Dutch Oven Upside Down Pizza: How to make deep dish pan style pizza
This Dutch Oven Upside Down Pizza recipe is a fun twist on a classic deep dish pan style pizza. Pile the pizza toppings in the bottom of the pot, top them with a crust and bake. For the big reveal, invert the pie so it’s right-side-up on your serving plate. It is one of the craziest Dutch oven camping recipes you’ll ever make!
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I’ve made this recipe easy by not making my own pizza dough, I use a refrigerated ready-to-bake dough. I do use fresh veggies, so the prep work includes chopping a bit of onion, garlic and bell pepper.
Cooking Methods & Equipment
If you are making this as one of our easy campfire recipes, get some nice hardwood coals ready for frying, then baking. If you’d rather use charcoal briquettes, that’s fine too. You’ll probably need two batches of coals for the cooking time.
If you want to make this as one of our camp stove recipes, you’ll need to use a Dutch oven dome and heat diffuser plate during the baking process of the recipe.
If you want to make this in an RV, you can use a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet as the frying pan on your stovetop and transition to the oven for the baking process.
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed. For baking at an oven temperature of 400 F degrees, you will need 29 total coals = 19 on top of the lid / 10 below the bottom of the oven if you are using a standard-depth 12-inch Dutch oven. If you are using a different oven size, check our Dutch oven temperature chart to see how many coals you will need.
Step 2. Prepare the dough. You don’t have to roll dough, just open the can and unroll it onto a flat surface in the approximate size of your oven. You won’t be using the whole thing because it won’t fit into your pan. Lay it on a flat surface and place your lid on the dough to make an impression, then, cut off the excess. Use a fork to prick about 10 holes in the top of the dough and set it aside. One quick tip: this recipe calls for pizza dough, don’t substitute crescent rolls because that dough has an entirely different texture.
Step 3. Preheat the oven. Prepare 29 hot coals. You’ll start with all of them under the oven for frying. The entire cooking time will be at least 50 minutes. The best way to prepare for the total cooking time is to watch the first batch of coals compared to the cooking progress. If the coals burn down halfway but the pizza is not going to be done, get another set of coals ready so you are not stopping the cooking process while the second set of coals is getting hot.
Step 4. Cook sausage, onion and garlic. Brown the Italian sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. When it’s about half done, add the onion and garlic and continue cooking until the sausage is fully cooked. Remove it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Step 5. Layer ingredients. Start with layering the pepperoni slices in the bottom of the pan. Top with green pepper slices and then add Italian sausage mixture. Top with tomato sauce, salt and pepper and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Step 6. Top with dough, butter and bake. Being careful not to burn yourself on the preheated Dutch oven, place the dough over the pizza mixture. Make sure the dough reaches to the edges around the whole oven and add butter evenly across the top of the dough. Cover with lid and move 19 coals to the top of the lid, leave 10 below the bottom of the oven. Bake at 400 degrees F until the dough is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
Camp Cooking Tip: If top of pizza crust is not browned after 15 minutes, for best results, move all the coals from below the oven to the top of the lid. Because the sausage is fully cooked, the meat sauce mixture may not need as much heat as the dough (depending on the actual pizza dough recipe) so just continue cooking until you have a golden-brown and slightly crispy crust.
Step 7. Invert and serve. Remove from heat, run a knife around the inside edge of the oven to loosen any crust that may be sticking to the walls. CAUTION: Cast iron cookware retains a lot of heat so be careful not to burn yourself when you are flipping the pot to get the pizza out of the pan and onto a serving plate. High-temperature oven mitts are a good way to protect your hands from the hot oven while still maintaining a good grip. Once inverted, the pizza will be sitting right-side-up on the plate. Let it cool a little bit before slicing. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.
