Milwaukee Style Sausage Pizza

We like to make Milwaukee Style Sausage Pizza for Pizza Night at our house! This is the pizza that Joe grew up eating. The first time I went with Joe to Milwaukee he took me to his favorite place for pizza, Balistreri’s Pizza on 68th and Wells. We had pizza and fried eggplant. I’m not sure which one I liked more! When we go back to Milwaukee, we make it a point to stop by Balistreri’s. Of course, we don’t get back as much as we want to eat the pizza, so we started making our own at home.

What is Milwaukee Style Pizza?

Milwaukee Style Sausage Pizza has a number of variations, but Joe’s favorite is from Balistreri’s Pizza on 68th and Wells on the west side of town. They make a pizza with a thin and crispy crust with any number of toppings to choose from. Joe especially likes his with crumbled Italian Sausage and chopped onions. Of course, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese are a given.

Milwaukee style pizza is baked on a large baking pan in a very hot oven. Its then cut into little square pieces. They set the pizza in the middle of the table with a stack of small share plates on the side. There are never leftovers. It is too easy to eat “just one more piece” and before you know it the whole pizza is gone!

When making this Milwaukee style pizza at home, be sure to roll the dough as thin as possible. It won’t be exactly the same as Balistreri’s, but it will be close. You can use homemade pizza dough or fresh store bought dough, if you prefer, to make this pizza. Our basic Italian Tomato Sauce is a perfect sauce for this pizza. Of course, you can make your own home-made sauce. Muir Glen pizza sauce is a great brand you can get in your local supermarket.

Joe’s favorite Pizza toppings

Italian sausage varies greatly by region. Milwaukee tends to lean toward a Southern Italian or Sicilian style that has fennel seeds and crushed red pepper. Most sausage pizza contains the sliced precooked variety, but Milwaukee style has crumbled sausage instead. Place the sausage on top of the cheese raw and cook it with the pizza. This method really imparts the flavor of the sausage into the cheese and dough giving it a delicious and unique taste. Most pizza with onions contain long thin strips. This version has the onions chopped up in a small dice imparting a more even, but subtle flavor to the pizza.

Enjoy this Milwaukee Style Sausage Pizza on your next Pizza Night. We’re sure you’ll like it as much as we do!

Milwaukee Style Sausage Pizza

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Joe Sanfelippo Course: Main DishCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


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This Milwaukee style pizza has a thin and crispy crust topped with Italian sausage, onions and cheese.


  • 1/2 recipe 1/2 homemade pizza dough

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 2 tbsp 2 flour (for rolling out the dough)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 basic tomato sauce or your favorite premade pizza sauce

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 onion, finely diced

  • 1 cup 1 mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 lb 1/2 Italian sausage (about 2 links, casing removed)


  • Place one of the oven racks onto the lowest space in the oven. (This will make for a crispy crust.) Preheat your oven to 550F (or as hot as it will go).
  • Sprinkle the flour on the counter that you are going to roll the dough out on. Roll the dough into a 12″x17″ rectangle (the approximate size of the sheet pan) using a rolling pin.
  • Oil the sheet pan and transfer the pizza dough onto it. If the dough tears a little, don’t worry, just stretch it out and patch it back up. It will bake back together.
  • Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough. Next add the layer of onions. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the dough. Now add the sausage, placing small chunks over the top of the pizza.
  • Bake in the oven on the bottom rack for approximately 15 minutes. It is very important to check the crust several times using a spatula. Since once it is golden brown, the pizza will be done.
  • Cut it into small squares and serve.


  1. I LOVE Balistries!!! Thank you for the recipe! It’s really good.


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