The Food Hacker
Giordano's Famous Deep Dish Stuffed Crust Pizza

Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza

· The deep secrets to cloning one of Chicago's best pies ·

November 1, 2019 128 Comments

No discussion of iconic Chicago foods would be complete without talking about deep dish pizza and quibbling over who makes it best. Is it Pizzeria Uno, the originator of deep dish pizza? Or maybe it's Gino's East, with their signature yellow crust? Or perhaps it's Giordano's, and their double-decker stuffed deep dish? Each pizza is unique in its own way and all of them have a devoted fanbase, but with extra cheese, an additional layer of dough—and some aggressive franchising—many are now calling Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza the best Chicago deep dish in America.

Deep dish pizza is traditional flat pizza’s heftier cousin. The crucial elements are still there—crust, sauce, cheese, toppings—but there’s more of it, and the ingredients are stacked in a different order in a deep pan, and baked for a long time, like a pie.

Chicago-style deep dish pizza had already been popular for 31 years when Giordano’s arrived in town in 1974. Italian immigrants Efren and Joseph Boglio adapted their mother’s Italian Easter Pie and created a deep dish pizza with lots of melted mozzarella baked between two layers of flakey dough. Through decades of hard work, the brothers made Mama Giordano’s secret recipe a Chicago favorite, and Giordano’s restaurants multiplied to over 70 stores in Illinois and around the U.S.

With so many fans of the pizza, I knew it was crucial to get two specific things very right in this famous pizza knock-off: the dough and the sauce. Proper construction of the deep dish is also an important step, but without top-notch good dough and sauce, the rest of it wouldn’t matter.

To make a home version you’ll need to plan ahead a little bit because this dough needs to hang out in your fridge for a while to get right.

Let’s start there. With the dough.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

The dough is tricky because it’s not traditional pizza dough. It’s flakier, like pie crust, which means we’ll need a good amount of fat in the mix.

I played with the proportions for 28 batches before finally landing on the best ratio of flour-to-water-to-yeast-to-fat.

You make it by dissolving the sugar and yeast in the water, and that goes into the flour with margarine and oil and salt. Easy so far, right?

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Form the dough into a ball, then cover it with plastic wrap and get it into your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Wait, what?

Why can’t we just cover the dough and place it in a warm spot in the kitchen for about an hour like most of the other pizza dough recipes?

Sure, we could do that, but we’d get a different type of pizza crust—one that’s chewier and yeastier. And we don’t want that here.

By allowing the dough to rise slowly in the refrigerator we’ll slow down fermentation to get a mellower, more tender deep dish pizza crust. Just like the crust of the real thing.

Ideally, you want the dough to proof (rise) covered in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours and no more than 48 hours.

I promise it’ll be worth the wait.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

You’ll have plenty of time to make the sauce. Make it at some point while you’re waiting for your dough to rise, and then you can chill it until you need it.

Keep in mind that the sauce will only be as good as the canned tomatoes you choose, so be sure to get a quality product. San Marzano-style tomatoes work great here.

Add the whole can, heat up the tomatoes until they’re soft, then crush the attitude out of ’em with a potato masher. (San Marzano tomatoes are notoriously cocky.)

That feels good. Better than a stress ball.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

When your tomatoes are nicely crushed, add the diced tomato, oil, garlic powder, dry basil, salt, and black pepper. Cook that for 10 minutes, then add the fresh basil.

You may have noticed that the only herb in this sauce is basil which comes in two forms: dry and fresh. The combination adds more complexity since dry and fresh basil taste slightly different, and have different functions. The fresh basil adds color to the sauce along with a light basil flavor, while the dried herb contributes a more intense basil taste.

When the sauce is cool, chill it alongside the dough in your fridge until pizza time.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

A couple of hours before it’s time to make pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator so that it can warm up closer to room temperature.

Before you begin to build the pizza, place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F.

Why a pizza stone? The direct heat from the hot stone will help brown the crust on the bottom of the pizza, giving it a crispier texture. If you’ve got a pizza stone, definitely use it here.

If you don’t have one, don’t worry about it. You’ll still get great deep dish pizza.

And you won’t have to think about where to store a big, heavy pizza stone. So there’s that.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Our dough is no longer cold. So let’s roll it out.

First, use a knife or a scraper to slice off one-third of the dough and set that chunk aside.

We’ll start with the big portion of dough.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Roll the dough out on a floured surface, making a circle that is 16 inches across.

That looks good.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Now you need to get the dough into a 10-inch deep dish pan.

Before you add the dough, rub the pan with a coating of soft margarine. This will keep the pizza from sticking while adding flavor and a tender crunch to the outside of the crust.

Next, fold your dough circle in half, lift it into the pan, then unfold it.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Once your dough is in place you can add toppings, which in this pizza, don’t go on top.

Unlike traditional pizza, the toppings in a deep dish are baked into the middle of the pizza, underneath the cheese and sauce.

To keep it simple, I’ll just use pepperoni in this pizza.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

But you can add whatever you like.

Here are some of the most popular toppings.

