Featured Image - Recipe for Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

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Here’s my take on Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza, loaded with three types of meat, a mix of vegetables, and lots of cheese, stuffed between two flavorful crusts. This pizza is massive and perfect for a large family gathering. 

Sliced and Ready to Eat - Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

(Post modified with new photos on 3/11/24.)

I first tried Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at a family-owned pizzeria in Gunnison, Colorado called Mario’s Pizza. Whenever we drive out that way on vacation, we always make a point of eating there.

This recipe uses a lot of ingredients and takes some effort, but the results are AMAZING! The trick to making this pizza at home is to build it in layers and include an abundance of cheese–more than 2 pounds. Plus, it makes two extra-large pizzas (or one mega pizza), plenty for a family gathering. Trust me, your kids will love you for making this for them. 

Using a 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet and a 9-inch Springform Pan

When I prepare this recipe, I use my 12-inch cast iron skillet and a 9″ springform pan. If you have a 15-inch pan that is at least 1 1/2-inches tall, you could just make one very large pizza. That’s what I would do if I had one. In fact, LloydPans makes a lovely pre-seasoned pan that is the perfect size for a Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza. (See link in the recipe below.)  Excuse me for a moment while I add that to my Christmas wish-list!

Slice Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza into 8 Pieces

One difference between this stuffed pizza and my other pizza recipes is the addition of BUTTER. This pizza has a lot of butter. It’s loaded with it. But I believe that’s one of the reasons it is so delicious!

 

More Pizza Recipes to Enjoy

 

Ingredients for Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Crust

  • all-purpose flour
  • 00 pizzeria flour
  • yellow cornmeal
  • instant yeast
  • kosher salt
  • warm water
  • melted butter
  • Extra Virgin olive oil

Sauce

  • plum tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • granulated sugar
  • Italian herb seasoning

Filling

  • mild Italian sausage
  • green bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • sweet onion
  • black olives, optional
  • melted butter
  • olive oil
  • provolone cheese
  • Canadian bacon
  • pepperoni
  • mozzarella
  • fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • olive oil for drizzling on top

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients to Make the Dough

Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Ingredients for Pizza Filling

Using a Chef’s knife and cutting board, chop the bell peppers, sweet onions, and mushrooms. You may also add sliced black olives to this list. Mince the garlic. Place vegetables in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Slice the provolone and mozzarella cheese. Note that all the cheese is sliced and not shredded.

Grate fresh parmesan with a fine-edged zester, to use when serving the pizza.

 

Make the Dough

Mix Dry Dough Ingredients in a Large Mixing Bowl

To make the pizza dough, mix together the all-purpose flour, 00 flour, yellow cornmeal, instant  yeast, and kosher salt.

If you’re unable to find 00 flour, you may use all-purpose instead. 00 stands for Double Zero or doppio flour, which is a finely ground Italian flour. It can sometimes be hard to find, even when shopping online. I’ve tried King Arthur’s Italian Flour, but have to admit that I like Antimo Caputo 00 Pizzeria Flour better. It really turns out a fabulous dough to work with. And so flavorful. I highly recommend using it.

Add Water, Melted Butter, and Olive Oil -Knead to Make a Firm Dough

Add warm water, melted butter, and extra-virgin olive oil to the flour. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix the ingredients together, then knead for 4-5 minutes, to make a firm smooth dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Let rise until double, about an hour.

 

Prepare the Red Sauce

Preheat the oven to 450° F. While the dough is rising, go ahead and make the sauce. Some people prefer an uncooked sauce, but I like to simmer mine until it becomes thick and rich.

Mix Ingredients to Make Red Sauce

If using plum or whole tomatoes, hand crush them in a large bowl. For best results, use a quality tomato product such as Cento. You may also buy crushed tomatoes, which will yield more sauce for the pizza.

Place tomatoes in a medium saucepan. Add in the minced garlic, granulated sugar, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has reduced to a nice thickened sauce, stirring occasionally.

 

Cook the Meat and Vegetables

While the sauce is simmering, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet. When browned, transfer the meat to a bowl or plate.

Add to the skillet the chopped green bell pepper, mushrooms, sweet onion, and black olives. There should be plenty of oil, but if necessary, add in a bit more olive oil. Sauté until tender. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the pizza.

I normally use raw vegetables when making pizza, but for this recipe, I like for them to be sauteed. 

Stuff the Pizza – Bottom Layers

Now comes the fun part! In a small bowl, melt 3 tablespoons butter and then stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grease both pizza pans with a thin layer of this butter mixture.

As mentioned earlier, when making this recipe, I use a large 12″ cast iron skillet, and a 9″ springform pan. You could also use a 15″ pizza pan with at least 1.5″ sides.

Divide the dough into thirds. Stretch the first two pieces of dough to make large circles that fit each pan. Lay one 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. You want the dough to go as near to the top as possible. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Coat the dough with a thin layer of butter/oil mixture.

Begin Layering with Provolone Cheese

Next, begin layering the toppings, starting with the provolone cheese slices.

Layer Canadian Bacon, Italian Sausage, and Sauteed Vegetables - Follow by Layering Pepperoni and Mozzarella Cheese

Then the Canadian Bacon, followed by the Italian sausage and sauteed vegetables. After that, layer on the slices of pepperoni. Top the pepperoni with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

 

Finish with the Top Layer

Add Fresh Mozzarella to Top Crust

Divide the third piece of dough in half and roll each into an 1/8″ thin circle to fit the top of each pan. Place the rolled dough over the mozzarella cheese layer in each pan. Press the dough into the sides of the first crust. Pinch the dough together to seal, using a bit of cold water, if necessary.

