Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza With Smoked Mozzarella


Deep-dish pizza has a famous reputation, and many hard-core Chicagoans will insist it can’t be replicated outside of their hometown. This recipe makes a good case for a homemade version to rival the original. The key is to use a butter-coated cast-iron skillet and then dusted with cornmeal, which makes for a crisp crust with rich flavor. Inside, the filling is standard but the seasoned diced tomatoes, instead of just sauce, add a modern twist. A welcome addition of smoked mozzarella and salty sheep’s milk pecorino Romano is a mix of new and expected. The next step to making it a home run experience is to get some craft beers and—if you’re really going for it—a Cubs cap or Bulls jersey.

Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
1 pizza (serves 4)


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon fine yellow cornmeal

  • 1 9-oz. ball Master Pizza Dough

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface

  • 4 ounces sliced deli mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup drained diced tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 3 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-size pieces

  • 2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lowest position. Brush bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter; sprinkle with cornmeal.

  2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Flatten dough using fingertips and palm, starting from the center and working toward the edge. With hands at 10 and 2 o’clock, lift dough and rotate, moving hands around the edge, letting dough stretch to an 11-inch round. Transfer to prepared skillet; cover with a dish towel. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Uncover and press dough into bottom and up sides of skillet. Arrange mozzarella slices over bottom of dough, overlapping if needed. Mix tomatoes, oil, oregano, salt, and garlic in a bowl; spoon over sliced mozzarella and top with smoked mozzarella.

  4. Bake until crust is golden brown and pulls away from sides of skillet, 30 to 35 minutes. Top with pecorino Romano. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

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