Chicago deep pan pizza

From Cookipedia

The inspiration for this recipe came from Julia's I believe I Can Fry recipe blog. For me though, the essential deep pan Chicago pizza comes not from Tortuga's but from Bob M. Payton's 300 seat 'Chicago Pizza Pie Factory', deep-down in the basement, in a corner of London's Hanover Square. It would have been in 1980-something, when mobile phones were the size of car batteries and the Internet was unknown.

In those days the queues would reach all the way down the stairs to a 'boxing-ring', where you would stand and take your pre-meal drinks. The Chicago Pizza Pie Factory was a forerunner of Hard-Rock style themed restaurants. Loud rock music played and big screens showed American sports. The decor of the place was authentic Chicago Americana and the food was fantastic with super-slick service that used a really clever idea - A flashing neon sign: 'My Kinda Town'. The flickering letter would indicate to the waitresses which table area of the huge restaurant had food ready to be served.

Bob died in the mid 90's and I believe the restaurant closed around that time too. I notice that a restaurant of the same name exists in Dublin. I would be interested to see if it bears any resemblance to the original.

This was absolutely fantastic and nothing like as difficult as you might think. Thanks for the inspiration Julia - I believe you can!

Chicago deep pan pizza
Sorry Julia, for stealing the fork idea!
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:477
Ready in:1 hour, 25 minutes
Prep. time:40 minutes
Cook time:45 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:23rd December 2013

Best recipe review

Oh, I so miss this place


38 years ago, Chicago Pizza Pie Factory was the place to be. We used to queue for hours to get in. This is a pretty close approximation to 'the real thing'!

Paul R Smith

How to ensure a crispy base

Having made these deep pan pizzas many, many times, I've found that sometimes it's hard to get the base well cooked without burning the rest of the pizza dough. I've found the best way is to use a metal-based pan, similar to a baking tray. The metal base gets hot enough to crisp the base properly. I have a cast iron rectangular Le Creuset baking tray that is absolutely ideal. It seems a shame as it will mean I'll never use my earthenware deep pan pizza dish again!

A chicken and sweetcorn deep pan pizza version, cooked in a Le Creuset pan


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

Mise en place

  • Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F - gas 5), [fan oven 170° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins]
  • Remove the sausagemeat from the sausages and discard the skins
  • Make the pizza dough as instructed


  1. Sauté the onions, mushrooms and the chorizo sausagemeat in a pan for for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked and any liquid has evapourated. There should be enough fat from the sausages not to need any oil.
  2. Spray or lightly oil a deep 25cm (10") pizza dish or pan
  3. Roll out 2/3rds of the dough to about 3mm and line a pan so the dough just overlaps the edges and trim any excess
  4. Sprinkle the base with the Cheddar cheese
  5. Add the mushrooms and chorizo
  6. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan cheese
  7. Roll out the remaining pizza dough to make a lid
  8. Pinch the lid so it joins the base and make a few slashed in the top for steam to escape
  9. Mix another third of the Parmesan cheese with the herbs and spices and mix into the tomatoes
  10. Spread the tomato mixture over the top of the dough
  11. Top with crumbled mozzarella and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese
  12. Bake for 45 minutes, resting a sheet of tin-foil on top of the pizza for the final 10 minutes
  13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving

Serving suggestions

Serve with a green salad

Recipe source

Inspired by:

  • - now inactive
  • The Chicago Pizza Pie Factory
  • The 1980's!

Chef's notes

Julia's original used Italian sausage which I can't get on this snowy winter's day so I've used minced chorizo instead.

If you don't have garlic powder then just crush a few peeled cloves of garlic and sauté them in a little oil for a few minutes, just to take the 'edge' off.

If you have the time, when sauteeing the onions, etc., you can add back the drained tomato juice little by little and boil it off to create a more intense flavour. Just ensure the mixture is not too wet before you bake the pizza.

See also

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