Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza

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Another pizza coming your way - this time a Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza! I can't stop!

Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza  from (@whatsgabycookin)


Detroit style pizza is clearly having a moment in the WGC test kitchen as I've created 3 kinds of pizza with this dough in the last few weeks. I can't get enough. This Sausage Fennel Pizza is the 2nd one to grace the website and the next one is coming soon. Put your party pants on... they are all incredible.

If you’re not familiar with Detroit Style Pizza, here’s the deal. It’s a rectangular pizza with a thick crust that is crispy and chewy and LOADED with cheese. I took the liberty to test it in a large cast iron skillet this time around because not all of us have pizza style rectangular sized baking dishes and we NEED TO COVER THE BASES. So we gave it a little spin - equally as delish.

Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza  from (@whatsgabycookin)

The crust is perfection. The cheese is ooey and gooey and yes it might seem like a lot when you're prepping the recipe, but don't skimp on it. TRUST ME. You need that cheese to melt and caramelize around the edges to really give you all the different flavors that come with this Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza.

And just a quick note on the sausage: you can use any sausage you prefer. I love an Italian sausage because it comes with all sorts of herbs and spices that add additional flavor to the finished dish. Just take whatever kind of sausage you want out of the casing before you start to sauté!! Happy cooking.

Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza  from (@whatsgabycookin)

Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.6 from 5 votes
This Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza will absolutely knock your socks off with the perfect crusty crust, gooey cheese and tons of delish sausage on top for BALANCE!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proof Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


For the Pizza

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 batch Detroit style pizza dough, recipe below
  • 8 ounces sausage
  • ½ small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces brick style whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup olive oil, mixed with 8 cloves of chopped garlic
  • red fresno chiles to garnish
  • red pepper flakes and basil to garnish

For the Dough

  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • olive oil as needed


For the Dough

  • Put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a food processor with a metal blade attachment and pulse to combine. Add 1 cup warm water, then process until a ball forms, about 30 seconds (if a ball does not form, add a bit more flour). Process for another 30 seconds, then roll into a tight ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Proof in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.

For the Pizza

  • Position an oven rack in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 500 F. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Cook sausage, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned in spots and cooked though, 5–8 minutes. Transfer sausage to a small bowl and drain any excess fat.
  • Pour the remaining olive oil in a large, rectangle metal cake pan (roughly 10 x 14inches) or a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Put the dough in the pan and gently stretch it out to fit so the dough reaches the corners.
  • Drizzle half of the garlic oil sauce on top. Layer the sausage and sliced fennel on the dough. Then lay the cheese cubes all over, especially around the perimeter up to the edge of the pan. Drizzle the rest of the garlic oil sauce on top and scatter with sliced red fresnos.
  • Bake until bubbly and golden and a crispy cheese crust has formed, 10 to 15 minutes. Use spatula to loosen up the edges and remove the pizza from the metal pan and place on a cutting board. Slice into pieces and garnish.


Make sure to get the cheese right in the edges of the pan - that's what makes this a characteristic Detroit-style pizza!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 953kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 38g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1898mg | Potassium: 409mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 466IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!


  1. What size food processor do you need? Mine is pretty small. Worried it’s too small. It’s 4 cups with a max liquid level line at 1 1/2 cups. Will that be big enough?

  2. 5 stars
    This was excellent! Thank you, Gaby! I added a little red pizza sauce because my family and I prefer that (not too much though because I didn't want the pizza to end up a saucy mess), and I omitted the Fresno chiles because that isn't our thing. I kept the red pepper flakes. I also accidentally used the entire packet of yeast, instead of just 1 tsp, but I had no issues. I used a 10.5 inch cast iron skillet (the le Creuset skillet in "fig" doesn't come in.a 12 inch!), but that was also totally fine. I assume my pizza was a little thicker than it would have been otherwise, but everyone loved it just how it was! Lastly, I used sweet Italian chicken sausage to keep the fat content down.

    1. I made the dough with my Kitchenaid Mixer using the dough hook and it turned out wonderfully! Add the yeast and sugar to water in the bowl and leave for 5 minutes until dissolved/starts to foam. Add flour and salt, mix with dough hook until a ball forms, then let it knead on medium speed for a minute or two.

  3. 4 stars
    Made this today. Honestly I was doubtful when pulling it together with all the olive oil but the crust turned out fabulous! Love the crispness! I did sub shredded Brussels instead of fennel as personal preference. I think I would prefer shredded cheese on the next one.

  4. O my wooorddd

    I am from Metro Detroit and I am so happy you are on board with Detroit style pizza!! Please keep them coming I always grab the corner piece before anyone else to get alllll the crispiness

    This pizza looks so delish and I cannot wait to try it!!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this last night in my 10X14 pan it was amazing.
    I lived in Detroit many years ago and remember Buddy’s as well as Shield’s pizza, you got the crust perfect!!! Next time I will make it with sauce and pepperoni and cheese as topping.
    3Tbs of oil in pan really helped give the crust a nice crispy crunch.
    Be patient with the dough, give it a rest for 15-20 if it pulls away from the edges, it will relax!

4.60 from 5 votes (1 rating without comment)

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