Craving a pizza night at home? This Cast Iron Skillet Pizza is incredibly easy to make and results in a super light and crispy crust. Whether you use a store-bought dough or my simple dough recipe, this pizza will quickly become a favorite in your house!
Even though I just made this pizza for the first time a few months ago, it's quickly becoming the blog recipe I've made more times than any other in my kitchen.
First I went through the recipe testing process and it took a lot of tries to get this cast iron skillet pizza exactly how I wanted it. And then once I had it exactly right, it was so good, I wanted to make it all the time. And, so, I have been.
We now eat this pizza at least once a week in my house. And honestly, I crave it even more than that.
I love almost all pizza and am generally especially partial to flatbread or thin crust pizza, but I am all about this thicker crust cast iron skillet pizza at the moment!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
First you'll love this pizza because it's easy to make from start to finish (you don't even have to roll the dough out!). Then you'll love it because it's absolutely delicious.
I am and have always been a thin crust pizza person. But for some reason, this cast iron skillet pizza has been my jam. It's definitely not a "deep dish" pizza by any means, but the crust is thicker... While also being light and fluffy.
Best Cast Iron Skillet
Of course, if you're making this pizza, you'll want to make sure you have a cast iron skillet. I highly recommend purchasing a cast iron skillet for far more than pizza... It's one of my most utilized tools in my kitchen!
It gets really hot and stays really hot and is the only way I like to cook steak when it's too cold and snowy for us to get to the grill.
You can use any cast iron skillet for this recipe, but I highly recommend this. I've had it for years and always have great results with it. And it's pretty non-fussy, too. I season it on occasion and take care of it, but for the amount I use it, I don't have to put too much thought or energy into it.
This pizza recipe is based off of using a 12" skillet, but you can certainly use a smaller or larger one if you have it. If you use a smaller pan, your crust will be a bit thicker and may need a little more cooking time. If you use a larger one, the crust will be thinner and may need a bit of a shorter cooking time.
The ingredients for this pizza are pretty standard. The recipe is for a pepperoni cast iron skillet pizza, but you can certainly add on any toppings you want! Here's what you need:
- Pizza dough (you can use my recipe included or can use store-bought)
- Olive oil
- Shredded cheddar cheese (my favorite for pizza! But you can use any cheese you want)
- Pizza sauce
- Dried basil
- Red pepper flakes
Trust me when I say making your own pizza dough is incredibly easy. Baking with yeast can seem a bit scary, but in my opinion, the hardest part is when you have to roll dough out and there's no rolling involved with this recipe. Here's what you need for the dough:
- Active dry yeast
- Lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
- Granulated sugar
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- All-purpose flour
- Garlic powder
How to Make Homemade Dough
Make this homemade pizza dough once and you'll never want to use store-bought again... It's so easy!
Simply, mix yeast and lukewarm water in a large bowl and let rest for 2 minutes.
Then stir salt, sugar, and extra-virgin olive oil into the mixture.
With a wooden spoon, mix the 1 ½ cups + 2 Tbsp flour and garlic powder into the mixture. You don't have to add the garlic powder if you don't want to, but I love the extra flavor it gives the dough!
If dough feels too wet, you can add in another Tbsp flour
Form dough into a ball and place on the bottom of a bowl with a kitchen towel over it.
Let rest in a warm spot for about 2 hours. Dough should rise during this time.
I love uncovering my bowl and seeing the magic of risen dough!
Now your dough is ready to be turned into a pizza!
How to Make Dough in Advance
You can use the dough right away if you want, but you can also make it in advance for later use.
If you're not planning to use the dough the day you make it, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. It should keep for 7-10 days when stored correctly.
How to Make Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
In my opinion, cast iron skillet pizza is one of the easiest kinds of pizzas you can make at home. The main reason? You don't have to roll the dough out! You just put it in the skillet, coat it in olive oil, and press it to the edges.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees and put olive oil in the skillet. Tilt the pan and use a pastry brush or paper towel (or your fingers) to spread the oil around the entire pan and up the edges.
About 20 minutes before you're ready to bake the pizza, put dough in skillet and flip it once to coat both sides in olive oil.
Using your hands press the dough all the way to the edges of the skillet. Let it rest for 10 minutes and if it shrinks back, press to the edges again. Let rest for another 5 minutes and repeat if dough shrinks again.
It should look similar to this:
Now you're ready to sprinkle on a layer of cheese.
I like adding cheese on before the sauce because it prevents the pizza from being soggy and results in a crispier pizza, which is especially important to me when the crust is a bit thicker.
Don't worry, I add a little bit more cheese on after the sauce, too. But if this order isn't your preference, you can add your ingredients on any way you want.
Now add spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese. I recommend starting with ½ cup and if you're a real sauce lover, increase to ¾ cup.
You can keep the sauce in dollops, but I like using a little spatula to spread it around.
Now add on the pepperoni in an overlapping fashion. If you were to order this pizza at a restaurant, it would be an "extra pepperoni" pizza.
You can obviously add less... Or more if you can somehow fit more on!
Then sprinkle the last ¼ cup of shredded cheese over the pepperoni.
Cheese under the sauce and above it? It doesn't get any better than that!
Put the skillet in the oven at 500 degrees and let it cook for 16-20 minutes until the cheesy is bubbly and crust is turning golden. The range is so big because all ovens are a little different and everyone likes their pizza a little different.