Add a single layer of whatever you fancy, then it’s cheese time.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Giordano’s pizza is packed with a lot of cheese. It’s 100% mozzarella that’s made in Wisconsin, and it’s really good cheese.

Because the cheese is such a big star in this pizza, don’t skimp. Get the best mozzarella you can find and don’t get it pre-shredded.

Pre-shredded cheese is dusted with cornstarch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the bag. That might make the cheese look better and sell better, but it also keeps pre-shredded cheese from melting as smoothly as freshly shredded block cheese.

Get a block of the best mozzarella you can find and shred it yourself. Then make sure the cheese comes to room temperature before you load it into the pizza, or it may not get as warm and gooey as you want it.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Roll the leftover dough into a 12-inch circle and place it over the cheese.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Pinch the dough together all the way around, then trim the top flush with the top of the pan.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Without any way for the air to escape, the dough will bubble and the sauce will slide around on top.

We can fix that by cutting a few ventilation holes into the dough with a sharp knife.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Now you can spoon some sauce over the dough. Just add enough so that you can’t see the dough.

It will take about half of the sauce to cover the pizza.

Which means you’ll have enough left over to make another one.

And you’ll probably be much better at it the second time around.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

You have just one pie in the oven, so it’s not likely you’ll forget what’s inside of it.

But at Giordano’s all the pizzas look the same, and with a lot of them in the oven at once, it gets very confusing.

And that’s why they add one piece of each of the fillings to the top of the pizza. Everybody always knows which pizza is which.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Finally, it’s time to bake the pizza.

Place the pan on the pizza stone in the hot oven for 40 minutes or until the top of the sauce begins to brown in spots.

Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Finish off your pizza with a sprinkling of a grated Parmesan and Romano blend.

Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes, then slip a large spatula under the pizza as you tip the pan to remove the pizza.

Once the pizza is out of the pan, use a large sharp knife to slice across it three times, making six slices.

You are now a Chicago deep dish pizza master. Humbly accept your praise, and dig in.

Todd Wilbur, The Food Hacker

Want more? Check out my hacks for Pizzeria Uno’s Deep Dish Pizza, and Pizza Hut’s Pan Pizza.

Plus, I’ve created recipes for over 1,400 other iconic foods at See if I cloned your favorites here.

Get more Top Secret Recipes from Todd Wilbur at https://topsecretrecipes.comGet more Top Secret Recipes


Giordano's Famous Deep Dish Stuffed Crust Pizza
Print Recipe
4.87 from 120 votes

Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago-style deep dish pizza had already been popular for 31 years when Giordano’s arrived in town in 1974. Italian immigrants Efren and Joseph Boglio adapted their mother’s Italian Easter Pie and created a deep dish pizza with lots of melted mozzarella baked between two layers of flakey dough. Through decades of hard work, the brothers made Mama Giordano’s secret recipe a Chicago favorite, and Giordano’s restaurants multiplied to over 70 stores in Illinois and around the U.S. To make a home version you'll need to plan ahead a little bit. The dough must rise for 1 to 2 days in your refrigerator to make the best clone of the tender, flakey crust.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 d 50 mins
Total Time1 d 1 hr 15 mins
Author: Todd Wilbur



  • ¾ cup water (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 16 ounces (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons margarine, softened


  • 28- ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ½ cup canned petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil


  • 24 ounces (about 6 cups) freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, softened (for greasing the pan)
  • 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Toppings (optional)

  • Italian sausage, cooked
  • Pepperoni
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Green peppers

You will also need

  • A pizza stone
  • A 10-inch deep dish pizza pan


  • Make the dough for the pizza one to two days before you plan to build the pizza. You can make the dough in a standing mixer or stir it by hand. Start by dissolving the yeast and sugar in the water in a small bowl.
  • Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the oil, margarine and yeast solution, then mix well until the dough forms a ball. Don’t knead the dough too much. Place the dough into a covered container and store it in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
  • Make the sauce by dumping the canned tomatoes into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until simmering for 5 minutes, then use a potato masher to smash the tomatoes into smaller bits. The sauce should still be a little chunky. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, except the basil, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Cover and cool. You can make this sauce when you make the dough and keep it stored in your refrigerator until pizza time.
  • A couple hours before you plan to make the pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature. When you are ready to make the pizza, place a pizza stone into your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Slice off one-third of the dough and set it aside, then roll the larger portion of dough into a circle that is 16 inches across. Place this dough into a 10-inch deep dish pizza pan or cake pan with a 2-inch high edge that has been rubbed with 1 tablespoon of softened margarine. Arrange a single layer of each of the fillings you choose onto the dough. Fill the dough with the cheese and use your hands to make it even all the way around.
  • Roll the smaller portion of dough out to a 12-inch circle. The dough should be thinner than the bottom dough. Place this dough onto the pizza and press it down onto the cheese in the corner all the way around. Press the edges of the two doughs together then use a knife to trim the dough even with the top of the pan. Slice a few holes in the center of the dough so that it doesn’t puff up as it bakes.
  • Use a spoon to spread about 1¼ cups of the sauce over the dough. Spread the sauce to the edge of the dough. At the restaurant, to indicate what’s inside the pizza, they’ll add one piece of each of the fillings onto the top of the pizza, in the middle. That’s handy when lots of pizzas are in the oven and they all look the same.
  • Bake the pizza for 35 to 40 minutes until it begins to brown on top. Spin the pizza around about halfway through the baking so that it browns evenly.
  • Combine the Romano and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl. When you take the pizza out of the oven sprinkle it with the cheese blend.
  • Run a flexible spatula around the edge of the pizza to make sure it’s loose, then get the spatula under the pizza while holding the pan (using a mitt) with the other hand and scoop the pizza out onto a pizza pan or cutting board for slicing. Slice the pizza 3 times through the middle with a large sharp knife, making 6 slices.


