Chicago-Style Pizza (can be vegetarian)

Everybody has an opinion how the perfect pizza is supposed to taste like. There are huge fights about the pizza dough, the thickness, the crust, the amount of cheese, the toppings. I know. I am not getting into that. I am simply going to introduce you to a pizza which is more like a pie. And since I like pie, I was excited to try this one. Deep-dish pizza is another term for this pizza. Because you need a springform. You will put so much cheese and tomato sauce onto it that the regular circle simply doesn’t cut it. Chicago style pizza is my new favorite. It starts with a very buttery dough, which is then sprinkled with mozzarella cheese (yes, the cheese goes on the bottom), then comes some chorizo (if you like it to be non-vegetarian) and then lots and lots of tomato sauce. Let’s have a closer look at each layer:



The dough: Yes, this is a yeast dough, but it really doesn’t take that much time to prepare. Don’t be scared of yeast. As long as you make sure that yeast stays warm and there is no breeze or cold wind, it will be happy. The dough contains corn flour (Maismehl) and makes it extra soft and tasty. But the real kicker is the butter you spread on the rolled out dough before you let it rise in the fridge again. Makes the dough super puffy and delicious.


Here I didn’t push down the rim of the dough yet.

Lot’s and lot’s of mozzarella cheese: Do I need to say more? A heaping 200 grams of it per pizza. If you are as excited about cheese as me. Check if you can find grated mozzarella. Most of the grocery stores have it. I found mine in Sky and I’ve spotted it also in Rewe. And yes, you do put the cheese at the bottom. Because, let’s face it, of course there is going to be another layer of cheese on the top!


Chorizo slices: Gives this pizza some spice. Obviously feel free to either omit this layer if you are vegetarian or replace it with bacon, salami or anything else you like on your pizza. Maybe mushrooms are another option.

Homemade tomato sauce: Surprisingly easy to prepare and so much worth it. Now, if you are anything like me, you like a lot of tomato sauce. I mean a lot. This pizza is a pie with tomato filling! This is why Chicago style pizza is so much better than regular pizza because you can go crazy with the sauce. My recipe below will create a really thick layer of tomato sauce. If you are going to make a pizza like pie, you need to make it worth your while. At least that’s my opinion.

This is half of the tomato sauce ready for use. It is rather thick.
Push down the dough gently and form a nice rim once you added the tomato sauce.

Parmesan: Yes, this one has two types of cheese. Because there can never be too much cheese. Never! You actually add it much later to the pizza so it doesn’t get burned. So good!

And now let’s get our teeth into this deliciousness!

Chicago style deep dish pizza

  • Servings: two 24 cm ∅ springforms, so two pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

For all the tomato sauce and cheese lovers, this pizza is the best!

Credit: Slightly adapted from Sally’s baking addiction


Dough part (makes two pizzas)

  • 60 grams of butter + 60 grams of butter (Butter)
  • 450 – 500 grams of all-purpose flour (Mehl, Type 405 oder 550)
  • 40 grams of corn flour (Maismehl)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (Salz)
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar (weißer Zucker)
  • 1 standard package yeast (Päckchen Trockenhefe)
  • 300 milliliters of lukewarm water (lauwarmes Wasser)

Toppings (makes two pizzas)

  • 2 tablespoons of butter (Butter)
  • 1 small onion (kleine Zwiebel)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (Salz)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano (getrockneter Oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (scharfes Chillipulver)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil (getrocktneter Basilikum)
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves (Knoblauchzehen)
  • 1000 – 1200 milliliters of canned and crushed tomatos (crushed Dosentomaten, am besten ohne weitere Zusätze oder Zutaten, zum Beispiel von Cirio im Glas)
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar (weißer Zucker)
  • 400 grams of mozzarella (Mozzarella)
  • Chorizo, salami, etc. to your liking (Chorizoaufschnitt, Salami, usw. nach Belieben)
  • 50 – 100 grams of Parmesan (Parmesan nach Belieben)


Dough part

  1. Melt 60 grams of butter either on the stove or in the microwave and place in fridge afterwards. Keep the other 60 grams at room temperature for later on.
  2. Put flours, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl and mix a little.
  3. Add the water and cooled-off butter. Make sure that water and butter are not too hot or too cold so that the yeast is happy. If you can’t touch the butter or water with your hands, it is definitely too hot. Everything should be OK to touch.
  4. First mix with a wooden spoon or your hands and then knead (kneten) for a few minutes. I like to do this inside the bowl.
  5. The dough should feel soft, but not stick to your fingers. If it is too soft, add some more flour. If it feels hard and unelastic, add more water and knead a little more. In total you should knead with your hands for at least five minutes.
  6. Divide dough into two equal parts and form into balls.
  7. Place the two balls back into the bowl and cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Keep in a warm place and let rise for an hour or when double in size. Resting time 1 hour.
  8. Take dough out again and roll each ball into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin (Nudelholz).
  9. Spread the other 60 grams of soft butter on both rectangles. Roll up the rectangles lengthwise.
  10. Form these long rolls into balls again and put back in the bowl, cover with the towl and put in the fridge for another hour. Resting time 1 hour.

Tomato sauce

  1. While the dough is in the fridge, start with the tomato sauce. First melt the butter in a large frying pan.
  2. Cut onion in very small pieces or grind it, crush the garlic and put both into the melted butter.
  3. Once onions and garlic is browned, add the salt and spices and let fry for another minute. Add the tomato sauce and sugar and let thicken on medium heat. This takes between 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your frying pan. The consistency should be that of a rather thick sauce you typically put on pizza. Let cool off.

Assembling the pizza and baking it

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Take out the dough, knead again for 30 seconds and then roll into large circles (see visual). Make each circle much bigger than your springform since you want the dough to also cover the sides of your springform.
  3. Coat each springpan with some olive oil and then place the rolled-out dough into each. Trim it so that it covers the bottom and sides fully (see visual).
  4. First sprinkle the mozzarella on the bottom, 200 grams per springform.
  5. Then place the chorizo on top.
  6. The tomato sauce comes last.
  7. I usually push down the rim of the dough as the dough tends to shrink. See visual above how to make sure the dough covers the tomato sauce nicely.
  8. Bake for about 18 minutes, reduce heat to 180 degrees.
  9. Take out pizza, sprinkle with parmesan to your liking and bake between 5-10 more minutes until dough is golden, parmesan nicely melted and tomato sauce looks perfect.
  10. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.



  • The dough can easily be made a day or two in advance. Keep it in the fridge in plastic wrap and simply continue with step 1 of assembling and baking the pizza once you are ready.
  • One springform serves about 3 people. So the recipe is for about 6-7 people, depending how hungry they are.
  • I don’t recommend to freeze after baking. You may want to freeze after assembling the pizza, but I haven’t tried that. If you do so, let me know how it turns out.

7 thoughts on “Chicago-Style Pizza (can be vegetarian)

  1. mareen | chocolate & clouds

    Mhh, pizza is always a good idea and chicago style deep dish pizza is a great variation to regular pizza. Haven’t had one in ages though. Totally forgot about its existence. Thanks for the reminder. Totally going to add it to my meal plan next week.


  2. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss

    I live in New Jersey, very close to New York City where those people are very particular about their slices of pizza. Thankfully, I love any and all kinds of pizza because it’s all DELICIOUS! I’ve never made my own Chicago style, but I have been to the restaurant Uno and I’m sure that doesn’t do Chicago style nearly as much justice as this homemade beauty. I’m pinning this tasty pie for later!


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