Spring-y Detroit-Style Pizza



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If you have talked to me in the past three months, like, in person I have most likely brought up:

1. working out (I’ve been doing a lot of that), specifically Kayla.
2. how fast the year is going (OMG HI APRIL!)
3. how much I love podcasts lately (more on that tomorrow)
4. and how obsessed I am with Detroit-Style pizza
5. how to make detroit-style pizza

I had Detroit-Style pizza, like, six months ago when a pop-up popped up in Chinatown serving just that. I had never had it before. I had seen the beautiful photos of Emmy Squared on the Instagram but since I am allergic to going to New York (and whenever I am there it’s always for a blip), I haven’t been.

But when I went to this pop-up in Chinatown, I thought the pizza was like a dream. The crust is crispy, like a cheese crisp, because the cheese is taken all the way to the edge of the pan, while the center is fluffy, similar to focaccia.

I’m pretty sure it’s taken first place as my favorite style pizza EVER. I even went to Detroit a few weeks ago and didn’t have the chance to eat pizza there and was so bummed. 🙁

I decided to take matters into my own hands and make it! Luckily, when I decided to embark on my journey Kenji Lopez had just posted, a mere two days earlier, a recipe for it! WHAA!

So I tried it, thinking that perhaps I would only half like it. I figured I’d probably move onto another recipe and try a few others. But, guys, it was perfect.

I guess that’s not a huge surprise since his recipes are so dang reliable.

So here’s the link to his recipe. Use that crust recipe AND then get creative.

This is for a very spring-forward Detroit-style pizza. Probably toppings you’d never get in Detroit.

This one has radishes that are tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. The sauce is an arugula pesto. The cheese is tons of mozzarella (a must) and dollops of ricotta with sprigs of basil, crushed red pepper on top and peas.

Some tips I found:

1. I used a quarter baking sheet. I use these for all sorts of things in my kitchen and decided to use it for this pizza because I couldn’t justify buying a specific pan for Detroit pizza.

2. I lined it with parchment because the first time around it stuck and I almost cried trying to pry it off the bottom.

3. I rubbed the edges of the pan with olive oil and it helped with the cheese sticking and cleaning.

4. I used the entire dough recipe for a quarter sheet pan, which is different than his recipe. He advises you to halve it. I found it to be too difficult to spread out and not thick enough.

5. He also recommends using an 8×8-inch baking pan (think: brownie pan) as an alternative. So if you have that, use it!

6. “Brick cheese” is not very easy to find (unless you live in Michigan and/or Wisconsin). I looked and whenever I can’t find anything here in LA, I figure you guys probably won’t be able to find it either. I was totally happy with tons of shredded low-moisture mozzarella (I say splurge and use a good quality mozz).

7. If you think my spring-forward one is boring, put good ol’ classic marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni on it! I won’t be mad.

8. Don’t try and bake 2 or 3 at once in the same oven. This post was originally three different types of Detroit pizza but they ended up soggy and gross. This is because there was just too many of them in the oven. Don’t do that! Bake one at a time.

I hope this has been a convincing pleas to try this style of pizza!

5 from 1 vote

Spring-y Detroit-Style Pizza

Prep: 3 hours 20 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 3 hours 32 minutes
Servings: 1 (Detroit-style) pizza



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup basil leaves + more as garnish
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper + more as garnish


  • 1 batch of Detroit-style pizza dough
  • 1 1/2 cups low-moisture shredded mozzarella
  • 1 to 2 radishes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup ricotta


To Make the Pesto:

  • In a food processor or blender, add the olive oil, basil, arugula, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, pinch of salt and crushed red pepper. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Give it a taste and adjust the salt per your liking.

To Assemble the Pizza:

  • Line a quarter baking sheet with a sheet of parchment. Rub the sides of the baking sheet with olive oil or grape seed oil. Transfer the ball of dough to the center of the baking sheet and push it and gently pull it until reaches the corners of the baking. If it’s a teeny bit shy of the corners, no biggie! Lightly cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. After the dough has risen for a second and last time, add a few tablespoons of pesto and spread atop the pizza dough. (I had some pesto leftover so I ended up serving some with the pizza and keeping more in the fridge for later.)
  • Top with the shredded mozzarella and make sure it reaches to the edge of the baking sheet (this part is important because it’ll give you those nice, crispy edges!). In a small bowl, toss the radishes with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange the radishes atop the pizza.
  • Transfer to the oven to bake for about 8 minutes. Add the peas to the top of the pizza and bake for an additional 4 to 5 minutes (for a total of 12 to 13 minutes), until the edges are crispy and the cheese has melted.
  • Top with sprigs of dollops of ricotta and sprigs of fresh basil. Slice it up and serve (be careful the edges of the pan will be hot!).


Serving: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. Third time making this in the last 6 weeks. Instead of arugula, I’m using the four different lettuces growing in my Aerogarden, basil included for the peso. Using the traditional Detroit low moisture mozzarella and brick cheese 50/50. Keep forgetting to plop the ricotta on though. Still amazing.

  2. Just found your blog and as a Detroit pizza-lover I just had to comment. I’m usually very loyal to classic Italian style pizza, but the first time I had Detroit style I was in love. There’s this awesome place in Austin (where I live) called Via 313 and if you ever come down to visit you MUST have some! Bonus: their gluten free pizza is the best crust I’ve ever had.
    Definitely making some pizza this weekend now…

  3. I made this! As a matter of fact, I am eating this right now… actually getting a second slice. Fantastic, love the radish ricotta twist! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  4. So dreamy! I haven’t been Detroit, and for some reason I haven’t eaten Detroit style pizza! I know I would love it. Sounds like a much better alternative to deep dish 😉

  5. i am planning a trip to nyc rn and just added emmy squared to my 750 item list of places to eat haha (ill be there 2.5 days)

  6. Detroit pizza, I’ve never heard of it. But now I’m thinkin’ where has this fabulous looking stuff been all my life? I also see that you combine basil and arugula in your pesto, another thing I’ve never done but I’m sure I’ll love. YUM! My mouth is watering…

  7. Oh wow, you’ve totally sold me on this pizza and I have a feeling every single one of your toppings is a must (Oh sweet pine nuts!!!)! I’ve honestly never even heard of Detroit style pizza so this is like revolutionary to me. Thanks, Adrianna!