I recommend checking it after 16 minutes by carefully lifting the pizza with a metal spatula and peeking the bottom of it. If it's nice and golden to your liking, remove it. Otherwise, cook it longer.
I've been experimenting a lot and have had learned I like my pizza extra crispy, so I almost always cook it the full time. However, Chris likes it less crispy, so if I want him to be happy, I give it a little less time.
Once out of the oven, I recommend using a spatula to gently lift the pizza out of the skillet and place it on a heatproof cutting surface. Don't cut the pizza while it's still in the skillet as you could damage your cast iron.
Use a pizza cutter or a big knife to cut the pizza.
This recipe technically serves 4... But I'm going to be honest and tell you that Chris and I often eat an entire one by ourselves for dinner. And if we had a family of 4, we might just have to make another because I don't think I'm willing to give any up!
One of the reasons I love this cast iron skillet pizza so much is because the crust is thicker than the typical pizza, but still super light and crispy.
If you're looking for a "floppy" pizza, this isn't it. There' s a lot of structure to each slice and it has the best "chew" to it.
Alterations to Recipe
This is pretty much my dream pizza from top to bottom, but that doesn't mean I don't change it up from time to time... And you can, too! Here are some ideas:
- As I mentioned, I love making my pizza with shredded cheddar cheese, but if you prefer the more traditional mozzarella, you can certainly use that. Or any other kind you want!
- You can feel free to switch out the toppings. Omit the pepperoni for a traditional cheese pizza or swap out for cooked sausage, chicken, prosciutto, or any other meat. You can add on any cooked vegetables, too.
- You can adjust any of the ingredient amounts I recommend. However, I often feel inclined to add more sauce or cheese and find it's often a mistake as the pizza can get soggy because of it. Often times less is more when it comes to pizza. Except for pepperoni.
- Make homemade pizza sauce if you want! But if you're using store-bought (it's often just so much easier!), I recommend Rao's Pizza Sauce for the best!
Once you have the base of the cast iron skillet pizza down, the options are endless and you really can do so much with it. Making it totally acceptable to have homemade pizza at least once a week.
More Pizza Recipes
Though this cast iron skillet pizza has been my pie of choice for the past several months, I still have lots of room for pizza love in my heart and have many other go-to at-home favorites. Here are some of the best:
- Shrimp Scampi Pizza
- Sausage, Grape, and Gorgonzola Flatbread
- Basil and Garlic White Pizza
- BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Blueberry and Blue Cheese Pizza
- Caesar Salad Pizza
- Cracked Pepper Cottage Cheese Pizza with Prosciutto and Arugula
- Eggs Benedict Pizza
- French Onion Soup Pizza
- Detroit-Style Pizza (from Inquiring Chef)
- Taco Pizza (from Simply Stacie)
I'm almost kind of tempted to have a pizza month where I just make a different pizza every day for dinner.
But I'd probably make my cast iron skillet version every other night.
I hope this recipe makes you fall in love with a whole new kind of homemade pizza!
What's your favorite style pizza?
Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 batch pizza dough (recipe below or store-bought)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or shredded cheese of your choice, divided
- ½-3/4 cup pizza sauce
- 24 slices pepperoni (or amount of your choice)
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
- ½ Tsp salt
- ½ tsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups + 2-3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees and put olive oil in a 12" cast iron skillet (see notes if using smaller or larger skillet). Use a pastry brush or paper towel (or your fingers), spread the oil around the entire pan and up the edges.
- About 20 minutes before you're ready to bake the pizza, put dough in skillet and flip it once to coat both sides in olive oil. Using your hands press the dough all the way to the edges of the skillet. Let it rest for 10 minutes and if it shrinks back, press to the edges again. Let rest for another 5 minutes and repeat if dough shrinks again.
- Sprinkle dough with ¾ cup of shredded cheese, making sure to get close to the edges with it. Spoon sauce over the top and using a spatula or knife gently spread around. If you like a saucier pizza, use ¾ cup; otherwise just use ½ cup.
- If using pepperoni, arrange it over the sauce, overlapping slices to fit more on (you can use less than 24 slices if you don't want as much). Sprinkle on remaining ¼ cup cheese and top with dried basil and red pepper flakes.
- Bake for 16-22 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden. Check after 16 minutes, using a spatula to gently lift pizza to see bottom of crust. All ovens are a bit different and everyone likes their pizza different.
- Remove pizza from oven and using a spatula lift it out of the skillet and on to a heatproof cutting surface. Slice and enjoy!
- Mix yeast and water in a large bowl and let rest for 2 minutes.
- Stir salt, sugar, and extra-virgin olive oil into the mixture.
- With a wooden spoon, mix the 1 ½ cups flour + 2 Tbsp and garlic powder into the mixture. If dough feels too wet, you can add in another Tbsp flour. Form dough into a ball and place on the bottom of the bowl.
- Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot for about 2 hours. Dough should rise during this time.
- If you want to make dough in advance, you can store it in fridge wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for 7-10 days.
- If your dough is refrigerated, be sure to bring it to room temperature before using.
- If you're using a cast iron skillet larger than 12 inches, your pizza will have a thinner crust and will likely need a shorter baking time. If you're using a smaller skillet, your crust will be thicker and will likely need a longer baking time. If using a smaller skillet, you could also use a little bit less dough to compensate.