If there is one thing that Chicago is famous for, it’s their incredible deep dish pizza. A thick deep crust, with the toppings upside down - you can see why they call it a pie. Use our easy recipe and grab yourself a homemade slice of Healthier Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
You will find a lot of debate out there on where the best pizza in the world is. Is it Rome or Naples? Maybe the dollar slices in NYC get your vote! Popolinos in Manchester was a favourite student haunt for us at 4am.
Or maybe the deep dish crust that Chicago is famous for is calling your name. Whilst Rome will always come out top for me, Chicago deep dish is a close second.
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Why is this healthier? Well, portion size for a start. If you have eaten an authentic one of these in Chicago, you will know just how huge they are. This is a good size for 4 people with a side salad. We also went pretty easy on the cheese to keep it lower in calories.
When I was in Chicago a few years ago, one of the things on the top my list to do whilst I was there was to eat a real deep dish pizza. I had tried the microwavable version you can get in our supermarkets in the UK, but it just doesn’t come close.
I dumped my bags at the hostel and headed straight for the best rated deep dish restaurant. It didn’t disappoint!
If you haven’t had it before, it is like an upside down pizza. Kind of. You put the cheese on the base first and then the toppings and then you top it with the tomato sauce – it’s genius.
You have to try it to believe just how good it is. It’s the debated whether you finish with more cheese, but we did because how can you debate whether more cheese is an option or not?
Here's how to make this Healthier Chicago Deep Dish Pizza:
One: Start with the base and the cheese first
Two: Add the vegetables.
Three: Top with marinara.
Four: Add more cheese before cooking.
I remember sending a picture to Dave of the pizza I was eating over there (I know – I’m cruel) and after he said how jealous he was, I promised to make him one when I got home. Which I did.
Still being very overweight then and not much of a cook, I didn’t make a healthier one - it was loaded with cheese and store bought dough.
Dave reminded me of that pizza the other day and asked if I could make a healthier version of it. Challenge accepted!
At the end of the day – it’s pizza. It is never going to be a health food or a food that I can eat in unlimited amounts.
But with a couple of small changes, like using whole wheat homemade dough and not going overboard on the cheese and packing it with veggies, it can be made a bit healthier.
Healthier Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
- Make the pizza dough according to the recipe, roll it out so that it is a little wider than the pan you are using. I used a 10 inch diameter spring-form cake tin and it worked perfectly. Put the dough in a greased tin and push the dough up the sides a little.
- Put half your grated cheddar on the bottom and then top with the courgette and bell pepper.
- Top with the marinara and then sprinkle with the extra cheese and the basil.
- Put in a preheated oven at 200°C for 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving to make it easier to cut.