The Easiest Way to Make Pizza at Home Without a Pizza Oven

Jeff Mauro walks us through his secrets to the perfect deep-dish pizza — and it involves a duvet cover of cheese.

Related To:

Jeff Mauro portrait, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Sean Rosenthal

Sean Rosenthal

Get 50% Off a Premium Subscription to the Food Network Kitchen App

Download Food Network Kitchen to sign up and get access to live and on-demand cooking classes, in-app grocery ordering, meal planning, an organized place to save all your recipes and much more. Right now, you can get 50% off 1 year of Premium. Offer valid from 02/01/2021 through 02/28/2021. Terms apply. See

When a pizza craving hits, everyone's first reaction is to pick up the phone and order from the local spot. And, while we love delivery night, there is something special about taking the time to make your own. Unless you have the right equipment, though, it can be hard to achieve that same restaurant quality. But this is where a classic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza wins the night. In a class on the Food Network Kitchen app, Chicago native Jeff Mauro gives us some tips to make the beloved Midwestern dish, and he promises that even pizza purists will love it.

Elevate Your Homemade Dough

His Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza is the perfect weekend project, as it does take a little time to come together. The homemade dough needs to rest for six hours before you can build your pizza, but it’s worth it to yield what Jeff describes as crisp, almost biscuit-like dough. This texture is due in part to the unconventional addition of cream of tartar and a little butter. Jeff melts butter over the stove before adding it to the bottom of a true Chicago deep-dish-pizza pan (he assures a cake pan will also suffice). Next, he covers the entire inner interior of the pan with pizza dough, creating a flat, high base for the toppings.

Pile Your Toppings in the Right Order

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza beauty, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Sean Rosenthal

Sean Rosenthal

Jeff’s Chicago-style pizza starts not with sauce, but with a base of cheese. Yes, before adding any sauce, you’ll want to create a complete “duvet cover of cheese” on the bottom of the pie. Once you’ve added a hefty layer of part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella, it's time for meat. Jeff opts for half-sausage, half-pepperoni — making sure there is something for either preference.

Hand-Crush Your Tomatoes

Next, grab a can of whole San Marzano tomatoes and give them a good crush with your hands. You don’t want to get too much moisture in there, so be sure to strain out most of the water before layering the tomatoes on top of your pie. Just a little sprinkle of parmesan is all that's left before your pizza is ready to hit the oven. Once it's fully baked, let it sit for about five minutes to let everything rest and cool, and you’ll be left with a cheesy masterpiece that will cure any craving you have.

Related Content:

Next Up

10 Ways to Make a Healthier Pizza

Pizza can go either way: quintessential greasy junk food or healthy combo of fresh ingredients. Here's how to build a pie with a healthier profile.

Grilled Pizzas are the Easiest Summer Dinner

Make them outside on the grill or over the stove on a grill pan!

Pizza 101

Ditch delivery pizza and check out Food Network's roundup of basic, non-traditional and sweet pizza recipes.

The Best Way to Reheat Deep-Dish Pizza

Don't even think about using the microwave.

50 Easy Pizzas

Find ideas for 50 simple pizza toppings, from Food Network Magazine.

7 Healthy Pizzas You'll Want to Make on Repeat

With a few simple swaps, you can enjoy pizza night more often.

Pizza Night — Meatless Monday

The ultimate family-friendly meal, pizza is inexpensive, incredibly versatile and can feed a crowd. Get our recipes for a Meatless Monday.

How to Fake a Pizza

Learn how to turn basic flatbread into a quick dinner on the grill from Food Network Kitchen's Katherine Alford.

Related Pages