A Must Make on National Pizza Day, Vday or Any Day: Chicago Style Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza
If you only come to Chicago for the pizza, I totally get it and honestly, I don’t blame you! Pizza is life and there is nothing like a good cheesy, saucy deep dish pizza with an extra cripsy crust.
Chicago likes to be extra hence the extra dough, extra cheese, extra sauce and extra toppings. Whether you live in Chicago or you’ve never been and always wanted to, this Chicago Style Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza is for everyone, anyone and anywhere.
And that’s the best part, it can be handmade with love right in your own kitchen!
Making homemade pizza is one of my favorite meals to make, not only because of how rewarding and delicious it is in the end, but how fun it is to create! You can get creative with your toppings and customize your pizza how you would like, not to mention playing with the dough is just way too much fun. When you make homemade pizza you aren’t just making a meal, you also get to do a fun at home activity and hand make it with love.
This Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza can easily be made right in the comfort of your own home. I make this in a 12“ cast iron skillet. When baked, it gets crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. It’s topped with melty cheese that gets caramelized around the edges, fresh diced tomatoes, fresh sliced basil, a tangy homemade pizza sauce and savory pepperoni slices. Wow, can you say yum!? It’s so easy to make for a date night in, family game night/movie night or when you’re hosting. Once you make this it will become your new weeknight or weekend go to.
NOTES ABOUT THE DISH:
I use already made dough from Whole Foods. I highly recommend doing so. I know Trader Joe’s has their own dough and I am sure other grocery stores do as well. But, Whole Foods is my go to. It is perfectly portioned out for a 12” cast iron, the trader joe ones can be on the smaller side, if you opt to use that one you could more than likely get away with using a 10” cast iron Just be careful to not over do it with the cheese.
Let’s talk cheese. I love loading my pizza up with tons of cheese. But, if you are using a smaller cast iron you run the risk of it getting overly melty as the dough rises and cheese melts. It will over flowing creating a huge burning mess in your oven during the baking process. So, play it safe and use the bigger one in my opinion. Using the Whole Foods dough I have tested it both in a 10” and a 12” in and with their portion of dough its better to use the 12”.
This Pretty Plate homemade pizza sauce is to die for! It’s so savory, slightly sweet and so scrumptious! Do not skip out on the sauce. Sauce can make or break pizza sometimes and this is beyond easy to make, it will be well worth it.
Toppings: you do you boo! I love getting creative with the toppings. This time I opted for just cheese, tomato, basil and pepperoni. But, feel free to customize as you see fit and have fun with it!
Serves 4+, INGREDIENTS: For the Chicago Style Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza
1 tub/package of pizza dough (whole foods refrigerated section, it typically is located where the remade sandwiches and packed sides are in the store.)
2-4 TBSP olive oil (I honestly do not measure this out. I coat the bottom of the cast iron with enough olive oil so every inch is covered and is glistening)
Italian seasoning - This is hands down the best italian herb blend that i’ve had
3/4 Lb. Pepperoni, (Whole Foods, have them slice it from the deli), cut in thin slices
1-2 cups or more pizza cheese (sprinkle to your liking)
1 Fresh tomato, diced (sprinkle as much or as little on your pizza as you would like)
Fresh basil leaves, sliced (sprinkle as much or as little on your pizza as you would like)
** IMPORTANT: I used a 12” cast iron. Make sure it is big enough. If it is not big enough and you use too much cheese to will spill over and create a mess in your oven. **
INGREDIENTS: For the Homemade Pizza Sauce
1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 TBSP sugar
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/4 TSP pepper
Pour olive oil in your cast iron and swirl around. Using a basting brush, brush every inch of your cast iron.
Take your garlic powder and sprinkle over the olive oil in your cast iron. Sprinkle as much or as little as you would like. NOTE: the more the better because this will give the crust and the bottom of the pizza extra flavor.
Next, repeat but with the Italian seasoning. NOTE: the more the better because this will give the crust and the bottom of the pizza extra flavor.
Remove the dough from its packaging. Place in your oil and seasoned cast iron pan. Press down with your fingers and spread out. Spread out as much as you can so the whole pan is covered with dough and the bottom of the dough has been coated. Repeat the olive oil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning process with the top of the dough.
Cover your cast iron with foil and set aside to let rest and rise for 1 hour.
While your dough is resting, rising and marinating, make your pizza sauce.
To make your pizza sauce, combine all ingredients in one pot. Bring to a simmer and heat. Once hot, turn off and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to assemble pizza.
Chop your tomatoes, thinly slice your basil and slice your pepperoni. Place all in separate bowls and set aside until ready to assemble pizza. Place your cheese in another bowl and set aside as well.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Once the 1 hour is up and while your oven is preheating assemble your pizza.
Start by layering your cheese. NOTE: sprinkle as much or a little as you would like. But, the more cheese the better, especially on the outer edges because the cheese will get Caramelized when cooked. Makes for an extra tasty crust!
Next sprinkle your fresh diced tomatoes, followed by your fresh thinly sliced basil over the cheese.
Spoon your pizza sauce over the cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil. Spread evenly over the entire pizza.
Last, sprinkle your sliced pepperoni over the sauce.
When done layering, place in the oven and bake at 450 for 40 minutes. Make sure to check it every so often. You will know it‘s done when the dough is not flimsy and is golden and crispy.
When done, remove from heat. Let cool for 20 minutes or so. Serve right away with extra fresh basil, tomatoes and cheese. Save any extra in a air tight container.
PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED: