Stuffed Pizza Vs. Deep Dish Pizza Vs. Pan Pizza – What Are The Differences

Pizza, like any other meal, has different terminologies that refer to different things. You know pizza comes in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Aside from the thick vs. thin pizza’s common question, we also have the stuffed, deep dish, and pan pizza.

Anyone looking at it thinks it isn’t pizza, just a flatbread that is topped with the different cheese styles together with tomato sauce? Well, first off, stuffed and deep-dish pizzas are never really flatbread.

Although you are right, there’s more to it all than the basic description.

What is a stuffed pizza?


This style of pizza is just what the name suggests. Even though it may seem bizarre, it’s a great style of pizza that’s different filling. It features the crust of pizza that they also stuff with cheese and other toppings in simpler terms.

If you are a pizza lover who sometimes will leave the crust behind, this is the pizza.

Note that this one has even deeper density for the toppings than the regular style pizza. They first set a layer of dough that’s deeper but with even high sides.

Next, they will add the toppings and the cheese, just the normal way you do on your deep dish. But they don’t finish it at that.

Next, they will add another layer of dough on top of it, and then they press it on the sides. This time though, they won’t use a thick layer of dough. It’s often thin, but then the following step is for them to poke some holes in the dough to allow steam to go through the layer as it’s cooking. This will also limit the chances of the pizza popping as it’s cooking.

Lastly, you will have the chefs adding another layer of tomato sauce over the dough’s second layer.

How did it come about?

The history of the stuffed pizza may not be as clear. On one side, we have pizza hut saying they founded it, and on another side, Brooklyn’s Antony Mongiello, formerly a cheese maker claiming ownership.

Well, he even sued pizza hut, and in 1999 he lost the case. Regardless we are just happy we have the stuffed style pizza.

So when you are talking of pizza hut, Patty Scheibmeir founded it. Even then, she wrapped some string cheese in the pizza dough, and the development of the pizza style took about three years. And in 1995, pizza hut launched their first stuffed pizza, and they didn’t hesitate to popularize it.

Patty is today the research and development vice president at Pie five. She also says that they weren’t so welcoming to trying new things at pizza hut, but then with pie five, it’s much easier.

Of course, her invention has gotten the pizza style where it is today.

Is stuff crust pizza the same as stuffed pizza?

No, they are not, and when someone, therefore, uses the terms interchangeably, it isn’t right.

The stuffed pizza is much similar to the deep dish pizza. Again it appears to be more like a pie too. So when you look at the sides, they are lined with the pizza dough, and then the toppings are added.

But it will have another layer of the pizza dough. Remember, you will know it because it has tomato sauce at the top of everything. This is more like a deep dish hybrid.

The stuffed crust is just like the regular pizza, and you have the toppings of your desires. But the difference is that they fold the edges a little to have it being nicely thick. You will then need the big pizza cutter.

What is a deep dish pizza?


Anytime you hear of the deep dish pizza, the Chicago pizza comes to mind.

It’s the thick pizza crust they bake in the pan that’s also with the different toppings. So like the other styles, it will have cheese sauce and other meats or veggies.

Now the difference with the regular pizza is that it holds generous amounts of the toppings.

You will have the crust being at least an inch tall on the edges, but sometimes it even goes to two inches. The crust is set on the oiled pan, thus making it fry as it’s baking; no wonder you will have a crispy crust at the ends. Generally, this one here is more like a pie than it is of flatbread with toppings.

How did it come to be?

Thanks to the pizzeria Uno for the invention of the pizza. It came in 1943 when the founders came up with this design of pizza. Their founders are chef Rudy Malnati and the cook Alice May Redmond.

The founders of pizzeria Uno also founded the pizzeria Due now; they also had an original pizzeria called original Gino’s Pizza. A few years later, Gino’s east also hired Alice Raymond together with her sister. The restaurant would then become the best deep dish pizza restaurant.

Other deep dish pizzerias came about from Rudy Malnati’s family. His son founded Connie’s Edwardo’s and Pizano’s.

How do they make the deep dish pizza?

Well, expect that the pizza founders will have some personal style and ingredients to make it stand out, but generally, they make it as follows.

They often use wheat flour to make the dough but together with the semolina flour. No wonder, if you look at it, then you will have some of the yellow cues. They use the corn oil and butter in the dough, giving it a biscuit-like flavor.

Next, they bake the pizza in a round pan that looks like the ones you use to bake cakes and pies. So, of course, you will always have the round deep dish pizza. Next, then press the dough to the sides of the pan. They will always have the thick layer of cheese but with the perfect fillings too.