Get creative by making your own flavor combinations when you’re making your upside down cast iron pizza recipes. The technique will be the same, just swap out different combinations of meat, vegetable, sauce and cheese ingredients. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Meat-Lovers Pizza: Ground beef, bacon, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Hawaiian Pizza: Ham, brown sugar, pineapple, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Veggie Pizza: Mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, onion, tomato paste with Italian seasoning, fresh spinach and cheddar cheese.
What To Serve With This Recipe
Pizza is a great meal that stands alone. When I’m making camping dinner recipes like this, I may not serve anything with it or just pair it with a simple side salad.
We have tons of one pot camping meals that are fast, delicious and make cleanup a breeze!
This is a great way to make campfire pizza that doesn’t use dough. This Dutch Oven Pizza uses a batter to create the crust.
Looking for an excuse to have pizza for breakfast? This is a great camping recipe to serve for brunch. Make a fast cornmeal batter crust, top it with eggs, ham & cheese, bake it and finish it off with sliced green onions and diced tomatoes when you make this Dutch Oven Breakfast Pizza.
This Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie is easy to make and has a fluffy upper-crust made from prepared refrigerated biscuit dough.
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Dutch Oven Upside Down Pizza
- 1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage mild it you are sensitive to spicy food
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (6 oz) package sliced pepperoni
- 1 green bell pepper sliced into thin rings
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- 1 (14 oz) can refrigerated ready to bake pizza crust dough
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, sliced into thin pats
- Grated Parmesan cheese and torn fresh basil leaves optional for serving
- Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed.
- Prepare the dough. Lay the pizza dough on a flat surface, using your hands, flatten and stretch the dough to the approximate size and shape of the camping Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven lid on top of the dough to create an impression and remove the lid. Use a sharp knife to cut around the impression and remove excess dough. Use a fork to prick holes in the top of the dough, about 10 pricks will be enough to let steam release from the pot as the pizza bakes. Set the dough aside.
- Pre-heat a standard-depth 12-inch Dutch oven for frying then baking at 400 degrees F. (29 total charcoal briquettes or campfire coals = 19 top of lid / 10 bottom of the oven) NOTE: This Dutch oven pizza recipe requires frying and baking for a total cooking time of at least 50 minutes so you may need two batches of coals. When the first batch of coals is about halfway burned down, assess the cooking process and prepare a second set of coals if you will need them.
- Start with all the coals below the oven for frying. In 12-inch cast iron Dutch oven, brown Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up sausage into crumbles as it cooks.
- When sausage is about half-way browned, add onion and garlic to pot. Continue cooking until the sausage is fully cooked, about 20 minutes total. Remove mixture from the pot and let it drain on a plate lined with paper towels. If there is a lot of grease in the pot, use a paper towel to soak it up and remove it from the pot.
- Evenly layer the pepperoni slices in the bottom of the Dutch oven.
- Place green pepper slices over the pepperoni.
- Spoon Italian sausage mixture back into the pot, spreading it in an even layer.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the meat and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella shredded cheese on next.
- Carefully place dough on top of the pizza mixture. Make sure the dough reaches to the edges, all around the inside walls of the cast iron pot.
- Place butter pats evenly over the top of the dough and cover with Dutch oven lid.
- Bake at 400 degrees F until the dough is cooked through and golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. (Place 19 coals on top of the oven / 10 coals below the bottom of oven.) Using a lid lifter, turn oven and lid 1/4 turns in opposite directions every 5 minutes or so to ensure even baking. Camp Cooking Tip: If top of pizza crust is not browned after 15 minutes, move all bottom coals to the top of the lid and continue cooking until you have a slightly crispy crust that is nicely browned.
- Remove lid and oven from heat. Run knife around inside edge of the oven to make sure the crust is not sticking to the oven walls. Then, use heat resistant gloves and place a large platter, pizza pan or large baking sheet on top of the oven, then, VERY CAREFULLY, invert the hot oven so the pizza sits right-side-up on the plate.
- Let cool a little bit before slicing. Serve hot pizza topped with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.
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