Stuffed Pizza

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: two 9" deep-dish double-crust pizzas

Recipe photo

This recipe is a project, no doubt about it. Homemade crust, slowly simmered sauce, even homemade sausage — all contribute to the pizza's wonderful marriage of flavors and textures. When time is a challenge, substitute store-bought bulk sausage, and 2 cups of your favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce from a jar. But please don't substitute a ready-made crust for this delightfully different homemade crust, featuring many of the same elements as Chicago deep-dish crust — with the addition of golden semolina.

Our thanks to Jess, a frequent visitor to our blog, for passing this recipe along.

Stuffed Pizza

star rating (35) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: two 9" deep-dish double-crust pizzas
Published: 04/26/2010



  • 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup semolina
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water*
  • *Use enough to make a smooth dough. You'll use less in the summer, or if you substitute all-purpose flour for the semolina; and more in the winter, or if you're in a dry climate.


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more for spicier sausage)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, coarsely grated; about 1/2 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 28-ounce can or 26-ounce aseptic box crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano; or 1 teaspoon Pizza Seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste*
  • *The amount will depend on the saltiness of the canned tomatoes. Under-salt a bit, as the sauce will cook down and the flavor intensify


  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, optional


  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, aged Asiago, or your favorite hard cheese
  • sliced pepperoni or anchovies, optional

Tips from our bakers

  • Want to substitute all-purpose flour for semolina? Go for it; reduce the water by a tablespoon or two.
  • Don't care for sausage or spinach? Stuff the pizza with whatever you like. Just make sure the ingredients are cooked, so that they don't exude juice into the crust. Four cups of sliced white button mushrooms, sautéed and cooled, are a nice addition; as is a combination of canned artichoke hearts and sliced black olives, both well-drained.


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1) To make the crust: Combine the dry ingredients and the oils and butter, mixing till crumbs form. Then add the water, and mix and knead — by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make an elastic, fairly stiff dough.

2) Place in a large, greased bowl; cover, and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour. For best flavor, after its initial 1-hour rise, refrigerate the dough for several hours, or for up to 24 hours. You can use the crust after its first 1-hour rise, but its flavor will improve with the longer, slower rise offered by refrigeration.

3) To make the sausage, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate overnight, for best flavor.

4) To make the sauce: sauté the coarsely grated onion in the butter till it's beginning to color.

5) Add the crushed garlic, and sauté for about 30 seconds.

6) Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, sugar, and salt, and simmer gently for up to 1 hour, to concentrate the flavors.

7) To assemble the pizza: Divide the dough into two pieces. One should be about three-quarters of the dough; the other, one-quarter. If you have a scale, one piece should weigh about 36 ounces; the other, about 13 ounces.

8) Divide each piece of dough in half again. Butter the bottom and sides of two 9" x 2"-deep round cake pans, then drizzle olive oil in the bottom of each.

9) Stretch, then roll one of the larger pieces of dough into a round large enough (about 15" to 16") to line the bottom and sides of one pan, with some overhang. Do the same with one of the smaller pieces of dough, rolling it to about 9" to 10". Cover the pieces of dough, and go away for 15 minutes. This will relax the dough's gluten, allowing you to handle it without it shrinking.

10) Once the first two pieces of dough are rolled and resting, repeat with the other two pieces, covering them till you're ready to use them.

11) After 15 minutes, place one of the larger pieces of dough in the pan, pressing it gently into the corners; you'll have some overhang.

12) Spread half the uncooked sausage over the crust, gently patting it flat.

13) Top with half the sliced mozzarella. Spread with half the spinach, or any additional filling of your choice.

14) Place the smaller piece of dough atop the filling. Fold over the overhanging edges of dough, and squeeze/crimp to seal. Poke holes all over the top crust, to allow steam to escape.

14) Repeat with the remaining dough and ingredients, making another 9" round pizza.

