This recipe was created in partnership with Lynx Grills. All opinions are my own.
“A classic Chicago style deep dish pizza is the perfect weekend dish. It’s keto, gluten free, and not a fathead dough either!”
Keto Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza:
When I tell people I grew up in the Chicago area and they know I’m a foodie, I often get asked about classic Chicago style deep dish pizza. Though deep dish has serious roots in Chicago, most Chicagoans are regular thin crust pizza eaters for their weekly pizza night. Deep dish in reality, is spared for those special pizza dining occasions, and rightfully so!
This pan style pizza is definitely one of those classic favorites for me and I absolutely have to have it a few times a year. I’m not typically one for crazy keto recreations (because nothing ever fully replaces the real thing) and I’ve never been a fathead dough fan either. But, I wanted to challenge myself to try and create a flaky, buttery, deep dish keto crust that would really do this pizza justice.
Challenge accepted…. (an achieved, thus the recipe).
Be sure to read through the post (It’s a longer one but there are a lot of moving parts in this recipe despite it being simple to make) for all the tips and tricks to make the perfect keto pan pizza at home! Full recipe at the bottom of the post!
- 9″ Cast Iron Skillet
- Food Processor
- Small Pot
- Measuring Cup/ Spoons
If you’ve never had deep dish pizza, you need to know a few things. First, it’s all about the way it’s layered. Deep dish has a thicker, flaky, bread-like crust, layered next with cheese, sausage (preferred), and then topped with tomato sauce. Yes… the sauce goes on the top of the pizza!
I modeled this recipe off of my favorite Chicago deep dish spot, Lou Malnati’s (they have by far the best crust in my opinion). I wanted to achieve a similar texture and flavor that was keto and gluten free.
Keto Pizza Crust-
To make the crust, I combined all the dry ingredients together in a food processor, like you would a pie crust. I find the food processor works the best for fully incorporating the ingredients and really cutting in the cold butter. The cold butter is crucial for a flaky, breadier crust too!
Set the dough aside and prepare the sausage topping. What I love is how unique sausage Chicago deep dish pizza is. Instead of crumbled sausage it’s one thin layer of sausage patty across the base of the pizza.
Sausage Patty –
To prepare the sausage patty, press the Italian sausage into a thin layer across the entire bottom of the cast iron pan you plan to prepare your pizza in. Heat it on the stove over medium heat and brown the bottom. Carefully flip it and continue to cook and brown. Remove it and place it on a paper towel to remove the excess grease (no one wants greasy pizza). Let the pan cool back down before adding the crust.
Cheese & Sauce-
While the pan is cooling, grate the mozzarella. Pre-shredded works in a pinch… but hey, you already commited to this recipe so make it better with fresh grated cheese. It has less processed additives and will melt so much nicer (check out that cheese shot y’all)!
Next up, is the homemade sauce. If you want easy, go with some Rao’s (a popular store bought brand I know many people in the keto community like to use). I personally like to make my own so I can control what goes into it.
Simply combine some crushed tomatoes, grated onion, fresh garlic, and some Italian seasonings together in a pot. All the tomatoes to cook down a bit on low heat and to develop flavor. Once the sauce is done, keep it on low heat as necessary.
Assembly & Baking/Grilling-
I love using the cast iron pan for this pizza because it’s the perfect size, heats evenly, and produces a really nice crispy bottom to the crust. I do like to use parchment paper to avoid any post pan scrubbing however.
Start by pressing the dough into the base of the pan using your fingers. Carefully push the dough up the sides of the pan as evenly as possible. The crust will puff up a bit as it bakes as well. In order to avoid it developing any air pockets or bubbles, use a fork to poke some holes in the crust.
In order for the crust to fully cook and not be doughy, you need to parbake the crust alone first. I like to toss mine on my Lynx grill over indirect heat in the summer (no need to heat up the kitchen but the oven works fine too). Park bake the crust until the bottom is set and the top is only slightly doughy.
Next, layer on all the toppings. First goes all of that fresh grated cheese, then your cooked sausage patty, and topped off with the sauce. Place the pizza back on the grill (or in the oven) to cook until the dough is totally set and the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
Let it rest about 10 minutes before cutting. Cut the pizza into 6-8 pieces and serve with a little parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired! If you love this keto friendly Chicago style deep dish pizza, leave a comment below and be sure to try my Low Carb Chicago Thin Crust pizza recipe too!
- 2 cups Almond Flour
- 1/4 cup Fine Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tbsp. Psyllium Husk Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 6 tbsp. Cold Butter
- 1 Egg
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 lb. Italian Sausage
- 1, 14.5 oz Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 tsp. Italian Seasonings
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 Onion, grated
- 1-2 Garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups Fresh Grated Mozzarella Cheese
- Extra Parmesan Cheese & Red Pepper Flakes for garnish
- In a food processor, combine the almond flour, parmesan, baking powder, psyllium husk, and salt. Pulse to mix. Then add in the diced cold butter and pulse again until the butter is cut into the dry ingredients. Finally, add in the egg and pulse one last time until the dough forms into a ball. Set it aside.
- In a 9" cast iron skillet, carefully press out the Italian sausage into the base of the pan. Cook on medium heat on the stove until the bottom is browned. Carefully flip it and cook the otherside. When fully cooked, place on a paper towel to drain the grease. Allow the pan to cool while making the sauce.
- In a small pot, add the crushed tomatoes, grated onion, garlic, salt, and Italian seasoning together. Allow it to cook down and break the tomatoes down more with a wooden spoon if necessary. Cook on low.
- Grate the cheese and set it aside.
- Preheat your grill (and set for indirect heat) or oven to 400F. Assemble the base of the deep dish pizza by taking the down and pressing it into the base of the pan and a few inches up the sides as well (like a pie). Use a fork to poke holes across the entire crust. Par-bake the crust like this for 15 minutes.
- After par-baking, fill the deep dish pizza with the remaining layers. First, layer the dough with the cheese, add the sausage patty and then cover it with the sauce. Place it back on the grill on indirect heat (or oven) and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes. The crust should be cooked, golden brown, and the sauce should be bubbly.
- Remove from the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Add some extra parmesan cheese over the top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.