Venison Deep Dish Pizza

This Friday night favorite is a wild tasty switch from the ordinary

Pizza, a Friday night tradition, should be a staple in every household.

Growing up, I remember my mother making pizza dough and baking it into a tasty pizza almost every Friday night. Once she mastered her pizza dough recipe, she handed it down to me so I could continue to enjoy the Friday night pizza tradition. Over the years, I have become passionate about knowing where my food comes from and enjoying wild game in traditional recipes.

Then, the idea of combining the Friday night tradition and wild game struck me. After multiple pizzas and plenty of trips to Chicago, I decided that a deep-dish pizza would be better suited for wild boar or venison, so I started working on my very own dough recipe. After some research and numerous taste tests at Chicago’s various deep-dish joints, I have developed my very own deep-dish dough recipe to be enjoyed with the wonderful flavor of wild game.


  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Yellow cornmeal
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter, melted
  • ½ Cup Water, lukewarm
  • 1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese


  • 8 Ounces Sliced Mozzarella
  • ½ Pound Ground Venison
  • ½ Tablespoon Paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Dash of Cayenne Pepper
  • 8 White or Button Mushrooms, Sliced
  • ½ Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • ½ Small Red Onion, Sliced
  • ½ Jalapeño, Seeded and Thinly Sliced
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Olive oil


  • 28 Ounce Can of Crushed Tomato
  • 6 Ounce Can of Garlic and Basil Tomato Paste
  • ¼ Cup Basil Pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar


  1. In a stand mixer affixed with a dough hook, combine the flour, cornmeal and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water then add the honey and olive oil. Let the yeast bloom for 5 minutes.
  3. Once the yeast has bloomed (it will appear bubbly or foamy), add the yeast mixture and melted butter to the stand mixer and combine on low to medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon or two of water if dough is too dry or add a tablespoon or two of flour if dough is too sticky
  4. Allow dough to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size, covered with a damp cloth.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  6. While dough is rising, combine all ingredients for the sauce and let rest in the refrigerator.
  7. Toss the sliced mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños in olive oil. Roast in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes. This removes moisture from the vegetables to prevent the pizza from becoming runny.
  8. Season the ground venison with the paprika, salt, black pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper. It’s best to mix the seasoning with the venison at least the night before.
  9. Saute the seasoned ground venison until cooked through. Let cool.
  10. Spray your baking dish, 10.5” X 2” cast iron skillet or similar pan with nonstick spray, then add 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil, tilting the pan to cover the bottom and sides.
  11. Stretch the dough to make a large circle.
  12. Place the dough in the pan and stretch it towards the edges. If the dough is shrinking back too much, let rest for 15 minutes.
  13. Gently push the dough up the sides of the pan and let rest for an additional 15 minutes.
  14. Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork.
  15. Bake the crust for 5 minutes until the dough is set, then remove.
  16. Cover the bottom of the dough with the slices of mozzarella.
  17. Next layer the sautéed venison, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and jalapeño.
  18. Top the pizza with enough marinara sauce to fill the pizza and cover all the toppings. Brush the edges/top of the crust with pesto (optional).
  19. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  20. Allow pizza to cool for 15 to 25 minutes before cutting and serving.