Craving a pizza night with a twist? My cast iron skillet pizza will elevate your homemade pizza game to new heights. Imagine sinking your teeth into a pan pizza with a crust that’s perfectly crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy on the inside. This isn’t your average pizza; it’s a cast iron pizza recipe that changes everything. The secret? A homemade pizza crust that’s easy yet impressive. No more delivery disappointments. Get ready to transform your kitchen into the best pizzeria in town, all from the comfort of your home.
If you love pan pizza from your local pizzeria I’ve got good news for you! This if for the pizza lovers. This is the best pizza if you want a thick crust that’s a chewy crust while being a flaky crust. The hot iron pan cooks the crust to perfection! Make sure you also check out my absolute favorite thick crust pizza recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Pan Pizza Recipe
What’s there to love about this homemade pizza recipe? Lots!
- Flavor: The crust, crispy and slightly crunchy on the outside, remains soft and chewy inside, thanks to the skillet’s even heat. The toppings blend into a savory, hearty layer, complemented by gooey, melted cheese. Each bite delivers a satisfying crunch followed by a lush, fulfilling mouthfeel, making this pizza a delightful sensory experience.
- From Scratch: Make the perfect pizza with this easy pizza dough recipe!
- Quick & Easy: Hands on time is very little. This pizza takes time to rise but actual hands on time is very low.
- Method: Oven
Pan Pizza vs. Deep Dish Pizza
When it comes to the pizza world, pan pizza and deep dish pizza stand out for their unique characteristics. Here’s a breakdown to understand their differences more clearly:
Pan Pizza (Cast Iron Pizza):
- Cooked in a cast iron pan or skillet.
- Features a crispy, chewy crust that’s golden-brown around the edges.
- The crust is thick but not overly so, ensuring a balanced ratio of crust to toppings.
- The texture is generally lighter, and the crust is often buttery.
Deep Dish Pizza:
- Known as Chicago style, it’s more akin to a pie in its construction.
- The crust is very deep, creating a substantial edge that holds in a generous amount of toppings.
- Toppings are ‘inverted’ with cheese directly on the crust, followed by meats/vegetables, and sauce on top.
- The overall experience is heartier and more filling, with a focus on abundant toppings and a robust crust.
Full printable cast iron skillet pizza recipe ingredients list and instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour or bread flour.
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar.
- Yeast: Use active dry yeast.
- Salt: I prefer to use sea salt.
- Oil: Use olive oil in your pizza crust and on the pizza.
- Pizza Sauce: Make your own homemade pizza sauce or use a store-bought marinara sauce. The type of tomato sauce you use will have a great impact on final outcome of this easy cast iron pizza.
- Mozzarella: I prefer to use low-moisture mozzarella cheese and shred it myself. Pre-shredded cheese will not melt as well.
- Parmesan: Use fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- Spices: Dried spices are prefered. Use oregano, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
- Basil: Optionally, use fresh basil as a garnish.
Try one of these variations to switch up the delicious pizza recipe.
Store Bought Pizza Dough: Skip the homemade dough and buy store-bought pizza dough from the grocery store and allow it to rise at room temperature before using. Store-bought dough will save you a little time.
Favorite Toppings: This recipe includes instructions to make a pepperoni pizza but you can use any of your favorite pizza toppings for this pizza.
Full step-by-step pan pizza recipe instructions are in the recipe card below. You can print or save to Pinterest for later.
Tools + Supplies: You will need a large mixing bowl, (Amazon links) 12-inch cast-iron pan or a deep dish pan. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet or a deep dish pizza pan you can use a round pan like a 9-inch cake pan though results may vary.
Step 1: Combine dry ingredients. Mix together the 1 ½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
Step 2: Slowly incorporate the 1 cup warm water and ¼ cup olive oil into the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon to stir until you get a shaggy dough.
Step 3: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, like a cutting board, and knead for 4-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
Alternatively, place the dough in an electric stand mixer and mix with the dough hook attachment on low speed for 4-6 minutes.
Step 4: Time for the dough rise. Put the dough ball into a large bowl that’s been lightly coated with oil on the sides of the bowl, and cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Step 5: Heat oven to 425°F (218°C) while the dough rises. Place a 12 inch cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.
Step 6: Roll the pizza dough out on a surface lightly dusted with flour with a rolling pin, shaping it to match the size of your skillet.
Step 7: After taking the skillet out of the oven, cautiously coat the bottom of the pan and sides of the pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Gently place the rolled-out dough into the skillet, pressing it firmly against the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. This pizza will have a tall crust on the sides.
Step 8: Evenly distribute the pizza sauce on top of the dough, ensuring to leave a small margin clear around the edges.
Step 9: Layer the shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce, then add the grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the dried oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes on top of the cheese.