Like the ones above, you have to oil the pan to make it easy to remove and give it a crusty texture. It will always form the fried effect at the edges, too, making it easy to sustain the fillings you have set inside the dough.

Now they will also lay the fillings different from the regular way they do. It takes an inverted order. Therefore, the cheese is at the bottom, and then you can pour any of the meats or the veggies, at the very top, then you will have the tomato sauce.

With this, then you won’t have the cheese burning from overcooking. The tomato sauce, in this case, then has chunks of tomatoes that aren’t cooked.

What is the pan pizza?


Now the pan pizza is another version very close to the ones above. But notice that for the pan pizza lovers, you will never tell them that any other pizza style is better. I like it mostly because it’s easier to make.

You will like the crunch, but one thing you need when making it is creativity. This one can be either thick or thin, but they often bake it in the deep dish pan. Again like the ones you have seen above, you will need to oil the pan, therefore, getting the fried like crust.

Since it may be thicker and fluffier, you will find that most people even classify it as the deep dish pizza. Notice that the pan pizza can come in different shapes with most of the time being that they are either square or the round style pizza.

The origin of the pan pizza

This pan pizza, or better known as al Testo, came into the rise at the beginning of the 1900s in Tuscany. At such times then the old bakers and housewives were making some breakfast meals for their bosses. They didn’t give it much of a name, and instead, they just set it in a pan and into the wood fire oven.

This is what saw the rise of the pan pizza. And although it was different from the pizza we are eating today, it’s the one that led to the rise of the pizza.

One characteristic was that the pizza had low hydration, and generally, the ones they made then were not very easy to digest.

By 1981 then Di Marco was to revolutionize the pizza. He made it edible with just the right amount of hydration. He introduced better flour and better fat. Therefore, they found ways to use the healthier version.

When the roman pan pizza came alive, then the styles of pizzas followed suit across the globe. This option is crispy on the outside and soft while having the large bubbles outside. Remember it had a lot of water, and that’s why you can’t keep it on the counter for a long time.

We still have pizzerias using the same concept to make pan pizza.

How to make the pan pizza?

This one is a lot easier to make if you know how to go about it. For the best treat, though, you are supposed to make the dough the previous night and even get it to rest in the fridge overnight.

So then, you will need to mix your measured flour, yeast, oil, salt, and water. Notice, though, that some people suggest you not set it in the fridge and instead let it rest over the counter.

When you are then ready to bake it, get the pizza out of the fridge and rest. Also, give it time to second proof. If you didn’t set it in the fridge, you could spread it on your oiled cast-iron skillet. It should be a soft dough such that it can quickly spread on its own.

Finally, it would help if you topped it with your favorite tomato sauce, cheese, and the veggies or meats you intend to use. Now finish off by setting it in the oven at a high temperature.

For information on how to make the pizza check out this recipe the best pan pizza.

The differences

The temperature

All three of the pizzas cook at different temperatures because of their structure.

  • Pan pizza

You will need to have a higher temperature because of the second layer of metal, the cast iron pan. It would help if you had the temperature to go up to 500°F. Worry not; although the temperature is high, it will never burn the pizza because it takes longer to heat the pan.

Now, if your oven can go even higher in temperature, then you should set it even higher; there’s no problem.

Here’s the thing though if your oven has not such a high temperature, use it, although your pizza will not be as crusty as it should be.

You know the pan pizza is excellent when it has the perfect brown color with a crusty texture. If you are therefore using the right tools, your pizza will cook in about 15 minutes too.

  • Deep pizza

I know what anyone may be thinking that the pizza will take longer to cook at an even higher temperature since it’s a deep style one. This is, however, not the case. The pizza here cooks at anything from 425°F to 450°F.

It will also take between 25-30 minutes. This will keep the crust golden brown and nicely crusty. Notice that here you will also need the pan but make sure you have a slightly deeper pan. So notice that the temperature you set it at is slightly lower.

  • Stuffed pizza

Similar to the deep pizza one, you will have it cooking at 425° to 450°F. But expect it to sit a little longer in the oven because of the second layer of pizza crust. It will cook in about 45 minutes.

The dough and the crust difference

When you are making the pan deep and the stuffed dough, the requirement must be the same. You will need to have them make the elastic and smooth dough. The essence is to ensure you can quickly spread it in the pan, or rather it can spread itself.

We can’t classify the dough styles as thin they are all in the list of medium-thin and thick. Also, the way they are made creates the difference.

Deep dish dough creates a crust that rises to the edges. It will then easily form a cup-like edge, and that’s why you have it allowing more toppings. It can carry even more sauce and toppings, and that’s why you will have pizza types like the Chicago one having a lot of toppings.

