Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (Gino’s Copycat)

4.97 from 27 votes
69 Comments

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This Chicago Deep Dish Pizza – Gino’s Copycat is so incredibly good. It’s loaded with melty cheese on bottom, then topped with meat and marinara sauce.

A Chicago-style deep dish pizza slice like Ginos East being pulled from a pan.
Featured with this Recipe
  1. Gino’s Deep Dish Pizza Copycat
  2. Ingredients in Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
  3. Preparing the Crust
  4. Reader Suggestions for the Crust
  5. Chicago Style Pizza
  6. Tips for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza At Home
  7. Frequently Asked Questions About Deep Dish Pizza
  8. Even More Pizza Recipes
  9. How to Make Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
  10. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

Gino’s Deep Dish Pizza Copycat

Years ago, I watched a big special about Gino’s East Italian Restaurant on the Travel Channel and couldn’t wait to try it on my upcoming trip to Chicago. I had a few things on my Chicago to do list, but going to Gino’s East (along with seeing the giant bean and taking an architecture tour by boat) was an absolute must. Gino’s East was everything I had imagined it would be and MORE. Believe the hype. It’s THAT good!

Deep dish pizza crust next to a bowl of sauce, mozzarella cheese, sausage, and pepperoni.


Ingredients in Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Crust:

  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Corn oil
  • Sugar
  • Cream of tartar
  • Bread Flour

Pizza Sauce:

  • Plum Tomatoes, Roma or San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Black pepper
A bowl with tomatoes that have been crushed by hand.

Toppings:

  • Low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese (NOT low fat)
  • Pepperoni
  • Italian sausage

Optional Toppings:

  • Ham
  • Mushrooms
  • Red Onions
  • White Onions
  • Olives
  • Red Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Spinach
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Fresh Basil

Preparing the Crust

In a large bowl, put water (luke warm), then yeast, oil, cream of tartar, and sugar. Mix with your hand until yeast dissolves. Pour in bread flour a little at a time. Mix with your hand. Just curve your hand like a dough hook, hold the bowl and mix. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook on low speed. Then, knead it until it gets firm. Add more flour if needed. 

The secret is the kneading. Knead it for about 10 minutes straight. Then, roll it into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Next, Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let sit overnight unrefrigerated. Only let it rise once. Finally, Portion and use.

A plain uncooked deep dish pizza crust.

Reader Suggestions for the Crust

Some of our readers have had some great suggestions on how to make the crust more identical to Gino’s. We love the crust recipe that we use and think is tastes much like Gino’s, but not living in Chicago, we can’t say it is identical to the original. We have had rave reviews about this pizza so we don’t want to make any changes to our original recipe. However, here are some of our reader’s suggestions if you would like to try them:

“You actually need a combination of cornmeal or semolina flour to mix in with your all purpose flour. In addition, you need a combination of EVOO and Corn oil. Yes, corn oil is roughly 95% of it, however, it will make a difference. Try the following that we found years ago and have been perfecting for the last 15 years.

Six cups all purpose flour (5 cups All Purpose / 1 cup semolina or yellow corn meal)
Two cups cold water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup oil (95% corn oil/ 5% EVOO)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
This is the spot on recipe. Compare the two and let me know. Enjoy.” -Heath H.

“There’s no semolina or corn meal in Gino’s East dough formulation. You are missing some yellow food coloring (eggshade) to get the yellow color Gino’s crust has. The oil blend should be corn oil and extra virgin olive oil in that 8:1 ratio. 
100% AP Flour
48% Water
16% Corn Oil
2% EVOO
2% Sugar
1% Cream of Tartar
.5% Yellow Food Coloring
.5% IDYTF = .14 oz per square inch (don’t forget the sides). A 12″ pizza dough ball should weigh about 640g.
That’s the recipe. -Loo

A copycat slice of Gino's East pizza being pulled up from the pan.

Chicago Style Pizza

I am happy to report our version is VERY close to the original. But, don’t take my word for it, read all those comments below from our readers who have made it. I LOVE this Chicago-style pizza pie! It’s so fun that the layers are reversed – the cheese is on the bottom and the tomato sauce is on the top. Probably some of the best home-made pizza I have ever had. YUM! Please, try it and let me know what you think!

A Gino's East Deep Dish Pizza pie.

Tips for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza At Home

  • First, you are going to need a deep dish pan. This Pizza Pan is the one that I have for perfect Chicago deep-dish pizza.
  • Use San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce. The flavor is so rich and it really makes it taste like the sauce they use on the deep-dish pies at Gino’s East.
  • Don’t have a deep dish pan? Use a couple of cake pans instead. Although the pizzas will be smaller, it will still be delicious!
A pan of sliced copycat Gino's East Pizza.

