Deep Dish vs. Stuffed Pizza: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to pizza comparison, it’s often between countries, but this time it’s between states in the United States of America.

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The stuffed pizza and deep-dish pizza are two entirely different types of pizzas with almost nothing in common. Even though they are both from the same origin, the style and manner of cooking and preparation differ, with cities like Chicago claiming the origin of one of these pizzas.

Before we delve into a comparison, let’s discuss the history of these two types of pizza.

History of deep-dish pizza

History of deep-dish pizza

The history of deep-dish pizza cannot be traced easily but it was said to have been invented in Chicago in 1943 by Ike Sewell, who was the founder of Uno Pizzeria.

But an article from the Chicago Daily News debunked this finding and proved that it was created by Chef Rudy Malnati. Other newspaper citations, like the Chicago Tribune, have stepped forward and reported that the pizza was created by descendants of Saverio Rosati.

To date, there has been no factual news about the creator of deep-dish pizza, the only information available was that it was created in Chicago and is sometimes called Chicago-style pizza.

History of stuffed pizza

History of stuffed pizza

The history of stuffed pizza, similar to that of the deep-dish pizza, has an unknown origin and creator.

Stuffed Pizza was invented in the mid-1970s when two Chicago pizzerias, Nancy and Giordano’s, were in the bid to create a new recipe from the deeply stuffed pizza.

The Giordano’s Pizzeria brothers, Efren and Joseph Boglio, created the stuffed pizza. Others believe it was created by Brazilian entrepreneur, Ruben Augustus Junior, the owner of a Brazilian pizza chain called Patroni and is believed to have invented the stuffed pizza in 1986.

The popular food chain, Pizza Hut, introduced the merchandised stuffed crust pizza in 1995. Antonio Mongellio sued Pizza Hut and demanded $1 billion but lost the case to patent issues. Learn more about the history of Chicago and Pizza here.

Difference between deep dish pizza and Stuffed pizza

These two Chicago pizza styles have become a favorite dish for many Americans and tourists, but what are the differences that make one pizza type popular than the other?

The Dough

The Dough

When the dough of deep-dish pizza is being prepared, it is ensured that it is made with wheat flour together with semolina flour. After these are made properly, it is then allowed to rise in the pan before it is evenly spread with your fingers.

This is different from the stuffed pizza whose dough is made really smooth and very elastic for way spreading and easy rolling. The dough combination of stuffed pizza is by far more complicated because after adding the toppings, another layer of dough is added on top.

This gave rise to the name stuffed pizza because of the double dough layer. The consistency of this dough is different because it sits on a layer of toppings rather than the bare pan, it has a different feel and looks.

Most of the time, people confuse this extra dough as cheese.

The Crust

The crust is deep-dish pizza that rises to the top of the pan and it has a golden edge that is crunchy but not hard during eating, crumbly feeling but still very solid.

The deep dish pizza has a very buttery crust. It should be rated as the most buttery pizza crust ever to exist.  The crust is medium-thick which is neither too thick nor too thin, it has a thin inner layer and a rough outer thick crust which all ends with its buttery crunch.

It is often regarded as a pizza paradox. Babish Culinary Universe shows how to make a deep dish pizza.

The stuffed pizza crust is dry, solid, smooth, and sweet. The outer crust of the stuffed pizza is far higher than that of deep-dish pizza and has a crunchy outside with lesser butter compared to the deep dish. It is denser than the normal pan pizza.


The toppings of deep-dish pizza include lots of veggies, creating a dense canopy. If you deviate from the usual veggie toppings and ask for sausage, mushrooms, or pepperoni, they are stacked, creating a very thick topping layer.

The stuffed dish pizza toppings are not distinct unlike the canopy of toppings in the deep dish pizza. There is often confusion between these toppings and/or the cheese layer as people ask questions on the arrangement, is it toppings before cheese?

Is it cheese before toppings? Are the cheese and topping mixed? This has led people to deviate from the normal cheese and topping name and ended up calling it stuffing. Learn how to make a stuffed pizza here.



The deep-dish pizza screams the word, the more the merrier, as they impound loads and loads of melted, delicious gooey cheese on top. This cheese can be of any type or flavor. The stuffed pizza has no distinct difference between its cheese amount and its topping layer.



The sauce of the deep stuff pizza is made from crushed or stewed tomatoes and is often very thick and dense, this is to ensure the extra gooey cheese layer does not brown up during baking.

The stuffed pizza sauce consists of puree tomato, due complicated nature, you might be able to get the full experience of enjoying the pizza sauce. Get Giordano’s stuffed recipe for your homemade pizza here.

The Temperature

The Temperature

The deep-dish pizza cooks for about 25-35 minutes under a high temperature of 420°F – 430°F. This however is lower and shorter than most people’s expectations because of the pizza deepness.

Well they say, the secret is in the pan used. The stuffed pizza cooks at the same temperature as the deep-dish pizza but takes 15 to 20 minutes longer than the former pizza.

Similarities between deep dish pizza and stuffed pizza

Similarities between deep dish pizza and stuffed pizza

There are several differences between these two pizzas despite having a commonplace of origin, Chicago. But what are the qualities that bring these two pizzas together;

Obviously, their place of origin is the same; they were both created in Chicago. Will these push New York away as the king of pizza, as it is rare for a particular place to have two entirely styles of pizzas?

The ingredients order of both pizzas is inverted or backward. Unlike most regular pizzas, deep-dish pizza and stuffed pizza does not follow the laid down rules. The cheese goes near the crust in these pizzas instead of the sauce and the toppings are placed beneath the sauce. Talk about some creativity to the creators. They are both served in pans, unlike other flat pizzas that are served on boards. These two are so thick enough that they are brought from the oven to your table.

They are both high crust pizzas. There are thin-crust pizzas like the Brooklyn-style pizza and thick crust pizzas like the New York-style pizza, but these two are by far thicker than the thick crust pizzas and are therefore called the high crust pizza.

They both have unknown creators. Despite having the same place of origin, there has always been confusion when praise needs to be given to the first creators as different people come forth to claim ownership.

Deep Dish vs. Stuffed Pizza: Which pizza type is deeper?

Deep Dish vs. Stuffed Pizza Which pizza type is deeper

Judging by the name, you will be sure to give the title to the deep-dish pizza, but in reality, the stuffed pizza is deeper and thicker than the deep dish pizza.

This is because the stuffed pizza has a double dough layer with toppings, sauce, and cheese. This is entirely different from the deep dish with only one dough layer.

Deep Dish vs. Stuffed Pizza: Which pizza is best?

Deep Dish vs. Stuffed Pizza Which pizza is best

When judging for the best pizza, there are several perspectives to look at before tagging the world best to a particular pizza type as the best one might be the worst one and vice versa.

If you are a butter lover, the deep dish pizza is perfect for you as it has a very buttery and crispy outer layer.

If you also love loads and loads of distinct toppings, the deep-dish is best for you as the sauce, cheese and toppings are all in excess but at the same time distinct.

If you like ingredients harmony, the stuffed pizza is for you, because all the toppings and sauce have been mixed and covered with another layer of dough providing you a complete harmony of ingredients.

bottom line

Why not visit Chicago and indulge in a deep-dish pizza and/or a stuffed pizza to savor the rich and cultural taste of the ingredients? Let your taste buds do the judging and tag the best-stuffed pizza.

Feel the buttery side of pizza by ordering a deep dish and experience the stuffy side by ordering a stuffed pizza.

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