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Deep Dish vs Pan Pizza: What’s the Difference?

Do you adore pizza? Are you familiar with the differences between pan and deep dish pizza? Although both are well-liked throughout the country, there are some notable contrasts between them. Continue reading to learn more if you’re interested in learning what sets one apart from the other.

traditional of hot cheese pizza on pan in the restaurant.

One of the most popular forms of pizza in the US is deep dish, followed by pan pizza.

While pan pizza has a thinner crust, deep dish pizza is renowned for its thick crust.

Additionally, there are differences in the toppings, cooking techniques, and nutritional content.

You may choose wisely the next time you order pizza by being aware of the distinctions between the two.

Understanding Deep Dish Pizza

Pizza lovers are likely familiar with deep dish pizza.

Woman taking piece of tasty Chicago-style pizza on dark background, closeup

This style of pizza, which has its roots in Chicago, is renowned for its hefty, doughy crust and copious toppings.

What you need know about deep dish pizza is as follows:


The crust is one of the most obvious distinctions between deep dish and other styles of pizza.

In comparison to a regular pizza crust, the crust on deep dish pizza is rich, buttery, and flaky.

In order to give it its distinctive shape, the crust is often produced with a high-gluten flour and forced up against the sides of a deep dish pan.


Pizza in the deep dish style is renowned for having a lot of toppings.

Deep dish pizza contains a layer of cheese on the bottom, a layer of toppings on top, and then another layer of cheese, in contrast to other forms of pizza where the cheese and toppings are distributed evenly.

This topping stacking aids in keeping the crust from becoming mushy.


Compared to other forms of pizza, deep dish pizzas are normally cooked at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time.

As a result, the toppings can cook all the way through on the crust without being burned.

A more tasty pizza is produced by giving the toppings more time to develop their flavors.


Slices of deep dish pizza are frequently substantially thicker than those of regular pizza.

Deep dish pizza is typically eaten with a knife and fork rather than being lifted up and consumed by hand due to its thickness.

Overall, deep dish pizza is a distinctive and mouth watering twist on classic pizza.

If you love pizza, it’s definitely worth a try, even though it might not be for everyone.

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Understanding Pan Pizza

Pan pizza is a well-liked option for pizza that has its own special qualities.

Pizza in hot pan

What you need know about pan pizza is as follows:


Pizza created as a pan has a puffier crust because it is made with a tougher dough than pizza made with thinner slices.

Pan pizza must be baked at a higher temperature than thin pizza since this thickens the dough significantly as well.

The fact that the crust’s interior is chewy and pairs well with the exterior’s crunchiness is another characteristic of pan pizza.


Pan pizza can be distinguished from other types of pizza by having a consistent thickness throughout.

When it comes to pan pizza, the crust is the life of the party.

Because it has a crunchy exterior and a chewy interior, the crust is very well-liked.


People who enjoy toppings will appreciate pan pizza.

The constant thickness of a pan pizza makes it simple to add extra toppings.

When ordering a pan pizza, the toppings are the main attraction.


Typically, pan pizza is baked in a circular steel dish. This contributes to its distinctive shape and feel.

To give the crust a crispy quality and keep it from clinging to the dish, the dish is greased.

Then, the pizza is baked at a high temperature to ensure that the toppings are perfectly cooked and the crust is crisp.

In conclusion, those who want their pizza with a thicker crust and a lot of toppings should try pan pizza.

It has a crunchy and chewy texture that is sure to satiate your hunger for pizza thanks to its distinctive dough and baking procedure.

Cooking Methods: Deep Dish vs Pan Pizza

Deep dish and pan pizza are prepared differently in a few fundamental ways. What you need to know is as follows:

Chicago Style Deep Dish Cheese Pizza with Tomato Sauce.

Deep Dish Pizza

Typically, a deep, round pan that resembles a cake pan is used to make deep dish pizza.

The toppings are applied after the dough has been pushed into the pan.

The pizza is then heated to a high temperature and baked in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

The thick crust of deep dish pizza is one of its distinguishing features.

The crust usually has a crispy, flaky texture since it is cooked with a lot of butter or oil.

The thickness of the crust means that it cooks more slowly than the toppings, necessitating a longer baking time for the pizza.

Pan Pizza

While pan pizza is often prepared in a shallow pan that resembles a skillet.

The toppings are applied after the dough has been pushed into the pan. The pizza is then heated to a high temperature and baked in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Pan pizza features a thinner crust that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, unlike deep dish pizza.

Compared to deep dish pizza, the crust is often baked with less butter and oil, making it lighter and more delicious.

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Pizza cooks quicker than deep dish pizza because of its thinner crust.

Which is Better?

Deep dish and pan pizza each have special cooking techniques that provide a variety of textures and flavors.

Which one you choose ultimately depends on your particular preferences.

Choose deep dish pizza if you prefer a crust that is rich and buttery. Consider pan pizza if you want a thinner, crispier crust.

Nutritional Comparison: Deep Dish vs Pan Pizza

Many individuals are interested in the nutritional differences between deep dish and pan pizza when it comes to pizza.

