Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza
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Here’s my take on Chicago-Style Stuffed pizza, a wonderful dish we ate at a family-owned pizzeria in Gunnison, Colorado called Mario’s Pizza. The trick here is lots of layers, and lots of cheese!
This pizza takes a lot of ingredients and some effort, but the results are AMAZING! Plus, it makes two giant pizzas, plenty for a family gathering. Trust me, your kids will love you for doing this!
Ingredients Needed to Make Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza
- all-purpose flour
- 00 pizzeria flour
- yellow cornmeal
- kosher salt
- instant yeast
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- melted butter
- lukewarm water
- plum tomatoes
- garlic cloves (4 of them)
- granulated sugar
- Italian herb seasoning
- mild Italian sausage
- green bell pepper
- sweet onion
- button mushrooms
- melted butter
- olive oil
- provolone cheese
- Canadian bacon
- fresh mozzarella
- olive oil for drizzling on top
Instructions for Making This Recipe
Begin with the Dough
To start, the difference between this stuffed pizza dough and my regular pizza dough is the addition of BUTTER. Yep, this pizza has lots of butter. It’s loaded with it. But I believe that’s one of the reasons it is so delicious!
Now, if you’re unable to find 00 Pizzeria Flour, you may use all-purpose in it’s place. But I highly recommend the 00 flour.
Use your Kitchen-Aid Mixer with the dough hook to knead this dough–or do it by hand. Then let it rise for an hour.
The Tomato Sauce
The sauce is pretty simple. Some people prefer a raw sauce that hasn’t been cooked. I like to simmer mine until it becomes thick and rich. Make your sauce while the dough is rising.
Now for the Good Stuff – The Filling
Again, while your dough is rising, work on your filling by browning the Italian sausage and sauteing the onion, pepper, and mushrooms. When finished, place these in a bowl until you’re ready to assemble the pizza.
Go ahead and slice your cheese. Then prepare your melted butter and olive oil in a small bowl. You’ll use this throughout the assembly process.
Stuffing the Pizza
Now comes the fun part! Once your dough is ready, roll it out to fit your pans. When I make this recipe, I like using my cast iron skillet along with my springform pan. Both worked equally well in the oven. And both allowed for easy removal of the pizza at the end. Just use a big pan that is 9-12 inches wide. If you have a gigantic skillet, you could just make one pizza, but it would be quite heavy to lift, I think.
Using the butter and olive oil mixture that you prepared, brush a thin layer along the bottom and sides of your pans. Remember how I told you this pizza has a lot of butter? Form the dough along the bottom and sides of your pans by carefully stretching it until it reaches the top of your pan.
Then brush the bottoms with more of that butter mixture.
Begin layering the filling in this order: Provolone cheese, Canadian Bacon, Sausage with vegetables, Pepperoni and then a layer of sliced mozzarella (not fresh).
After this comes the next layer of pizza dough. Press the dough into the dough at the sides of the pan, pinching it to seal. Now spread some more of your butter mixture over the dough. At this point, you’ll want to poke a few holes in the dough to help the steam escape.
To finish stuffing the pizza, layer your fresh mozzarella on this top piece of dough, followed by your sauce. Bake on bottom rack in your preheated oven until crust is brown and sauce is bubbly, 30-45 minutes. Allow your pizza to cool before serving. Top your pizza with freshly grated Parmesan.
As mentioned before, this Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza serves a lot! 2 large pizzas for 10-12 people.
Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza
- 28 oz plum tomatoes hand crushed
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage remove from casings and brown
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. provolone sliced
- 6 oz. Canadian bacon sliced
- 4 oz. pepperoni sliced
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese sliced
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle on top
- To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand. Prepare your ingredients. Chop the bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare the Crust
- To make the crust, mix together dough ingredients and knead for 6-7 minutes, to make a smooth crust. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Prepare the Sauce and Filling
- While the dough is rising, place the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has reduced to a nice thickened sauce, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is simmering, brown the sausage in a large skillet. Add the chopped green bell pepper, sweet onion, and mushrooms and saute until tender. Set aside until you're ready to fill the pizza.
Assemble the Pizza
- Prepare your pans (I used my large 12" cast iron skillet, and my 9" springform pan. They both worked well and I could not tell much difference between the two bottom crusts.) In a small bowl, melt 3 tablespoons butter and then stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grease both dishes with a thin layer of this butter mixture. Set butter aside as you will grease the crusts as you layer the pizza.
- Divide the dough into thirds. Stretch the first two pieces of dough to make as large of circles as you can to fit each pan. Lay each into a pan and stretch it toward the edges. Continue stretching the dough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. If necessary, allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes, to finish stretching up the sides of each pan.
Layer the Fillings
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat the dough with a thin layer of butter mixture. Begin layering the toppings, by adding the provolone cheese slices. Then the Canadian Bacon followed by the sausage and vegetables, and then the pepperoni. Top the meat with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Divide the third piece of dough in half and roll each into an 1/8" thin circle. Place each over the cheese layer in each pan. Press the dough into the sides of the first crust. Coat this layer of dough with a thin layer of butter mixture. Poke a few holes in this top crust to allow steam to escape while baking.
- Add the final layer of cheese (fresh mozzarella) on top of this crust and top with the sauce. Place pizza on bottom rack of oven, and bake for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from pans using metal spatulas and place on serving platter. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Cut each pizza into 8 slices. Makes two pizzas. Serves 8-10.