Fun and unique way to serve individual pizzas. Pizza Pot Pies are cooked like a traditional pot pie with the crust on top, then flipped to exposed a deep dish pizza!
What is a Pizza Pot Pie Anyway?
It an upside-down deep dish pizza, kind of. Its only upside down while baking.
It is simply baked upside down with the pizza crust on the top. Baking with the crust on the top ensures that you get a browned and crispy crust.
When you flip this bad boy over you will find a gooey layer of cheese atop all the piping hot chosen fillings. Now it is right-side up.
Unless you live near Chicago, you aren’t likely to find one of these.
This is not a casserole that uses any refrigerated crusts or crescent doughs. This uses fresh yeast pizza dough.
You can make use the included recipe or use your own favorite pizza dough. Just make sure it is a yeast dough.
These are small enough that you can make different kinds of pizza and please everyone with their own “toppings.”
Like extra sauce? No problem, add extra! The only limitation to your pizza is the size of the bowl being used.
I use my 10-ounce Pyrex custard cups, they are oven safe. Using anything much bigger than that it’s a challenge to flip, the bowls stay hot for a long time.
Whatever bowl or vessel is used to make these, it must be oven safe!!
A straight-sided bowl may release easier, but I find that they tend to be too big.
Preparing the Bowl
Spray the inside of the bowl with cooking spray.
You also need to spray the top half of the outside sides of the bowl with cooking spray to prevent the crust from sticking to the outside of the bowl.
Sliced mozzarella cheese will give the best presentation of the finished product. Sliced cheese will not melt into the fillings as shredded cheese will.
Cut each slice of cheese in half. Unless you are being lazy like me, then tear them into halves.
Since the insides of the bowls have been sprayed with cooking spray, the cheese needs to be placed 2 pieces at a time on opposite sides. Overlap the ends of the cheese in the middle of the bowl. This keeps the cheese from sliding down into the bowl and leaves a nice cheese puddle when it’s cooked.
8 half-slices of cheese will completely cover the bowl and will be like an extra cheese pizza. Less cheese can be used.
Once all of the fillings have been placed on top of the cheese I add a slice of provolone cheese. One round slice fits perfectly into the Pyrex bowls. This layer of cheese is totally optional. Mozzarella cheese could also be used.
The ones served in Chicago have large mushrooms packed into the center, which is what holds up the crust.
We don’t care for half-cooked mushrooms here, so we either use sliced mushrooms or skip them altogether.
Prepare any meat fillings ahead of time, as in, cook your sausage if using Italian sausage.
Additionally, if you made homemade pizza sauce, make sure it is cooled.
I do recommend making your own pizza sauce for this recipe. If you are going to go to all this work, you might as well make it the best.
I start with about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce placed directly onto the cheese. This is why I use cooled fillings. I do not want that cheese to start melting until everything is assembled and in the oven.
Any topping can easily be added, just make sure that they are bite-sized.
I cut my pepperoni into halves or quarters, but mini pepperonis would be perfect.
When adding vegetables they would ideally be sliced fairly thinly so that they have a chance to cook.
I have successfully added green peppers, onions, black olives, mushrooms, and even pineapple tidbits.
Add as much of any filling that you like. Just remember to leave some room for extra sauce and more cheese if desired. Do not overfill the bowl or the fillings will run out and pop the dough off the sides.
Topping with Dough
The dough for the top needs to be stretched out so that there is about an inch to an inch and a half overhang all the way around the bowl.
Don’t use a no-yeast dough for this recipe, it will not have the flexibility needed to remove the bowl from the pizza after flipping.
I do not use a rolling pin. Using a rolling pin on any yeast pizza dough can deflate all of the air bubbles.
Just place the dough right on top. Any excess dough can be cut off with kitchen scissors or a knife.
Try and make the overhang fairly even to avoid a lopsided pizza.
Place the assembled pot pies onto a baking sheet to catch any filling that oozes out when the filling starts bubbling.
Our recipe calls for baking at 400⁰F. This temperature will cook the crust without browning the cheese on the bottom too much.
The crust and the cheese will turn darker the longer it is cooked.
An egg wash can be applied to the crust for a really dark crust. I don’t think it adds anything to the end product so I don’t do it.
How to Remove from the Bowl
These will stay hot longer if they are left in the bowl. I do not remove the bowl until I serve them.
The best way to remove the bowl is to use some kitchen tongs and a potholder.
Grab the entire pot pie with tongs placing the tongs on the crust and the bottom of the bowl.
It’s easier for me to manage all of this when I have my plate ready to go. I hover the plate over the top and grab the pizza with the tongs and then quickly invert the whole thing, removing the tongs only after the plate is securely placed back onto the counter or table.
If the crust needs to be gently pried away from the custard cup just use a butter knife or a flat spatula.
Once the crust is free, stick the tongs under the rim of the bowl and lift.
The cheese may be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. It’s OK, just loosen the cheese with a fork or a spatula while holding the bowl with the tongs. Be careful, that bowl is hot.
If at all possible, use the tongs it’s the best tool to avoid burns.
Otherwise, use a fork to lift the bowl far enough to be able to grab it with a potholder or kitchen towel.
Serve these piping hot with a fork and a knife.
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Pizza Pot Pie
- Oven Safe Bowls
- Pizza Dough 1 large crust recipe
- 1 cup [pizza sauce]
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese not fresh, cut into halves
- 4 slices Provolone cheese
- Additional Pizza Toppings as desired
- Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F.
- Spray 4 10-ounces oven safe ramekins with baking spray inside and on the sides of the outside, and set onto a baking sheet.
- Place slices of cheese into ramekins by placing short ends of each piece of cheese in the middle of the bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce into each ramekin on top of the mozzarella cheese.
- Add pizza toppings if using, being careful not to overfill the ramekins.
- Add an additional 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce if desired.
- Top filling with one slice of Provolone cheese.
- Divide pizza dough into 4 equal size pieces and stretch each piece into circles 1 to 1 1/2 inches larger than the top of the oven safe ramekin.
- Place the dough over the filling and gently press dough around the outside of the ramekins.
- Place into the preheated 400 Degree oven and bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and invert onto a serving plate.
- Carefully remove the ramekin from the pizza pot pie. It may be necessary to run a knife around the edge of the dough to loosen it. Using tongs may be helpful with this step.
- Use a yeast pizza dough.
- Use only oven-safe bowls like Pyrex.
- If using Italian sausage or any other raw meat, cook and cool prior to adding to the pizza pot pie.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar white or brown, divided
- 1 1/4 cups 115 Degree F water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and water in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Combine flour, salt, and remaining teaspoon of brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Use the dough hook on a stand mixer if available.
- Once the yeast mixture is foamy on the top, add the oil and mix to combine.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. If not using a mixer, knead the dough by hand until smooth and elastic.
- Set dough aside and allow to rise for at least one hour.
- This dough will develop deeper flavors as it continues to sit. If not using this dough within 2 hours place into the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
- When using this recipe you may have extra dough. Use it to make additional upside pizzas, regular pizza, or cheesy breadsticks.