“I want abs but I want pizza more!”
If you like deep-dish pizza, then you will love this dish which comes out of the oven at least 1 ½ inches thick! I found the original recipe posted on Facebook by Tasty and it inspired my version which eliminates their bell pepper and white onion and utilizes some different ingredients. The unique thing about this recipe is that the filling doesn’t go into a pie shell … instead, the crust dough is cut into small pieces and goes into the filling!
8 ounces mild Italian sausage (see notes)
½ cup shallot, diced or minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can pizza crust dough, pre-made (Pillsbury 13.8 oz.)(see note)
1 ¼ cup marinara sauce (see notes)
1 ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese (or mozzarella)
4 ounces sliced pepperoni (see notes)
1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the ground meat until it begins to brown. Fold in the shallot and garlic and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Cut the pizza dough into 1 ½ pieces in the thickness that it rolls out to from the tube. (i.e. 1 ½” square that is ½” thick.)
4. Using a large mixing bowl combine the dough pieces, marinara sauce, ground meat mixture, half the pepperoni and 1 ¼ cup of mozzarella. Gentle stir well to ensure that the dough pieces are covered with sauce.
5. Pour the contents of the bowl into a greased deep pizza pan or a large cast iron skillet (I used an 11” dia. skillet). Top with the cup of Italian blend cheese and the remaining pepperoni slices.
6. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden and dough is cooked through. Cut into wedges and enjoy.
1. Until I ate this, I’d forgotten that I’m not too keen on fennel and/or anise and the Italian sausage has both. Next time I will use pork sausage (without fennel/asise) or maybe a pork sausage & ground lean beef combination. (Lean ground venison is also a nice alternative).
2. I used a good brand “traditional tomato & basil” sauce … next time I plan to use a spicier canned/jarred pizza sauce.
3. I used regular size pepperoni slices cut in half for the inside of the pizza and then whole pepperon1 slices to top it. Now I use the tiny pepperonis for the inside of the pie and I typically add some sautéed mushrooms. I also add some crumbled bacon to the topping.
4. Now that I’ve made this recipe a number of times I’ve learned, through trial and error, that a little dough goes a long way. I suggest you start out with only 2/3 can of dough if using a large cast iron skillet and even less dough if using a smaller skillet.