Deep Dish Minis

The boyfriend and I are very competitive.  I will say that he has contributed foodie ideas and has been supportive and my toasting partner for all of The Jolly Hostess blog posts.  However, I am still convinced that I had the best idea for Deep Dish Minis – HANDS DOWN.  Lou Malnati’s deep dish is heaven in a pie and The Jolly Hostess twist this week takes the pizza pie home with minimal ingredients and quick prep – plus homemade sauce.

Since the competitiveness did not end at our roomies’ votes, Elin and I conducted a vote to hear what readers thought was best.  We did a blind taste test Bobby Flay style and Recipe #1 won proving that foccacia is a tasty (and the best) choice to use for pizzas.  Even though I received bragging rights, both recipes are delish.  Let us know what you think!

Deep Dish Minis Voting Criteria:

Chose the Deep Dish Mini recipe that emulates the authenticity of deep dish pizza, tastes the best to you and is the one that you’d make next!

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 15 mins; Makes a dozen.

Recipe 1


1 foccacia bread

12 pieces of pepperoni

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cooking spray

Pizza Sauce:

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon oregano, 1 dash salt and pepper

To start, make the sauce so it has time to sit (and simmer into goodness!). Chop onion with OXO Vegetable Chopper if you have one or thinly dice.

My other can’t-live-without tool in the kitchen is my Zyliss FastCut Herb Mincer (I got you, See here!).  Slicing herbs can take a very long time for a small amout, but this magic roller allows you to slice multiple leaves at one time for a quick job done. Next, prep your basil.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sautee until tender.  Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix.  Turn to low heat and let simmer while tending to the minis. 

Set oven at 375 degrees and spray cooking spray on muffin tin. For your crust, take the foccacia and slice length-wise. 

Take a glass, flip upside down and press firmly on one side of the foccacia.  Once you see indentions in the bread, use a knife to cut the circles out.  Using your fingers or tongs, take out a half dollar size hole in the middle of each piece. Repeat on other side of bread.

Push crust pieces into muffin pan sections.  Don’t worry if they don’t press all the way in, the toppings will help!

Add basil to sauce and stir.  Fill each piece with sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and again until each section is full.  Make sure that last layer is sauce (true chi-town style!).

Put in oven for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted.

Recipe 2


All ingredients are the same except use Pillsbury Pizza Crust instead of foccacia.

Follow all steps until crust time. Roll out using a rolling pin and utilize a glass in the same way to make smaller pieces.  Fit in muffin pin, folding over when needed. There will be more room to layer sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni, so go to town! Time in oven is 12-15 mins at 375 degrees.

Serve immediately.  A great dish for dinner or an appetizer.



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  1. Pingback: 5 Appetizer Ideas from Cravings on Clark - Small Bites for Dinner

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