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  1. Reply


    December 3, 2023

    I see the veggies go on top of the cheese, under second crust layer. Do mushrooms and spinach go in raw or should they be sautéed before going on the pizza and into the oven?


    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      December 4, 2023

      The veggies go on raw to be cooked with the pizza.

  2. Reply


    November 26, 2023

    We moved to South Carolina from Chicagoland. We cannot find a decent pie here. This recipe was a huge hit and exceeded expectations. We may try Olive oil in the sauce next time for a healthier option but this is a 10!

  3. Reply


    November 23, 2023

    Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now live out of state. Cautiously optimistic about trying this recipe and WOW! You absolutely nailed it. It is a perfect dupe. Honestly I cannot believe I made it because it felt like I just got Giordano’s carry-out from 500 miles away. I just need to work on getting that bottom crust more crispy but it’s honestly perfect (I used a springform so maybe that’s why – might try different pan next time). Thank you so much! 10/10

    • Reply


      November 26, 2023

      Did you heat up a pizza stone before baking? I used a springform but placed it on the heated pizza stone and it was crisp!

  4. Reply


    October 15, 2023

    I live in the southwest and have never had deep dish pizza, it has been on my things to try.

    I had to sign up to leave a review because this is the best thing I have ever eaten in my life.

    I followed everything almost exactly, but we use butter and olive oil here.

    We did uncured pepperoni, spicy chicken sausage, flash fried bell peppers with compound butter, and mushrooms.

    10/10. This is life changing. 🖤

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      October 16, 2023

      Thanks for that great review! You made my day.

    • Reply

      Debbi K

      November 11, 2023

      Okay. So as a former Chicagoan now living in Albuquerque, I was super excited to try this recipe. It’s pretty darn good. I used Trader Joe’s mozzarella (the 16oz low moisture version), filled it with Roma tomato slices, sliced garlic and artichoke hearts (my usual order). I cooked it in a 11.5″ springform pan, so I increased the recipe by 50% to cover that – I had leftover dough. I followed the advice to sprinkle pecorino into the margarine I used to slick up the sides of the springform. Can’t find my pizza stone so I put the springform on a baking sheet. I forgot to put the oil in the tomato sauce, doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, the sauce is pretty spot on, even without it. Plenty of sauce for 2 pizzas, I’m cooking another one tomorrow night.

      Lessons learned: let the mixer fully mix the dough, don’t get freaked if it takes a little bit to come all together, but don’t overmix. It’s not as stressful as you think. I let it refrigerate for about 46 hours (started it 2 nights prior). It grew.

      I think it could use some saltier cheese (I wonder if sprinkling salt over the cheese will help, I’ll try that in tomorrow’s version), but it is pretty darn close. I just had Giordano’s pizza in Albuquerque. I’m super stoked. Thanks so much for this recipe!!

  5. Reply


    August 4, 2023

    Just made 2 pizzas and the taste was very good but the crust was super wet and soggy. Yes, I used a stone and preheated. Not sure if I’d make again.

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      August 5, 2023

      Sorry to hear that. The recipe has been thoroughly tested. If I had more details I may be able to help you figure out what went wrong.

  6. Reply


    July 4, 2023

    It took me a total of 2 1/2 days to make this pizza, and it was WORTH. EVERY. MINUTE! We tried Giordano’s in Vegas a few years ago, and it was delightful. This copycat recipe was on POINT! I ended up using butter instead of margarine, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and 32 oz of cheese instead of 24. THE CHEESE PULL GAME WAS SICK!!!!!! And the crust was flaky and buttery as promised!
    Since my hubs don’t eat pork, I did a half-and half pizza (his half with chicken, spinach, and onions, my half with bacon, Italian sausage, peppers, onions, and olives), so the tagging was very helpful. Hats off to you, Todd. I think my husband won’t allow me to make homemade pizza any other way again!

    • Reply

      T. Reid

      July 11, 2023

      Thank you so very much for sharing your amazing exceptional recipe with everyone so we get to make this perfection pizza.

  7. Reply


    December 22, 2022

    Made this pizza tonight. Used butter in the dough. The dough took a lot longer than 2 hours to warm up after being in refrigerator for 2 days. I placed the dough bowl by the wood stove to warm faster. Plus the dough was really sticky. I couldn’t roll it out but hand patted it to the right shape. I used my home canned tomatoes and basil I froze in olive oil. Pizza turned out well & hubby commented on the flaky crust. Definitely a keeper.

