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Detroit Style (ish) Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza. Thick crust pizza dough topped with pepperoni, tomato sauce, sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, tons of melted cheese, and more pepperoni. The key to a good Detroit-style pizza is crispy cheesy edges. As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven top it with fresh basil, slice, eat, and enjoy. Trust me, every last bite of this pizza is delicious and will leave you wanting more.

Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza | halfbakedharvest.com

I love pizza day. I’m talking about an old-school-style pizza day. They were my favorite when I was in school! Pizza day was always more chill for some reason. I don’t know if the teachers planned it that way or what, but pizza day was the best.

My school served up the classic cheese and pepperoni pizzas…with the best chocolate chip cookies for dessert. It was always a day to look forward to. Anytime I’m making pizza, it’s a good memory.

But Detroit-style pizza is extra special. I’m from Cleveland, which means Detroit was not far away. We heard about Detroit pizza all the time. Unfortunately, we never tried it. But I’ve always been curious about it so I wanted to recreate it.

Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza | halfbakedharvest.com

Detroit-style pizza is rectangular with a thicker crust  It’s usually made with sauce, pepperoni, and tons of cheese that goes all the way out to the edges. Often the pepperonis are pressed into the dough. And it’s baked in a metal rectangular pan. Yes, it even has its own pan that’s specific to just this pizza!

Back when the pizza was first introduced in 1946, at a former speakeasy called Buddy’s Rendevous, automotive drip trays were used. There just weren’t any pans high enough to accommodate this thick-crusted pizza. These specially sized pan helps to create the classic crispy cheesy crust.

If you don’t have a Detroit-style pizza pan, as I do, a metal rectangle cake pan works great too.

Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza | halfbakedharvest.com

Details

Either make your own pizza dough or use store-bought. Either way, make sure the dough is at room temp. Add olive oil to your pizza pan, then push the dough into the bottom of the pan.

Cover the pan and let it sit for a bit. The dough will rise slightly.

Make sure to preheat the oven to the highest setting possible. Cooking the pizza in the bottom half of the oven at a super high temperature creates that crispy crust that everyone loves so much.

Meanwhile, I mix some garlic, fresh basil, oregano, and chili flakes. This blend is really going to season the pizza and make the flavor delicious.

When the dough is ready, layer on the toppings! The traditional layering process is pepperoni, then vertical lines of pizza sauce, then cubes of cheese.

We love our pepperonis to be crispy, so I did a slightly different order.

Start with pepperoncini, a sprinkling of the herb mix from above, then smooth on the sauce, and add the cheese. It’s traditional to use cubed brick cheese, which is similar to a dry whole milk mozzarella. Many places will also add cheddar to the mix. 

I do cubes of mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar. The cubes melt wonderfully over the dough. Make sure to arrange the cheese all the way out to the edge of the dough. What happens is the cheese melts down along the sides of the pan and creates the crispy cheese crust that’s essential to this pizza.

Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza | halfbakedharvest.com

After the cheese, I add a handful of fresh in-season cherry tomatoes, more herbs, and then lots of very thinly sliced pepperonis.

Bake the pizza in the bottom half of the oven until the cheese is bubbling and becomes crispy around the edges.

As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, use a spatula to lift it out onto a cutting board. Slice it, top with basil, and eat. This one is meant to be eaten hot, so enjoy every last bite!

Family and friends will LOVE this pizza with its crispy cheesy crust, tomatoes, pepperonis, and herbs. The cheese in the middle is super melty too! Oh, and don’t skip out on the honey on top (it’s mine and Asher’s favorite). It makes every bite real good!

Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other pizzas? Here are a few of my go-to’s. 

Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza

Pull Apart Roasted Garlic Pizza Dip Sliders

Homemade Cheesy Pizza Rolls

Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Garden Greens Goddess Pizza

Peach Burrata Pizza with Honey Balsamic

Lastly, if you make this Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 585 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Position an oven rack in the bottom half of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
    2. Drizzle the olive oil in 9×13 metal cake pan (or a Detroit-style pizza pan). Put the pizza dough in the pan and gently stretch it out to fit so the dough almost reaches the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the garlic, basil, oregano, fennel, and a pinch each of chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
    5. To assemble. Gently press the dough until it covers the entire pan. Layer on half of the pepperoni slices, then the pepperoncini. Spoon on the tomato sauce. Sprinkle over half of the herbs. Top with cheese, then tomatoes, then the remaining herbs, and more pepperoni.
    6. Bake until bubbly and a crispy cheese crust has formed, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a spatula, loosen the edges and slide on to a cutting board. Slice into squares and serve with fresh basil and honey.
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Detroit Style Tomato Herb Pepperoni Pizza | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, but my crust just won’t get crispy. Have my oven as high as it goes and even bought a new silver pan, any ideas to try? Thanks!

    1. Hey Kate,
      Happy Monday!🎃 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a bunch for making it! Do you have a pizza stone? I find those work best for a crispy crust! xx

  2. This sounds delicious!!
    Love all of your meals! Looking to bake ahead and freeze, would you bake it first and then freeze or freeze before baking?

    1. Hi Kristina,
      I would freeze before baking! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

      1. So the pizza crust is the same as a normal pizza? It’s all on the pan ? We had. Detroit style pizza when we were in Scottsdale and I was like I remembered u made one. I’m just Hoping the Trader Joe’s pizza dough will work. The pizza crust was so fluffy ……

  3. Every recipe is a 10/10 from you! I made your Detroit Pizza last weekend and it has already been requested again for tonight. I would love to make my own pizza dough. Do you have a recipe for just the dough? I can’t say enough good things about you! You are my go-to for just about every meal. Diane 🙂

    1. Hi Diane,
      Thank you so much for your super kind message and trying so many recipes! My pizza dough recipe is in the HBH Super Simple cookbook. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  4. 5 stars
    Finally made this tonight. Had no idea what to expect as it was a good amount of ingredients …just trusted the recipe. It turned out great! My husband and I both loved it!
    Thanks Tieghan for such an awesome pizza recipe!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for trying it out! Have a great weekend:)

    1. Hey Andrea,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you taking the time to make this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! xT