Best-Ever Skillet Pizza

By: The Local Palate
Photograph of the pizza crust recipe finished and baked with cheese and arugula on top
Photography copyright © 2019 by Danielle Atkins. Reprinted by arrangement with Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

“This recipe freed me from overpriced, lukewarm pizza delivered to my door. Now when my family craves pizza, I simply pull out the cast iron skillet. With pre-made pizza dough, sauce, and cheese, I can bake an amazing deep-dish pizza in less time than it takes for mediocre pizza to be delivered. The skillet is key, and so is baking at a searing 450 degrees. In the end, you get a hot pizza with a crisp crust, cheesy interior, and whatever toppings you like—all at an affordable price.”

Excerpt and recipe from SKILLET LOVE by Anne Byrn. Copyright © 2019 by Anne Byrn. Photography copyright © 2019 by Danielle Atkins. Reprinted by arrangement with Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

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1 (12-inch) Pizza

    Skillet Pizza
  • 1 recipe Easy Homemade Pizza Crust or 1 pound store-bought crust
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ to ¾ cup tomato-based pasta sauce
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Honey, for brushing
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Homemade Pizza Dough
  • ¾ cup warm water (100 to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • Olive oil, for the bowl

Best-Ever Skillet Pizza

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until quite hot, 3 to 4 minutes. While the skillet is heating, stretch out the dough to get it as thin as possible, about 12 inches in diameter. You can do this in the air or by pressing it out with your hands on a cornmeal-dusted work surface.
  3. Sprinkle cornmeal in the hot skillet.
  4. Take care not to burn your fingers, place the dough in the pan on top of the cornmeal, and press the dough halfway up the sides of the pan (it will shrink back, but this is OK). Whisk together the olive oil and garlic and brush this mixture over the dough. Spoon on the pasta sauce. (Note: If you like pepperoni on your pizza, this is where you would add it.) Scatter the cheese all over. Brush honey on the crust edges and sprinkle red pepper flakes on top of the honey, if you like. Turn off the stove, and place the skillet in the oven.
  5. Bake until the cheese has melted and just starts to brown and the crust edges are browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges and slide the pizza out onto a board to slice and serve.

Homemade Pizza Dough

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the water and yeast to dissolve. Add the flour and salt and blend on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat until a soft dough forms. Remove the paddle, carefully pulling off all the bits of dough and putting those back in the bowl.
  2. Secure the dough hook attachment and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together into a ball and is springy, about 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a dough hook, continue on with the paddle and then knead the dough with floured hands on a floured work surface until it is springy.)
  3. You can use the dough right away, but your pizza will have a better texture if you let the dough rise. Dribble a little olive oil into a large glass or ceramic bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Turn the dough upside down so that the greased side is up. Cover the bowl with a thin kitchen towel and place the bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen until it has doubled in volume, 1 to 1½ hours. Punch down the dough with your fist, and use in the pizza recipe. Alternatively, let the dough rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to slowly rise. When ready to bake, remove the plastic, drape a kitchen towel over the bowl, and let the dough come to room temperature, about 2 hours.

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