This easy deep dish pizza is filled with cheese and sausage and uses a quick and easy homemade dough, all cooked up in a cast iron skillet!
If you were to ask my husband, there would be no question that he would pick this as his favourite pizza. Oh sure, he eats my thin-crust prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula pizza and I think he likes it well enough. But this pizza - this is the one he really loves. I know that because he tells me that each and every time I make it.
I can hardly blame him. What's not to love? Layers of cheese, sausage and bacon, topped off with a great pizza sauce and Parmesan cheese. It's luscious, even to thin-crust, gourmet pizza loving people like me. Think of this one as an upside down pizza, as the cheese is on the bottom, followed by the meat and then topped with the sauce. While you may be tempted to put mozzarella on the top, trust me, a dusting of Parmesan is all you need, as there is plenty of cheese inside this one.
The crust on this one is different from my usual pizza crust. First, it has cornmeal in it, with gives it great flavour and texture. It cooks up to a crisp layer on the outside, but soft and a little more bread-like on the inside. As for the sauce, I generally use a good store-bought pizza sauce, but I've included a quick, homemade pizza sauce in the recipe card notes, if you need one.
This dough is also a nice quick-rise dough, so you don't need to start it far ahead. In fact, if you start an hour out, you can cook the sausage while the dough rises. Quickly assemble the pizza once the dough has risen for the hour and pop it in to the oven for 35-40 minutes. Once baked, this pizza is sturdy enough to be able to pop the whole thing nicely and easily out of the skillet and on to a cutting board.
Here are the simple ingredients you will need ...
- Active dry yeast
- All-purpose flour
- Olive oil
- Honey (or white sugar)
- Mozzarella cheese
- Hot or Mild Italian sausage
- Parmesan cheese
- Pizza sauce - store bought or homemade
- The amount of dough in the recipe below is perfect for a 10-inch top diameter skillet. If your skillet is larger, it will still work, but will be a little thinner, so cooking time may be a bit less.
- The crust on this deep dish pizza is a special, thick, almost bread-like crust, so it isn't your typical pizza dough. It's perfect with the hearty fillings and part of what makes this dish sliceable :) As such, while you could use a ready-made pizza dough in place of this one, it will cook and taste differently and may not hold up as well with all the fillings.
- Be sure to cut your mozzarella cheese in thick slices - 1/2 inch or so - to get the full, ooey-gooey, melted cheese experience. Likewise, cover the entire bottom of the pizza with cheese, for the best pizza experience :)
- If you'd like even more meat, add a layer of pepperoni slices or cooked, crumbled bacon above the sausage.
More Pizza Recipe You Might Like ...
Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza
For the dough:
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey or white sugar
For the pizza:
- 10 oz Mozzarella cheese cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
- 4 8-inch Hot or Mild Italian sausage links casing removed, crumbled and cooked
- 1/2 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping
- 2 cups pizza sauce store bought or see Note 1 below for optional homemade
- Combine the yeast and lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook, combine 1 cup of the flour and the cornmeal. Add the yeast mixture, olive oil and honey. Stir until moistened. Add more flour in small increments, until you achieve a soft dough that is neither too sticky or too stiff. Remove the dough to a well-oiled large bowl and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
- While dough is rising, cook your sausage. If your sausage is links in casing, cut a slit down the casing and remove the sausage from the casing. Discard casing. Cook sausage in a skillet, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon, until cooked and browned. Turn off heat under skillet and set aside until needed.
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease the bottom and sides of cast-iron frying pan with olive oil and lightly dust with additional cornmeal.
- When dough is ready, scrape onto a well-floured surface (dough will seem sticky at this point, but will be fine with the additional flour on the counter. With a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle a little bigger than the bottom of your skillet. If it's sticky, dust with more flour as needed. Transfer the dough to prepared cast-iron frying pan and press into bottom and up the sides about 2/3 of the way up. Cover the bottom of pizza completely with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked sausage. Top with all of the pizza sauce, spreading it to cover the sausage. Sprinkle the top generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. *You don't want your crust to extend too much higher than your filling, or the exposed part at the top will overcook. If it extends too high once your filling is in, push or crimp it down to closer to the level of your filling.
- Bake in pre-heated 425° F. oven for about 30 minutes. Check at 30 minutes. If crust is dark enough, cover loosely with a sheet of tinfoil and cook about 10 minutes longer, to be sure the crust is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully remove pizza to a cutting board and cut into pieces with a sharp knife.
Be sure to read the “Ingredient and Cook's Notes" (above the recipe card!), where I share more detailed tips, variations and substitution suggestions for this recipe!