Cast Iron Margherita Pizza

Cast Iron Margherita Pizza

Cast Iron Margherita Skillet Pizza is easy to make at home.  Made with ripe tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and pizza sauce.  The homemade pizza crust bakes up crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  This skillet pizza is a winner!

 

So if you’re a fan of easy Italian recipes, be sure to check out my Easy Meat Lasagna recipe.  It’s make-ahead and freezer-friendly, too!

 

Quick Note:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links to my personal favorite items. Please read my disclosure statement for details. Thank you.

 

Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity!  I’m excited to share with you this recipe for margherita pizza baked in a cast iron skillet.  If you’re new to cast iron pizza, you’re in for a huge surprise!
 

I love the simple ingredients for this pizza!  The fresh tomatoes, cheese, and basil are so “unprocessed.”  Adding them on top of your homemade pizza crust seals the deal.  Look for pizza sauce that has simple ingredients and no preservatives.  Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce is our favorite.  Available in most grocery stores as well as Amazon.

 

baked pizza on cast iron griddle with tomato in background

 

Best Pizza Dough

The pizza crust is the foundation for every great pizza, right!  If the crust isn’t good, the whole pizza is just not up to par.  This homemade yeast pizza crust is my go-to when I want the best.  It’s way better than pizza delivery – once you try it, you’ll agree!

 

What is Pizza Margherita?

The ingredients of a classic Pizza Margherita represent the colors of Italy with its ripe red tomatoes, white Mozzarella cheese, and fresh green basil. Not only is this pizza beautiful, it’s downright delicious and very popular with all pizza connoisseurs.  There’s no meat on this pizza but I will say you won’t miss it!

 

This version combines all of the above with a well-seasoned cast iron cooking surface and a super-hot 500°F oven to deliver a delightfully crispy crust with a soft, but not overly chewy, interior.

 

Why Use a Cast Iron Skillet for Pizza?

It’s no secret that large cast iron skillets are great for making deep dish pizzas at home, but it can be tricky getting the pizza out of the skillet without damaging the crust.  To make it easier, the flat surface of a 10½-inch square cast iron combo grill/griddle is used here instead. Because it doesn’t have high sides, it’s super easy to slide the finished pizza onto a more suitable surface for slicing.  The Lodge LSRG3 Cast Iron Single-Burner Reversible Grill/Griddle, 10.5-inch is available now on Amazon.

 

Homemade Margherita Pizza Ingredients

Homemade Pizza Dough:  The chewy crispy crust can stand up to the sauce and juicy tomatoes.

Pizza Sauce:  Use your favorite jarred pizza sauce.

Campari Tomatoes:  Usually sold on the vine at your grocery store, these tomatoes are very flavorful and meaty.

Mozzarella Cheese:  We’ll use fresh mozzarella cheese as well as shredded.

Fresh Basil:  Fresh tastes best!  Basil is easy to grow in a flower pot outside.  You’ll always have fresh basil on hand!

Seasonings:  Dried Italian seasoning and garlic powder.  Crust red pepper flakes are optional.

TIP:  This recipe yields enough dough to make two medium-crust pizzas on the cast iron griddle shown. If preferred, the dough can be divided to create three thin-crust pizzas of this size. Unused dough can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated or frozen for later use.

 

What are Campari Tomatoes

Campari tomatoes are usually sold “on the vine” at the grocery store.  They’re larger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a regular tomato.  San Marzano tomatoes are often used for Pizza Margherita, partly because they are less watery than other varieties. If they are not available locally, you can substitute other varieties, as well. Campari tomatoes were used for this recipe. 

 

Roma tomatoes can be used but pat them with a paper towel after slicing to remove the juice.  If you are worried about a soggy crust, chop the tomatoes instead of slicing them and strain for excess liquid before placing on top.  Pat with a paper towel to absorb extra liquid.

 

Step by Step Directions for Margherita Pizza

please scroll down to the recipe card for the printable version.

