15 Easy and Delicious Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

The most versatile piece of cookware I own is my cast iron pan. But I have a secret for you: I had no idea what to do with it the entire first year I owned it. Instead, the pan sat collecting dust on a shelf in my kitchen. (See also : This Is How You Pick the Best Cookware for Your Needs)

Then one day, I decided to bring it out, season it, and challenge myself to try as many recipes as possible. Turns out you can make most anything in the skillet, from breakfast to dessert — just take a look!

1. Pizza

You have to try this cast iron pizza recipe. Mix together your simple dough and let rise for a few hours. Then generously grease your cast iron pan and flatten your dough inside. Let rest for another couple hours before topping with sauce and cheese. Cook on your stovetop for three minutes and place in the oven for another 15, until browned and bubbly.

2. Shepherd's Pie

According to Punxsutawney Phil, we've got a long stretch of cold weather still ahead. This shepherd's pie is the ultimate comfort food, and it can be made in your cast iron pan. You'll first boil some potatoes for the mashed topping. Then cook your meat, veggies, and seasonings in the pan, press down and top with a layer of cheddar, and top with the potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes to finish.

3. Cornbread

I make a lot of slow cooker soups for dinner these days. On the side, I love serving skillet cornbread because it's simple to mix together and tastes great with a few pats of butter. Versus cooking cornbread in a standard loaf pan, you'll get more even results in the skillet. (See also: 35 Slow Cooker Recipes For Busy Vegetarians)

4. Brownies

Use chocolate spread, Nutella, or even peanut butter in this skillet brownie recipe. Don't forget to spritz your pan with non-stick spray so the brownie doesn't stick. Although, I'd likely eat right out of the pan with a spoon, so — on second thought — do whatever you want. There are no rules with chocolate.

5. Lasagna

Yes! You can make cheesy lasagna in your cast iron skillet. This recipe is for a meaty variety, but you could also substitute in some spinach or other veggies if you're vegetarian. This recipe would come together even faster if you used no-boil noodles. Layer, bake, and enjoy in about a half hour.

6. Grilled Cheese

This skillet grilled cheese recipe is the best I've ever had. Why exactly? The skillet is able to hold heat very well, so it browns those nooks and crannies to perfection. And get creative with your cheese and bread selection; the author used a mix of asiago rosemary and cheddar.

7. Egg Bake

Let's talk breakfast, shall we? These skillet baked eggs boast a crispy hash brown crust and only five simple ingredients. After shredding the potatoes, you'll brown them in the skillet, then press before cracking the eggs. Top with cheese and broil for five to seven minutes.

8. Ratatouille

If you need to bring a dish to pass, try this beautiful cast iron ratatouille. You'll cut thin slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper. The rest of the ingredients go into a quick-blend homemade sauce. After you arrange the veggies in a visually pleasing pattern, pour the sauce over top and let bake for an hour.

9. Biscuits

I make biscuits a few times a week, but I've never thought of making them in my cast iron pan. This skillet biscuit recipe is just like your favorite buttermilk variety. You'll pulse together flour and butter until crumbly. Then add the milk and mix until just combined. Arrange rounds of the dough in your greased skillet and let bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

10. Muffin

I mixed together this blueberry skillet cake when I was looking for something sweet to jazz up my day. It turned out like a gigantic blueberry muffin. The coolest part about this recipe is that you can substitute in any fruit that's seasonal. Also: To prevent that blueberry bleed, I tossed my berries in cornstarch before placing them in the mix.

11. Tofu

Vegetarians and vegans might be interested to know you can get a good dose of iron by cooking foods, like tofu, in your cast iron skillet. Not only will you reap this nutritional benefit, the tofu you cook will be wonderfully browned on all sides. Preheat your pan over medium heat, add some oil, then sprinkle with a little salt to help draw out moisture. For best results, flip using a thin metal spatula.

12. Frittata

Whether for breakfast or dinner, this skillet frittata will pack your family full of delicious protein. The recipe calls for spinach, basil, and zucchini, but you can feel free to substitute in any similar veggie ingredients you have on have. Just use the same ratio to the egg mixture.

13. Spaghetti

This skillet spaghetti recipe isn't as plain as it sounds. The author decided to take it up a notch by lining the skillet with garlic bread! So, you get an appetizer and a main course in one handy pan. Kneading the rolls for a few minutes will make them especially light and fully, so it's worth the extra time.

14. Chinese Orange Chicken

Instead of calling for delivery tonight, consider making orange chicken right in your skillet. This recipe takes just 30 minutes to make from start to finish, so it might even be faster than ordering out. Cut chicken into chunks and soak in a zesty marinade before cooking in the skillet. Pour any remaining marinade on as you cook and serve with rice.

15. A Big Cookie

Here's all the goodness of your favorite chocolate chip cookies baked inside a cast iron skillet. This mega-cookie that would be great for a party or even a Wednesday night. Make sure to follow the directions exactly, since the order in which you blend the ingredients together has a lot of impact on the texture of the finished cookie.

What do you make in your cast iron skillet?

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Guest's picture
James P

Like 90% of that is junk food. I ate like that in the 5th grade.

Guest's picture
Brett Vaughan

I don't even own a cast iron skillet but now I'm re-thinking that. I always heard they were hard to maintain to keep them from getting rusty, but these recipes sound far too good to pass up. I never would have thought you could bake in one (as with the cookie) because I thought all cookies needed a thin cookie sheet. I suppose I need to re-think my old fashioned ideals about cookware.