Making pizza from scratch is easy and you don't even need a special stone. Cast Iron Skillet Pizza has an amazingly crisp cornmeal crust and a spicy-sweet edge. Loaded with soppressata and two kinds of cheese, this is the pizza you'll choose over carryout every time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the cast-iron skillet is the bad boy of cook’s tools. It’s got dark brooding good looks and sometimes gets a little crusty or rusty around the edges but beneath that hard shell, that bad boy is solid. Dependable. And just like that cute boy, Cast Iron Skillet Pizza will ruin you for any other—including store-bought.
Why make pizza in Cast iron?
- Crispy crust. Boom. Cast iron makes a good crust an amazingly crispy one because you preheat it so you're practically searing the crust before topping it.
- Honey-kissed edges One sweet little touch in this recipe launches it to next-level pizza-dom.
- Winning presentation We eat with our eyes and this baby will fill your people up.
- Super easy to make When I say your kids can make it, I really mean it. They can (depending on the age with supervision).
- Minimal mess Spread some dough in a pan, let it cook for a bit stovetop, top it with the toppings and throw the whole thing in the oven.
- Clean-up Read the bullet above. Enough said. Cleaning and caring for cast iron is a breeze.
Equipment needed for this recipe
- a skillet, preferably cast iron. In case you were wondering, the 12" Lodge cast iron skillet is one of my all-time favorites.
- a stove, and an oven
- or just a grill if you're planning on eating outdoors.
This pizza would even be a great dinner while camping. Pizza under the stars? Amazing!
Cast iron PIzza Crust basics
The best thing about this recipe is you can use either store-bought OR homemade dough. Gotta love a pizza that's looking out for your best interests, right?
store-bought pizza dough
There's no shame in using store-bought dough. You can typically ask your fav local pizza place to sell you dough or visit your local Trader Joe's. I use their regular and whole wheat pizza dough all the time. Keep it in the freezer for the next time a pizza craving hits. And it will!
Homemade Pizza Dough
And of course, homemade dough is always an option. My homemade pizza dough recipe is as easy as they come and you can make one or two for tonight and freeze the rest for later.
HOW TO: thin or thick crust
The nice thing about a cast-iron skillet is the generous sides of the pan giving you the opportunity to make a deep-dish style pizza. I'd use the entire recipe below (which typically makes two crusts) for one 10-12" skillet for an extra thick crust.
If you want a thicker, flaky crust and you're using store-bought dough, roll each crust out separately then place one crust in the bottom of the pan and the second directly on top. Then follow the directions to the sauce and add your ingredients. Here in Chicago, we call this style of crust "double-dough," not to be confused with our traditional stuffed pizza. That's a whole other post.
Nothing but the (Pizza) Sauce
Our favorite pizza sauce is this Tomato Sauce recipe. Follow the directions for leaving it thicker for pizza sauce.
Another great option is to use tomato paste and spread it on all over the crust in a thin layer which is what I did here. Season it with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. With the spicy soppressata, cheeses, and amazing crust glaze, you don't need much else!
Cast iron skillet pizza tip: Spread the sauce all the way to the edges of the dough. you want that tomato sauce right up to the edge for this pizza.
Creative Pizza topping ideas
You and I both know that almost anything works pizza. Think of creating balanced pizza pairings as you would when creating a menu for a dinner party. You want colors, textures, and flavors to complement each other. Some fun ones to pull from:
- spicy - soppressata salami (like used here), hot peppers, jalapenos, giardiniera
- sweet - pineapple, sweet peppers, ham, peppadew peppers
- sour - pickled veggies like jalapenos, peppadew peppers, or onions
- crunchy - onions or nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts or pistachios
- creamy - usually from cheeses like ricotta, mozzarella (stringy or fresh), gorgonzola (great with veggies) or sauces like alfredo
- umami - tomato sauce, mushrooms, Italian beef, meatballs
- fresh - vegetables or herbs like basil, oregano, parsley, pesto
Steps to make pan pizza
Pizza in a cast-iron skillet is a two-step process that's really quick and easy. Here's how you do it:
- Heat your skillet on top of the stove over medium-high heat.
- Once the pan is heated, sprinkle in some cornmeal and/or flour .
- Lay in the crust pushing the dough to the edges of the pan. Drizzle over some olive oil .
- Cook the crust for about 2 minutes and remove the pan from the burner.
- Top with the sauce, soppressata, and all the cheese .
- Place in a preheated 500˚oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the center is nicely golden browned .
The best part of this frying pan pizza is that when you take it out of the oven, you kiss the edges with a touch of spicy honey. This trick is inspired by a Bon Appetit cast iron pizza recipe and it's only three ingredients. You probably have all of them in your pantry right now.
- crushed red pepper.
Whatever you do, don't let this bad boy get away. This pizza is a lifelong relationship.
For a crowd: Make a double batch of dough and have a pizza party complete with a topping bar. Let everybody assemble pizzas, drink some wine or fav beverages with some great music.
For a few: Make the whole recipe and freeze half of the dough for next time.
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Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
- cast iron skillet
- cornmeal , for sprinkling in pan
- 1 lb pizza dough, my homemade pizza dough or store bought
- 2 TBSP olive oil, divided
- 6 oz tomato paste or your favorite pizza sauce
- garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- ⅓ lb spicy soppressata salami, thinly sliced
- ½ lb fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn by hand
- 1 cup grated whole milk mozzarella
- 2 TBSP freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Spicy Honey Glaze
- 2 TBSP honey
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ¼ tsp water
- Preheat the oven to 500°.
- Bring pizza dough to room temperature according to package or store directions. I usually let mine sit out on the counter for anywhere from 30 minutes on up depending on how soon we want to eat. 😉
- On a floured surface or counter, roll out the pizza dough to a 10" circle or to fit into your skillet. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for about 10 minutes more so that it relaxes a bit. Pour yourself a beverage.
- Heat a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for about two minutes. Sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal/and or flour in the bottom of the pan.
- Take your rolled out round of dough and lay it gently in the pan pushing the crust to the edges.
- Drizzle 1 T of olive oil all over the dough.
- Cook the dough for approximately two-three minutes until it puffs up. While it's cooking, check the bottom and make sure that your heat isn't too high.
- Remove the pan from the heat and working quickly, spread the tomato paste or sauce with a spoon all over the crust. Sprinkle with seasonings
- Top with salami and then the cheese. Finish with a sprinkling of olive oil and Parmesan.
- Carefully carry the hot pan and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes keeping an eye on the pizza. Cook till it's golden brown.
- Meanwhile, mix the honey and crushed red pepper together adding a little water to make the glaze easily brushable.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Using a pastry brush, glaze the crust with the spicy honey. Let the pizza sit for a few minutes before removing from the pan to a cutting board.
- Slice and enjoy!