Deep Dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Deep Dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza will be the star of your next pizza night! It’s crisp on the bottom with plenty of room for toppings. Crust lovers will adore this pizza.

cast iron skillet pizza topped with pieces of fresh basil.

Crisp on the bottom. Soft, chewy edges. Room for lots of toppings. This deep dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza is pizza perfection!

As a Chicagoan, I take pizza seriously. My favorite pizza shop is not located in the touristy areas, but in a neighborhood just northwest of downtown. It’s called Pequod’s, and many Chicagoans agree that it has the best deep dish in the city.

The cheese runs over the side and gets toasted in the pan, creating a crunchy crust that’s caramelized in spots. It’s basically a little burnt, but in a good way!

Since I can have deep dish pizza delivered, I rarely make it at home. But sometimes I just don’t want to wait the 60–75 minutes it takes to deliver it.

This Cast Iron Skillet Pizza takes care of those deep dish cravings with its thick, crisp-on-the-bottom crust, hefty layer of Italian sausage, and layers of cheese.

If you love pizza, don’t miss my Easy Pepperoni Rolls appetizer and even a Pizza Casserole, made with egg noodles!

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Side view of pizza made in a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

  • Fresh pizza dough can be found at Trader Joe’s, your local grocery store, or a local pizzeria.
  • Cornmeal and olive oil keeps the pizza from sticking to the cast iron pan (and makes the crust crispy!).
  • Marinara is perfect for the sauce. You can make your own or use store-bought.
  • Mozzarella cheese is classic for a deep dish pizza.
  • Use your favorite toppings, such as hot Italian sausage.

Since Friday night is pizza night at our house, I keep balls of fresh pizza dough (I get it at Trader Joe’s) in the freezer. The pizza dough defrosts nicely in the refrigerator overnight or over an afternoon on the countertop.

It is key to wait until it reaches room temperature so it’s easy to roll out.

Fresh Pizza Dough ball in a plastic bag.

How to make deep dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Start by heating a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.

Pour in two tablespoons of olive oil, swirl it around, and sprinkle it with cornmeal and sea salt. The cornmeal helps the pizza release easily from the pan.

The salt is because I think almost all pizza dough is a little bland. The sea salt on the bottom of the crust hits your tongue first and makes the crisp crust even more delicious.

cornmeal and oil in a cast iron pan.

Then roll out the pizza dough and place it in the cast iron pan. It might not go all the way up the edges, and that’s ok. Just coax the sides up a little bit so it creates a well for the toppings.

pizza dough in a cast iron pan

Continue cooking the dough over medium heat until it begins to bubble.

Topping the cast iron skillet pizza

Add the sauce and toppings (I choose cooked and crumbled Italian sausage). I like a good solid layer of sausage on the pizza just like Chicago style pizza places do.

uncooked pizza with sausage in a cast iron skillet.

Then add the cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Uncooked pizza with lots of cheese in a cast iron skillet.

Top the pizza with fresh basil torn into pieces, and serve immediately! Thanks to the cornmeal, the pizza will slide right out of the cast iron pan.

Cast iron skillet pizza on a wooden cutting board with slices taken out

Pizza topping ideas

Here are a handful of ideas for toppings for a cast iron skillet pizza. These are all classic Chicago-style pizza topping combinations.

  • Pepperoni + Italian sausage
  • Sausage, mushrooms, green pepper, and onions
  • Spinach, mushrooms, and sliced tomatoes
  • Spinach, broccoli, and garlic
  • Feta, pesto, and chopped tomatoes (skip the marinara)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent the pizza from sticking to the pan?

Start with a clean cast iron skillet. Ideally, the skillet is seasoned and has not come in contact with soap, which ruins the seasoning. Follow the steps above, making sure to spread the oil all over the pan (including up the sides). Then, sprinkle in the cornmeal. The cornmeal forms a barrier between the crust and the pan, which helps the pizza slide out.

How do I season a cast iron skillet?

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or canola oil into the cast iron skillet using a paper towel or kitchen towel. Place it upside down in the preheat oven, and place a large sheet pan underneath to catch any drips. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and let the pan cool in the oven. After it cools, the pan is seasoned and ready to use.

How can I get the pizza crust to roll out easier?

If you’re having difficulty rolling out pizza crust, allow the dough to rest at room temperature for another 20 minutes before trying again. Often, the combination of cold dough and tight gluten strands from working the dough make it difficult to roll out. Resting the dough and bringing it to room temperature should remedy the issue.

deep dish pizza topped with fresh basil on a wooden cutting board.

Storing and reheating

Store any leftover Cast Iron Skillet Pizza in a covered container in the refrigerator.

To reheat, preheat oven to 400°F. Place slices of pizza back in the cast iron skillet. Put the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for 6–8 minutes, or until the pizza is heated through.

What to serve with cast iron skillet pizza

Salad is a classic accompaniment for pizza, and this Church Lady Salad is one of my favorites. It has a sweet poppyseed dressing that really makes the salad!

Here are a few more side dish ideas:

If you love this Cast Iron Skillet Pizza recipe, don’t miss these Easy Pepperoni Rolls, which are also made with fresh pizza dough!

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet, topped with fresh basil

Deep Dish Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Published by Kate
This deep dish style pizza is started on the stovetop and finished in the oven. Be sure to layer on the toppings so it’s nice and thick!
4.95 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 slices
Calories 320 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb fresh pizza dough, at room temperature (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ lb raw Italian sausage (I used hot Italian sausage)
  • To serve: fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  • Place the Italian sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the clumps, until the sausage in lightly browned and cooked through, about 4–5 minutes. 
  • Roll out the pizza dough to roughly a 12-inch circle. It doesn’t have to be exact. 
  • Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl it around the pan. Sprinkle in the cornmeal and a pinch of salt. 
  • Carefully place the pizza dough in the hot skillet. Let cook over medium heat until the dough begins to bubble up. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. 
  • Spread the marinara in an even layer over the dough. Sprinkle the Italian sausage over the marinara, and top with the shredded cheese. 
  • Use an oven mitt to transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before sliding out onto a cutting board. Cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Notes

This is the cast iron skillet that I recommend. It comes pre-seasoned and ready to use.
If you have a cast iron skillet that’s bigger than 9 inches, it will still work. The crust will be thinner and you may need to reduce the cooking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 15gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 730mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2g
Keyword cast iron skillet pizza, homemade pizza
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight and it was a hit. Didn’t have any sausage and used whatever cheeses I had on hand but the method was two thumbs up. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    First time making pizza in my cast iron pan. It turned out perfect. I agree adding a little bit of salt along with the cornmeal made the pizza slide easily out of the pan.

  3. Turned out perfect! I used Trader Joe’s garlic herb dough, was wishing the crust around the edges were a bit more browned though.
    Will definitely be making this again!

  4. 5 stars
    This was a delight. I literally had not thought to make pizza in my cast iron. Followed the instructions for the dough just as stated and it came out beautifully. Thank you!

    1. That’s so good to hear, Johanna! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

4.95 from 17 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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