White Phalaenopsis Orchids

Although the components for both varieties of pizza are similar, their nutritional profiles differ noticeably.


Due to its richer toppings and thicker dough, deep dish pizza often has more calories than pan pizza.

A normal slice of deep dish pizza can contain 400–800 calories, while a typical slice of pan pizza has 200–300 calories.


Pizza made in a deep dish typically contains more fat than pan pizza, primarily because the recipe calls for additional cheese and oil.

While a pan pizza typically includes 10 to 20 grams of fat per slice, a deep dish pizza can have up to 40 grams of fat each slice.


Due to the dough and toppings, both deep dish and pan pizza are heavy in carbs.

However, due to its thicker crust, deep dish pizza typically has more carbohydrates than pan pizza.

A slice of pan pizza typically contains 30 to 40 grams of carbs, compared to up to 60 grams in a slice of deep dish pizza.


The cheese and toppings on both deep dish and pan pizzas provide protein.

However, because deep dish pizza typically has heavier toppings than pan pizza, it typically has more protein.

A slice of pan pizza typically provides 10 to 15 grams of protein, compared to up to 20 grams in a piece of deep dish pizza.

Nutritional Comparison Table

Here is a table contrasting deep dish and pan pizza to illustrate the nutritional variations between the two:

NutrientDeep Dish PizzaPan Pizza
Calories400-800 per slice200-300 per slice
FatUp to 40 grams per slice10-20 grams per slice
CarbohydratesUp to 60 grams per slice30-40 grams per slice
ProteinUp to 20 grams per slice10-15 grams per slice

Overall, if eaten in moderation, both pan and deep dish pizza can be a component of a balanced diet.

However, pan pizza can be a better choice if you are watching your calorie or fat intake.

Taste and Texture: Deep Dish vs Pan Pizza

The flavor and texture of a pizza are two of the most essential aspects that consumers take into account.

Chicago pizza

Pizzas made in deep dish and pan have quite different flavors and textures. What you need to know is as follows:

Deep Dish Pizza

The thick, doughy crust of deep dish pizza is renowned for being both soft and crispy on the outside.

Typically, cornmeal is used to make the crust, giving it a slightly sweet flavor and crispy texture.

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The cheese is typically added on top of the toppings, which are put on top of the dough.

This results in the signature gooey, cheesy layer of deep dish pizza.

Deep dish pizza is filling and gratifying due to its substantial toppings and thick crust.

It’s a fantastic choice for people looking for a filling supper that will keep them full for several hours.

Pan Pizza

The crust on pan pizza, on the other hand, is thinner and crispy throughout.

The crust typically has a slightly chewy feel because it is created with a combination of flour, yeast, and oil.

The cheese is typically incorporated into the sauce, and the toppings are piled on top of the dough.

The toppings and cheese are distributed more evenly as a result.

Pan pizza is slightly lighter and more delicate than deep dish pizza due to its thinner crust and lighter toppings.

It’s a fantastic alternative for people who want a tasty pizza that isn’t overly filling.

Deep dish pizza and pan pizza are very dissimilar in terms of flavor and texture overall.

Pan pizza is lighter and more delicate, whereas deep dish pizza is robust and filling.

The decision between the two ultimately boils down to personal preference because both are wonderful in their own unique ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hot pizza slice with melting cheese on a table in restaurant pizza Italian food.

What is the main difference between deep dish and pan pizza?

The main difference between deep dish and pan pizza is the thickness of the crust. Deep dish pizza has a thick, bread-like crust that is typically around 2-3 inches tall. Pan pizza, on the other hand, has a thinner, flakier crust that is usually around 1 inch tall. The toppings and sauce are also typically different between the two types of pizza.

Which type of pizza is better?

This is subjective and depends on personal preference. Some people prefer the thick, hearty crust of a deep dish pizza, while others prefer the crispy, flaky crust of a pan pizza. It really comes down to what you’re in the mood for and what your taste buds are craving.

What are some popular toppings for deep dish and pan pizza?

Popular toppings for deep dish pizza include sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. Pan pizza toppings can vary, but some popular options include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers.

Can you make deep dish or pan pizza at home?

Yes, you can make both deep dish and pan pizza at home. There are many recipes available online that can guide you through the process. Keep in mind that making deep dish pizza requires a special deep dish pizza pan, while pan pizza can be made in a regular baking sheet.

Is deep dish pizza really from Chicago?

Yes, deep dish pizza is said to have originated in Chicago in the 1940s. It was created by Ike Sewell, who opened the first Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943. The deep dish pizza quickly became a hit and is now synonymous with the city of Chicago.

Can you reheat deep dish and pan pizza?

Yes, you can reheat both types of pizza. To reheat deep dish pizza, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. To reheat pan pizza, place it in a preheated oven at 400°F for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat both types of pizza in the microwave, but the crust may not be as crispy.

Chicago deep dish pizza

Key Takeaways

  • Deep dish pizza has a thick crust, while pan pizza has a thinner crust.
  • Deep dish pizza is cooked in a deep dish, while pan pizza is cooked in a shallow pan.
  • Deep dish pizza has more calories and fat than pan pizza, but pan pizza has a crispier crust.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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