You guys! I have such a fun recipe for you today! Chicago Pizza Pot Pie is a recipe inspired by Oven Grinders in downtown Chicago. If you ever get a chance to go there, do it! But if not, let me show you how you can make these upside down Chicago Pizza Pot Pies at home!
Mini Crocks or Oven-Proof Bowls
First, you need some kind of oven-proof bowls or crocks to make these in. I have four of these Mini Le Creuset Covered Stoneware Bowls that I love, and use all the time. They work great for this Chicago Pizza Pot Pie recipe, and also for my favorite Individual Chicken Pot Pies.
Other bowls will work too, as long as they are oven-proof. Many of us have soup bowls like THESE hanging out in our cupboards. This is a great time to drag them out!
Purchasing a set of these mini bowls or crocks is a good investment, in my opinion. They are great to use for soups, individual casseroles, desserts…. Plus, serving indivdual sized dishes just makes for a fun presentation. 🙂
I’ve linked up more oven-proof bowls & crocks below that would work well for this Chicago Pizza Pot Pie recipe. The sizes below vary, so consider what sized pot pies will work best for your family. My Le Creuset Crocks are 18 oz each, which we found ideal, but you may prefer a slightly smaller or larger size. The ones below range from 12 oz to 20 oz.
More Oven-Proof Crock Ideas
How to Make Chicago Pizza Pot Pies
Like any pizza, you can customize the ingredients to your liking. For ours, we used Italian sausage, red bell peppers, garlic, and mushrooms, which are added later.
Homemade dough or store-bought will both work just fine. When I have time, I usually make THIS recipe. When I’m in more of a hurry, my favorite store-bought dough is Trader Joe’s, but sometimes I just grab whatever is available, like the one pictured, which I got at HyVee. It was great, too!
You can evenly divide the dough into 4 balls, and then roll each one out into a circle large enough to cover each bowl, or you can just haphazardly cut round the top of each bowl like I did. 🤣 Perfection is not necessary here.
Be sure to generously spray the inside of each bowl with cooking spray. Use your finger to get a little along the top and outside edge of the rim, too. This will insure the crust pulls away from the bowl later when you turn it upside down!
Overlap 5 pieces of sliced cheese (mozz or provolone, or both!) into each crock, making sure to fully cover the bottom and go up the sides.
Oven Grinders places whole mushrooms in their pizza pot pies, so that’s how we did it, too. You can leave these out if you aren’t a mushroom fan, but I think this is part of what makes them special. 🍄
Then, spoon in your meat and sauce mixture. You can use crushed tomatoes and spices, or take a short cut like I did and just use an equal amount of premade pizza sauce.
Finally, drape a “circle” of pizza dough over the top of each crock and gently press it around the edges and sides to seal. Do not cut or vent the crust. You want it to puff up a bit to form the “bowl”.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned.
When they come out of the oven, brush the tops of these beauties with a little melted butter (and some extra garlic powder if you love garlic!).
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Then, carefully turn each crock over onto a serving plate. They will still be hot, so pleeaaase be careful! Gently run a knife around the rim, under the edge of the crust to loosen, and then, using a hot pad, pull the bowl/crock away and allow the contents to slip into the dough bowl!
Voila! Chicago Pizza Pot Pies!
Chicago Pizza Pot Pies
- 4 oven-proof bowls or crocks
- 1 pound pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
- All-purpose flour for rolling
- Nonstick cooking spray for the bowls
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage cooked and drained of grease
- 1 bell pepper (red, green, or yellow…) diced
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 12-14 baby bella, or button mushrooms left whole
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes or similar amount of prepared pizza sauce
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 20 slices deli mozzerella or provolone
- 2 TBSP butter melted
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the sausage, and saute until browned. Add the diced onions and peppers and continue cooking until sausage is fully cooked and onions and peppers are softened. Add the Italian seasoning and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste; stir and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Spray the insides of 4 ovenproof bowls or crocks with a generous amount of cooking spray. Use your finger to also grease the outer edge of the bowl just slightly, to allow dough to slide out easily later. Overlap 5 slices of cheese inside each bowl, fully covering the bottom, and going up the sides. Place 3 to 4 mushrooms on top of the cheese. Then spoon about 1/2 cup COOLED sausage and sauce over the mushrooms.
- Split the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each portion out on a lightly floured surface into rounds big enough to cover the top of your bowls. You will want a 1-inch overhang over the side of each bowl.
- Place a round of dough on top of each bowl. Gently pull down and press the dough around the edges to create a seal. Do not cut a hole or vent the dough. Place the bowls on a sheet pan. You can line the pan with foil for easy clean-up.
- Bake until the crust is just lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then brush the tops with butter melted with the garlic powder. Very carefully turn over each bowl onto a plate. Gently insert a small knife around the inside of the crust rim to help loosen and separate it from the bowl. Lift the bowl away and allow the pizza pot pie to form its own crust bowl on the plate! Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Enjoy your upside down Chicago Pizza Pot Pie with a nice cold drink on the patio. How’s that for a great dinner?
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