Gino's East Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

"This is the exact recipe that is used by the world-famous Gino's Pizza in Chicago."
photo by Woody L. photo by Woody L.
photo by Woody L.
photo by Arianna L. photo by Arianna L.
photo by Lynda K. photo by Lynda K.
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
Ready In:
2hrs 40mins
6 slices




  • Preheat oven to 475.* This recipe mkes enough dough for a 12" round deep dish pizza, preferably cooked in a seasoned cast iron skiilet.
  • One secret to making Gino's East pizza is getting the cornmeal ground up fine enough so that you don't have a grainy texture to the crust. To do this, take 3/4 cup corn meal and grind it up in a coffee grinder. You have to grind it as fine as is possible. Then take the ground corn meal and sift it into your mixer bowl.
  • Another secret to Gino's East pizza is to get the cornmeal dissolved as well as possible (again, to prevent the grainy crust.) To do this, put the warm water in the mixing bowl with the corn meal, and add the yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil, and melted butter. Using the whisk attachment (if you have a KitchenAid mixer), stir the mixture for 10 minutes.
  • Add one cup of flour to the mixer and use the dough hook to mix it up well. Add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until you can handle and kneed the dough without it sticking to your hands. You may not need the whole 2 1/2 cups of flour, or you may need a little more. You will have to use your judgment. Just remember not to let the dough get too hard, or to have it too soft (will stick you your fingers).
  • Take the dough out of the KitchenAid mixer and kneed it by hand on a countertop. If you have made the dough right you will not have to put any flour down, or you will only need a minimal amount. Kneed the dough for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Oil the inside of your mixer bowl. Place the dough ball in the bowl and cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap or a warm damp towel. Let the dough rise until doubled in size. This might take anywhere from 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • After the dough has risen, punch down the dough into a ball. Place the ball of dough on the counter and flatten it with your hand. Then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a uniform circle 1/4 inch thick.
  • Oil the bottom of the skillet, with CANOLA oil and not olive oil, and then take your dough and carefully place it into the skillet. Form the crust by stretching the dough about 1-1/2 to 2 inches up the side of the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again until your oven is preheated to 475ºF.
  • Melt 2T of butter and use a basting brush to coat the crust surface with melted butter. The first thing you will put into the pan will be the cheese. Place an even layer of cheese 1/2 to 3/4 inches deep in the pan. The next thing you will put into the pan will be the meat. Layer the meat spaced evenly over the top of the cheese. Next spread a layer of tomato sauce or crushed tomates on top of the meat. Don't put too much sauce on or you will end up with a soggy pizza. The last thing is to sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the sauce.
  • Bake the pizza at 475 for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400ºF and bake the pizza an additional 10 to 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown, and areas of browned cheese start to poke up through the sauce. Let the pizza cool 5 minutes and then serve.

Questions & Replies

  1. Can you use corn flour instead of processing the corn meal as stated in this recipe?
  2. IS this recepie using active dry yest or fresh yest?


  1. I made a spinach and cheese pizza and it turned out perfect! I’m from the Midwest and we always used to go to Chicago to visit relatives and eat at Gino’s when we did. So now living on the east coast I occasionally crave Chicago style pizza. The crust of mine did not have quite as much cornmeal taste as I remember but that could have just been because I may have shifted the proportions a bit to make extra dough for my big pan. Still the crust tasted great and was crisp and delicious- best pizza I’ve ever made!!!
    • Review photo by Arianna L.
  2. I missed Gino's East deep dish pizza when the local restaurant closed. Nothing could beat that cornbread crust and I was excited to find this recipe. I followed the ingredients precisely but did not have a coffee grinder so I put the cornmeal in the blender. Since it did not make the cornmeal fine enough, I poured the warm water in the blender as well blending it together. I also used a bread machine for the dough and it turned out wonderful. I used the full amount of flour but added a couple tablespoons of water when dough was mixing. Had to use a ceramic dish since I did not have a cast iron one. Worked fine. Great recipe. Thank you for posting.
  3. Just asked our waitress at Ginos East. Yup, cornmeal!
    • Review photo by Lynda K.
  4. This is NOT the recipe for Gino's or any other authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. First of all, there is not--and never has been--cornmeal in Chicago deep dish--this is an Internet myth started years ago, apparently as a guess to replicate the golden color of the crust (which is achieved with food coloring). next, Chicago deep dish depends on two main factors: lots of oil and a very short kneading time (this is hot create the biscuit-like texture). So for each cup of all-purpose flour use 3 Tablespoons of oil (most pizza restaurants, including Gino's) use corn oil--plus, Gino's add about 5% extra virgin olive oil. Use a good quality ground tomato (like 6-in-1) or drain whole plum tomatoes and hand-crush. Do not cook the sauce.
  5. My husband grew up in Chicago and has always loved Gino's and deep dish pizza. I made this recently and all I got was rave reviews from my husband and son. I did grind the cornmeal in my coffee grinder but it still had some corn pieces because I started with a medium grind cornmeal. That did not matter,still great pizza!



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