A few weeks ago, my husband Steve and I were sitting in the living room, discussing dinner ideas. Now that we’re nearly empty-nesters, dinner for two (instead of five or more) is a bit of a challenge. We were making a mental list of some of our favorite dinners when Steve said: “What if we tried making deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet?” What a brilliant idea! We’ve made pizza on the grill before, but a smaller, deep dish pizza for two, sounded perfect!
Twenty minutes and a few Google searches later, we discovered making deep dish pizza in an iron skillet was not an original idea. It seemed easy to do though, so after reading through several recipes, we decided to try our own version!
Using store-bought pizza dough, our favorite homemade pizza sauce and a bunch of our favorite toppings, the new-to-us, deep dish pizza project began!
I like the prepared dough we get from Trader Joe’s, but feel free to make your own! If you buy it, let the dough sit on the counter and come to room temperature before you start working it. It will be easier to stretch if it isn’t cold.
Lightly flour a large work surface and roll dough into a 14″ circle. Gently place the dough in the skillet and roll down the excess to form a crust around the edge. If your pan is well seasoned, you won’t need to oil it. Ours is still fairly new, so we put a few drops of oil on a paper towel and rubbed it around the bottom of the pan. We also sprinkled a tiny amount of corn meal on the bottom of the pan to give a little extra flavor and crunch to the crust.
One of the recipes we saw online, used cheese sticks rolled up inside the excess dough to make a cheese filled crust! We didn’t do that, but I thought it was a great idea. Maybe next time!
Spread 1/3 – 1/2 cup pizza sauce on the dough and top with your favorite pizza things! We used Italian sausage, pepperoni and red onion.
We topped that with slices of mozzarella cheese, added more toppings and a bit more sauce.
Here is a secret we learned to creating a great crust: heat the skillet on high flame on your stove top for three to five minutes. This will get the pan hot and will help start cooking the crust on the bottom of your pizza. You won’t see any change in the toppings, but trust me, that little bit of time will make a world of difference in your crust!
Using pot holders, place the skillet in a 450 degree oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before cutting. The pizza will slide right out or you can serve it from the pan! I like serving it from the pan so it stays warm.
One of the best things about this dish (aside from not having to share with the kids!) is that it comes together easily in 30 minutes or less! Enjoy!
Deep Dish Pizza For Two!
1 14 oz pkg prepared pizza dough
Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce
6 fresh basil leaves, fairly large
2 cloves garlic
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 TBLS tomato paste
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb Italian sausage, cooked and drained of fat
20 slices pepperoni
1/4 of a medium red onion, diced
1/3 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
Italian Seasoning to taste
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Let pizza dough come to room temperature.
Roll out dough on a well floured work surface into a 14″ circle.
Lay pizza dough in a cold, 10″ cast iron skillet.
Roll edges down to form a crust around the sides.
Spread 1/3 cup pizza sauce on bottom of crust.
Layer toppings, starting with Italian sausage, onions and pepperoni.
Layer slices of mozzarella cheese over toppings.
Add remaining toppings and any additional sauce to taste.
Sprinkle italian Seasoning over pizza
Heat pizza on high flame on the stove top for 3 -5 minutes.
Using pot holders, transfer pan to the oven and bake pizza for 15-18 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Remove pan from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Cut into eight slices and enjoy!