In general, when I make pizza at home, it’s thin crust and rectangular. However, some times I just get a craving for a really cheesy deep dish style pizza. And what better way to make that at home than using a cast iron skillet. This Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza is super easy to make and really is so so tasty. I made mine with pepperoni and sausage but you could add whatever your usual toppings choices are.
Most of the success of this recipe is in the techniques. By cooking the dough a little bit on top of the stove, you make sure that it will get cooked all the way through and that you will have a crisp bottom to hold up all of that cheesy goodness. It also helps to heat up the cast iron skillet so that you get an even cook when you transfer it to the oven. Next the layering is really important. Some might balk at cheese before sauce, but this is how more traditional deep dish pizza is created. You get that extra layer and height without having to have too much sauce or other toppings. It also keeps the crust from getting soggy.
Some people like to simmer their sauce before adding it to the pizza. I prefer to let it cook down on the pizza. That way it really adds to the flavor of the pizza as a whole. The hot honey is the real trick on this red sauce. The honey cuts the acid from the tomatoes, while the heat adds to the robust flavor.
This recipe is to make one 8in deep dish pizza. You may need to make two for the whole family, however, keep in mind that it’s deep dish. Which essentially makes one slice closer to two of a thin or regular crust pizza. So those teens that usually each 4-5 slices may only be able to eat 2 slices. My family of 3 teenage boys, a tween daughter, myself and my manual laboring hubby had 2 pizzas between us and there was 2 slices left in the end. This recipe is also great for a weekend lunch. You could also serve it with some salad to stretch things, instead of making a second pizza.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza
- 8in cast iron skillet
- ½ lb Ground Italian Sausage
- 1 Pizza Dough store bought or recipe below
- 3 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 10-15 slices Pepperoni
- 3 cups Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
For the Sauce
- 1 15oz can Crushed Tomatoes
- ¼ cup Hot Honey
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Dried Minced Onion
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Fennel Seed
- Preheat oven to 425degF.
- In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add Italian sausage. Cook and crumble until no longer pink.
- Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Coat inside of cast iron skillet with oil. Place skillet over medium heat on stove. Add pizza dough, creating roughly one inch of over hang all the way around. Note* If using pizza dough recipe from below, only go as far as step 3. Then form into circle and add to skillet. If using store-bought pizza dough, do not pre cook, and shape into a circle.
- Let cook for 3 minutes then start to build the pizza, still on heat. Start with 2 cups of mozzarella, spread evenly. Then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Spoon sauce over top of cheese.
- Layer on sausage and pepperoni. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Fold dough that was hanging over the edge of the skillet over top of pizza. Move to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit in skillet for 5 minutes. Run spatula around the edge of pizza then remove to a cutting board. Cut into 6 slices.
- 4 cups Flour
- 1 tbsp Yeast instant
- ⅓ cup Avocado Oil
- 1½ cup Warm Water
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Avocado Oil for bowl
- Prepare all of the ingredients
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Pour in water while stirring. Then add olive oil and continue to mix by hand. Mix until a sticky dough forms.
- Brush the insides of a second bowl with avocado oil and transfer ball of dough. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and let rise at least 1 hour. Dough should approximately double in size.
- Once risen, place dough on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Stretch and press it out until you cover the baking sheet with ¼ inch thick crust.
- Place in 400 deg oven for 15 minutes.
- Continue to pizza recipe directions.
- If making for focaccia – brush with oil and add desired seasoning. Then bake for 15 minutes in 425 deg oven.
Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:
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