  8. Reply


    November 28, 2022

    This recipe is perfection. I don’t like modifying anything, but the one small change is not putting the top crust on (I make 2 pies, open face).

    The buttery flaky crust really stands out. My husband, who never comments one way or another on homemade pizza, commented on how good it was. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Reply

    Chad in SoCal

    November 5, 2022

    Just made this for the first time. A trial run, if you will. I’ve been making neopolitan style pies for a while now so this was a different adventure altogether.
    After 24 hours, I was surprised how little the dough rose. However, I did not panic. I soldiered on. I put the dough on the counter and began making the sauce. I always keep 28 oz cans of San Marzano’s on the shelf (anyone else do this?). I loved that after I made the sauce, my house smelled like a pizzeria.
    My big anxiety was the dough- I had stress dreams the night before that the dough wouldn’t be enough (I should mention I have a 12” pan, not a 10”). Infused Country Crock to wipe on the pan before putting the rolled out dough into place.
    So overall, I followed the recipe to a tee yet had a pan that was 2” larger and it still came out PERFECT!!!!! Excellent recipe! Very excited about it. I’ve already made another dough for tomorrow!


    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 5, 2022

      Glad it all worked out good for you Chad.

  10. Reply


    November 3, 2022

    Delicious and Good Recipe

  11. Reply


    June 16, 2022

    Just mixed the dough up, by hand, but it’s very sticky. Added 1/2 cup more flour just so that it would hold together. Fingers crossed. I worked at Giordano’s in college so I’ve got a lot riding on this. ;-)) Any thoughts as to why?

    • Reply


      August 23, 2022


      Curious. How did the stuffed pizza turn out? I’m about to make my first attempt.


      • Reply


        August 23, 2022

        Hi – The sauce is great. Just as I remember. I couldn’t find any hard mozzarella so had to use regular block of Lucerne, which was fine but still had too much moisture. I don’t have the dough “gene” so overworked it…it was really sticky and ended up to be less flakey than desired. Still, despite my issues, the pizza as a whole turned out great. Will definitely make it again. Good luck!

  12. Reply


    February 23, 2022

    Ok, I’m going to try to help out a bit here and give you conversion to gram weights and dough thickness factor so you can scale this up or down as you may need depending on your pan size.

    For a 10″ as the original recipe indicates…

    AP Flour 100% 453g
    Water 38 170g
    Margarine 21 94g
    Veg Oil 16 73g
    Sugar 2.76 12.5g
    Salt 1 4.5g
    ADY .25 1g

    Thickness Factor of .2015 (TF=oz, of dough/square inch)

    That’s an 808g dough ball for a 10″ pie. I think it’s too much but that’s exactly what’s been put together for you. My recommendation is to scale down to a 580g dough ball (386g for bottom/194g for top) for a 10″.

    Using that exact formula for a 14″ pie, your dough ball will come out to 1382g(!!!!). 921g for bottom and 461 for top. Again, my thought is to reduce down to 991 (661g/330g) for a 14″, but try it out yourself and see how you like it.


    • Reply

      Ken T

      February 23, 2022

      Thanks very much, I will give it a try. I think that it’s a pity to waste a 14″ Pan and would rather fill it. 🙂

    • Reply


      June 14, 2022

      I’ve made this before and I thought it was very close to Giordanos. My only complaint is there was an off putting taste. I mixed some butter with the margarine to coat the pan. Would you recommend butter flavor crisco? Or just butter? I remember seeing a video of Nancy’s and the guy said he was coating the pan with a butter/margarine mix but my final product did not taste good.

      • Reply


        June 14, 2022

        I’d say butter flavored Crisco is an option but be aware that it’s very heavy on butter flavor. What kind of margarine did you use?


        • Reply


          June 14, 2022

          I think I used Land O Lakes Margarine

    • Reply


      February 17, 2024

      There are 227 g/cup for water
      * Original recipe assuming APF was measured in overfull cups ( 16 oz seems off if it was exact cups, since everything I read was that a cup of APF is typically 125 g/ cup.
      3/4 cup H20 Sp. g. 1.0 175 g
      1/2 tsp Act day yeast sp. g. .8. 3.7 g
      1 Tbs sugar. Sp. G. 1.6. 22.5 g
      3 cup APF. Sp. G. .55 454 g*
      3/4 tsp table salt Sp. G. 2.17. 15 g
      1/3 cup veg oil. Sp. G. .92. 70 g
      6 Tbs margarine Sp. G. .93. 84 g

  13. Reply

    Ken T

    February 21, 2022

    This recipe is for a 10″ pan. I have a 14″ Chicago Metallic pan. How much would I upsize/increase the crust recipe?

    • Reply

      Loo Waters

      February 21, 2022

      Based on some math that I used (and I think i did some scaling down), the total dough weight for the 10″ was 579g. Your need for 14″ is 991. Realistically, you could double and know you’ll be trimming excess when fully constructed.