15) Preheat the oven to 425°F (with your pizza stone on a lower shelf, if you're using a stone). While the oven preheats, allow the pizza(s) to rest/rise, covered, for about 30 minutes.

16) Just before baking, top the pizzas with the sauce, and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

17) Bake the pizzas till the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

18) Remove the pizzas from the oven, and allow them to set for about 15 minutes. Loosen their edges, and gently turn them out of the pan onto a rack to cool. To do this, place a round cooling rack atop one pan, and turn the whole thing over. Lift off the pan, place a rack on the bottom of the pizza, and turn the whole thing over again, so the pizza is now right side up.

18) Serve warm, with a fork. Use a pair of scissors or baker's bench knife to cut wedges.

Yield: two 9" deep-dish pizzas, about 16 servings.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice (244g) Servings Per Batch: 16 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510 Calories from Fat: 220 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 1030mg Total Carbohydrate: 50g Dietary Fiber: 4g Sugars: 4g Protein: 24g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 02/01/2015
  • Danielle from near Cooperstown, NY
  • Great recipe...made on a snowy, cold weekend and this was perfect. Definitely a weekend project though! Delicious and impressive results. No spinach, but added peppers, onions,mushrooms and pepperoni along with the sausage for a "supreme". We are a small family and are going to try to freeze the second pie for a meal another time...
  • star rating 07/16/2014
  • lindataboada from KAF Community
  • Everytime I make this recipe, people are just blown away. It is THAT good! I add a little tomato paste and sugar to the sauce, but other than that THIS IS AMAZING!!! It takes a while to prepare - I usually make the dough one day and finish it up the next. However, it is SO worth the while!!!!
    You'll get the best flavor from your pizza crust by making it a day ahead and refrigerating it - then enjoy it the next day. Thanks for sharing your tips and your kudos! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 07/10/2014
  • Jeanette from Fremont, OH
  • This is sooo good! My husband says that it is the best this side of Chicago! It was time consuming, but it was worth the effort! I used peppers and onions as opposed to the spinach. Delicious!
  • star rating 01/25/2014
  • Claudia from Tucson
  • Wow!!!! The crust was so soft, not soggy at all. My family just gobbled it up. I have finally found a good deep dish pizza recipe.
  • star rating 01/18/2014
  • Janet from Montreal
  • Made this for dinner tonight...delicious. I am glad that I read some of the other comments the springform pan is a must for this and I cooked the sausage meat, although I will try and use it raw the next time. I used homemade tomato sauce that I had on hand, just added extra oregano and basil. It looked just like the picture on the website.
  • star rating 08/30/2013
  • Sara from UK
  • Tried this recipe out, turned out brilliant. kids loved it. Thanks
  • star rating 06/02/2013
  • julesverne1966 from KAF Community
  • Wonderful recipe - easy to make vegetarian and vegan variations. I used Gimme Lean Soy Sausage, roasted red peppers, carmelized onions, mushrooms, and Trader Joe's vegan shredded cheese. My family loved it and has already indicated it is one of their new favorites. I also used spring form pans to maximize the ease in removing from the pans.
  • star rating 02/09/2013
  • DeeDee from Perry Hall, MD
  • Simply delicious!! Worth the time and effort to prepare! It has quickly become a family favorite!!!
  • star rating 09/16/2012
  • set2586x from KAF Community
  • I lived in Chicago for many years and miss the great pizza. This pizza was delicious. I used semolina in the dough and didn't have any problems rolling it out. Next time I will try some different toppings.
  • star rating 08/06/2012
  • Shefali from KAF Community
  • This recipe was alot of work, but it was worth it. I made a vegetarian version (my Mom does not eat meat) and everyone LOVED it. I used leftover ratatouille to stuff it... :) anyway, it is a huge thing for my Mom to love something I make - my husband usually does but my Mom is pretty picky. For her to rave about it... wow! I also made it for friends for a dinner party, and they stuffed themselves and asked for the recipe. This is a keeper recipe. :)
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