Frequently Asked Questions About Deep Dish Pizza

What makes a Chicago style deep dish pizza?

Chicago style pizza is a thick crust pizza made in a deep dish pan (or cast-iron skillet) with the cheese and toppings on the bottom of the pizza and the sauce on top.

What toppings are on a Chicago deep dish pizza?

Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas can have a variety of toppings but they typically have pepperoni and sausage.

Where is the best Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago?

There are many Italian restaurants that serve deep dish pizza in Chicago so this is highly debatable! But our personal favorites are Gino’s East, Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, or Pizzeria Uno.

Who invented Deep Dish Pizza?

There is a lot of speculation on that topic, it definitely originated in Chicago but several pizza chains claim to be the first.

READ NEXT: Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Even More Pizza Recipes

Looking for more pizza recipes? Try some of our favorites!

How to Make Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

A slice of Chicago style deep dish pizza being lifted from a deep dish pan

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

4.97 from 27 votes
This Chicago Deep Dish Pizza – Gino's Copycat is so incredibly good. It's loaded with melty cheese on bottom, then topped with meat and marinara sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Refrigeration 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8

Video

Ingredients

Crust

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Toppings

  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella (Low-moisture part skim NOT low fat. It won't turn out good if you use low fat)
  • 25 slices pepperoni
  • 10 ounces Italian sausage uncooked, pinched into little pieces

Instructions

Crust

  • In a bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, oil, and cream of tartar. Mix with your hand or a whisk until the yeast dissolves.
    Bowl of yeast mixture for Homemade Pizza Dough.
  • Pour in bread flour a little at a time. Mix with your hand or a dough mixer. Knead until firm, about 10 minutes. Add more flour if needed.
    Mixing bowl with dry and wet ingredients for Homemade Pizza Dough.
  • Brush a bowl with oil. Roll the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let sit on the counter overnight.
    Greased bowl with risen Homemade Pizza Dough.

Pizza Sauce

  • Pour tomatoes into a bowl. Using a potato masher or just your hands, mash the tomatoes up so that there are no chunks bigger than a quarter.
    A bowl with tomatoes that have been crushed by hand
  • Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Do not use too much basil or oregano.
    A bowl of tomato sauce with seasonings sprinkled over the top

Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 350.
    Prepare a 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan or a round cake pan with straight sides by coating the inside of it with a very healthy coating of melted butter or oil.
    Roll the dough out to about 3 inches larger in diameter than the bottom of the pan, then place inside the pan and pinch the dough up along the sides.
    A plain uncooked deep dish pizza crust
  • Sprinkle the cheese on the crust.
    Deep dish pizza crust with cheese
  • Add the pepperoni and sausage pieces.
    An uncooked deep dish pizza with cheese, pepperoni, and sausage
  • Cover with the sauce.
    An uncooked Chicago style deep dish pizza like Gino's East with sauce over the top
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust starts to brown and the cheese starts to bubble up through the sauce. The little edges of the pepperoni should also start to crisp, and the sausage should be cooked through.
    A cooked copycat of a Gino's East pizza in a deep dish pan

Notes

  • Don’t like the toppings? Swap them out for your favorites! 
  • Try to get tomatoes with the DOP label so you know they are real Italian tomatoes. 
  • Use low-moisture part-skim mozzarella, not low-fat. It won’t turn out well if you use low-fat. 
  • To prep ahead, make the sauce in advance. It will stay good in the fridge for up to a week.
  • To store, keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 597kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 24gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 508mgPotassium: 437mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1210IUVitamin C: 13.6mgCalcium: 309mgIron: 2.4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for a native Chicagoan who’s been to Gino’s MANY times. He said this recipe was actually better than Gino’s!!

  2. 5 stars
    I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect clone but it makes a fantastic deep dish pizza! I was a pizza maker in High School and college in NJ and there is an art to making any pizza. I’ve been to Geno’s many times and was so excited to try this, it did not disappoint!
    Chicago Pizza is about pressing and moving the dough outward where as for NY (or traditional) you have to press and toss it. Another major difference the cheese, the mozzarella needs to be sliced and layered rather than shredded. I know I may be stating the obvious to some but its something I had to learn.

  3. I would love to make this pizza as a birthday gift. Is it okay to make the pizza, refrigerate it for 24hrs and bake it the next day?

  4. The basil and oregano doesn’t specify if it should be fresh or dried herbs. I assumed it was dried herbs, but when i hit the Amazon like it shows fresh basil and dried oregano. Can you specify is it should be fresh or dried basil and oregano?

