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5 from 2 votes

Chicago Style Skillet Pizza

Using a skillet and a hot oven gives this Chicago Style pizza a crispy crust layered with pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and sausage.
Prep Time1 hr
Crust rising and resting time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time5 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Chicago style pizza, PIZZA, pizza sauce
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Jurga

Special Equipment

  • 12" cast iron skillet
  • Pizza scissors or pizza cutting wheel
  • Large cutting board
  • Kitchenaid mixer or sturdy mixing spoon


Ingredients for pizza dough

  • 4 ounces warm water, ~105℉
  • teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil , or corn oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil, for coating the pan
  • Corn meal, for dusting the pan

Ingredients for pizza sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil, or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • 1- 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes, I like San Marzano

Ingredients for toppings

  • 2- 8 ounce packages sliced low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese, about 22 thin slices
  • ½ pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed and pressed thin
  • 5 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni, I like Boar's Head
  • cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional
  • Fresh basil, sliced (optional)

Optional toppings

  • Sauteed chopped green peppers, onions or sliced mushrooms, see Gr8 notes, drain off excess moisture


Instructions for making pizza dough

  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and set aside until bubbles form. At least 10 minutes.
  • Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl (bowl of a KitchenAid mixer if using).
  • Add the water and yeast mixture to the flour and salt and mix for a few minutes to incorporate the ingredients.
  • STAND MIXER - Add the oil and using the dough hook mix thoroughly until a ball of dough is formed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use the #2 setting and knead for about 5 minutes. Then turn onto a floured surface and knead by hand for another 5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • BY HAND - Add the oil and use your sturdy spoon to mix thoroughly until a ball of dough is formed. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for another 10 minutes or until dough is soft and smooth. If the dough appears too dry, add a bit more water.
  • Clean out the same bowl and lightly grease the bottom and sides with olive oil.
  • Place the dough in the greased bowl and turn over to coat.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm place for approximately 3 hours or until nearly doubled in size.

Instructions for making pizza sauce

  • Saute onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and saute a few more minutes until softened. Make sure the garlic doesn't burn.
  • Add the salt, oregano and pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently for one minute. Add the fresh basil and continue to cook for one or two more minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat to low, season to taste.
  • Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To assemble and bake the pizza

  • Preheat oven to 425℉.
  • Using a wad of paper towels, coat the bottom and sides of the skillet with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Start with a few tablespoons and start to sprinkle enough corn meal around the bottom and sides of the pan to completely cover it. This will prevent the pizza from sticking to the pan when removing it.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and place onto a very lightly oiled surface and knead the dough for a minute or two until smooth.
  • Place the dough in the center of the skillet.
  • Using the palm of your hand or your fingers, press the dough down into a large flat disc stretching it out until you have covered most of the bottom of the pan. Working wth your fingers, keep pressing the dough in the pan until it completely covers the bottom of the pan and half way up the sides. Sometimes the dough likes to spring away from the sides. That is totally normal. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Repeat the process until the dough stays in place. Cover with the same towel and let it sit in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove the towel and prick the entire crust lightly with the tines of a fork. Parbake the crust for no longer than 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and start the assembly of the pizza.
  • Layer one package of the thinly sliced cheese over the crust overlapping each slice leaving a ½-inch edge around the perimeter. Layer the second package of cheese over the first layer.
  • Press the sausage in a very thin layer and add it on top of the cheese all the way around. No need to precook the sausage as it will cook through in the high heat.
  • Layer the pepperoni slices on top of the sausage.
    Pizza being prepared in a skillet layering sausage and pepperoni.
  • Add the sauce on top of the pepperoni.
  • Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top (optional).
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pizza starts to slightly bubble and the crust is golden brown. Oven temperatures vary so you may want to check the pizza at 35 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Slide the pizza out of the pan onto a large cutting board.
  • Let the pizza rest for a few more minutes before slicing.
  • Garnish with fresh basil before serving (optional).


Gr8 Notes:

  • Both the sauce and pizza dough can be made the day before. After the initial rise of the dough, place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to assemble the pizza, remove the dough from the bowl, cover with plastic and leave it out for at least  30-45 minutes to warm up to room temperature before using it. 
  • The sauce should be stored in a sealed container. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  • For the toppings, if adding mushrooms, onions and green peppers, sauté the vegetables in a little olive oil over medium heat until just cooked through. Cover the pan with a lid or wax paper and turn off the heat. Sweating the vegetables under a cover will help maintain the identity of the vegetables without burning them. Drain off the excess moisture before placing on your pizza. Layer over the pepperoni then top with the sauce.
  • It is not recommended to cut the pizza in the pan as it can scratch the pan. Once you have removed the pizza onto the cutting board it stays hot.
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