Coat this layer of dough with a thin layer of the butter/oil mixture. Poke a few holes in this top crust to allow steam to escape while baking.

Use a pair of kitchen shears or a knife to poke the holes. 

Spoon Red Sauce on Top of Each Pizza

Add the final layer of cheese (fresh mozzarella) on top of this crust and then spoon the red sauce over the cheese.

 

Bake and Serve Pizza

Bake Stuffed Pizza Until Crust is Dark Golden Brown and Cheesy Sauce is Bubbly

Place both pans of pizza on a lower oven rack, and bake in preheated oven until the crust is a dark golden brown and the cheesy sauce is bubbly, approximately 35-45 minutes.

Cut Each Pizza into 8 Slices

Remove pizza from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Carefully transfer each pizza to a serving tray. Cut each pizza into 8 slices.

Slice Each Stuffed Pizza into 8 Pieces

If desired, drizzle the top of each pizza with extra-virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan.

As mentioned before, this Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza serves a lot! 2 large pizzas will serve 10-12 people.

See more Pizza Recipes Here. Browse more Italian Recipes Here. 

 

Featured Image - Recipe for Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

Here’s my take on Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza, loaded with three types of meat, a mix of vegetables, and lots of cheese, stuffed between two flavorful crusts. This pizza is massive and perfect for a large family gathering. 
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Serving Size 12

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

Crust

Sauce

  • 32 oz plum or crushed tomatoes (hand crushed)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning

Filling

  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage (remove from casings and brown)
  • 1 cup green bell peppers (chopped)
  • 1 cup button mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 cup sweet onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup black olives (sliced, optional)
  • 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)

Instructions

  • To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a Chef's knife and cutting board, chop the bell peppers and mushrooms. Dice the onions. Slice the black olives, if using. Mince the garlic. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Slice the provolone and mozzarella cheese.

Make the Dough

  • To make the pizza dough, mix together the all-purpose flour, 00 flour, yellow cornmeal, instant yeast, and kosher salt. (If unable to find 00 flour, you may use all-purpose in its place.)
  • Add warm water, melted butter, and extra-virgin olive oil to the flour. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix the ingredients together, then and knead for 4-5 minutes, to make a smooth crust.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Let rise until double, about an hour.

Prepare the Sauce and Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 450° F. While the dough is rising, go ahead and make the sauce. Some people prefer an uncooked sauce, but I like to simmer mine until it becomes thick and rich.
  • If using plum or whole tomatoes, hand crush them in a large bowl. You may also buy crushed tomatoes, which will yield more sauce for the pizza.
  • Place tomatoes in a medium saucepan. Add in the minced garlic, granulated sugar, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has reduced to a nice thickened sauce, stirring occasionally.

Cook the Meat and Vegetables

  • While the sauce is simmering, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet. When browned, transfer the meat to a bowl or plate.
  • Add to the skillet, the chopped green bell pepper, mushrooms, sweet onion, and black olives. There should be plenty of oil, but if necessary, add in a bit more olive oil. Sauté until tender. Set aside until you’re ready to fill the pizza.

Assemble the Pizza - Bottom Layer

  • Prepare the pizza pans. In a small bowl, melt 3 tablespoons butter and then stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Using a pastry brush, grease the bottom and sides of both pans with a thin layer of this butter mixture.
  • Divide the dough into thirds. Stretch the first two pieces of dough to make large circles that fit each pan. Lay one 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. You want the dough to go as near to the top as possible. Repeat with the second pan.
  • Coat the dough with a thin layer of butter/oil mixture.
  • Next, begin layering the toppings, starting with the provolone cheese slices. Then the Canadian Bacon followed by the Italian sausage and sauteed vegetables.
  • After that, layer on the slices of pepperoni. Top the pepperoni with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Top Layer

  • Divide the third piece of dough in half and roll each into an 1/8″ thin circle to fit the top of each pan. Place the rolled dough over the mozzarella cheese layer in each pan. Press the dough into the sides of the first crust. Pinch the dough together to seal, using a bit of cold water, if necessary.
  • Coat this layer of dough with a thin layer of butter/oil mixture. Poke a few holes in this top crust to allow steam to escape while baking. Use a pair of kitchen shears or a knife to poke the holes.
  • Add the final layer of cheese (fresh mozzarella) on top of this crust and then spoon the red sauce over the cheese, smoothing to the sides of each pan.

Bake and Serve Pizza

  • Place both pans of pizza on lower oven rack, and bake in preheated oven until crust is dark golden brown and the cheesy sauce is bubbly, approximately 35-45 minutes.
  • Remove pizza from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Carefully transfer each pizza to a serving tray. Cut each pizza into 8 slices.
  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the top of pizza, along with freshly grated Parmesan.
  • Makes 2 pizzas and will serve 10-12 people.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter on this recipe site is salted.

Nutrition

Calories: 817kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1813mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1056IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 587mg | Iron: 4mg

 

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yes, Yes, Yes! We really enjoyed this pizza and the next time I’ll pile in other favorite ingredients. Thanks, Deb. 🙂

    1. Ah yes! Glad you tried the pizza and enjoyed it. I think it’s about time for me to make this recipe again, too! So yummy!