Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza


This deep-dish pizza recipe features a unique buttery cornmeal crust. Home cooks will find it more forgiving than its New York counterpart. No need to worry about having the hottest oven or too many toppings — just make sure your sauce is very thick and flavorful! I garnished mine with parsley and more Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
1 12-inch pizza



  • 1 ⅓ cups warm water

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup melted butter

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine salt

  • ½ cup cornmeal

  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, or as needed, divided

  • 4 cups pizza sauce, or to taste

Fillings and Toppings:

  • 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese

  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 4 ounces shredded part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella cheese

  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Make the dough: Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sprinkle in yeast and let dissolve, about 10 minutes. Add olive oil, melted butter, sugar, salt, cornmeal, and most of the flour, in that order. Knead, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides and adding more flour as needed, until smooth and elastic.

  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead in extra flour if needed. Roll into a ball and transfer to a bowl greased with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Cover with a plate and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.

  3. While the dough is rising, simmer pizza sauce in a pot over low heat until very thick, 60 to 90 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  5. Poke dough to deflate and turn out onto your work surface. Press and stretch out dough into a round shape 3 to 4 inches larger than a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Brush the skillet with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place dough into the skillet; stretch and pull to evenly distribute it over the bottom and sides.

  6. Apply fillings and toppings in order as follows: Lay provolone cheese over the bottom of the crust. Scatter fresh mozzarella over provolone, then add Italian sausage and firm mozzarella. Ladle pizza sauce generously over top. Grate Parmesan cheese over pizza sauce, then fold the crust edges in towards the center to seal in the sides. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over crust and center of pizza.

  7. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until crust sounds hollow when tapped and pizza is beautifully browned, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

    close up view of a slice of Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza on a white plate
    Chef John

Chef's Notes:

Instant and rapid-rise yeast both work in this recipe.

Two ounces of Parmesan cheese is equal to about 1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Feel free to make a double batch of my pizza sauce for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

613 Calories
32g Fat
53g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 613
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 42%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 1487mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 416mg 32%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 215mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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