I must, however, say that the stuffed pizza is even deeper than the deep dish. Remember it has an extra pizza crust layer where they will then add the cheese and tomato sauce. Generally, the stuffed pizza has a deeper density for the toppings.

What’s more vital on the pizza

Of course, with each pizza, there will be something that sets them apart from the rest. In the case of the stuffed pizza crust, then you will need to have ounces of cheese. It matters the amount of cheese you use at the end of the day.

This shows you that if you like the cheese a lot, you should order stuffed pizza, not another pizza style. If you compare it with the deep dish one, you’ll notice that the deep dish pizza has more sauce than the cheese. However, this does mean that they don’t have cheese because they always have some cheese.

If you would like to balance more of the cheese and the sauce, then the deep dish will be it for you. The pan pizza is excellent too, but it has almost the regular toppings as other traditional-style pizzas.

Order of the ingredients

Both the deep dish and the stuffed ones have inverted ingredients. For the pan pizza, though, you will have the tomato sauce close to the pan crust.

After that then you will set the toppings nicely on the tomato sauce. For the two other ones, then you will have the tomato sauce being at the very top. Now the cheese is the one that goes close to the crust for the deep dish and stuffed one.

Is pan pizza the same as a deep dish?

No, they aren’t the same; they may have some similarities, but they are not the same. A deep dish pizza is raised at the edge almost the same way as the stuffed one. It’s also deep, thus carrying a lot more toppings. Although you cook them in the pan, you need a deeper pan for the deep dish options.

Deep dish vs. pan pizza

Of course, they look almost the same, but they aren’t the same. I know you may think they are the same since you bake them both in a metal or stone pan and serve it there. But they have some differences.

The dough difference

In some cases, you may have a difference in the dough. The pan pizza has some milk powder while the deep dish one doesn’t. Besides the deep dish pizza also has cornmeal.

How you make the dough work

After you mix the dough and let it sit, and it’s ready to bake, you will treat them differently. For the pan pizza, you have to roll it with a rolling pin then set the dough layer in the pan. For the deep dish, though, you don’t need to roll the dough. You can use your fingers to spread it in the pan.

You will also set the dough in the pan for the pan pizza and then let it rise in the pan. Deep dish one calls for you to let it rise first before you spread it in the pan. They will both cook perfectly, regardless.

Order of ingredients

For the pan pizza, you will have the tomato sauce directly on the dough you have prepped. You then follow it through with the cheese and the toppings.

The deep dish is different since the cheese is the one directly onto the crust. The sauce is often at the very top, though. This will prevent the possibility of sogginess and the burning of the cheese.

The baking time

They both cook at different times, but the pan pizza takes a little longer depending on the oven you are using. It often takes about 40minutes to cook, and then the deep dish takes 25 minutes to cook.

Deep dish pizza vs. stuffed pizza

Again this almost looks the same. They both have a deeper crust and higher or raised edges.

The pizza crust

So the deep dish pizza has a crust that will rise to create an edge. But the stuffed one is even deeper than the deep dish one. You will also set a light layer of the pizza dough after the toppings and then add more toppings for the stuffed pizza. The deep dish has the pizza crust layer and then the toppings.

The toppings

Since the stuffed pizza is even deeper, you can easily have more toppings as the pizza type can comfortably hold the toppings. Although the deep dish holds many toppings, it’s not as much as the stuffed ones.

For the toppings, the stuffed pizza has a lot of cheese as part of the toppings, while the deep dish has a lot of sauce. This is also the main difference since they almost look alike if you don’t check.

Why do people like the deep dish and stuffed pizza?

  • Because it’s more filling since you have a lot of toppings inside, and it’s, therefore, larger than the regular pizza. A single slice of thin-crust pizza and a slice of the deep dish will show you what I mean.
  • Since it’s large, then it can hold a lot more toppings than the flatbread ones. This is for those who enjoy a lot of the toppings.
  • You can use the different types of cheeses, so whether the stuffed or deep dish pizza, you don’t have to use just one type of cheese. If you are going to make the stuffed one, then you know the cheese is everything. Use different types for the different flavor points.
  • They come in different varieties. You can choose the different toppings varieties to remember.

In summary

  • The stuffed pizza has an extra layer of pizza crust, and as such, you will see and know it.
  • On the other hand, the deep dish pizza has higher edges to hold even tomato sauce cheese and toppings.
  • Pan pizza then is flat and set on the pan, and although it looks simpler, it’s one of the very delicious options you can use.

Leave a Comment