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Deep Dish Sausage and
Mushroom Pizza

Posted by Denise on July 1, 2011

italian sausage and mushroom deep dish pizza in pan

Simple to make, Deep Dish Sausage and Mushroom Pizza is delicious to eat!

Supper at our house during the work week consists of slow cooked, baked, or grilled meals. They are delicious and are normally quick to prepare or prepared in advance and long cooked so we can eat when we are all finally home from work and activities.

Friday night meals, in contrast, tend to be things that have a few more steps or take a little longer to pull together. It’s almost like we are celebrating a relaxed evening when we aren’t rushing around getting ready for another work day. So we tend to take our time and prepare the meal together.

I have a confession to make. I really, really love pizza. I mean REALLY. When I was pregnant years ago, I was so addicted to it and we ordered it so often that Glenn got pretty sick of pizza. So addicted that one evening the doorbell rang and when we answered it there stood the pizza delivery guy. And we hadn’t ordered a pizza! When we told that to the delivery guy, he looked at the address on the order and gave a start. He quickly explained that it was for one of our neighbors, but since he was so used to delivering to our house, he automatically came to us when he had an order for our street. We were pretty embarrassed and our neighbors got a laugh out of it J. At that point, I decided that we were ordering out too much. Anyway, we were discovering that there were ways of getting better tasting pizza, including making it ourselves.

Since Glenn is resistant to delivery pizza, and frankly my taste buds have outgrown it too, we either go out to one of a couple of different pizzerias that make excellent pizza, or we make it ourselves. When we make pizza, we all end up in the kitchen together working on it. Sometimes we make small individual pizzas, where each of us makes our own, adding whatever ingredients we prefer. Other times we make one large pizza for all of us to share. This deep dish recipe is one that can be done as small individual pizzas, but due to the thickness of the crust is better as one large pizza.

Glenn especially loves a deep dish pizza. One of the tricks to making sure the crust is cooked through and not doughy in the center is to add oil to the pan before spreading the dough into the pan. The oil heats up and cooks the dough, giving it a good crust and texture. We use olive oil for this, swirling the pan to make sure the oil covers the entire surface and even up the sides a little. We adapted this recipe from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, changing it to suit our tastes.



Deep Dish Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Makes 6-8 servings

 deep dish sausage and mushroom pizza


For dough

½        Cup olive oil

¾        Cup plus 2 Tablespoons skim milk, warmed to 110 degrees Fahrenheit

2          teaspoons white sugar

     Cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough

1          package (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant or rapid rise yeast

1          teaspoon garlic powder

½         teaspoon salt


For filling

1          jar pizza sauce

3          Italian sausage links, hot or sweet

1          small can of mushroom pieces

3-3 ½   cups low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded





1.  Warm oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as it reaches temperature, turn oven off. The warm oven will be used to help the dough rise.


2.   This is a dough hook. As it tells us by the name, it is used for making dough. Put the dough hook on your mixer if you have one, otherwise use a heavy duty wooden spoon or a regular mixer to put the ingredients together.


dough hook 


3.  Heat the milk gently to 110 degrees. Mix the milk, two tablespoons of olive oil, and the sugar together in a measuring cup.


heating liquids 


4.  Place the flour, yeast, garlic powder, and salt in the mixing bowl fitted with the dough hook. Start the mixer on low speed and allow the dry ingredients to mix together well.


dry ingredients 


5.   Slowly add the liquid mixture.  Let mix until the dough comes together in a mass, then up the speed to medium for approximately 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and shiny. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and using lightly floured hands on a lightly floured surface, make into a large rounded ball. Place into a greased bowl and flip over to grease the other side. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the warmed oven.


mixed dough  oiled dough



6.   In the meantime, use the olive oil to oil the pan(s) you will be cooking the pizza in. In order for it to be deep dish, select two 9 ½ “ pans, one 9x11” pan or a 14-16” round pizza pan, all with 1-2” high sides.


oiling pan 


7.   After about 30 minutes or so, the dough will have doubled in size. Remove the dough bowl from the oven and place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface. If you are using two 9” baking dishes, divide the dough into two. If using a rectangular 9x11” casserole dish or a 14” pizza pan, keep the dough in one large piece. Lightly roll the dough out to the proper size to cover the bottom and part way up the sides of the pan you are using. I lightly flour the surface and fold the dough twice to make it easier to place in the pan. Using your knuckles, press the dough into the pan(s), making sure to press some up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter out of direct air from vents or other sources, until dough is puffy. This takes about 20 minutes.


rollingdough   folding dough 

folded dough   dough in pan


plastic wrap over pan



8.   Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.


9.   While the dough is getting puffy, place the Italian sausage links in a heavy skillet and add water to come about half way up the sides of the sausages. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, turning sausage once during this time to make sure they get cooked through. Remove sausage from the pan and place on a cutting board. Drain any remaining water from the skillet. Slice sausage into ¾ “ thick slices and add to the skillet again with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lightly sauté until the sausage browns on the first side, then flip and brown other side. Drain on paper towel.


cooking sausage 


cutting sausage


browning sausage



10. Open can of mushrooms and drain well. Pat with paper towels to get most of the moisture off of them so you won’t end up with soggy pizza. (By the way, this is why we use canned mushrooms instead of fresh. Fresh mushrooms put out a lot of juice. If you prefer fresh, lightly sauté them before using to get some of the moisture out first.)


11. Remove the plastic wrap from the pizza dough. Spread spoonfuls of pizza sauce all over bottom of dough. Add sausage slices in single layer over sauce. Add mushrooms over sausage, then layer cheese on top.


sauce on dough


sausage on dough




deep dish pizza ready to bake 


12. Place pizza in oven and bake it until cheese is melted and the edges are browned and top has some brown, also, approximately 20 minutes. Let rest for a minute to allow the pizza to set up slightly before cutting. Cut pizza into 6-8 slices making sure to cut through bottom crust, taking care to avoid damaging finish on pan. Use pizza cutter or heavy knife. Use sturdy spatula to lift slices from pan onto plates. Mangia! Just don’t burn your mouth!


finished deep dish sausage and mushroom pizza 


 Italian sausage and mushroom deep dish pizza


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