Step 10: Place the pepperoni slices over the cheese layer.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the pizza including the edges of the dough.
Step 11: Put the skillet in the hot oven on the bottom rack and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
Take the skillet out of the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving the pizza. Optional: Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
Pizza Topping Ideas
You’ve made the pepperoni pizza and are ready to branch out to more great pizza recipes the whole family will love? Here are some classic deep dish pizza recipes and their typical toppings:
- Chicago Classic: This quintessential deep dish pizza usually features Italian sausage, chunky tomato sauce, and a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. It often includes green peppers and onions as well.
- Meat Lovers: Packed with various meats like pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and sometimes ground beef, this pizza is a favorite among meat enthusiasts. It’s layered with cheese and a rich tomato sauce.
- Veggie Delight: A veggie lover’s dream, this pizza is topped with a medley of vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and sometimes artichokes or olives, along with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.
- Spinach and Mushroom: This combination includes layers of fresh spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, usually topped with a garlic-infused tomato sauce.
- BBQ Chicken: A modern twist on pan pizza, it includes chunks of BBQ chicken, red onions, cilantro, and a blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
- Four Cheese: A cheese lover’s paradise, combining mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses, sometimes accented with garlic or Italian herbs.
Cast Iron Pizza Recipe Tips
Baking a cast iron pan pizza is an art, and with the right tips, you can master it in your kitchen. Here’s how to get that perfect pie every time:
- Preheat Your Cast Iron Pan: Start by heating your cast-iron skillet in the oven. This step is crucial for achieving that signature crispy crust.
- Perfect Your Homemade Pizza Dough: For a successful deep dish, the homemade pizza dough is key. Ensure it has enough time to rise, resulting in a light, fluffy base. Let it rise in a warm place. It won’t rise well if it’s in a cool area.
- Oil the Skillet Carefully: Once your hot skillet is ready, carefully oil the sides of the pan to prevent sticking and to add extra crunch to the edges of the crust.
- Optimize Oven Rack Position: Place your hot pan on the lower oven rack. This position ensures the bottom of the pizza cooks evenly without burning the top.
- Monitor Baking Time: Keep an eye on your pizza as it bakes. The deep dish needs ample time for the dough to rise and the crust to achieve that deep golden-brown hue.
- Rest Before Serving: Let the pizza cool for a few minutes after baking. This allows the crust to set and makes slicing easier.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to making a show-stopping cast iron deep dish pizza that’s as delicious as it is impressive!
Got leftover deep dish pizza? Keep it delicious for your next time craving with these easy storage tips:
- Best Way to Store: The secret to freshness is an airtight container. This keeps your pizza from drying out or absorbing fridge odors.
- Prep for Storage: Allow your pizza to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can make the crust soggy.
- Refrigerate Right: Place the pizza in the fridge, ensuring it’s flat and secure in the container.
- Reheat Properly: When you’re ready to enjoy again, reheat it in the oven for a crispy crust.
Follow these steps, and your deep dish pizza will be just as scrumptious on day two!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Cast iron skillets provide even heat distribution and retention, which helps in achieving a crispy, well-cooked crust. They can also withstand high oven temperatures, mimicking a pizza oven’s environment.
es, preheating the skillet is crucial. It helps in cooking the pizza evenly and creates a crispy bottom crust.
Ensure your skillet is well-seasoned and add a thin layer of oil before adding your pizza dough.
Use a spatula to gently lift and slide the pizza onto a cutting board. If it’s well-cooked, it should slide out easily.
Deep Dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza Recipe
Pan Pizza Dough
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
Pan Pizza Toppings
- ½ cup pizza sauce or marinara
- 10 oz mozzarella cheese freshly shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 20 slices pepperoni
- basil leaves optional garnish
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- Gradually add the warm water and olive oil to the flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
- Place the dough ball in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Place a 12 inch cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to fit the size of your skillet. Alternatively, use your hands to gently stretch the dough.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and carefully brush the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough to the skillet and press it against the bottom and sides of the skillet.
Pizza Making Instructions
- Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce, followed by the grated Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
- Arrange the pepperoni slices on top of the cheese.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the pizza. Brush the crust edges with some of the oil.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
- Optional: Top with fresh basil.
- The longer you allow the pizza dough to rise the lighter and airier the crust will be.
- To speed the rising process of the dough, place the covered dough in a microwave or oven but don’t turn either on. This creates a more humid environment that encourages growth.
- To get a nice crispy outer crust layer, make sure to heat the skillet in the oven so it’s quite hot. Oftentimes with homemade pizza the dough doesn’t cook evenly and the crust is overcooked but the bottom and inside is still overcooked.
- This dough recipe can easily be doubled or tripled and the remaining dough can be saved and placed in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. Just make sure to thaw in advance.