Chicago Stuffed Pizza

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Chicago Stuffed Pizza

  • Author: Chef Leo Spizzirri


This recipe is for a 12” stuffed pizza.  You can make this with cheese only, meat, vegetables or all of the above.


  • Cold unsalted butter
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 recipe of Chicago Stuffed Pizza Dough (at about 60 degrees F or room temperature)
  • Semola rimacinata flour (for dusting the dough)
  • 1 recipe of Chicago Style Pizza Sauce
  • 3 lbs shredded mozzarella (Whole milk or whole/skim mix)
  • Italian sausage (optional)
  • Pepperoni (optional)
  • Fresh vegetables such as mushrooms, green pepper, onions, spinach (optional)


1 Coat the pan with cold unsalted butter.  (Alternatives:  shortening, bacon fat, margarine.)  Go all the way around and coat well.  
2 Add the grated cheese in the pan.  Make sure it coats evenly over the butter, just like you were adding flour to a cake pan before adding the batter. 
3 Take one dough ball out of the container and place it in the bowl of semola rimacinata flour to coat lightly on both sides. 
4 Put a small amount of flour on your work surface and place the flour on top. 

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a round circle about 1/4 inch thick. Start in the middle and move forward. Turn 1/4 of way and repeat.  Keep doing this.  This will get you a round pizza. If the dough is sticking to the rolling pin, add a little more flour.  Focus on the center of the dough because the outer edge will be trimmed off.

6 Lay the dough over the pan.  Pat down the center.  Lightly press the dough into the side of the pan, all the way around.  You want to make sure there are no air bubbles. 
7 IF USING SAUSAGE….Use bulk sausage or remove meat from the casing.  Because this pizza will bake for over 20 minutes, you do not need to par-cook the sausage.   Pinch sausage the size of a quarter and press onto the base of the dough.  Start from the front and work to the back.
8 Add the shredded evenly across the sausage or the base.  Don’t press it down, just feather it around. 
9 If you are using peppers, onions (or mushrooms), sauté briefly before hand to remove water.  Spread evenly on top of the cheese.
10 Stretch out the second dough ball for the top. Repeat the steps you did for the first dough ball.
11 To help the top layer of dough stick better, use your fingers and lightly spread sauce around the edge of the dough in the pan. 

Lay the second layer of dough on top of the pizza. Lightly press on the top. 

13 Take the flat part of your fingers and pinch the dough against the side of the pan. You want this to be uniform all the way around. 
14 Cut a few little holes with your fingers to allow the steam be released and let the sauce seep in. 
15 Add 2-3 ladles of sauce and spread all around the pizza. You don’t want to see any white streaks, so if you see them, add more sauce. Then give it a little shake to even it out. 
16 Get a sharp knife and trim off the excess dough around the edge. 
17 If you are using pepperoni (“cup and char”), add it to the top.  Make sure to overlap the pepperoni on the previous slice.  
18 Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the top and it is ready to go in the oven. 
19 Oven is set to 475 degrees.   Bake time: 25-30 minutes
20 After the pizza is baked, you need to make sure it is not sticking to the pan, so run your knife or spatula around the edge.  Lift the pizza onto a cutting board. 
21 Cut the pizza with a large knife into 6 or 8 slices.   As you lift a slice with your spatula, enjoy the cheese pull and watch the smiles on the faces of your guests. 



  • Rolling pin 
  • Round 12″ pan, 2″ high (Recommended:  heavy gauge such as 14-16 gauge or Hard-coated anodized, naturally non-stick)
  • Pan gripper (Optional)
  • Metal spatula for serving
  • Large knife for cutting

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