Keto Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza is a delicious keto and gluten free take on a classic Chicago style deep dish pizza! Flaky (non-fathead dough) crust, cheese, sausage, and the sauce to top it all off!
This keto Chicago style deep dish pan-style pizza is definitely a classic favorite for me and I absolutely have to have it a few times a year. 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!
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.
Be sure to read through the post (It’s a long 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 Chicago style deep dish pizza at home! Full recipe at the bottom of the post!
Why This Recipe Works
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. The deep dish has a thicker, flaky, bread-like crust, layered next with cheese, and 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.
The crust on this pizza is a gluten-free, keto crust that is made of almond flour along with psyllium husk and cold butter (and a few other ingredients).
This crust turns out perfectly flaky and bready. I understand that many gluten free things are not as satisfying as their gluten filled counterparts, but this pizza is just as satisfying as a regular deep dish pizza!
- 9″ Cast Iron Skillet
- Food Processor
- Small Pot
- Measuring Cup/ Spoons
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and begin.
Ingredients for Keto Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza:
For The Crust:
- Almond Flour
- Parmesan Cheese
- Psyllium Husk Powder
- Baking Powder
- Cold Butter
For The Pizza:
- Italian Sausage
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Italian Seasoning
- Grated Onion
- Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Keto Pizza Crust:
- To make the crust, combine 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. Next, add the cold butter. Finally, add the egg and mix until combined. Set aside the dough and make the next layer.
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.
- To prepare the sausage patty, press the Italian sausage into a thin layer across the entire bottom of the same 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 to that same pan.
Cheese And Sauce Layer:
- Next, grate the mozzarella. Pre-shredded works in a pinch… but hey, you already committed to this recipe so make it better with freshly grated cheese. It has fewer processed additives and will melt so much nicer (check out that cheese shot y’all)!
- Next up is the homemade sauce. Simply combine some crushed tomatoes, grated onion, fresh garlic, and some Italian seasonings together in a pot. Allow the tomatoes to cook down a bit on low heat and to develop flavor. Once the sauce is done, keep it on low heat until ready to use. Note: If you prefer not to make homemade sauce, use Rao’s or Prego No Sugar Added to keep things keto!
Assembly & Grilling:
- 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 par-bake the crust alone first.
- I like to toss mine on the grill over indirect heat in the summer (no need to heat up the kitchen but the oven works fine too). Par-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 freshly 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 for 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. Serve and enjoy!
- I love using a cast iron pan for this pizza because it’s a perfect size, heats evenly, and produces a really nice crispy bottom to the crust. I recommend using parchment paper to avoid any post pan scrubbing, however. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a 9-inch pie pan!
- You can forego the homemade sauce if you prefer. For good keto options, go with some Rao’s or Prego No Sugar Added. I personally like to make my own so I can control what goes into it!
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the dough. You can also mix the butter with your hands by cutting the cold butter into small pieces, and then squishing the butter with your fingers with the dry ingredients.
- Keto Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza is pretty versatile. If you want, you can add a layer of vegetables like mushrooms, olives, and onions. Make this pizza your own!
Frequently Asked Questions
Psyllium husk powder is generally used in gluten free baking as a binder. It will help make the dough more cohesive and less crumbly like some gluten free doughs can be. If you don’t have this on hand, you can try flaxseed instead.
If you are commonly eating keto types of doughs, you have probably heard of fathead dough. This type of dough is made of a mixture of cheeses along with a grain-free flour and egg. I am not a huge fan of the large amount of cheese that is added to fathead doughs. So, I created a non-fathead dough that creates a flaky, bready pizza crust!
Whenever a recipe calls for cold butter, then the dough will be baked into a flaky crust. The cold butter evaporates in the oven in between the layers of flour and mechanically creates layers of flakes. Cold butter is an easy way to make a much more delicious crust!
More Chicago Inspired Keto Recipes You’ll Love:
If you love this keto-friendly Chicago-style deep dish pizza, try some of my other Chicago inspired recipes!
Keto Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
- 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
- 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 dough 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.