    • Reply

      ken T

      June 14, 2022

      Doubled the crust and it worked well.
      Being a Canadian, I added some back bacon (Canadian Bacon to Americans) and black olives to the toppings mix. Came out great. I know that there are people that like it, but Pineapple never gets near my pizza…that’s just sacrilege.
      As for the butter margarine mix, I used Olive Oil Becel and the taste was just fine.
      The ultimate meal is a 14″ deep dish pizza.

  14. Reply


    February 21, 2022

    It worked really well. You’re amazing.

  15. Reply


    February 8, 2022

    Wow, this is amazing!

  16. Reply


    October 30, 2021

    How much would you increase the dough recipe for a 14″ * 2 deep Pan?

    • Reply

      Gary Zanow

      November 25, 2021

      I’ve made this 4 times now and has
      always come out amazing! I use a 9″ spring pan making it much easier to get it out of the pan whole,great presentation. Side note: I have also used the crust recipe and spring pan to make a family-size chicken pot pie.

  17. Reply

    Marc LeBlanc

    October 20, 2021

    I’ve made a few of these and they’re great. The only thing I’d like to improve is I find my cheese is a little runny and I think it would be better if it didn’t do that so the pieces don’t fall apart as much. Is there a particular brand or style of mozzarella you’d recommend?

  18. Reply


    October 20, 2021

    Yep, this is IT. Made this for the first time last year upon request and if I closed my eyes, I would have thought I was sitting back in Chicago at Giordano’s. It’s not an ‘everyday’ kind of event, but certainly a special one when we can get to it.

  19. Reply


    September 9, 2021


  20. Reply


    May 31, 2021

    I only have about 16 hours before I need to cook it. Is that going to be an issue??

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      May 31, 2021

      Your pizza will be okay, but not as good as it would be if you follow the recipe exactly.

  21. Reply


    May 27, 2021

    Looking ver the recipe I have a question. I have not made it yet but looking forward to trying it. You say to use 16 oz of the floor but have 3 cips. Is it 3 cups or 16 oz (2 cups)? And also for the crust, you say to use 24 oz and have 6 cups, but 24 oz is 3 cups. Can you clarify? Thanks!

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      May 28, 2021

      Cheese and flour do not equate in volume/weight.

      • Reply


        May 6, 2023

        Are you using 16 oz or 3 cups of flour? 3 cups is much closer to 14.5 oz.

        • Reply

          Todd Wilbur

          May 9, 2023

          Always measure with weight if you have a choice. So, go with 16 ounces as called for in the recipe, for consistent results.

  22. Reply

    Adam C

    May 21, 2021

    Can i use a 10 inch cake pan that’s 2 inches deep?

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      May 28, 2021

      Should work

  23. Reply


    April 3, 2021

    I made this tonight, my first attempt at a Chicago-style pizza. Oh my gosh, I took a video of “the pull” — it went well over our heads! We refrigerated the dough 36 hours. Everything about this pizza was fantastic, over-the-top, and appreciated by our guests!

  24. Reply


    March 31, 2021

    I’m from Liverpool and currently working towards making a good Chicago style pizza as you simply don’t get it over here. Made this a few times now and it’s great but just wanted to ask:

    Can you build the pizza up the night before cooking and leave it in the fridge?
    I’m debating on whether to try this with some cornmeal/polenta in it to get it closer to the colour and flavour I’ve seen and tried before. Would you recommend maybe about half a US cup to go in?

    • Reply

      Liberty Belle

      January 27, 2022

      You might want to use some parmesan cheese to dust the pan after you coat it with the butter. It will carmelize and give a nice color.

  25. Reply


    March 28, 2021

    Dear Todd,

    Do ALL the ingredients in your list in the amouts stated make up for 1 pizza?
    thank you very much and best regards.

  26. Reply


    March 12, 2021

    I have a glass dish/pyrex that’s 10in wide and 2.5in deep. Would that work or do I need a dish made from a different material? Thanks!

  27. Reply


    March 5, 2021

    The first pizza I ever had was Giordano’s and OMG you nailed it, even better!!! I sliced the pizza, wrapped each individually and froze because it’s a lot of pizza. Well, OMG, again… Thank you

  28. Reply

    Tamara Assaad

    March 2, 2021

    Can you please make a gluten free version of this? Or tell me if i could sub the flour for regular GF all purpose flour??

    Thank you!!

  29. Reply


    March 1, 2021

    I forgot to give it 5 stars when I commented last fall! I do have one more suggestion for my fellow Giordano’s pizza fans: on my third bake of this recipe, instead of trimming the crust at the top of the pan, I folded it over into the pan. After all, I spent two days waiting for this magnificent crust, I didn’t want to waste any of it. LOVE this recipe! Thank you Todd.

  30. Reply


    February 25, 2021

    Would you recommend doubling this recipe, for a 14 inch deep dish pan? Thanks in advance!

