Crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, skillet pizza is a perfect tailored-to-your-taste meal or snack. Really quick and easy to make when you buy the dough at your local grocery store. And who doesn’t love a good pizza?
Even though this recipe uses several ready-made ingredients, skillet pizzas look, taste and smell like a homemade pizza, fresh out of the oven.
I did a ton of research (as always) on the many different techniques for skillet pizza and settled on a blend that gets the job done well in the fastest and easiest way possible. After half a dozen pizzas, I can honestly say the recipe is pretty much fool proof and it’s easier to make than you think.
This recipe is a build-your-own pizza, meaning you choose your own toppings. I like a basic Margherita pizza with tomato sauce, basil and Mozzarella. My husband loves black olives so those always go on too. Anything goes though.
In about about 22 minutes, not including resting your dough beforehand, you get a delicious hot fresh 10-12 inch cast iron skillet pizza. The crust is thicker than I would normally order, but it’s so delicious that I love it just the same.
Tips for Success
How much pizza dough to buy
Store bought dough comes in various sizes – some make two 10-inch pizzas. Some make one 18-inch pizza. For a 12 inch pizza, I rip off a quarter of the dough and use the rest, but you will have to use your judgement for the first time. The worst that can happen is that you have a deep dish thicker crust – still delish.
How to stretch and shape the dough:
Here’s a video on how to shape the dough. No flipping in the air required.
Best size skillet to use
I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet. You can also use a 10 inch or stainless steel skillet instead. The only thing to remember is that the skillet must be able to withstand a very high oven temperature of 500-550F. Some recipes add oil to the pan before laying on the crust. This one doesn’t. Just sprinkle some cornmeal in the pan to keep it from sticking.
How much sauce to use:
For a 12″ pie, use about 1 cup sauce (or to taste) of a good quality pizza sauce or tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought).
Since cooking time is so short, it’s better to pre-cook certain vegetables (saute or roast) such as onions, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms.
Number of servings per pizza:
A Medium 12″ inch Pizza is typically cut into 8 slices and serves 3-4 people. A Large 14″ inch Pizza is typically cut into 8-10 slices and serves 3-5 people.
- Yes, buying the dough may be cheating a bit, but I figure a store that makes hundreds of pizzas doughs a week probably has the recipe nailed.
- I like to use a simple basic tomato sauce. If I don’t have a homemade sauce in the fridge such as our simple San Marzano tomato sauce, a good store-bought one like Costco’s White Linen Marinara Sauce will do the trick.
- It’s fine to use the pre-shredded cheese in the package if you don’t feel like grating it.
Tailor To Your Taste
Here are a few variations you could consider.
- Toppings: Olives, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham, pineapple, roasted eggplant or peppers, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, arugula, etc.
- Garnishes: fresh chopped basil, Parmesan cheese, goat cheese, hot chili flakes, pesto, etc.
- Substitute for tomato sauce: Omit the tomato sauce and use a thin layer pesto, garlic oil or ricotta.
- Skillet Pizza is best fresh, but leftovers are great rewarmed in a 350-375F oven for about 7-10 minutes. It can also be frozen in a ziploc bag.
- Or, you can do the stove top portion ahead of time, then transfer the pizza for the oven portion 15 minutes before serving time.
Enjoy a skillet pizza for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, snack or appetizer. And for a different kind of pizza, try our delicious grilled pizza.
How to make an easy skillet pizza
Easy Skillet Pizza Recipe
- 1 store-bought pizza dough, defrosted if frozen Note 1
- 1 tbsp flour (to shape dough into pie without sticking)
- 2-3 teaspoons corn meal (to prevent sticking to skillet)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup (8 oz, 225g) tomato sauce Note 2 or less if preferred
- Toppings: e.g. olives, mushrooms, pepperoni, roasted or sauteed veggies Note 3
- 1/2 cup (112g) shredded Mozzarella cheese (or more to taste)
- chopped fresh basil; pesto; goat cheese; grated Parmesan cheese
- Rest store-bought dough for 15-30 minutes before making pizza.
- Preheat oven to 550F (287C) (or 500F/260C if your oven doesn't go that high).
- REST AND RELAX DOUGH: Let pre-made dough sit at room temperature, in bag or covered with plastic, to relax for 1/2 hour. It should stretch easily. TIP: To speed things up, I heat the oven to Warm, place pizza in a bowl sprayed with oil, cover loosely with plastic (also sprayed with oil), place bowl in oven and turn oven off. It should rise and relax in about 10-15 minutes.
- STRETCH DOUGH BY HAND INTO PIE SHAPE TO FIT SKILLET: Scatter a tablespoon flour on work surface and move dough around in it. Flatten dough into 8 inch circle with fingers. Lift up by the edge, letting dough hang, and stretch it all around edges to make a larger circle. Place back on work surface and stretch into 14 inch/35cm circle (if using 12 inch/30cm skillet) or 12 inch circle (if using 10 inch skillet). Here's a video on how to shape the dough.
- BUILD PIZZA IN SKILLET: Heat a 10-12 inch skillet that can handle 500F oven heat (cast iron if you have) to medium high. Scatter corn meal evenly to cover bottom. Place dough in skillet, shaping with fingers to allow edges of about 1 inch up sides of skillet. CAREFUL not to burn your fingers! Brush olive oil on dough. Add tomato sauce, toppings, then Mozzarella. Important: Once the dough is on the heated skillet, the entire cooking time should be no more than 3-4 minutes. This will start cooking the dough without burning. If needed, lower heat a bit.
- TRANSFER TO OVEN AND BAKE: Transfer skillet with pizza to oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. I find 13 min is enough at 550F, but this will depend on your oven.
- SERVE: Remove from oven. Use spatula to gently lift pizza off skillet to cutting board. Sprinkle with garnishes of your choice if using. Slice with pizza cutter, scissors or large knife. Serve immediately.
- How much pizza dough to buy: Store bought dough comes in various sizes - some make 2 10-inch pizzas. Some make one 18-inch pizza. For a 12 inch pizza, I rip off a quarter of the dough and use the rest, but you will have to use your judgement for the first time. The worst that can happen is that you have a deep dish thicker crust - still delish.
- How much sauce to use: For a 12" pie, use about 1 cup sauce (or to taste) of a good quality pizza sauce or tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought).
- Vegetables that need to be pre-cooked: Since cooking time is so short, it's better to pre-cook certain vegetables (saute or roast) such as onions, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms.
- How many servings per pizza: A Medium 12 inch/30cm Pizza is typically cut into 8 slices and serves 3-4 people. A Large 14 inch/35cm Pizza is typically cut into 8-10 slices and serves 3-5 people.
- To Make Ahead: Pizza can be refrigerated or frozen, then reheated in a 375F/190C oven until cheese melts and pizza is hot, about 7-10 minutes. Or finish stove top portion to "build the pizza", then transfer to oven 15 minutes before serving time.
This recipe was initially published in Feb 2017 then updated in April 2019.
Here’s a grilled pizza recipe you might like:
Simple Grilled Garlic Tomato Pizza get the recipe