The Ultimate Guide to Deep Dish Pizza: Origins, Recipes, and Where to Find the Best


Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the unique characteristics and origins of deep dish pizza.
  • Learn how to make classic deep dish pizza with a step-by-step recipe guide.
  • Discover the differences between deep dish pizza and other pizza styles.
  • Explore top eateries famous for authentic deep dish pizzas in the United States.
  • Get insights on how to choose the right ingredients and tools for the perfect deep dish pizza.


Deep dish pizza, a culinary icon of Chicago, has won the hearts of food lovers worldwide with its unique thick crust and rich, layered toppings. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the origins of deep dish pizza, how it differs from other styles, and where you can taste the most authentic pies. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious foodie, understanding the intricacies of deep dish pizza will enhance your culinary experiences and appreciation for this beloved dish.

Chapter 1: The Origins of Deep Dish Pizza

The story of deep dish pizza begins in 1943 in Chicago, when it was first served at Pizzeria Uno. Created by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, the idea was to make a pizza that was a meal in itself, deviating from the traditional, thinner Neapolitan style. Unlike other pizzas, deep dish is characterized by a thick crust that lines a deep pan up the sides, allowing for copious amounts of cheese and toppings, covered with a chunky tomato sauce. This inverted order of ingredients helps prevent the cheese from burning during the longer baking times and creates a distinctive, hearty pizza.

Chapter 2: Crafting the Perfect Deep Dish Pizza

Ingredients Selection

Key to an authentic deep dish pizza is the selection of fresh and suitable ingredients. Begin with the crust; the dough should be rich in butter (or oil) to provide its characteristic flaky texture when baked. The cheese is typically mozzarella, laid directly on the dough. For toppings, sausage, pepperoni, and vegetables are common, but the authentic Chicago-style is often simple with chunky tomato sauce topping it off, sometimes seasoned with a sprinkle of Parmesan and herbs.

The Step-by-Step Recipe

To make a basic deep dish pizza, start by greasing a deep round pan with olive oil and pressing the dough along the bottom and up the sides. Layer slices of mozzarella cheese directly on the dough, followed by your chosen toppings. Pour over the tomato sauce, making sure to cover all ingredients. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and crisp. Let it set for a few minutes before serving to allow the layers to firm up.

Chapter 3: Deep Dish Pizza vs. Other Pizzas

Deep dish pizza stands apart in the world of pizzas due to its construction and cooking style. While New York-style pizzas are thin and flexible, Sicilian pies are thick but airy, and Neapolitan pizzas are light with a bubbly crust, deep dish is robust, densely layered, and decidedly more fork-and-knife fare. This section compares these styles in terms of ingredients, cooking methods, and serving, explaining why each has its own set of aficionados.

Chapter 4: Where to Find the Best Deep Dish Pizzas

Chicago remains the mecca of deep dish pizza, with establishments such as Pizzeria Uno (now a chain), Lou Malnati’s, and Giordano’s leading the charge in serving classic pies. Outside Chicago, many pizzerias across America now offer their take on deep dish pizzas, attesting to its widespread popularity.

Chapter 5: Expert Tips for Homemade Deep Dish Pizza

Creating the perfect deep dish pizza at home requires patience and attention to detail. Key tips include letting the dough proof properly to ensure it is not too dense, selecting the highest quality cheese for melting, and not skimping on the sauce. Also, consider investing in a good quality cast-iron pan for even heat distribution and a consistently crispy crust.


Deep dish pizza is more than just a casual dining option; it’s a rich, filling meal that epitomizes Chicago’s contribution to American culinary culture. Whether you choose to visit a famed pizzeria or bake your own at home, each bite of this lush, cheesy wonder is sure to be a delightfully indulgent experience.

deep dish pizza