We used to have a pizza stone that cooked pizzas evenly and more quickly but one day it cracked. We are still not sure how it happened. Maybe something sharp dropped on it or maybe it had a defect. So sadly we had to get rid of it and homemade pizzas were never quite the same! Until we decided to use one of our cast iron pans! Turns out, it is so much easier. No need for a stone or a special pizza tray! Plus, if you are only making pizza for 2, it is a perfect size! Homemade pizza in under 20 minutes is a new record! Whether you make a traditional or a gluten-free pizza, the pan works like a dream!
You can also make great Foccacia in a skillet. Check my Foccacia recipe if you are looking for a fail-proof one.
Back to our pizza. First, let’s make the pizza dough. The recipe will yield 4 medium-ish pizzas in a cast-iron pan. The dough freezes nicely so we usually double the recipe and freeze individual portions in small Ziploc bags. It is so nice to take them out the night before and be able to bake a pizza or a calzone in less than an hour if we have the filling ready.
When it comes to toppings, there is something really filling and satisfying about using thin butternut squash slices. The funny thing is that it looks a little like a peach tart but it isn’t! To offset the light sweetness add
some kalamata olives, garlic cloves, sundried tomatoes, fresh arugula for the color and the touch of pepper, and some fresh sage leaves. Since we are not using tomato sauce, sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese at the bottom of the pizza before adding all the other ingredients. Trader Joe’s has a nice one we have been using.
If you are using sundried tomatoes in olive oil, use some of the extra oil from the jar to brush the cast iron pan before laying the pizza dough, it will add more flavor to the dough! Adding fresh sage leaves that have been lightly brushed with olive oil before baking the pizza will add another layer of flavor that will surprise you. For a little heat, why not sprinkle some chili flakes or drizzle some chili oil. We love to serve this pizza with a nice wilted spinach salad. But any salad will do. It makes the best lunch and can be frozen too!
With the recent heatwave and summer temperatures, we haven’t been using our oven as often. This recipe only requires baking at 500F for 10 minutes so that’s pretty quick. But we have also found out about a portable outdoor pizza oven that can be set up in a few minutes and bake any bread, pizzas, roast vegetables… in a matter of minutes! That’s a game-changer! We like the idea of leaving the heat outside!
Butternut Squash Skillet Pizza
- cast iron skillet
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 1.5 cup warm water
- 3.5 cup All-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 butternut squash thinly sliced and seeded.
- 1 cup fresh arugula
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
- 8-10 fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup vegan cheese
- pinch sea salt & pepper
- 1/2 red onions
- 1/4 cup capers
Make the pizza dough
- Mix the rapid yeast with the warm water, stir and set aside until it foams (about 10 minutes should do it)
- In a large bowl add 3.5 cups of AP flour, a pinch of salt, and make a well in the middle.
- Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the yeast liquid and pour into the well.
- Mix ingredients and knead until you get a ball. You will need to add more flour as you go.
- Oil a clean bowl and place the dough rest for at least an hour. Cover with a clean towel.
- Peel and remove the seeds of the butternut squash,
- Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to thinly slice the butternut squash and place it into a bowl.
- Sprinkle some sea salt and olive oil. Gently toss to evenly coat the squash.
- Preheat the oven at 500F.
- Brush the cast iron pan with some olive oil.
- Stretch and press the dough into the pan. If it retracts, leave it for a minute or more until it is relaxed.
- Sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese making sure to cover the whole pan.
- Brush more oil on the edge of the pizza.
- Place slices of seasoned butternut squash by overlapping them, add arugula, sundried tomatoes, garlic, kalamata olives in a visually pleasing way.
- Sprinkle the oiled sage leaves, some salt, and pepper
- Cook on the stove on medium heat for 4-5 minutes to brown the bottom.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 500F until the crust is golden and cooked through.