Skip to Content

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust

This simple recipe for the perfect Deep Dish Pizza is going to be such a hit for the pan crust pizza pans in your life! Cooked in a well-oiled cast iron, this crust is a Pizza Hut copycat and makes a crispy, fluffy, tender crust that is miles high and can support all the toppings you want to throw at it.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza

Oh yes. I finally did it. I finally perfected my pizza crust recipe, AND made an awesome deep dish with it. This cast iron deep dish pizza crust recipe will please even the pickiest pizza lover! It is crispy on the bottom, soft and chewy on the inside. Flavorful, and will hold a TON of toppings.

We are generally a regular hand-tossed or thin crust pizza house. Very rarely do I break out the big guns and attempt a thick crust. It just ends up too bready, the crust not crispy enough, and we just can’t have that. You can find my regular pizza dough recipe here.

By using a cast iron pan you are going to get closer to those pan pizzas of your memories.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


Get the recipe via email and join our newsletter!

I consent to joining the free OrWhateverYouDo newsletter

Deep Dish Pizza shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Milk
  • Olive oil
  • Bread flour
  • Salt
  • Toppings
  • Cheese

How To Make Deep Dish Pizza

Here’s a summary to let you know what you’re getting into here! Click on the toggle to expand, and make sure that when you’re cooking this recipe, you use the recipe card with the complete instructions at the bottom of the page.

Make and Proof Dough

Start by proofing your yeast in your mixer. Add 1 cup of hot water, 1 heaping teaspoon sugar, and 1 TBSP yeast. Pulse a couple of times to mix, and then let this mixture sit for 15 minutes. When you come back, it should look a bit foamy and smell yeasty and delicious. This is telling you that your yeast is alive and ready to rock.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Add Flour and Mix

Next, add in 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix this up until it is fully combined.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Then walk away and let it rest for 30 minutes. This is called the autolyse, if you wanted to get fancy. I don’t.

Basically the purpose for this is to let the flour fully absorb the liquid and start developing gluten. It is supposed to help you develop a more open crumb, and a deeper flavor. It also makes the dough easier to work with.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Finish Dough

Come back after that 30 minute rest and turn your mixer back on medium. Add 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 – 3/4 cup flour. The amount will depend on a whole host of things. You want your dough to just form into a nice ball, and start pulling from the sides. Knead with your mixer on medium for 5 minutes. Turn out into a well oiled bowl. Your dough should be smooth, and stretch nicely.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Let Rise

Cover your bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size. Mine took about 1.5 hours.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Check Dough

One way to check this is by poking a finger into the dough. If the indentation stays, it is almost ready.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Punch Down and Preheat

Punch down the dough (deflate it by pushing on it, basically, no need to go all UFC on it or anything.) and cover it again for another 30 minutes. Turn on your oven to preheat now to 450℉. When you come back, it will have risen some more and be beautiful and ready to shape.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Oil and Put Dough in Pan

Oil your cast iron skillet WELL, and press half of your dough into it. Press down gently in the pan, and then poke some holes in the dough with a fork.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from
Cook on the Stove

Next turn on your stove to high, and place the cast iron pan on there. Heat until the pan is hot and the oil under the crust starts bubbling. You will hear it and see the sides start to move.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

When this happens place the crust in your oven on the lowest rack for 10 minutes to pre-bake it a bit. Remove, top with your favorite toppings, and finish baking. Pro tip, this easy homemade pizza sauce is my favorite! Make it while your dough is rising! It will take approximately 30 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as this will depend on your oven, your toppings, and your pan.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Deep Dish Pizza FAQ

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes! This crust keeps pretty well, so if you want to prep the dough and pre-bake the crust a day in advance, go for it! I wouldn’t bake the whole thing with toppings in advance if you can help it, but if you need to, it’ll still be awesome.

What’s the best way to store and reheat the leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container. If it is just the crust it can stay on the counter. If you’ve topped the pizza already it need to go in the fridge.

The best way to reheat is in the air fryer or oven.

Reader Reviews

Big HUGE gigantic shout out to reader Jeff Shurts! He recently made my deep dish pizza featured in this post, and send me a picture and had this to say.