    I’m super excited to try this recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m not sure why people say there is cornmeal in this pizza. If you go to Gino’s website, you can order their actual pizza and have it shipped. On the box that arrives it lists all of the ingredients. There is NO CORNMEAL in real Gino’s East Deep Dish pizza.

  6. I actually just made a frozen Gino’s East pizza for dinner tonight. I was looking at the ingredient label and noticed that the flour they use in the crust has both wheat and barley flour. I’ve seen the barley flour in the ingredients for other major pizza places, too (like Uno’s).

    My first experience with Gino’s East was over 40 years ago at their Superior St. location in Chicago. It’s been my favorite pizza ever since. Unfortunately, the one that opened close to us didn’t stay open. However, we do have a Giordano’s, a Lou Malnati’s, and a Pizzeria Uno all within about 5-6 miles from my house. The frozen Gino’s East pizza our grocery carries is decent, but I really have been wanting to make my own. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  7. 4 stars
    The sauce in this recipe was near perfect, almost exactly how I remember it at Gino’s East. The crust was off, nothing like Gino’s. Overall the pizza was good but we won’t make it like this again. The best Gino’s East copycat crust recipe I’ve seen had cornmeal in the mix. The crust from this recipe was tangy and flaky, like a pan pizza.

  8. This recipe is off. You actually need a combination of cornmeal or semolina flour to mix in with your all purpose flour. In addition, you need a combination of EVOO and Corn oil. Yes, corn oil is roughly 95% of it, however, it will make a difference. Try the following that we found years ago and have been perfecting for the last 15 years.
    6 cups all purpose flour (5 cups All Purpose / 1 cup semolina or yellow corn mean)
    2 cups cold water
    2 teaspoons dry yeast
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    2/3 cup oil (95% corn oil/ 5% EVOO)
    2 teaspoons cream of tartar

    This is the spot on recipe. Compare the two and let me know. Enjoy.

    1. Thank you for these recommendations! We are going to update this recipe soon and will test out your recipe and compare. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m excited to try this!

    2. One full package is way too much yeast. There’s no semolina or corn meal in Gino’s East dough formulation. You are missing some yellow food coloring (eggshade) to get the yellow color Gino’s crust has. The oil blend should be corn oil and extra virgin olive oil in that 8:1 ratio.

      100% AP Flour
      48% Water
      16% Corn Oil
      2% EVOO
      2% Sugar
      1% Cream of Tartar
      .5% Yellow Food Coloring
      .5% IDY

      TF = .14 oz per square inch (don’t forget the sides). A 12″ pizza dough ball should weigh about 640g.

      That’s the recipe.

    3. Heath, since you are using cold water instead of lukewarm water, I assume the yeast activates once part of the dough. Are there other differences in the process of making your version of the dough? Do you knead your dough 10 minutes?

  9. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to try this recipe. We made the dough last night and are preparing the pizza for dinner tonight. We are using a 15″ cast iron skillet. Any last minute suggestions on cooking time? From reading the comments I see 45 minutes at 350 degrees up to 75 minutes. Thanks in advance!

  10. I’m about to try this – can’t wait – but I have a key question.
    The info at top says Refrigeration 12 hours.
    The instructions say cover with plastic wrap and towel and let it sit overnight UNrefrigerated.
    Can you please clarify?
    Also, you said it’s okay to begin the process in the morning – meaning 8-12 hours before cooking? And rising during that time at room temperature?
    Thank you!

    1. Oh, I apologize, the dough should sit at room temperature, not refrigerated. And yes you can start in the morning!

  11. 5 stars
    This pizza recipe is so good and so easy and really hits the spot for us missing Chicago style pizza. I followed the directions except used a 9×12 cake pan because I didn’t have a pizza pan. It worked well. We are vegetarian so left the meat out and added spinach, garlic and pineapple and it was fabulous! So glad I found this recipe! Thanks!!

    1. Yay! I am so glad you liked it and were able to tweak it to be what you needed. Thanks for the 5-star rating!

    1. Oh yum! That sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing your cooking method. I will definitely have to check that out!

  12. Not sure if you can help. I have tried this and though the taste is great it is too “liquidy”. Any suggestions?

    1. Hmmm, that is interesting. I can’t say we have had that problem before. What kind of pizza sauce are you using?

    1. If you aren’t doing a deep dish, you should be fine… or you can use the dough recipe here if you are unsure: /homemade-pizza-dough.html

    2. 5 stars
      Love this recipe and have made many times. Wondering if anyone else found cooking time takes more like 75 minutes than 45 minutes. At 350 degrees takes longer each time.

      1. Diameter is a straight line going through the center of a circle connecting two points on the circumference.

        If the pizza in question is 10” across, then it is 10″ in diameter, with 5″ being the radius.