  31. Reply


    January 5, 2021

    I made this a few days ago. As a Chicago transplant, I have been searching for many years to satiate my pizza cravings, and mostly unsuccessfully. This crust was the closest I’ve come to recreating a great pizza. The dough didn’t seem to rise overnight and ended up really hard. I thought it was no good and I had screwed something up and almost tossed it. I’m glad I didn’t and just rolled it out anyways because it ended up great.

  32. Reply


    January 2, 2021

    Made this tonight and while it tasted excellent, there was way too much liquid. My guess it was from the fresh mozzarella. It actually fell apart when we took it out of the pan. Any tips for the future?

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      January 2, 2021

      Sorry to hear about your pizza problem. It sounds like you used fresh Buffalo mozzarella which is much too wet. Grab a block of hard mozzarella, shred it, and you should have great results.

  33. Reply

    Cathy G

    December 29, 2020

    Made this recipe for dinner tonight. It turned out perfect and tastes like Giordanos. The sauce is amazing. Will definitely make this again and again. Thanks for sharing! Yum! 👍👍

  34. Reply


    December 2, 2020

    Great recipe Todd. We are doing a round up article on best Chicago style pizza recipes and want to add a link to this one for our readers. Let us know if that is ok.

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      December 2, 2020


  35. Reply


    November 28, 2020

    Working on this right now and very excited, but after 16 hours in the fridge, the dough doesn’t seem to have risen at all. Should I expect a visible rise with this recipe?

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 28, 2020

      Not much really at that point. The cold temp slows down the rise. Hang in there, your patience will be rewarded! As Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

      • Reply


        November 29, 2020

        thanks for your reply! it calmed my nerves as I waited (the stakes were very high, obviously). Cooked it tonight and it was absolutely amazing – the crust turned out beautifully. 100% the real deal. Brought back so many delicious memories. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Reply

    Dorita Henderson

    November 22, 2020

    Thank you Todd. Made in cast iron. The best. Taste just like Giordano’s. Doubled. Made 2. I will use your sauce for every pizza I make.

  37. Reply

    Ellen Breth

    October 25, 2020

    Thank you! Thank you for this recipe! My husband and I have regular cravings for good Chicago deep dish pizza and this is perfect! I made dough on Saturday morning so it would be ready for Sunday afternoon football (Go KC Chiefs!). I used my 10″ spring form pan and it worked beautifully! Crust is so good – perfect flaky & golden brown. Also used my pampered chef baking stone since I do not have a pizza stone (yet) with no problems…even bottom of crust was perfect. Thanks again!

  38. Reply


    October 16, 2020

    Wonderful! Thank you! (For those wondering about using butter, I did because it was what I had in the house–worked perfectly.) Made it in a 12″ cast iron pan with just a little more filling. It looked and tasted amazing. Would not have been able to distinguish it from the restaurant.

  39. Reply

    Candy L

    September 14, 2020

    I am an absolute newbie to pizza dough, so I just wanted to leave a comment for anyone else who might be like me and freaked out when I took the dough out of the fridge. It WILL be hard/very dense. Don’t let this scare you, I almost tossed mine figuring I did something wrong. I let it sit on the counter in the kitchen (about 77 degrees F) for 2 hours and it softened right up.

    Pizza came out great, honestly the most challenging part was getting the dough into the pan. It is an art, not a science, haha. I also used a springform pan straight on the rack and had good, IMO, results. Will probably tweak it a bit and maybe use corn oil instead of olive oil next time.

    • Reply


      September 15, 2020

      I have a 14” deep dish pizza pan. Do you have a recommendation for how much to adjust the baking time? Thanks!

      • Reply


        September 19, 2020

        I’d still leave it at 35 mins and then check it. I wouldn’t leave it in for more than 45 minutes, though. Also, let it rest for about 10 minutes rather than 5. The topping/cheese kinda slid while slicing due to a short rest time

    • Reply


      October 16, 2020

      Can I use the Kamado Joe deep dish pizza stone to make this? Looking to do it both on the kamado joe and in the oven. Thank you!

  40. Reply


    August 24, 2020

    Can you substitute butter for the margarine? I usually only have butter in my refrigerator.

  41. Reply

    Marlon Wanke Marques

    August 16, 2020

    Thanks for this recipe, we are from brazil and have the giordanos deap dish ar Chicago. We liked a lot!!! In brazil we dont have Giordanos or anything similar to that amazing pizza. So the way is doing by myself, I tried your recipe and was perfect. Thank you!!!

  42. Reply


    July 25, 2020

    Help! I wanted to make this recipe in the next couple of days and I am tired of ordering frozen deep dish pies from Giordano’s!! I know someone else asked a similar question, but there was no definitive answer given. The recipe calls for “½ cup canned crushed tomatoes in puree” yet in the photo, there is a can of petite diced tomatoes and the ones you show in the cup definitely look diced, not crushed. Please clarify!

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      July 27, 2020

      Thanks for pointing that out! It should be 1/2 cup canned petite diced tomatoes like in the photo. I’ve changed the recipe.

  43. Reply

    Kelby Brown

    July 6, 2020

    Made it tonight exactly per instructions and it came out perfect— just like Giordano’s. I had planned to tweak the receipt but won’t change it at all. So excited, I will continue to make it and enjoy.

