Slow-Cooker Deep-Dish Pizza
We're sort of obsessed with pizza, and we'll eat it in any form, whether it has a cauliflower crust or, heck, is in the shape of a muffin. But recently, we've fallen in love with deep-dish pizza, and, luckily, you don't have to travel to Chicago to get it. In fact, you don't even need an oven. Just a slow cooker—and a little bit of patience.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ pound ground Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1 pound pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
1½ cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup sliced red bell pepper
½ cup sliced yellow bell pepper
½ cup sliced green pepper
½ cup sliced red onion
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh basil, as needed for finishing
1. Grease the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and line it with a large piece of parchment paper. The paper should be long enough to go about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the slow cooker (this makes removing the finished pizza easier). Grease the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and sauté until it’s fully cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the Italian herb seasoning and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the slow cooker and brush around to coat the bottom. Stretch the pizza dough by hand to about the size of the slow cooker. Place the pizza dough inside the slow cooker and use your fingers to stipple it all over, pushing it to the walls of the slow cooker to fully cover the base.
4. Spoon ½ cup of the marinara sauce on top of the pizza dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch uncovered around the edge.
5. Spoon the cooled sausage on top of the sauce and then top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella.
6. Spoon the remaining 1 cup marinara sauce on top of the cheese and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella in an even layer over the surface.
7. Top with the peppers and onion. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the surface.
8. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook until the cheese is melted and the dough is fully baked, 4 hours.
9. Use the parchment “handles” to lift the pizza out of the slow cooker. Garnish with the basil and serve immediately.