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.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

35 mins
30 mins
15 mins
1 hr 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!


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

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

194 calories; fat 7.8g; cholesterol 17.5mg; sodium 532.3mg; carbohydrates 19.7g; protein 10.3g. Full Nutrition


Rating: 4 stars
Great concept and a perfect appetizer for football gatherings or other events! I made it exactly as written and the only thing I would change next time would be to brush some olive oil on BOTH sides of the dough and bake those for about 5-7 minutes before adding the other ingredients. This will give the “crust” a little crunch which is just my personal preference. Will definitely make again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was a big hit with the whole family and we were able to tailor it for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
These were great with Chef John's pizza sauce and dough, of course. If I didn't have to share I would have eaten all twelve... Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Perfect. I had some GF pizza dough leftover do thought I’d try this. I used pre grated cheese. It was hard to get the dough near the top so I may cut the circles bigger than 4” next time. Read More