yeast. In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the semolina, 1/2 cup of the oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.

Notice the stretch marks in the dough. The whole point of this kneading is to create gluten. You know when the dough is ready when the stretch marks pull like a rubber band and do not break right away as easily.

*Wondering why we add oil to the pizza dough? Its because fats hinder the formation of gluten and that’s what helps create a softer (and more delicious!) pizza dough.

4. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Divide into 2 equal portions.

While the dough is rising make the sauce.

For the Sauce:

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 cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Assemble the Pizza:

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

2. Oil 2 seasoned 12-inch round deep-dish pizza pans with the extra-virgin olive oil. Press 1 piece of dough into each pan, pressing to the edge and stretching about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies.

3. Top each with half of the pepperoni, mushrooms, bell pepper rings, onions, black olives and sausage. Ladle the sauce evenly over each pizza and top with Parmesan.

3. Bake until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve hot.

No leftovers at my house!


  1. this looks delicious!! I would love this for lunch like right now :) love all the pictures too!

  2. Ooooh yum!! This looks oozy gooey and delicious!!

  3. Ooooh, yum! Looks amazing :) I’ve had deep dish pizza only a few times, but how divine!

  4. YES this looks delicious! Although I love super thin crusts, I also enjoy a good deep-dish pizza every now in then. There’s extra room to stuff with delicious toppings. It’s like pizza pie. Yum!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      I love thin crust too (that’s what I usually order)! But every once in a while a deep dish pizza is sooooo good, especially homemade dough.. yum!

  5. Hi I have awarded you a very special prize :D
    Come to this link to check it out:

    Congrats :)
    Choc Chip Uru

    P.S This is one of the most amazing homemade pizza recipes – though it isn’t veg, I am still drooling :P

    • Whipped Baking says:

      You are such a sweetheart! I just checked out your blog, I’m so flattered! Glad you liked my pizza recipe too! I also made a thin crust veggie pizza that day that I didn’t post and it was just as good! I’ll put it up for you too :) Thanks so much again!!

  6. Ooooooo YUMMMmm! This looks so good and home-made dough is the best, always tastes better!! :D Great tutorial!

  7. Deep dish is my crust pick each and every time I have pizza! Yours does look amazing, especially with all those goodies on top. Delicious post!

  8. Wow this looks so delicious!!! Love your recipe! :)

  9. Chicago-style pizza is the best! I am not surprised there weren’t any leftovers. :)

    Pizza dough has been on my “to make” list for way too long. This may happen at my house this weekend!

  10. Wow is this ever scrumptious, my dinner not looking quite so good anymore tonight… I am craving pizza now :)

  11. mmm. I’ve only had Chicago-style pizza once and I loved it! I bet your recipe was fantastic!

  12. i love chicago style deep dish pizzas, esp coz of all the cheesy goodness thats inside! this looks scrumptious!!

  13. It really looks irresistible! Your step by step pictures are wonderful! I am your new follower :-D

  14. Wow! That pizza looks amazing. Do you deliver? We like to make home-made, but we usually make thin crust. We’ll have to try Chicago style. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I was in Chicago earlier this week and now I am so upset I didn’t get any pizza. This looks amazing. I guess I just have to go make it myself. I wanted to let you know that I left you an award over at my blog today. Have a great weekend!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Sorry you missed out on pizza while you were in town, you’ve definitely got to try it next time you’re in Chicago! And I just checked out your blog, you are so sweet!! Thank you so much for thinking of me, I am so flattered and excited! Hope you have a great weekend too :)

  16. I’m from Chicago and that actually looks like bonafide Chicago-style deep dish pizza. You definitely hit the bulls’ eye with that recipe. Wow.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Thanks so much! Same here, and my family’s really picky about their Chicago Style pizza, its one of our favorites!

  17. I love this type of pizza, so much that I bought commercial pans for baking! I have never tried this particular recipe, but it does look tasty. I am sure there would not be leftovers here either-delicious pizza post!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      I usually bake my deep dish pizza in a 19×13 glass baking dish, I was so excited to finally buy my own pizza pan! The pizza crust turned out so much better with it. So glad you liked my post!

  18. That. Looks. Amazing. I had Chicago style pizza for the first time last year when I visited Chicago for the first time (which by they way is the most awesomest city). We went to Gino’s East and I loved it. Since we really don’t have such a wonderful pizza here in the South, I’m definitely keeping this recipe in my recipe box! Thanks for sharing.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Aw I’m so glad you got to go to Gino’s! That’s classic chicago deep dish :) So glad you liked my recipe, let me know if you try it out!

  19. So much better-looking than delivery pizza! Melted cheese and bread–how can you go wrong? And I agree, I need some serious crust to my pizza.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Agreed! The thick crust is the best part! I always get in trouble because I rip all of the crust off the pizza before anyone else gets to it :)

  20. omg…can i come to your house, PLEASEE. Even though you don`t have any leftover…LOL DROOL-WORTHY!!

  21. Michael agrees with you. He hates NY pizza. He is a fan of deep dish.

    I love you but…eh not me. I love me some thin crust NY style pizza!

  22. I’ve made this recipe before, and it is incredible. Go Chicago! I have had trouble with the dough being a bit dry after baking however. Any tips?