Photo by Jeff Shurts
Photo by Jeff Shurts

“I made your cast iron deep dish pizza last night. Wow. This is the crust I’ve been wanting to make. In the center, soft and pillowy like the Garcia’s I grew up with in central Illinois. Near the edge, almost like Gino’s East, one of the best in Chicago. I added a little fine-ground corn meal to the dough for deeper color and a little sweetness. And, in a nod to my favorite Pequod’s pizza, I pressed mozzarella around the edge of the crust (touching the pan) as I fried and then prebaked the crust, giving it a nice “caramelized” ring of crunchy cheesy goodness around the outside.” – Jeff Shurts

Wow! Thanks so much for reading, and for taking the time to let me know how it turned out. That is so exciting for me to see that people out there are getting some enjoyment out of my little corner of the internet.

 Send in your reader photos to be featured on the blog, and to make my day. <3

Yield: 2 pizzas

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust

This pizza is like your favorite Pizza Hut pan crust! DEEP deep dish uses your cast-iron skillet to form that signature crunch that everyone loves.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • toppings and cheese of your choice


  1. Combine sugar, hot water, and yeast in your mixer. Let proof for 15 minutes.
  2. Add milk, olive oil, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix until well combined and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add 1/2 - 3/4 cups flour and salt. Knead on medium for 5 minutes. Turn out into a well oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover to let the dough rise until doubled, approximately 1.5 hours.
  4. Punch down the dough and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  5. Place approximately half of the dough into your well-oiled cast iron skillet. Poke with a fork to create some holes. Place on your stovetop over high heat until the skillet is hot and the oil under the pizza crust is bubbling. Place pizza and pan into the oven on the bottom rack for 10 minutes to pre-bake.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings, and finish baking for approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat with remaining dough.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

Love this recipe? Tell your friends!

Follow on Instagram for more!


Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Sunday 24th of February 2019

Can I refrigerate leftover dough and save for another time?

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 24th of February 2019

You can, but I'd actually recommend parbaking it before doing that. Dough can get a little iffy keeping it longer than overnight unbaked!

Jeff Shurts

Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

After a few more tries, no mea gusta the provolone ring. Cheddar or mozzarella works best. They get crunch where provolone gets chewy. But do try this recipe with the sauteed spinach. You will (I promise) be transported to your happy place.


Sunday 29th of September 2013

Just made this and it's awesome! Super easy. My son loves "puffy crust" and my daughter loves to bake so this made everyone happy. Thanks for posting it!


Friday 4th of October 2013

Thanks for trying it and taking the time to stop by and let me know!!

Jeff Shurts

Thursday 5th of September 2013

Did it again... this time, spinach pizza a la Edwardo's. Slid sliced provolone around the edge for that caramelized cheese ring, then halfway through parbaking the crust, added the cheese. (It's best to put the cheese on bottom as a "seal" when using a wet veg as topping, so the crust doesn't become a wet sponge.) Once the cheese was all melted, added the spinach (see below), then sauce on top of that (see below below) and baked to completion. Tasty....

The Spinach:

Use one whole bunch of fresh spinach (it really cooks down). Rinse it, then cut it up into roughly 1-inch pieces. I used the top 3/4, discarding the lowest part of the stem. Next, mince a clove of garlic. Heat about 2 tbsp of garlic in a frying pan or wok (the volume of a wok works to your advantage), then add the garlic. When it just starts to turn brown, toss in the chopped spinach, and stir fry until it's wilted but not mushy - then transfer to a bowl to cool.

The Sauce:

1 large can crushed tomatoes 1 small can tomato paste 1 clove garlic 2 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated 12 leaves basil Leaves from 3 stems fresh oregano, about 20 or so 1-1/2 tbsp sugar (more or less, to taste) 1 tsp salt (more or less, to taste) 1/2 tsp black pepper

Mince the garlic and sautee in olive oil until it begins to brown, then add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Sautee until bubbling; add cheese, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Toss in some cayenne if you like a kick. After adding the herbs, reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until ready to dress the pizza. Makes enough for 2 pizzas.

Bite Sized

Friday 18th of January 2013

This looks delicious and really, really fun to make. Definitely a project I plan to try.


Saturday 19th of January 2013

It was really, really good. I am a sucker for a good deep dish!

Skip to Recipe