  44. Reply


    June 15, 2020

    Made this pizza the other night for the family and it turned out perfect. I managed to make it work in a 12inch pan with maybe like an ounce of leftover dough. It was thin, would probably increase 50% for a little thicker crust but it was definitely not necessary as the base crust was firm yet tender and did not get soggy or weak. Everything held up perfectly and I am excited for the next time I get to make it.

  45. Reply


    May 25, 2020

    I’ve made this twice! Family loved it – but… I can’t get my crust quite right – the margarine kind of pools and crust doesn’t seem thick enough on bottom of pan- any suggestions?

  46. Reply


    May 22, 2020

    Ok. I’m brand new to this adventure and need all the help I can get.

    Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?

    Has anyone tried with butter instead of margarine and been satisfied with the results?

    What is the depth of the pan you are using? I have seen pans range from 1-4 inches in depth!

    What else do I need to know as a rookie??? Giving this a try today!

  47. Reply


    May 16, 2020

    Used solidified bacon grease instead of margarine and baked it in a deep cast iron skillet on a pizza stone. Turned out awesome! Everything was delicious, especially the sauce. Thank you!

  48. Reply


    May 8, 2020

    The BEST Chicago deepdish pizza recipe ever! The crust turned out so buttery, flavorful and tender just like Giordano’s. This will be my go to recipe from now on. Thank you!

    • Reply


      May 12, 2020

      The first time I tried making Chicago style pizza, I used fresh mozzarella and it turned into soup from all the moisture between the cheese and the tomatoes. How do I avoid that happening again?

      • Reply


        July 18, 2020

        Fresh mozzarella should be avoided in this recipe it has a high water content. Use low moisture, whole milk mozzarella instead.

  49. Reply


    May 5, 2020

    Incredible crust!!!
    I’ve been trying to re-create this dough for years.
    Tried everything,even praying that Todd Wilbur would take this on.
    My last version included shortening but still lacked something.
    Bravo Todd Wilbur.

  50. Reply


    May 4, 2020

    Mr. Todd-

    Is it 16oz or 3 cups of flour for the dough? Lol 3 cups is 24oz…

    • Reply


      May 14, 2020

      3 cups is a volume measurement. 16oz is referring to a mass measurement. If we were talking about fluid ounces you would be correct that 3 cups equals 24 fluid oz. 16 oz mass of flour is about 3 cups. The English unit system is dumb.

  51. Reply


    April 24, 2020

    This was amazing! We let the dough rise for the full 48 hours. The last 4 hours were out of the fridge. Thank you for putting this together!!!

    • Reply


      May 4, 2020

      If your 3 cups of flour weighs 24oz. then you either need to stop packing it in with a boot heel or check your flour for rocks.

  52. Reply


    April 22, 2020

    I tried the deep dish last night and it turned out fantastic…thank you for such a detailed post.

  53. Reply


    April 19, 2020

    can you freeze this dough and if so how would you recommend doing that? Prior to proofing?

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      April 19, 2020

      I believe you can. Many of the big pizza chains do it prior to proofing.

  54. Reply


    April 8, 2020

    On the recipe, you have a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, mashed with the masher, that much is clear. Then it says 1/2 C crushed tomatoes in puree, but in the directions you say to add the “diced tomatoes”. Also, I am not sure if that 1/2 C is supposed to be puree, crushed, or a puree I make from crushed, because I do not see a category of “crushed in puree” when I google it for kinds of canned tomatoes. Could you clear this up, please?

    Also, I am concerned about putting my stone in the oven, heating it, then placing a room temperature pan on top of it. Heating stones without anything on them is a good way to crack them (mine are from Pampered Chef, and I was told not to do that; experience has taught me that’s usually not a good idea). In addition, placing colder items on a hot stone may also cause it to crack. Any feedback on risk of cracking the stone?

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      April 8, 2020

      That should say “canned” crushed tomatoes in purée. I fixed it on the recipe. As for pre-heating a pizza stone—never had one crack on me. Perhaps some are sturdier than others?

    • Reply


      April 8, 2020

      Yea, I did not put a stone in there, as I have a pampered chef stone as well and directions say do not do that.

      My son has a ceramic stone that he keeps in his oven that works well.

  55. Reply


    April 2, 2020

    Just finished eating this pizza! I must say this recipe is spot on. I would not change one thing! I have been eating deep dish pizza and tried many recipes over the last 20 years and this is the one! I will never use another recipe again! Thank you so much for testing it out and perfecting the dough. I let my dough rise for 48 hours. Worth the wait trust me! If you love stuffed pizza try this now! You won’t regret it!

  56. Reply


    March 14, 2020

    Authentic Giordano’s!
    The crust was spot on!
    I thought this sauce was a bit sweeter than Giordano’s, but still fantastic.

    Also, I only used 16 oz mozz as that is what I had on hand and thought it plenty!

    I used my cast iron pan.

