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Deep Dish Chicago-Style Pizza

Deep Dish Chicago-Style Pizza

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Since Fridays around here mean pizza for dinner, I thought I’d show you what we might have for dinner on a day like this.

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style PizzaIt’s deep, baby.

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

If you’re gentle with the dough, you can roll it out between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and fit it into a prepared pan like so.

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

The press it into the sides of the pan.

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Then line the crust with slices of firm cheese (I used white cheddar and gruyère, since that’s what I had on hand), and whatever else you like (or nothing at all – I used cubed pancetta and chopped herbs).

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

Cover generously with tomato sauce and then a layer of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Gluten Free Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

This pizza crust recipe is adapted from the original Pizzeria Uno recipe for Deep Dish.

My version of Deep Dish Pizza Crust has cornmeal as an ingredient because it helps make the crust a little more sturdy and gives it the bite you want. The cornmeal does make the crust delicate and a bit unstable (kind of like me).  But it’s completely fine, nothing to worry about. Just do the best you can to get it into the pan, and then press it into shape.

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 4 individual pizzas


2 cups (280g) all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (33g) coarsely ground yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon (9 g) instant yeast

1 tablespoon (12g) sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons (56g) canola (or other neutral) oil

3/4 cup warm water (about 100°F)

1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


  • In a medium-size bowl or the bowl of your food processor, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt and stir or pulse to combine. To the flour mixture, add the 4 tablespoons of canola oil and the water in a steady stream, either pulsing in a food processor or mixing with a spoon to combine. If you are using a food processor, pulse while streaming in the water, until a ball begins to form. Otherwise, stir constantly while streaming in the water and continue stirring until the mixture begins to come together. If the dough seems super sticky, add some more flour a tablespoon at a time, and stir or pulse to combine. It will be moist, though. Press the dough into a disk.

  • Place the dough in another medium-size bowl and drizzle it with the olive oil. Turn the dough to coat it with oil. This will prevent a crust from forming on the dough while it is rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area to rise until it is about 1 1/2 times its original volume (about 1 hour). After the dough has risen, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until firm. This will make it easier to handle.

  • When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat your oven to 425°F. Grease well with canola oil a 12 inch round baking dish with sides that are at least 1 1/2 inches high. There are deep dish pizza pans (I have mini ones that are about 6 inches in diameter, and this recipe makes enough crust for 4 of them), but you can use a round cake pan or a spring form pan. Roll out the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper until it is about 1/4 inch thick.

  • Transfer the pizza dough to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides, leaving a small clean edge toward the top of the pan so there aren’t exposed edges that can burn easily during baking. The corn meal will have made the pizza dough harder to handle than traditional pizza dough, so don’t worry if you have a hard time getting the dough into the pan in one piece.

  • To assemble the pizza, use whatever ingredients you like. After you have pressed the dough into the pan, dot the bottom and sides of the crust with softened unsalted butter to give the crust that buttery taste you get when it is baked in a well-seasoned buttered cast iron skillet. Then layer in slices of cheese (provolone works really beautifully, but really any cheese that isn’t super soft will do just fine), then whatever else you like (sausage slices, pepperoni slices, pancetta cubes, sautéed vegetables, you get the idea), sprinkle in chopped fresh herbs {oregano and basil are really nice}, cover generously with tomato sauce and top with a thin layer of finely grated Parmesan cheese.Tent the pan with aluminum foil, and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake again until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and the crust is nicely browned (about another 10 minutes). Cool in the pan for at least 10 to 15 minutes. It should come right out of the pan. Serve right away.



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  • chris

    Amazing…beautiful…and going on the dinner list for this weekend :) *muah* love you and your blog!!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Chris,
      This is seriously so freaking tasty. I am really all hopped up on this one. I can’t stop thinking about this deep dish pizza, and really want to make one that is all mine and keep it a secret from the children. Don’t tell.

  • Jo Ann

    thank you so much for this recipe….I know what I’m making for dinner tonight. Can’t wait.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Jo Ann,
      Entirely my pleasure. I hope you enjoy it! If not, just let me know and I’ll finish it for you. :)

  • I LOVED those books! I want to be more like Pooh. And, your recipe looks delightful! Thank you!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Kelsey,
      I’m so excited that you know the books! Benjamin Hoff is so smart. I wish I could be as smart as he is. And as taoist as Pooh. :) I have always always always loved the Pooh characters, and these books helped me understand why they always seemed so meditative to me. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for posting ….

