This deep-dish pizza recipe features a unique buttery cornmeal crust. Home cooks will find it more forgiving than its New York counterpart. No need to worry about having the hottest oven or too many toppings — just make sure your sauce is very thick and flavorful! I garnished mine with parsley and more Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time: 35 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Additional Time: 1 hr 20 mins

Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 ⅓ cups warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine salt
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, or as needed, divided
  • 4 cups pizza sauce, or to taste

Fillings and Toppings:

  • 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 ounces shredded part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Make the dough: Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sprinkle in yeast and let dissolve, about 10 minutes. Add olive oil, melted butter, sugar, salt, cornmeal, and most of the flour, in that order. Knead, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides and adding more flour as needed, until smooth and elastic.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead in extra flour if needed. Roll into a ball and transfer to a bowl greased with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Cover with a plate and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.
  3. While the dough is rising, simmer pizza sauce in a pot over low heat until very thick, 60 to 90 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  5. Poke dough to deflate and turn out onto your work surface. Press and stretch out dough into a round shape 3 to 4 inches larger than a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Brush the skillet with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place dough into the skillet; stretch and pull to evenly distribute it over the bottom and sides.
  6. Apply fillings and toppings in order as follows: Lay provolone cheese over the bottom of the crust. Scatter fresh mozzarella over provolone, then add Italian sausage and firm mozzarella. Ladle pizza sauce generously over top. Grate Parmesan cheese over pizza sauce, then fold the crust edges in towards the center to seal in the sides. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over crust and center of pizza.
  7. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until crust sounds hollow when tapped and pizza is beautifully browned, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Chef’s Notes:

  • Instant and rapid-rise yeast both work in this recipe.
  • Two ounces of Parmesan cheese is equal to about 1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Feel free to make a double batch of my pizza sauce for this recipe.

Nutritional Info:

Servings: Calories 613total fat 32g saturated fat 14g cholesterol 75mg sodium 1487mg total carbohydrate 53g dietary fiber 3g total sugars 5g protein 25g vitamin c 10mg calcium 416mg iron 4mg potassium 215mg

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