One culinary tool that every home chef should own is a cast-iron skillet. The sturdy and long-lasting pan, which conducts and retains heat like no other, is ideal for searing meat and caramelizing vegetables. So long as you clean it correctly, a well-seasoned skillet is naturally nonstick, which is just another reason to love it. You can deep-fry chicken, bake eggs, and even make an apple pie in a cast-iron skillet. If you're already hooked and wondering what sort of delicious dishes you can make in the pan, consider this your virtual cookbook.
Try out these 20 easy recipes that will encourage you to experiment with your cast iron.
Vegan Skillet Lasagna
Almond ricotta and spinach walnut pesto are the star components of this delectable vegan skillet recipe by The First Mess. It's a cook-to-impress type of dish, and vegan or not, guests will most definitely request seconds. While most lasagnas are filled with meat and cheese, this one is made with carrots, zucchini, and cooked lentils. If you want to get really adventurous, try adding mushrooms, leeks, bell peppers, or lightly mashed chickpeas.
Skillet Chicken Tinga Enchiladas
There's no complicated tortilla rolling necessary with these open-faced enchiladas from Half Baked Harvest, and one pan is all you need to cook these up. The best part? It takes less than an hour from start to finish. With ingredients like tomatillos, green chiles, and sweet onion, every bite is full of rich flavors. Top with a fried egg and freshly sliced avocado for a little extra oomph.
Simple Tofu Chilaquiles
Another delicious dish from below the border, chilaquiles are one of the ultimate comfort breakfast foods. They're everything good about a savory morning meal: crispy with just the right balance of spice and tang. This vegan version by Minimalist Baker uses tofu spiced with cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder as its center ingredient. If you're new to the tofu game, we suggest you try this dish to experience the vegan ingredient at its best.
Sun-Dried Tomato Herb Skillet Rolls
Sugar Salted's simple pull-apart appetizer makes for a good excuse to eat with our hands. You just mix the buttery rolls with sun-dried tomatoes and top with oregano. We'd call that culinary heaven. Best served alongside soup or salad, this Mediterranean-inspired dish will be the perfect finishing touch to any meal.
One of the best ways to make use of your cast-iron skillet is with this no-nonsense steak fajitas recipe by Foodie Crush. It combines thinly sliced steak with orange and red bell peppers, sweet onion, lime, and avocado. This exquisite recipe also includes a homemade fajita seasoning blend that will definitely become your go-to whenever you need a little spice.
BLT Brunch Frittata
This brunch frittata by Camille Styles is so good that we'd also cook it for lunch or dinner. As the name promises, bacon and heirloom tomatoes mix with basil as a swap for lettuce to make this simple frittata. It cooks in one pan, making it as easy to prepare as it is to eat.
Curry Beef and Broccoli
One pot is all you need to make this Food Faith Fitness curry beef and broccoli. The cashew butter makes all the difference in the creamy texture of this delectable dinner. The recipe is simple, and it only takes 30 minutes from prep to finish. Serve it with cauliflower rice for a low-carb dinner that you'll want to make more than once.
Avoid putting any of your ingredients onto a cool or room-temperature skillet because, no matter how well you cleaned it beforehand, the food will stick. Always make sure the skillet is warm before adding food to it.
Creamy Skillet Mac and Cheese
A little indulgence here and there is a necessity, and this creamy skillet mac and cheese by Spoon Fork Bacon is one we can't wait to try. Featuring Brie and Camembert cheeses, this one-skillet dish is the perfect comfort food. Thyme, ginger, and lemon make for a new way to add unexpected flavors to this classic recipe.
Spicy Breakfast Skillet
Another savory breakfast comes in the form of The First Mess's spicy mix of sweet potato, black beans, and avocado (among other tasty ingredients). It's also completely plant-based and features a recipe for a cilantro jalapeño sauce that serves as a delightful finishing touch.
Cauliflower Caprese Skillet
Anything Caprese is worth trying if you ask us, and this cauliflower Caprese skillet by Food Faith Fitness is no exception. The recipe takes the typically cold appetizer and makes it heartier (and warmer) with the addition of cauliflower patties and a turkey ragù sauce.
Shakshuka is one of the best cast-iron skillet recipes to learn, and this artichoke variation from Half Baked Harvest is one of our favorite iterations. And you only need a single pan and 30 minutes to whip this dish up. Artichoke hearts, marinara sauce, eggs, bell pepper, and goat cheese make this a super tasty recipe that you'll want to hold onto.
Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
No list of the best cast-iron skillet recipes would be complete without including something sweet. Regular cookies will never taste the same after you try this Half Baked Harvest peanut butter–stuffed chocolate chip skillet cookie. Because you probably can't dunk this one in a cup of milk, we suggest serving it under vanilla ice cream.
Sweet Potato Dinner Skillet
Sweet potatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients, and we're happy to try them in any form. This sweet potato dinner skillet from A Couple of Cooks is truly out-of-this-world and exploding with flavor. The hero ingredients are leafy greens, eggs, feta cheese, and, of course, the sweet potato, which goes into the skillet a little crispy. If you're feeling bold, top your plate with a fried egg and a touch of hot sauce.
Perfect Pan Pizza
If you're in search of an easy-to-make crowd-pleaser, try out this perfect pan pizza from A Couple of Cooks. Fans of classic deep dish will swoon over this pizza. Because it cooks in a skillet, the crust is crunchy on the outside and pillowy on the inside. Top it off with as many veggies or meats as you like and enjoy what will become your new favorite pizza.
When it comes to Southern staples, biscuits are definitely at the top of the list. With this Darling Down South recipe, you'll ditch the pre-made biscuit mixes in no time. If you're not sure which meal to pair it with, see if you like it better sweet or savory. If you're going for sweet, smear a little jam on top, and if you are leaning towards savory, salted butter will do the trick.
Whole Roasted Chicken With Potatoes
Roasting a whole chicken may sound a little intimidating, but this recipe from Foodie Crush makes it so simple. All you have to is season the whole thing with your favorite spices (or just use salt and pepper to keep it easy) and surround it with chopped potatoes, onions, and carrots, and stick it in the oven. Voila!
Pinto Bean Skillet Bake
If you're craving something with a little bit of a kick, we recommend trying this pinto bean skillet recipe from The Full Helping. The pinto beans are loaded with protein, so you'll feel stuffed (but not sick) after just one helping. It's topped with a spicy sunflower oat layer that adds the perfect crunch, and it's a healthy alternative to breadcrumbs.
Oven-Roasted Paprikash Chicken Thighs
A combination of our favorite comfort foods, this Hungarian chicken paprikash stew by I Am a Food Blog will soon become your new go-to international dish. Flavorful chicken thighs and egg noodles soak up the creamy tomato sauce, making every bite incredibly flavorful. If you want to switch it up just a touch, squeeze half a lemon over your plate right before you take a bite.
Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Skillet
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so if you want to start strong, try whipping up this incredible healthy skillet recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats. It may look decadent and complicated, but it's shockingly easy to make. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, too.