Deep Dish Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza

February 15, 2017
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

A classic deep dish pizza that's got it all going on: A crust that's crisp at the edges and soft in the center, stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with tomato sauce and Parmesan. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

  • Makes one 9x13-inch pizza
  • For the Thick Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • For the pizza
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 recipe Deep Dish Pizza Dough (
  • 2 cups Thick Tomato Sauce (above), divided
  • 10 ounces fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In This Recipe
  1. Make the sauce: In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  2. Add the tomato paste and stir over medium-low heat until it darkens slightly. Stir in the crushed tomato (and Parmesan rind, if using) and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the oregano and simmer until the sauce develops good flavor, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes (if using). Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Make the pizza: Generously grease the base and sides of a 9x13-inch pan with the olive oil.
  5. Using lightly floured or oiled hands, press the dough out into a rectangle shape. Use your hands to gently stretch the dough at the edges until it is slightly larger than the pan.
  6. Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it over to coat it on both sides with oil. Use your fingers to stipple it all over with your fingers to make it evenly cover the base of the pan—it should come up the sides too, by at least 1-inch.
  7. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  8. Add a thin layer of sauce (about 1/2 cup) on top of the crust and spread into an even layer. Layer the mozzarella evenly on top of the sauce.
  9. Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce and an even layer of Parmesan. Bake the pizza until the edges and parmesan are golden brown and the sauce is bubbly, 40-45 minutes.
  10. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.