Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza Muffins


Put down the fork and knife… here's a Chicago deep-dish pizza that you can actually eat by holding it in your hands! A beautiful golden crust contains a meaty, cheesy, saucy filling with Italian sausage, sweet peppers, and 3 types of cheese. The sauce and cheese char slightly on the outside as they bake, resulting in a super savory taste.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
12 muffins

We've all heard the old saying, "if you don't like something, try a much smaller version of it." And I don't think there's a better example than these Chicago deep-dish pizza "muffins." Okay, so that's not really an old saying, but maybe it should be, since this fun-size version has changed how I feel about CDDP.

I'm not one of these lunatic New Yorkers who has a visceral hatred for deep-dish pizza, but it's generally not something I crave, or seek out. If I'm in Chicago, and you're buying, I'd happily join you for a nice slice, or wedge, or slab, or whatever you people call it, but let's just say it wouldn't be my first choice.

Besides the superior texture, the perfect crust-to-filling ratio, and that you can hold them in your hand like real pizza, what I like so much about these, is that we can do lots of different ingredient combinations in the same pan. Do you love sausage, but your better half would prefer mushrooms and peppers instead? With this easy and fun technique, that's easily do-able. But no matter how diverse you make yours, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 (16 ounce) package cold, prepared pizza dough

  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, diced

  • ¾ cup cooked, crumbled Italian sausage

  • ½ cup cooked, diced sweet peppers

  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated

  • ½ cup prepared pizza sauce

  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Generously grease a 12-cup standard muffin pan with 2 teaspoons oil.

  2. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Pick it up from the edges to make sure it's not stuck to the surface, then cut out twelve 4-inch circles. Reroll the dough to cut all 12 circles if necessary.

  3. Place each circle into a prepared muffin cup, making sure it's centered. Press and push dough up the sides of the cups, getting close to, but not all the way up to the top. When all circles have been placed in the muffin pan, go around one more time to push and press on each one.

  4. Put 1 tablespoon provolone cheese into each cup, followed by 1 tablespoon cooked sausage and 2 teaspoons cooked peppers. Lightly press on the fillings to compress, then top with 1 rounded tablespoon mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons pizza sauce, pushing the sauce down gently into the fillings; it's okay that the fillings will be slightly higher than the pan. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese generously over top.

  5. Bake in the upper center of the preheated oven until the tops are beautifully browned, 30 to 35 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Go around the edge of each muffin with a knife, then use a fork or small spatula to remove from the pan.

  7. Let cool on a rack for a few minutes, then garnish with parsley and serve.

    pizza muffins on a round black plate
    Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza Muffins. Chef John

Chef's Notes:

These muffins require a well-oiled pan to guarantee they won't stick.

Make sure the dough is cold since it will make it easier to work with and prevent it from rising too soon. Try the dough from my Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza recipe. Half a batch will be enough for this recipe, or use the whole batch and double this for 24 muffins.

Any of your favorite pizza ingredients will work in this recipe. Just don't use fresh mozzarella cheese as it's too moist. Use your favorite pizza sauce, or try my Homemade Pizza Sauce!

You can make these ahead for a party. After Step 6, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Before your party, pop them on a sheet pan and put them in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

194 Calories
8g Fat
20g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 194
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 532mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 10g
Potassium 43mg 1%

* 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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