Iron Skillet Deep Dish Vegetables and Pepperoni Pizza

Image contributed by Hymn

Image contributed by Hymn

Depending on how many shortcuts you take, this can be quite a quick meal to prepare by starting with a 1-lb. bag of fresh dough from Trader Joe’s, or any of your favorite brand. You may also have pre-made your fresh dough by using a bread maker, or simply by hand. In any event, we will prepare this pizza, assuming the dough is already made ahead of time. The amount of dough should be at least 1 lb. in weight since that would be enough to fully line an 8- or 10-inch cast iron skillet.

Start by taking your dough out of the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature on your kitchen counter for about half an hour so it can be more pliable. While the dough is lounging around, you can wash and slice or chop the vegetables. You can use any vegetables you want. For this particular pizza, I put in two garden-fresh yellow squashes, three Italian peppers, one Italian eggplant, a container of white button mushrooms, and two onions because I love them. After slicing or chopping your vegetables, set them aside. I also had a few leaves of fresh basil from the garden, so I sliced them too.

You can either shred blocks of cheese, or you can buy shredded cheese. For this recipe, I put in shredded Swiss Gruyere cheese from Trader Joe’s, as well as shredded mozzarella cheese. I decided to use pepperoni as my meat because the pepperoni’s spiciness and saltiness will bring out the vegetable flavors. For pizza sauce, I used Classico Fire Roasted Pizza Sauce in a jar. At this time, you can turn on the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F.

Now the assembly—spray the skillet with olive oil. Take your dough and stretch it to cover the whole inside bottom and sides of the skillet, having the dough on the sides hang slightly over the rim of the skillet. Next, cover the bottom with a layer of pizza sauce, followed by a layer of shredded cheese; whichever flavor is fine. Then, scatter some onions, the Italian pepper, squash, mushrooms, basil, and some pepperoni. Put in another layer of cheese and continue with the vegetable and pepperoni layer again. Do this until you’ve filled the skillet but not to the point of overflowing.

You will then fold the dough flaps over on the top of your filling to bind everything in. When the oven is preheated to 400 degrees F, place the skillet inside and let it bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until you see the cheese is fully melted and the top of your dough looks golden brown, as shown on the picture above, or you’re so hungry you can’t wait anymore, whichever happens first. While you’re waiting for it to bake, you can make yourself a salad to eat with it and you have a complete meal.

Eat with gusto!

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