Food/ Main Dishes/ Poultry

Pesto Chicken Pizza {Cast Iron Skillet Pizza}

Pesto Chicken Pizza in a cast iron skillet.

Pesto Chicken Pizza in a cast iron skillet.

This 30-minute cast iron skillet pizza is so easy, it’s become a weekly thing in our house! And this chicken pesto pizza topped with an Italian blend of cheese, kalamata olives, red onions, and feta is a definite fave.

 

When it’s mid-winter with no end in sight, it’s almost Friday, and you’re just tired of all the bullshit… PIZZA. Pizza fixes everything.

Making this beauty from-scratch ‘za made me realize that I don’t do homemade pizza enough. It’s super easy, it’s stupid good, and there’s no reason as to why we can’t opt for it over our usual takeout. Not to mention, making pizza is just FUN. Especially with those you love. Whether it be with your significant other, your kids, your BFF, whatever—date night pizza is never a shitty idea. And for those of you who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone special, skip the overcrowded restaurants! Instead, kick back and make a cast iron skillet pizza together. If your relationship is really comfortable, do it in jogging pants.

We’ve been watching a lot of Brad Leone videos in this house lately. Brad is one of the many talented faces over at Bon Appétit and his videos are incredibly amusing. (The editing is brilliant!) We recently caught an episode where Brad made the most drool-worthy skillet pizza and, because I am the way that I am, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

So, I wanted to pop in and throw this cast iron skillet pizza together for you just in time for the weekend :)

Hand grabbing a slice.

Pesto Chicken Pizza.

When the craving for pizza hits (which is basically always), I usually reach for the classic marina-slathered pie full of stretchy mozzarella, salty pepperoni, and mushrooms; briny green olives if I’m feeling extra. But when making pizza at home, I feel like going beyond the usual is necessary. Exploring is a must.

The Mediterranean flavor combination I went for here is reminiscent of a flatbread I mowed down at one of my fave Italian joints here in Raleigh. It was hands down the best pesto pizza I’ve ever had! It had all of the right elements going for it: zesty red onions, salty olives, tender chopped chicken, crumbly feta, and an Italian blend of mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan, romano, and fontina.

This pizza can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken—and the feta, if you avoid rennet.

Close up of Pesto Chicken Pizza in a cast iron skillet.

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza.

So. Why the cast iron skillet as opposed to a pan? Besides the fact that you end up with a beautiful perfectly imperfect rustic pizza, the crust is guaranteed to end up crispy on the outside and wonderfully chewy within. As someone who grew up leaving pizza crusts on her plate, I can tell you that I refuse to do so with this good stuff. (Or maybe I’ve just grown up. Either way… )

It also helps to flavor your crust! With this gem, I slathered the outer crust with some olive oil and sprinkled it with garlic salt. BEST.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you.

Also, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme and be featured in our newsletter.

Pesto Chicken Pizza in a cast iron skillet.
5 from 3 votes
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Pesto Chicken Pizza {Cast Iron Skillet Pizza}

This 30-minute cast iron skillet pizza is so easy, it's become a weekly thing in our house! And this chicken pesto pizza topped with an Italian blend of cheese, kalamata olives, red onions, and feta is a definite fave.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword 30 minute, easy, pizza, skillet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 1 lb store-bought dough If any of your local pizzerias sell this, go to them first. If not, then hit up any bakery or the bakery section at your supermarket.
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp corn meal
  • 2-3 TBSP basil pesto
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend in this recipe; you can use straight up mozzarella if you want.) I indicate 1-2 cups, but seriously, put as much or as little cheese as you want.
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt, more or less depending on preference

Materials.

  • 1 9-12" cast iron skillet* See notes.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 525˚F or as hot as it can go up to that point. (Don't use your broiler, however. That will burn your pizza and ruin your day.)

  2. Lightly flour a clean and flat surface. Remove your dough from its packaging and roll the dough out, working it into a nice flat round.

  3. Place your cast iron pan onto the stove over medium-high heat to preheat the pan. You want your pan to be hot, but not smoking. Once your pan is nice and hot, remove it from the stove (with oven mitts on, please!) and place it on a heat resistant surface. Sprinkle the hot pan with some flour and some cornmeal, then carefully place the dough into the pan. Press and pull the sides of the dough up the rim of the pan to create your crust surface and distribute the dough evenly. Avoid creating thin patches! 

  4. Slather the pesto in the center of the dough. Leave about 1/2-1" around the edges for your crust. Then top the pizza with your shredded cheese, chicken, olives, red onions, and feta.

  5. Brush the edges (crust) with olive oil, then sprinkle with some garlic salt for a nice garlicky crust.

  6. Again, using oven mitts, transfer the pizza into the oven and let it bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and slightly golden.

  7. Once the pizza is ready, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, dig in.

Recipe Notes

*Any cast iron skillet close in size to 9-12" should work just fine. Just remember that the bigger the skillet, the thinner the crust will be. So this is all a matter of preference. (And your pizza should be the way that YOU want it :) )

30-Minute Chicken Pesto Pizza {Cast Iron Skillet {Pizza}

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli
    January 30, 2019 at 2:19 pm Those edges must be so crispy! Never made pizza in the skillet, I want to try, now. Love the topping, sans the chicken. My craving for pizza hits basically always, as well ;-) !

    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 11:16 am Chicken is definitely optional here! These flavors can totally stand without it. Let me know when you give skillet pizza a shot. I think this needs to happen here again this weekend :) Might try out a different flavor combo.
  • Reply
    marilyn @family food around the clock
    January 29, 2019 at 1:47 pm Beautiful and an amazing Pizza! Friday night pizza has been in our family for a while now. We love using the hot stone to make a crispy crust, but this Friday we are going to use the cast iron skillet. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 11:17 am I hope the cast iron worked well for you, Marilyn! Pizza stones are a fabulous tool as well :)
  • Reply
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
    January 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm I just love this pizza Dana! The cast iron skillet crust looks amazing, and I totally love pesto and chicken on pizza. My husband doesn't eat chicken, so when I make this one, I will devour it all myself!!

    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 11:18 am No one should ever complain about a pizza to themselves, right? ;) The flavors here definitely stand on their own sans chicken, though. So if you're feeling generous at some point, you could totally do half and half :P

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