Prepare the Pizza Dough

  • Add warm water to a large bowl, then add the yeast and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.

warm water and yeast and sugar

  • Add salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the same bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add 2-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.

add salt and olive oil and flour to bowl

  • Lightly sprinkle some flour onto a clean work surface and your clean hands. Place the dough onto the prepared work surface and knead in remaining flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a ball.  Spray a clean bowl with non-stick spray and add the dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough had doubled in size.

dough in bowl before risingdough in bowl after rising

  • When the dough is almost ready, place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 500°F.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. After a few minutes, divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a clean, well-floured surface until it is a little bit larger than the surface of your cast iron skillet or griddle, as shown.

dough rolled out and placed on skillet

  • Place the dough onto the cast iron griddle and stretch it with your fingers until it completely fills the space. The outside crust of the pizza should be a little thicker than the rest of the crust. Brush the remaining olive oil around the perimeter of the outer crust, as shown. 

olive oil brushed around crustpizza sauce on crust

Add the pizza toppings

  • Spread the pizza sauce into a thin, even layer up to the edge of the oil-brushed crust. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and garlic powder on top of sauce.
  • Arrange the sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with the low-moisture shredded Mozzarella and carefully place the pizza in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is brown and bubbly.

add sliced tomatoes to pizzaadd mozzarella slices and shredded mozzarella to pizza

  • Carefully remove from oven and cool for several minutes before topping with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Tip: The pan will be very, very hot at this point, so use extreme caution while working around it.

baked pizza with basic and crushed red pepper flakes

  • To serve, carefully slide the baked pizza to a clean cutting surface and slice into individual pieces.

 

baked pizza on wooden cutting board with slice on spatula and red striped napkin in background

 

Does a Margherita Pizza Have Meat

The traditional Margherita Pizza does not have any meat on it.  I’m sure there are those who are quick to point this out if you dare put meat on it.  Here’s my answer:  Your house – your pizza!  You can certainly make a meaty Margherita pizza if you want to!  A chicken Margherita pizza is fantastic.  Salami and pepperoni are also great meats to add to this pizza.

 

If you enjoy making homemade pizza dough, you may want to try my Homemade Oatmeal Bread!  Well worth the time and wait!

 

If you tried this recipe, please rate and review it below so I know how it turned out. If you’d like more recipe inspiration delivered straight to your inbox, please sign up for my email newsletter here:

 

You can also follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook for more delicious recipe ideas!

 

baked pizza on wooden cutting board with slice on spatula

Cast Iron Margherita Pizza

Cast Iron Margherita Skillet Pizza is easy to make at home.  Made with ripe tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and pizza sauce.  The homemade pizza crust bakes up crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  This skillet pizza is a winner!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin For Later Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
rising time for dough: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • measuring cup(s)
  • measuring spoons
  • Cast Iron Single-Burner Reversible Grill/Griddle

Ingredients

DOUGH INGREDIENTS (This recipe yields enough dough to make two medium-crust pizzas)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1-1/2 cups very warm water (110˚-115°F)
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

TOPPING INGREDIENTS (for one pizza) double ingredients for 2 pizzas

  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 small Campari tomatoes, sliced***
  • 4 ounces fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 3 ounces low-moisture Mozzarella, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced (+ small sprigs for garnish)
  • crushed red pepper flakes, optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • To proof the yeast, add the warm water to a large bowl, followed by the yeast and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and two tablespoons olive oil to the same bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add two-and-a-half cups flour, one-half cup at a time, stirring continually until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.
  • Sprinkle flour onto a clean work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the prepared work surface and knead in the remaining flour just until the dough is no longer sticky. Shape dough into a ball and add to a clean bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size. SEE TIP BELOW IN NOTES.
  • When the dough is almost ready, place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 500°F.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. After a couple minutes, divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a clean, well-floured surface until it is a little bit larger than the surface of your cast iron skillet or griddle, as shown.
  • Transfer the dough to the cast iron griddle and stretch it with your fingers until it completely fills the space, and the outer perimeter is slightly thicker than the rest of the crust.
  • Brush remaining olive oil around the perimeter of the dough, as shown. Then top the dough with the pizza sauce and spread into a thin, uniform layer up to the edge of the oil-brushed crust. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning and garlic powder on top of the sauce in an even, uniform layer.
  • Arrange the sliced tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle with the low-moisture shredded Mozzarella and carefully place the pizza in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is brown and bubbly.
  • Carefully remove from oven and cool for several minutes before topping with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Tip: The pan will be very, very hot at this point, so use extreme caution while working around it.
  • To serve, carefully slide the baked pizza to a clean cutting surface and slice into individual pieces.

Notes

Tip: It will take approximately 3½ cups of all-purpose flour for the dough to reach the correct consistency. (If the dough is still sticky at that point, work in a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time, just until no longer sticky). The additional flour in the ingredients list is for the work surface and your hands while working with the dough.
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