  • Julie

    This looks AWESOME! I can’t wait to try it either. I’ve missed a really good pizza. :)

    • Nicole

      Hi, Julie,
      I would love to know how it turns out. How long has it been since you have had good pizza?
      It’s also super simple to make regular crust pizza: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gf-pizza-dough/ I’ve been thinking I should repost that recipe soon, with a few step by step pictures to show how easy it is. :)

  • Anneke

    Just found the pan that I used years ago for deep dish pizza — can’t wait to try this one. (First I have to make more sauce. And then be home for dinner. Life is like that!) I’m sure this will be delicious! Thanks!

    • Nicole

      That’s awesome, Anneke!
      I love it when you can go ‘back to the future’ like that, and reclaim your pan — and your food!
      I wish you luck in getting home in time to make what you’d like. I would love to hear about how it all goes…
      Thanks for posting, always!

  • Bonnie Sue

    Can you just open up a restaurant PLEASE! This looks like the ultimate deep dish pizza. I will definitely be trying this recipe. This recipe actually looks quite easy to make. I’ll let ya know! P.S. Did I read that correctly that you are writing another book, recipe book? If so, I want to reserve my copy NOW! :)

    • Nicole

      Hi, Bonnie Sue,
      Aw, thanks. :) But you don’t need me to make this for you. Like you said, it’s easy to make yourself!
      Hopefully, I’m writing another cookbook. My agent and I are finalizing the proposal for another book right now, and I’ll let you know what happens when we submit it to the publisher! Consider your theoretical copy reserved. :)
      Thank you for posting!

    • Nicole

      That’s great Julie!

  • Don’t forget the spinach as an option in the deep-dish pizza! When I was first introduced to it in Chicago, our guide said, “People who hate spinach like spinach pizza, and people who like spinach LOVE spinach pizza.” I haven’t taken a poll, but I’m in the latter camp. I don’t think gf phylo dough is possible for spanikopita, but in lieu of gf phyllo dough, I’ll take gf deep-dish spinach pizza, please.

    I am protective of my time-commitment boundaries. I note the people who respect my limits, and the people who wheedle and beg. (I had to laugh when I found out my daughter related for show-and-tell the time that I closed the door on a couple of Comcast guys who were incredulous that I didn’t want to “save money.”) One way to stay centered is to choose my volunteer jobs before the jobs choose me.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Farida,
      Ooooh spinach deep dish. Yum. Good one. :)
      So what was your daughter showing and telling? You?!

  • Mary

    Hi Nicole,

    Will making the dough in my Kitchen Aid work? I don’t have a processor and I’m to lazy to mix it by hand.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Mary,
      Yes, definitely you can use your Kitchen Aid. And I like your style. :) Let us know how it turns out!

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  • Tiffanny

    I can’t get Better Batter locally … any thoughts on another flour blend that would work well?

    • Nicole

      Hi, Tiffany,
      I order Better Batter through their website. You can use any all-purpose gluten-free flour you like, except for the bean flours (like Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour) because it doesn’t not work the same at ALL. King Arthur Multi-Purpose gluten free flour is good (but expensive), and I understand that Gluten-Free Pantry’s all purpose gluten-free flour is good, too. I hope that helps!

  • Sheri

    Hi Nicole,
    Do you think this recipe could be frozen to make a freezer meal at a later date? If so, at what point would be best to stop? Thanks! LOVE the blog and have your cookbook! I bought that first before realizing there was a blog! I’m THRILLED to see the yummy recipes keep on coming!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Sheri,
      Welcome to the blog, and thank you for supporting us by buying the cookbook. :)
      Since this crust is a yeast dough, I would bake it before freezing it. I think it would freeze quite well, actually, after it is already made. Just bake it for the first 20 minutes, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then wrap it tightly and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for a bit if possible, and then finish baking it – uncovered – for the final 10 minutes that it takes to brown the crust. If it is not yet defrosted, I would even defrost it a bit in the microwave before baking it in the oven. Just be careful not to microwave it so long or at such a high temperature that you cook it in there. Then crisp/brown it in the hot oven.
      I hope that’s helpful, and I hope you’ll keep visiting me here on the blog. If you ever have a question about anything related to the book, just comment on the most recent blog post (even if it’s not related). I’ll answer speedy quick.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Susan

    Now I can eat pizza without regret.

    Thank you, thank you.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Susan,
      You’re very welcome. It sounds like maybe you thought that many familiar foods were out of your reach, and now you’re discovering that you really can have whatever you like — except gluten itself. It can be kind of overwhelming – or at least others sometimes experience it that way. Or maybe you’re just really happy! Either way, it’s my pleasure to help.
      xoxo Nicole

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  • Maryclaire Powell on Facebook

    No way! Does it work?