  13. Where can you buy a deep dish pizza pan? Any websites? How wide and deep are they traditionally? I’m gonna make this with store-bought pizza dough and save time.

    1. Chefs Catalogue. They have a great selection and superb service. Walmart may have a cheap one.

    2. 5 stars
      You can use a cast iron skillet as well. I bought my 14″ deep dish pan at a local outlet mall in the kitchen store. But, I have used a 14″ cast iron skillet to good effect as well. I do like a little sugar in the sauce though to cut the tartness of the San Marzanos.

  14. I am going to make this soon, but I can’t find what size of pan you suggest, is a 9″ cake pan what you are referring to or something larger?

      1. I am confused by your directions. It says to put the cheese in first ( yep, right on the crust) but the directions didn’t say to put crust in the pan first. That’s in the following step…so there is no crust on the bottom??

          1. Could you modify this recipe so that the directions are correct? The directions about the order of the crust didn’t make sense to me and are extremely confusing! I had to sort through old comments to find that the recipe is actually written wrong.

          2. Hi Mary- so sorry about that, it looks like a couple of the instructions were switched around in the digital recipe card. I moved them to the right order and now it should make sense. Thanks for catching that!

  15. going to try my 1st Chicago deep dish, being from there I love Gino’s east & Lou Malanatis. I’m looking to make a 16″ pie does anyone have the recipe for that sixe?

  16. Yep. My crust recipe is exactly the same. I always use whole-milk mozzarella, and never part-skim, since it melts better and a little more flavorful. I’m also fussy about the tomatoes – look for “San Marzano type” whole 28-oz can. There are several brands, and this type is sweeter and more flavorful. Cost me $3 – 4 for imported, but worth it to me. I don’t add any salt or oregano to them.

  17. 5 stars
    My husband and oldest son went to Chicago just over a month ago and ate at Gino’s East. My husband is from NY and loves his NY pizza, but said that Gino’s deep dish was hands down THE BEST pizza ever. We finished homeschool for summer vacation today and as celebration I made them this pizza. RAVE reviews. I made mine quite large (24″ cast iron skillet) as we are a family of 6 (4 boys and another baby due in the fall), we ate our fill and still have half the pan left! They said it tasted pretty much exactly like a Gino’s pizza and this is the only way they want me to make pizza from here on out. They paid $28 for a medium sized one in Chicago and the huge one I made cost about half that and was twice the size. Thanks for allowing the rest of us to have a taste of what we missed out on! It truly was delicious 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this review Allison!!! After reading it I decided I need to make this again! I’m definitely craving it and I know I won’t get any complaints from my husband. I am so glad your family liked it! Thanks for taking the time to write such a nice comment!

  18. 5 stars
    Living in Mexico I’ve had to learn to make many things from scratch that I miss from the good ol’ USA! Originally from the Chicago area, this pizza is one of the things I miss most. This recipe is almost exactly how I make it. The sauce may sound too simple and the temptation will be to jazz it up or even use a store bought variety. But trust me you do not want to do that. Follow the recipe above and you will have an authentic tasting Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Except of course (as you state), the cheese on top. You would do better to dust it with some ground Parmesan. All in all a very good recipe! Oh, remember, as with any recipe, make sure you use good quality ingredients, especially the cheese!

    1. Thank you so much for the great comment! I definitely want to try it by just dusting on some Parmesan! Thanks for the tips, it’s good to hear from a true Chicago local!

  19. Were’s the garlic????? use a press and add 2 cloves to the sauce. Not bad for someone who’s never had it. We add more sugar 2 tbsp. or to taste. For a twist add chunks of provolone cheese yummy.. Remember to let the pizza sit for 5 min after you take it out to settle and makes it easier to cut. Enjoy…Hope this helps 😉

    1. 5 stars
      No Cornmeal? The Ginos I went to on Rush was better than Ginos East, I think. Can’t find any quite like it, but I think I’ll try your recipe! Thanks!

  20. You can refrigerate it but take it out an hour or so before you start making it. Or you can make the dough in the morning and let it rise until you use it that night. Hope this helps!

  21. this may be a stupid question but after you let the dough raise overnight, do you leave it out until you use it for dinner that evening? Or, do you refrigerate it until you use it for dinner? Sorry, I was confused on this part. I am new to pizza dough making.

  22. 5 stars
    Gino's pizza was the first deep dish pizza I had — it's great. And while i like others (Uno's. Lou Malnati's), Gino's has a special place in my heart (and stomach!).When my kids go to Chicago I have them bring me a pizza back from Gino's. I've found that it's equally as good warmed up the next day.