  57. Reply

    Tyler Rodkey

    March 9, 2020

    Not ideal, but I want to make a bunch of these for a party. Any word on making ahead of time and reheating/baking day of? I may have missed it if you already answered the question.

  58. Reply

    Pizza guy Joe

    January 13, 2020

    Only need 18oz of cheese for a 10″ deep dish, sausage always goes before pepperoni, vegetables go on top of the cheese but under the second layer of dough, parmesan is put on the sauce prior to going in the oven not after, the doneness isnt determined by the sauce its by the cheese, take out a thermometer and make sure its at least 160 degrees F, and you dont need to let it cool for 5min. You want the cheese to be nice and melted but not set, gives you a maxium cheese pull. Youre welcome

    • Reply


      February 7, 2020

      Do I absolutely have to refrigerate the dough for two days?

      • Reply

        Todd Wilbur

        February 7, 2020

        For the best tasting dough, yes. But a quicker room-temp rise (1-2 hours) will still work.

        • Reply


          January 7, 2023

          Do you use salted or unsalted margarine? Thanks!

  59. Reply


    January 12, 2020

    I am new to The Food Hacker site. I am a long time fan of Todd Wilbur and his Top Secret Recipes, as I have all of his Top Secret cookbooks. They are fantastic and I highly recommend them if you love duplicating dishes you get in your favorite restaurants. I see there are some serious foodies here. I look forward to reading your comments, and suggestions. I have also recently started purchasing from North Bay Trading Company (Todd Wilbur’s sponsor). I love the air dried mushrooms sold by North Bay Trading Company I just add them to ant dish and I have a decitant dish. The mushrooms sit on the counter so they are at hand at all times. I also use freeze dried onions and red peppers. It’s much more convenient than always buying fresh vegetables. I have recently purchased freeze dried powders for flavored noodles, dumplings, etc. Thank you for letting me share! I look forward to joining this group.

  60. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    For some reason, I always thought there was cornmeal in the crust recipe. I would’ve totally messed it up. LOL.

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      January 9, 2020

      Gino’s East uses cornmeal, but not Giordano’s.

      • Reply


        October 23, 2021

        This is false. There’s no cornmeal in the Geno’s East dog formulation. Eggshade good coloring accounts for the color.

        • Reply

          Todd Wilbur

          October 23, 2021

          You are correct. I’m currently working on a hack for that one and discovered that it’s the dough conditioner and coloring that makes their crust special. I will correct the post.

  61. Reply


    January 8, 2020

    Will this work in a 12 inch pan? Thats what we have at home.

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      January 8, 2020

      The recipe is designed for a slightly smaller pan. You can use a 12-inch pan, the pizza will still taste good, but it won’t be as deep.

    • Reply


      April 2, 2020

      Increasing the ingredients by 50% should make up for the larger pan.

  62. Reply

    Loo Waters

    November 14, 2019

    I haven’t made this yet but just converted to baker’s formula and that’s an uber rich dough. 34% by baker’s percentages. More fat than what Malnati’s is (~23%) by a wide margin, and Malnati’s is about as rich as it gets (Home Run Inn not withstanding). Giordano’s is always lighter than Lou’s.

    I’ll try this out but that seems really heavy.

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 14, 2019

      Try it and let us know what you think.

  63. Reply

    Nicole Hovorka

    November 11, 2019

    I made this last weekend, it looked great after baking but would not come out of the pan so it turned in to a small disaster. I did NOT have a pizza stone, I think that would have helped. I will try it again. It sure was a fun first try!!!

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 11, 2019

      Put lots of margarine or shortening in that pan for an easier release. It’s true that the pizza stone creates a bottom crust that may help it release better. Also, don’t take it out of the pan right away. Give it a good 10 minutes to firm up.

  64. Reply


    November 7, 2019

    Todd, can I substitute butter for margarine? I never have margarine in the house!

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 7, 2019

      I get that. I used margarine here because I wanted fat without water, plus the butter flavor. You can sub with butter, but the crust may be a bit tougher. Shortening also works, but it brings no flavor with it to the party.

      • Reply


        November 7, 2019

        Okay — I will pickup some margarine. Do you have a brand you recommend since it’s something I never normally buy.

        • Reply

          Todd Wilbur

          November 7, 2019

          I like sticks over tubs, but either will work. Any brand will do.

          • Reply


            November 8, 2019

            Thanks Todd. Hopefully early next week I can make it. Taking a pierogi making class on Sunday!

  65. Reply


    November 6, 2019

    Would this work in a spring form pan. Seems like it could be easier to remove and serve

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 6, 2019

      I think that’s a great idea! Make sure you have a 10-inch pan. And please let us all know how it worked.

    • Reply

      Todd Wilbur

      November 6, 2019

      But, I just realized the bottom is slightly raised in a springform so it won’t touch the pizza stone and get real crispy.

    • Reply


      April 4, 2020

      I just made this in a 10 inch springform pan and it worked really well. Bottom was fine

  66. Reply


    November 3, 2019

    Oh….mah….goodness!! Am I dreaming?! You’re amazing ⭐️ Thanks for sharing!!