  • Are you kidding?! Of course it does, Maryclaire. They ate it at the @drsteveshow!

  • Yes please please spruce up old recipes. Especially ones that don’t have BB. I would love to see the oldies but goodies updated! =)

    • Hi, Mandy,
      Good to know. And … good idea!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anneke

    Absolutely give us some old recipes! The pictures are great, and the step-by-step directions are very helpful. On another topic, I made the brown bread this week (took me a few days to find the Teff) and my kids love it. Love. It. So much that their faces fell when I went back to making the sourdough yesterday. Guess I’ll be making two kinds of bread at once, now! We certainly eat it fast enough to make it worthwhile. Thanks for feeding us so well! Anneke

    • Hi, Anneke,
      How great that your kids love the healthy bread! I love it when that happens. They sound like my kids, though—protesting one type of homemade bread in favor of another. Such problems they have. ;)
      I’m glad you’re into my sprucing up some old recipes. Otherwise, they tend to get lost in the shuffle, and they’re not doing anyone any good…
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kristi

    Hi Nik, I LOVE that you are bringing out old recipes with pictures. Some of us weren’t gluten free last summer! I have the round USA cake pan (I know you are happy about that!) and I assume that would work. I am thinking that it would server a family of four? Where did you find your cute mini deep dishes?
    Bring on more from the archives! Revive those babies! They have felt neglected and unloved.

    • Hi, Kristi,
      Your USA Cake Pan will work great. It’s definitely enough for a family of 4. The deep dish pies are filling, especially if you put something else in there other than sauce and cheese.
      The mini deep dish pans were from Williams Sonoma. I tracked them down, and they’re no longer available according to the W-S website!
      Glad you’re interested in recipes from the archives! Makes me happy. :)
      xoxo Nik

      • Kristi

        Thanks Nikki. You mention a cast iron skillet. I might try that one time too.

        I heart deep dish. My favorite pie comes from Pizzeria Due (the brother of Uno, basically the same thing!). I like it with finely chopped broccoli, mushroom and sausage. It is unreal!

        Somewhere along the way I lost my deep dish pan.

        Thanks for posting this. I can’t wait to make it.

        • A well-buttered cast iron skillet is a great idea, Kristi. Just be sure that it’s well-seasoned, and that it is a pan you didn’t use before you went GF since cast iron never really gets completely clean. A round cake pan will work just fine, too. Enjoy. :)

          xo Nik

          • Kristi

            Wow, didn’t know that about the pan never really getting clean. Gulp. Better get a new pan. I don’t think I cooked anything glutenous in there but I don’t want to find out the hard way.

  • Michele

    Hi Nicole,
    I love your site and recipes. I am wondering if you’ve ever made pizza on the grill. I’m having friends over tomorrow & kinda would like to try it.. I’m afraid it will fall apart and then, I will cry.

    One more thing, I couldn’t comment on the Cinnamon Toast Crunch so Im doing it here. It is so good! I’m trying to focus on cleaning (due to tom nights guests…) however I can’t stop munching on the cereal.

    Thanks for reading!

    Still eating,

    • Hi, Michele,
      It won’t fall apart. Just use a pizza stone, and go with high heat for a short time and then check frequently.
      So glad you’re enjoying the Cinnamon Toast Crunch! That’s a personal favorite of mine. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sarah

    Saw this recipe this afternoon when I was looking up your crisp recipe, just had to make it (and had all the ingredients on hand). It was a breeze and came out so tasty! Thanks so much.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Sarah. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • PIZZA? GLUTEN FREE? Yes, please. This is one of my favorite meals, ev-ah :) :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  • Kristi

    Nik, Jordan is wondering about Churros. Any thoughts?
    You ROCK!

    • Hey, Kristi,
      Yup. Churros are in the queue. They’ll make it to the top one of these days :)
      xoxo Nik

  • lysa

    haha. Last night said to dh, “can you go to gf on a shoestring and find a pizza dough recipe for me?” yay for me this was on the front page! He made it while I bought cheese. It was good even with ice cream salt (because it’s kosher, dh reasoned) and baked in a 9×13 dish. we’ll definitely make this again. But with normal salt so I don’t have to pick huge salt chunks out of the crust.

    • Hi, Lysa,
      I love that you said that to your husband! Good to know that the recipe works well even in a 9×13 inch dish. Yeah, ice cream salt isn’t ideal. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

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