This homemade Deep Dish Pizza is cooked in a cast iron skillet to give you a thick crust that is chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. Topped with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings, this is a quick and easy version of the Chicago classic.
Easy Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
This Deep Dish Pizza recipe is perfect for any pizza lovers out there who either can’t get their hands on Chicago-style pizza in their area or just want to try a simple version at home. It is baked in a cast iron skillet that has been liberally greased with olive oil which ends up almost frying the dough in the oven. The result is a pizza crust that is both chewy and crisp with loads of flavor.
A true Chicago-style cast iron pan pizza recipe will involve a special dough with cornmeal and butter laminated into it which tastes amazing but takes time. For this recipe, we stuck with our regular pizza dough to keep things simple. We promise you won’t be disappointed! My family loves pepperoni so that is our usual go-to topping, but feel free to try this Deep Dish Pizza recipe with any and all of your favorites.
Ingredients in This Cast Iron Pan Pizza Recipe
Homemade Pizza Dough
- Flour - we use all-purpose flour but you can also use bread flour.
- Salt - salt is important for the flavor and for the structure of any bread, so don’t forget to add it!
- Water - warm water is best because it helps to wake up your yeast. It should be between 95-110 degrees F.
- Yeast - we use active dry yeast in this recipe, which needs to be proofed. (check out our Homemade White Bread recipe for more info on activating yeast). If you use instant yeast, you can skip the proofing step and just mix the pizza dough together, knead and then let rise.
- Sugar - we use regular granulated sugar, but you could also substitute honey.
- Oil - this recipe calls for olive oil, but you could substitute avocado oil or any other cooking oil that you’d like.
Deep Dish Pizza Toppings
- Olive Oil - you’ll need a couple tablespoons of cooking oil to completely coat the inside of your cast iron skillet before adding the pizza dough. You could also use melted butter to give it more flavor.
- Pizza Sauce - you can use your favorite brand of pizza sauce, tomato sauce, or marinara sauce. Or, make your own homemade pizza sauce using our favorite recipe.
- Mozzarella Cheese - you can use pre-shredded or shred your own.
- Toppings - you can use pepperoni, Italian sausage, sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers or just keep things easy cheesy!
How to Make Deep Dish Pizza
- Make the dough. Make your Homemade Pizza Dough. If you are making the dough ahead of time, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. Otherwise, cover the bowl with a towel or plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
- Stretch the dough. Add 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil to a 14" cast iron skillet or deep dish pizza pan. Lightly flour your hands, then stretch and shape your dough into the bottom of the pan. If it begins to resist, let the dough relax for a couple of minutes and then continue.
- Add the sauce and toppings. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough evenly, leaving about 1" around the edge. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and add any of your favorite toppings.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 20-22 minutes, or until the bottom of the pizza is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
A cast iron skillet is the key to getting the crispy outer layer to the deep dish pizza crust. However, you could also use a similarly sized round cake pan or even bake the pizzas in 2 smaller round cake pans.
This recipe makes a quick and easy homemade version of Deep Dish Pizza. If you want to go true Chicago style, you’ll want to add about ½ cup of yellow cornmeal into your pizza dough. Either use a smaller skiller or use 1 ½ times the amount of dough, then press into your skillet and make sure it covers at least 1” up the sides. Add your cheese first, then your toppings and then your pizza sauce. Bake as directed, although the bake time may be slightly longer. Voila!
Yes! If you’d like, go ahead and make the dough, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge overnight. The next day, while preheating the oven, pull it from the fridge for at least 30 minutes before stretching and shaping into your cast iron skillet.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store leftovers either wrapped in foil or inside an airtight container.
- To reheat: if you're in a rush, you can microwave leftover Deep Dish Pizza for about 30 seconds on high. If you want to retain that crisp but chewy crust, it's best to reheat in a preheated 350-degree oven on a baking sheet until warm.
Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
Deep Dish Pizza Dough
- 1 cup Water warm (95-110 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil for cast iron pan
- 1 cup Pizza Sauce
- 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 cup Toppings pepperoni, sausage, veggies or
To Make the Pizza Dough
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast and mix well. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy and bubbly.
- Once your yeast has “proofed,” add the olive oil, salt and about 1 ½ cups of flour. Using a paddle or dough hook, mix until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Add in the rest of the flour, about a ¼ cup at a time just until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
- Mix on low speed for another 1-2 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a ball.
- If you are making the dough ahead, wrap it tightly and store in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Building and Baking Deep Dish Pizza
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil to a 14" cast iron skillet or deep dish pizza pan. Stretch and shape your dough into the bottom of the pan. If it begins to resist, let the dough relax for a couple of minutes and then continue.
- Spread the pizza sauce over the dough evenly, leaving about 1" around the edge. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and any of your favorite toppings.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes, or until the bottom and edges are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
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This Deep Dish Pizza recipe is a quick and easy version of the Chicago-style classic. It's cooked in a cast iron skillet, giving it a thick and tender crust with a crispy outside.