Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in a Wood-Fired Oven

Rating: 4.00
By Dave
December 28, 2021

There is nothing quite like a Chicago style deep dish pizza, thick, chewy and upside down.

What Makes Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza So Amazing

What’s not to love about Chicago style deep dish pizza? First, it’s unconventional, at least to anyone who lives outside of Chicago. That’s because it assembled in a different order than non-Chicago style pizza. It goes crust, olive oil, cheese, toppings then sauce. Yep, the sauce is on top and that is a big part of what makes it so good.

The Crust

Chicago style deep dish pizza crust is unlike any other pizza crust. It’s thick, flaky, crunch, chewy and SO good. The dough has butter which makes is folded into the do much like a croissant. That makes it flaky with a buttery taste. It also has cornmeal which provide a ton of texture and crunch.

Rolling Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough
Rolling Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough
Placing Deep Dish Pizza Dough in Pan
Placing Deep Dish Pizza Dough in Pan

The Cheese

I’m a big fan of grated mozzarella mixed with a little asiago and some fontina on most pizzas. For a Chicago style deep dish pizza, I’m a purist. Shredded mozzarella is all I need. In fact, many Chicagoans believe mozzarella is the ONLY cheese that should ever go into a pizza.

Adding Cheese to Pizza
Adding Cheese to Pizza

The Toppings

I like pepperoni on a pizza, and I like to cut it myself on a meat slicer. First, I think it just taste fresher that way. Second, I can control the thickness of the slice. When I’m making a Neapolitan style pizza in a wood-burning oven, I need thicker pepperoni. Why? Because thin pepperoni cannot stand up to the 850˚ F heat, not even for 90 seconds. Whether you slice your pepperoni or not, or prefer some other topping, it goes on next. That’s right, toppings go on the cheese BELOW the sauce. Just keep building your pizza. It’s truly worth it.

Adding Pepperoni to Pizza
Adding Pepperoni to Pizza

The Sauce

The thick, flavorful sauce used on a Chicago style deep dish pizza is truly something special. I make a lot of pizza and most of the pizzas that I make use a this sauce with just a few ingredients, like San Marzano tomatoes and sea salt. That sauce is thin but works well for Neapolitan style pizza. A Chicago style pizza is entirely different. The sauce is part of the taste experience and it is typically thick and rich. The onion and garlic add flavor and texture while the spices and red pepper flakes at character and dimension. This sauce is so good you will want to eat it with a spoon. But save it for the top of the pizza.

Add a little parmesan, and your pizza and ready for the oven.

Adding Sauce to Pizza
Adding Sauce to Pizza
Chicago Pizza Cooking in Wood Fired Oven
Chicago Pizza Cooking in Wood Fired Oven
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Ready to Serve
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Ready to Serve

Some Similar Dishes

Here are some similar dishes to try:

Watch the video on YouTube

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in a Wood-Fired Oven

4 from 1 vote
Do you love Chicago style deep dish pizza? How about a Chicago style deep dish pizza in a wood burning oven? Honestly, you don't need a wood fired oven to make this. A conventional oven at 450 degrees works just fine.
Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins


Dough Ingredients

  • 12 grams fine sea salt
  • 300 ml water 95 degrees F
  • 17 grams instant dried yeast
  • 50 grams cornmeal
  • 57 grams unsalted butter 4 tbs, melted
  • 406 grams Caputo “00” Chef Flour or all purpose flour
  • 4 tbs olive oil

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 yellow onion small, minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned


  • 8 oz low-fat Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz Asiago cheese
  • 2 oz pepperoni sliced
  • 1 oz Pecorino Romano or Parmesan grated


  • Add the sea salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water and swirl around until dissolved. Add the yeast and wait 15 seconds. Swirl the mixture to dissolve the yeast. Add the cornmeal, melted butter and flour. Mix on a stand mixer using a dough hook on slow speed until the dough comes together, about 7 minutes. Scrape down the bowl several times while mixing. Coat the bottom of a large bowl with a little olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Rotate the dough several times to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for one hour.
    Preparing Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter melts. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the salt, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, garlic and sugar. Stir well. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir again. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
    Making Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Sauce
  • After the dough has rested, place the dough onto a clean countertop and roll into an 18 x 12″ rectangle. Spread the remaining softened butter over the dough. Starting at a short end roll the dough into a cylinder and place seam side down on the counter. Flatten the dough into a 4″ x 18″ rectangle. Turn the dough over seam side up. Roll the right 1/3 of the dough over the center then roll the left 1/3 of the dough over the center (in thirds). Turn the ball over again and roll on the countertop to tighten the dough ball. Make sure the seam on the bottom is sealed and pinch closed if necessary. Return the ball to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
    Rolling Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough
  • Coat the inside of a 12 inch deep dish pizza pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roll the dough ball into a 15 inch round disc on the countertop, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Place the pizza pan on top of the dough to make sure the size is right. The dough should extend an inch or so around the pizza pan. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared pizza pan. Unroll the dough and press into the pan making sure the corners are pushed down. There should be approximately 1 inch of dough rising up the side of the pan. Lightly brush the rim of the dough with a little olive oil. Spread the mozzarella and asiago cheese evenly over the dough though add pepperoni evenly on top of the cheese. Spoon the sauce over the pepperoni. Sprinkle the Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top of the sauce.
    Placing Deep Dish Pizza Dough in Pan
  • Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until golden brown. Let the pizza cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. This pizza reheats well. Just place a slice on a piece of foil in a 300 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
    Pizza in Wood Fired Oven



BBQ Tools & Supplies


Serving: 2sllicesCalories: 1088kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 44gFat: 59gSaturated Fat: 26gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 2456mgPotassium: 432mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1084IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 912mgIron: 6mg
Calories: 1088kcal
Cost: $8
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicago style deep dish pizza, chicago style pizza, deep dish pizza

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