A Spicy Perspective

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza – It’s easy to make classic thick-crust pan pizza at home with a cast iron skillet. Use homemade or store-bought dough, load with your favorite toppings, bake, and enjoy!

slice of deep dish pizza on a plate with cast iron in the background

We love (like, really love) Chicago-style pizzas stuffed to the brim with savory goodies and lots of cheese.

Our classic crock pot version (you read that right) of this recipe has long been a reader favorite. It’s pretty great because the slow steaming makes the pizza crust super soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp around the edges.

However, this Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza recipe is faster to make, and just as tasty. Cooking the pizza in a cast iron skillet also creates ultra-crisp edges with a crunchy golden bottom.

top view baked chicago style pizza with parmesan cheese and parsley

Classic Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

We’re big fans of traditional Chicago pizza traditionally loaded with cheese and sausage on the bottom, and a thick tomato sauce on top. However, you can add any toppings you like to this cast iron pizza!

Feel free to include a variety of cooked meats (like pepperoni and ham), or make as a vegetarian pizza recipe with lots of chopped veggies. Or do a combo of both! Even an all-cheese pizza is terrific, if you prefer.

With readymade dough (homemade or store-bought) the Chicago deep-dish pizza recipe takes only about an hour to prepare and bake. So any night of the week is great for a family pizza party!

side view cast iron deep dish pizza with slice removed

Ingredients You Need

  • Olive oilor preferred neutral-tasting oil
  • Cornmealto keep the crust from sticking to the pan
  • Pizza doughhomemade or store bought
  • Butterunsalted
  • Onionchopped
  • Garlicminced
  • Crushed tomatoesunsalted
  • Italian seasoninghomemade or store bought
  • Granulated sugarto balance the savory and salty flavors
  • Salt
  • Italian pork sausagecooked
  • Italian cheese blendshredded
  • Parmesan cheesegrated
  • Fresh parsleychopped

This recipe includes an easy homemade tomato sauce. However, for faster prep you can use a chunky store-bought pizza sauce.

cast iron skillet dusted with cornmeal

How to Make Pizza in a Cast Iron Pan

First, set out a large 12-14 inch deep cast iron skillet. Brush the skillet with olive oil, then sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal. Flour a clean work surface and roll the pizza dough out into a circle, 2 inches wider than the bottom of the skillet. (So a 14-inch circle for a 12-inch skillet.)

Move the crust to the skillet and press the dough around the sides of the skillet. Let it rest while you make the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and move one rack to the lowest position.

Set a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and break it apart with a wooden spoon as it browns. Once cooked, turn off the heat and set aside. 

Make the pizza sauce: Set a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add the butter, chopped onion, and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Next, spread the shredded cheese in an even layer over the bottom of the pizza crust.

adding cheese to the dough

Cover the cheese with the cooked sausage. Gently pull the edges of the pizza crust up to create a rim around the fillings.

browned sausage on top of the cheese and dough

Then spread the chunky tomato sauce over the sausage.

Get the Complete (Printable) Cast Iron Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

tomato sauce on top of the sausage and cheese

Bake on the lowest rack for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden-brown. 

top view baked pizza with tomato sauce

Once out of the oven, sprinkle the top evenly with parmesan cheese and parsley.

Cut and serve warm.

side top view of baked deep dish chicago style pizza in a cast iron skillet

Suggestions for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Fillings and Toppings

Our favorite filling for the ‘za is browned sausage, but you can also use or add pepperoni, chopped ham, pieces of Canadian bacon, crispy crumbled bacon, cooked sliced chicken… Or just about any cooked protein you prefer!

If you want to include veggies like mushrooms, olives, or peppers, I suggest you cook them in the skillet along with your meat (if using) before adding to the pizza. If you add them raw they will release moisture into the filling and make the crust soggy.

These cooked vegetables can also be added to the top of the cast iron pizza after it bakes!

removing a slice of pizza from a cast iron skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this a vegetarian recipe?

Absolutely! Skip the sausage and instead saute your favorite chopped vegetables before adding to the Chicago-style pizza filling.

How do I make a gluten-free Chicago deep dish pizza?

Simply use your favorite store-bought or homemade GF-friendly pizza dough!

How long do leftovers last?

Leftover cast iron pizza will keep well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Let the leftovers cool completely before transferring to an airtight container or wrapping in plastic cling wrap. Pieces can be microwaved, but I highly suggest that you reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so.

slice of tomato pie with fork on a plate, bite of the pizza taken out

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Cast Iron Deep Dish Recipe (Chicago-Style!)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
It's easy to make classic thick crust Chicago style pan pizza at home with a cast iron skillet. Use homemade or store bought dough, load with your favorite toppings, bake and enjoy!
Servings: 6 pieces

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out a large 12-14 inch deep-dish cast iron skillet. Brush the skillet with olive oil, then sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal. Flour a clean work surface and roll the pizza dough out into a circle, 2 inches wider than the bottom of the skillet. (So a 14-inch circle for a 12 inch skillet.) Move the crust to the skillet and press the dough around the sides of the skillet. Let it rest while you make the sauce.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Move one rack to the lowest position.
  • Set a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and break it apart with a wooden spoon as it browns. Once cooked, turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Set a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add the butter, chopped onion, and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Spread the shredded cheese in an even layer over the bottom of the pizza crust. Cover the cheese with the cooked sausage. Gently pull the edges of the pizza crust up the create a rim around the fillings. Then spread the chunky tomato sauce over the sausage.
  • Bake on the lowest rack for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden-brown.
  • Once out of the oven, sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and parsley. Cut and serve.

Video

Notes

We love our homemade pizza dough, but the store-bought refrigerated dough balls (usually found in the deli section) work great as well! You can also use the frozen dough balls in the freezer section. Just be sure to thaw them in the fridge overnight the day before using.
Feel free to swap out the toppings, or just skip the sausage for a vegetarian version.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 684kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 1775mg, Potassium: 615mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 623IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 192mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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5 comments on “Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza”

  1. Hi, Sommer The recipe of Classic Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza seems easy to make. I will try it definitely this wekend for my family and going to surprise them.:)

  2. This deep dish pizza is the literal best! I love it so much – thank you! 

  3. I don’t think I can make regular pizza again! Thick & tasty, my family loves it!

  4. I always love finding delicious recipes for my cast iron. This pizza turned out great and is my go to when I am missing Chicago and want some deep dish pizza!

  5. LOVE real Chicago style pizza! The deep dish is FANTASTIC! My late mother-in-law always like to save the crust of her deep dish pizzas to enjoy later with soup. :)