This New York-style Sicilian pizza recipe is made with a thick crust topped with red sauce, anchovies, toasted bread crumbs, onions, and mozzarella. It’s a foolproof rectangular pizza that will make you feel like you’re dining in Palermo!
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Why you’ll love this Sicilian pizza recipe
- Not your average pizza. Sicilian-style pizza is known for its rectangular shape and thick crust, much like focaccia bread. Anchovies, cherry tomatoes, and crispy bread crumbs on top make this pizza one of a kind.
- Simple ingredients. This Sicilian pizza recipe uses store-bought pizza dough and a handful of simple and accessible toppings (but it also works with homemade dough!)
- Crowd-pleasing. Everybody likes pizza! Serve this popular Sicilian recipe with even more homemade pizzas on pizza night.
- It’s versatile. What I love about Sicilian-style pizza is its flexibility. While most of the toppings here give you the traditional Sicilian experience, you can play around with the options as much as you like! Check out the Flavor Variations below for even more pizza topping ideas.
What is Sicilian pizza?
Sicilian pizza, AKA pizza Siciliana or sfincione, is a rectangular pizza with a thick and fluffy crust that acts like a sponge. True to tradition, this version is topped with anchovy filets, toasted breadcrumbs, and plenty of tomato sauce.
This is a New York-style Sicilian pizza because, in addition to the authentic toppings, it’s baked with a thick layer of gooey mozzarella cheese. This delectable addition offers stretchy, cheesy pulls with every bite. Yum!
All of the ingredients you need to make this pizza recipe are easy to find in most major grocery stores:
- Pizza dough. You can make Sicilian pizza with store-bought pizza dough (fresh or frozen) to keep the recipe as quick and simple as possible. Or, if you have the time, make the dough yourself!
- Pizza sauce. Use your favorite store-bought tomato pizza sauce or make your own (or try a pomodoro sauce or sugo).
- Mozzarella cheese. Shred the mozzarella yourself to help it melt to perfection.
- Onion. Use a white or sweet onion.
- Anchovies. Anchovy filets are chopped into smaller pieces for easy eating. This is completely optional- keep this pizza vegetarian.
- Cherry tomatoes. Roasted cherry tomatoes on pizza give every bite a juicy pop of sweet and earthy flavors!
- Bread crumbs. You can use panko bread crumbs, regular or whole wheat bread crumbs, or gluten free bread crumbs.
- Olive oil. The oil is brushed over the crust and combined with the bread crumbs to encourage browning.
- Basil. Fresh basil leaves are best.
How to make Sicilian pizza
- Roll out the dough. Lay the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to roughly the same size as your baking pan. Transfer it to the lightly greased pan and press it out to the sides and edges. To finish, brush the dough with the olive oil.
- Add the toppings. Spread the pizza sauce over the crust, followed by half of the shredded mozzarella, onions, anchovies, and cherry tomatoes. Top with the remaining cheese and olive oil-dressed bread crumbs.
- Bake. Bake the pizza siciliana until the cheese is melted and the crust and bread crumbs are golden brown.
- Top with basil. Top the baked pizza with fresh basil leaves, then slice and enjoy!
Take your Sicilian pizza over the top by swapping the traditional toppings for any of these delicious options:
- Meat. Pepperoni slices, prosciutto, Italian meatballs, shredded chicken, or Italian sausage.
- Vegetables. Black olives, zucchini, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, mushrooms, or red onions.
- Cheese. Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, caciocavallo, cheddar, fontina, pepper jack, or provolone.
- Finishing toppings. Fresh herbs, red chili flakes, pesto, burrata cheese, or hot honey.
To store: The leftover pizza or individual slices can be kept in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze: Keep the slices in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Reheating: The best way to reheat leftover pizza is in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven until the crust is slightly crisp and the cheese is gooey.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Thaw the dough ahead of time. If your dough is frozen, remember to transfer it to the fridge the night before making this recipe.
- Is the dough springing back while you’re rolling it out? Set it aside to rest for 15 to 30 minutes. This gives the gluten time to relax and should prevent it from springing back.
- Authentic Sicilian pizza is made without mozzarella. For the true experience, omit the mozzarella and stir caciocavallo cheese into the pizza sauce.
- To deepen the flavors, saute the onions and anchovies in a lightly oiled skillet until they become lightly golden.
More pizza recipes to try:
Frequently asked questions
Sicilian pizza may look like regular Italian pizza but it has a handful of distinguishable differences. It’s traditionally baked in a rectangular shape, uses less cheese, and includes breadcrumbs on top.
Both Sfincione and deep dish pizza have thick crusts and lots of tomato sauce, but that’s about it in terms of similarities. The two are very different styles of pizza, with deep dish being a classic Chicago-style pizza baked in a deep baking dish and topped with tomato sauce on top of a thick layer of mozzarella.
- Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Lightly grease a large baking pan.
- Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to fit the size of your baking pan. Transfer the dough to a greased baking pan and press the dough down to fit the base and allowing 1/2-1 inch up the sides. Gently press down the center.
- Brush one tablespoon of olive oil around the crust and one in the center of the dough.
- In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Spread the tomato sauce, followed by half the cheese, onion, anchovies, and cherry tomatoes. Add the remaining cheese, followed by the breadcrumb mix.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Tear up the basil over the top and serve.
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