This cast iron pizza recipe is perfect for a pizza night at home. Homemade pizza dough is cooked in a cast iron skillet so it’s crispy on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. Topped with marinara, layered with fresh mozzarella and tomato slices, and then baked till melted and bubbly! For a quick overview of this recipe, check out my web story for how to make cast iron pan pizza!
Our family loves having a make your own pizza night on the weekends. We partially bake all of the crusts and then let everyone create their own pizza. They love being able to help out in the kitchen and create their own dinner. Growing up, I actually didn’t like pizza. Now that I am older and have perfected my homemade pizza dough recipes, I love doing pizza nights!
🍅 Ingredient notes
- Pizza dough - I originally developed this pizza dough recipe after doing a deep dive into Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio. It's an amazing book that teaches the basic ratios of baking so you can create almost anything from scratch! This homemade pizza dough recipe will make two pan pizzas using a 10" cast iron skillet. If you don't have a skillet, a sheet pan or pizza stone can be used instead. If you use store bought dough, plan for about ¾ - 1 pound of dough per 10" pizza.
- Sauce - I always have a batch of my old school italian gravy in the freezer to use for pasta or pizza. You can also use your favorite store bought pizza sauce if that is easier.
- Toppings - One of my favorite cast iron pizza toppings is margherita style. This consists of sliced mozzarella and tomatoes and fresh basil. For even more topping ideas, see the variations section below.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, combine the water and yeast in a bowl and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and 4 cups of the flour and stir to form the dough.
Next, turn the pizza dough out onto a floured surface and begin to the knead it, adding more flour as needed. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a zip top bag for 30-60 minutes in the fridge, or up to 8 hours if you want to make it in advance. When you are ready to cook your pizza, divide the dough into two equal pieces and then gently roll or stretch out the dough to approximately 10 inch circles.
Sprinkle cornmeal in the cast iron pan and then place the round of dough on top of the cornmeal. Gently push the dough around the bottom and up the sides of the pan the best that you can.
Then, put the cast iron skillet on the stovetop and turn the heat onto medium high. As the dough starts to heat up, press it more evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Let the dough continue to cook until it starts to puff up and bubble slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and then using your fingers, create divots in the dough around the bottom. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
The crust is now pre-baked and can be either topped with sauce and toppings and finished in the oven, or you can remove it from the skillet and pre-bake the other crust.
Top each pre-baked cast iron pizza crust with half of the marinara and then alternate adding slices of mozzarella and tomatoes. Sprinkle the crust with parmesan cheese and then it's ready to finish off in the oven.
Cook the pizzas in a 525˚ oven for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. The pizzas can be finished off in the cast iron skillet, on a sheet pan or directly on the oven rack.
Top the finished cast iron pizza with fresh basil leaves and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
⭐ Top tip
Don't add too much flour to the dough or it will be hard to knead and it will not rise well. The dough should be tacky when touched, but it shouldn't stick to your hands.
Cast Iron Pizza
Homemade Pizza Dough
Homemade Pizza Dough
- In a large bowl combine the warm water and yeast. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Add in olive oil, salt, and 4 cups of the flour to the bowl. Stir to combine.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin to knead, adding a little bit of flour if the dough becomes too sticky. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky.
- Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and then place it in a zip top bag to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
Cast Iron Pizza
- Preheat the oven to 525° and sprinkle a 10" cast iron pan with a tablespoon of the cornmeal.
- Cut the dough into two equal pieces and gently roll or stretch them out into about 10" circles. Press one of the rounds of dough into the bottom of the pan, pressing it out towards the edges and up the sides as best as possible.
- Place skillet on the stovetop and heat on medium hight heat. As the pan and the dough heats up, start to press the dough more evenly onto the bottom of the pan and up the sides to form the crust.
- Let the dough continue to cook for a few more minutes until it starts to puff up and bubble slightly. Using your fingers, create some divets in the dough and then drizzle it with 2-3 Tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.
- The crust is now pre-baked and can be either topped with the italian gravy and toppings and finished in the oven, or it can be removed from the pan to allow for the pre-baking of the other crust.
- Once the crusts are pre-baked, top each crust with ½ cup of the sauce. Add the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella on top of the sauce, alternating between the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Sprinkle each crust with 2 Tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Pre-baked crusts can be finished in the oven in the cast iron pan, a sheet pan, or directly on the baking rack.
- Top pizzas with fresh basil leaves and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- White pizza - replace the marinara with alfredo sauce and top with dollops of ricotta cheese and shredded parmesan cheese
- BBQ chicken - replace the marinara with bbq sauce and top with shredded chicken and mozzarella cheese
- Veggies - top marinara sauce with sauteed sliced mushrooms and spinach
- Meatballs - top marinara with cooked mini meatballs and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese
- Hawaiian - use either marinara or bbq sauce and top with chopped ham, diced pineapple and shredded mozzarella or pepperjack cheese
- Classic - top marinara with sliced pepperoni or cooked italian sausage crumbles and sliced black olives
💭 Frequently asked questions
The dough can be made ahead of time and stored in a zip top bag in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Pre-bake the crusts on the stove top and then let them cool completely. Wrap them in plastic wrap and then store them in a zip top bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to use them, let them thaw completely and then crisp them up in the cast iron skillet for 5 minutes on the stovetop.
🍕 More pizza recipes
If you loved this cast iron pizza recipe, check out these other pizza recipes that I know you will love too!
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.