Cozy up to this Winter Deep Dish Sausage Pizza with Brussels Sprouts and Pesto. A thick homemade no-knead pizza crust is topped with layers of sauteed Brussels sprouts, melty mozzarella cheese, creamy pesto and hot Italian sausage crumbles. It’s official: this pizza is my Valentine.
I’m coming to terms with the fact that I need to have a break-up, and that break-up is with frozen pizza.
Yes, I know, it’s so easy to just pop a pizza pie into the oven and have hot and ready pizza in 20 minutes, but it’s just never that good, ya know? The crust tastes like cardboard, the sauce is too sweet, the toppings include approximately 3.25 pieces of pepperoni, etc. You get my point. While there may be a time and place for subpar frozen pizza, to me, it’s just a waste of a perfectly good pizza night.
So now that I’ve broken up with frozen pizza, I want to introduce you to my new Valentine: this homemade deep dish sausage pizza topped with Brussels sprouts, pesto, Italian sausage and of course, cheese. This is no rebound, friends — this is the real deal of pizza. It’s true love at first bite.
HOW TO MAKE DEEP DISH SAUSAGE PIZZA
Here’s why I particularly love this pizza recipe: First, the dough is made from scratch using my trusty no-knead pizza dough recipe that I love and use all the time. Second, there are layers upon layers of toppings going on here — pesto, then sausage, then Brussels sprouts, then cheese, then REPEAT. Since we have a thick pizza crust here, it’s important that the toppings hold their own and don’t get lost in all that (albeit glorious) bread.
Third? This pizza recipe carries some serious heft in the flavor and filling department. What I mean by this is: the pesto, the hot Italian sausage, the sauteed, shredded sprouts, the CHEESE, all of it packs a punch of flavor that will make you fall in love. But if that’s not enough? This pizza is hearty. Usually, I need several pieces of frozen pizza to fill me up, but with this pizza, one to two pieces is plenty. With a crust this thick and all those layers of delicious toppings, it makes sense.
TIPS FOR THE BEST HOMEMADE PIZZA
Before I leave you to immediately run and get the ingredients to make this recipe, here are a few tips that help me to achieve maximum homemade pizza success at home:
1. Don’t overdo it on the toppings. I know this might contradict everything I’ve just praised about this pizza, but it’s by design that in this recipe, half of the toppings are added after baking. If you load up the pizza too much before baking, the crust won’t be able to rise or bake through, leaving you with a gummy mess. EW.
2. As is the case with many of my recipes, feel free to make your own swaps! Swap the pesto for tomato sauce, use mild Italian sausage or even turkey sausage instead of hot Italian sausage, use shredded white cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella, etc.
3. If you have leftovers, reheat the pizza this way. The microwave will leave you with a sad, limp pizza, and that’s just wrong. Reheat it the right way and it’ll be practically like new.
Make this deep dish sausage pizza for a weeknight meal, a date night in (hint hint, Valentine’s Day), for a dinner party or because you just really want a decent homemade pizza in your life already. I got you. You and this pizza are MFEO.
- 1 recipe no-knead pizza dough or 1½ lb storebought pizza dough
- ¾ lb bulk hot Italian sausage
- ¾ lb Brussels sprouts, shredded*
- ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons prepared pesto, divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese, divided
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Prepare no-knead pizza dough as directed, leaving dough in one large ball instead of dividing into four pieces.
- Heat oven to 425F; place an oven rack on the lowest position in the oven. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook and crumble Italian sausage 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Return drippings to skillet and heat over medium heat. Add shredded Brussels sprouts to skillet. Stir and cook 5-6 minutes until sprouts are tender and just beginning to brown.
- Spray bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Press room-temperature pizza dough into bottom and sides of pan (if dough resists, let it rest for 10 minutes, then press out again). Spread ⅓ cup pesto evenly over dough to within ½-inch of edges. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, then top with approximately half of cooked Italian sausage and half of cooked Brussels sprouts. Top with another ½ cup mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until dough is baked through and cheese is fully melted and beginning to brown. Immediately top baked pizza with remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese, 3 tablespoons pesto, and remaining half of Italian sausage and Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Let pizza rest 5 minutes before cutting into squares.
- *NOTE: I shredded my Brussels sprouts with a box grater, but you can also buy them pre-shredded at the grocery store. Either way works here.