This came together in no time at all. I was hungry for pizza. Really, more the flavor of pizza. Does that happen to you? Do you get hungry for certain flavors, too? Anyway, that what this was born of…the hunger for a flavor! And really, how can you go wrong with something pizza flavored? I love skillet dinners and have made a more traditional pizza in a skillet before, the Stove-Top Pizza. This time, I didn’t have any crust on hand. And since I’m battling a nasty cold and feel pretty much like death-warmed-over, I thought about ordering delivery, but we haven’t found “THE” pizza yet. Anyway, The Spicy Honey brought home some nice Cuban bread for our breakfast, so I thought that might work for a “crust”. But, then I thought, why not use that for the crust? We’ll see…we’ll see.
This is one of those quick-mix skillet dinners…just layering everything into the skillet. I’ve given you the amounts I used, but this is so flexible you could really do anything with the ingredients. Just a note of clarification, there are really two recipes here. The first time I made this, I used bread instead of pizza dough, and that’s the official recipe. It worked and was quite delicious. But, it evolved into a crustless, fondue-type of dish; that recipe is the description with the pictures. We prefer the latter, but every now and again, I put the bread on the bottom. When I use the bread, I lightly toast it, as it adds a nice layer of flavor and holds up better. Just push the pieces together in the skillet, tearing them when needed. You want to cover the bottom, but don’t obsess over it. It’s all about options.
I put a thin-ish layer of the cheese on top of the bread, dumped on the meat mixture on, then I smoothed the pizza sauce over the meat, dropped dollops of ricotta randomly over the sauce, sprinkled on herbs, then a layer of tomato slices and the remaining cheese…lots of cheese! For the fondue version—
For the “body” of the fondue, sauté the pepperoni, until it begins to pick up some color; toss in the ground beef until it’s no longer pink. Then begin layering as follows—sliced mushrooms, onions, frozen (or fresh) bell peppers strips, lots of garlic—both fresh and granulated. I pour on the pizza sauce (I purchase one, but make your own, if you prefer), just to cover. Dollop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese randomly over the sauce. It will melt and spread slightly. In the above version, I drizzled on some fine, flavored olive oil. Sprinkle on the Italian herbs or a mixture of dried oregano and basil with some chile flakes. I sprinkle on a heap of cheese, then I place the skillet in the oven! That’s pretty much it. I pour some wine for us, slice the bread (either Italian or Cuban bread) and wait. It smells so good; we can hardly wait. If you want the cheese to brown, just place the pan under the broiler for a minute or two. Do remember to let the skillet set after it comes out of the oven, at least 5-10 minutes, as that cheese is going to be screaming hot! A blistered mouth tends to detract from the overall dining experience. Now, break off a pieces of bread and scoop up that goodness. YUM!!
Pizza Skillet Dinner
All measurements are more or less approximate, but change them to your personal liking…make it your own!
- 1/2 cup coarsely diced pepperoni
- 10-12 ounces ground beef (I used 85/15)
- 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 2-3 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon pizza, Italian seasoning or dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce (see NOTE)
- 2-3 cups Italian Cheese Blend, divided
- 5 (1/2-inch thick) slices Cuban or Italian bread, lightly toasted
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (optional)
- Fresh basil, coarsely chopped
- Fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
- Pizza seasoning or parsley flakes
Preheat the over to 350°F.
Sauté the diced pepperoni, over medium-high heat, for a couple of minutes. You want it to begin to brown just a bit. Add the ground beef, breaking up with your wooden spoon. Stir the burger into the pepperoni and continue to cook until the ground beef is about 80% cooked. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, pizza or Italian seasoning, dried basil and a couple of pinches of kosher salt. Stir the mixture together and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat; stir in the onion. Set aside.
Get out one of your cast iron skillets, about 8 inches. Place the toasted bread snugly in the bottom. Break the bread into pieces, if you need to. Sprinkle some of the cheese over, maybe about 1/2 cup. Spoon the meat/vegetable mixture over the top of the cheese, layer on the sliced tomatoes and cover with pizza sauce. Drop the ricotta, if using, by the spoonful over the sauce; sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs over. Cover the entire top with a nice thick layer of cheese and sprinkle with some additional pizza seasoning, if you wish.
Pop the skillet into the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the top browns and it’s all bubbly. Remove from the oven; let stand for 10-15 minutes to allow the heat to dissipate. You want to keep the roof of your mouth in tact!
When you serve it, cut in wedges or spoon it out. But, go all the way to the bottom of the skillet to get all that goodness. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you don’t have pizza sauce, use purchased pasta sauce and add 2 tablespoons tomato paste per cup of sauce. I’m on the fence about the thickness of the sauce. But, the tomato paste adds a welcome richness to the dish.
Pizza Skillet Dinner Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.
This tasted like pizza, and The Spicy Honey enjoyed it enough to want a second helping. As I mentioned, I’ve made this a few times since. Sometimes, I use fresh herbs and hot pepper slices. I prefer to use an Italian herb mixture I pick up at Marshall’s™ whenever I find it. The spice blend is from Italy, loaded with flavor and has a nice hit of heat. It’s just delicious. I love it.
By the way, I think this could work well in a slow cooker, just layer everything in the liner, like we did in the skillet. I also think you could do a vegetarian version by using diced zucchini and eggplant, instead of the meats and maybe some extra mushrooms, too. Just thinking ahead….
You know how The Goddess enjoys pizza for breakfast. I suspected this was going to be good reheated for breakfast, and it was. Yes, it was quite delicious. I popped a fried egg on top. Yeah….