Clicky

5 Surprising Things You Can Cook in a Cast Iron Skillet

  • By: Kitchen Informant
  • Date: February 17, 2024

5 Surprising Things You Can Cook in a Cast Iron Skillet: Beyond the Basics

A cast iron skillet is a versatile kitchen tool that can be used to cook a variety of dishes.

Many people use it to cook traditional dishes like steaks, vegetables, and cornbread. However, there are many surprising things that you can cook in a cast iron skillet that you may not have thought of before.

A cast iron skillet sits on a stovetop, sizzling with a variety of ingredients. Steam rises as the skillet cooks up an unexpected array of dishes


One of the most surprising things that you can cook in a cast iron skillet is dessert.

While most people associate cast iron skillets with savory dishes, they can also be used to make delicious desserts like apple crisp, peach cobbler, and even chocolate chip cookies.

The cast iron skillet helps to create a crispy, golden crust that is perfect for desserts.

Another surprising thing that you can cook in a cast iron skillet is bread.

Cast iron skillets are great for making bread because they distribute heat evenly and can create a crispy crust.

You can make a variety of bread varieties in a cast iron skillet, including sourdough, focaccia, and even naan.

Key Takeaways

  • Cast iron skillets are versatile kitchen tools that can be used to cook a variety of dishes, including unexpected desserts and bread varieties.
  • Global cuisine can be cooked in a cast iron skillet, making it a great tool for exploring new flavors and dishes.
  • Cast iron skillets are perfect for cooking breakfast favorites and snack time delights, making them a must-have in any kitchen.

Unexpected Desserts

A cast iron skillet sits on a rustic wooden table, filled with surprising desserts like s'mores, upside-down cake, and skillet cookies. A warm, inviting glow emanates from the skillet, creating a cozy and unexpected scene

Cast iron skillets are not just for savory dishes. They can be used to make a variety of sweet treats as well. Here are two unexpected desserts that can be made in a cast iron skillet:

Skillet Baked Cakes

Baking a cake in a cast iron skillet may sound unusual, but it produces a deliciously moist and flavorful dessert.

The skillet’s even heat distribution ensures that the cake cooks evenly and develops a crispy crust. Plus, the skillet’s rustic appearance makes for a beautiful presentation.

To make a skillet baked cake, simply prepare your favorite cake batter and pour it into a greased skillet.

Bake the cake in the oven according to the recipe’s instructions. Once the cake is finished baking, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Fruit Crumbles

Fruit crumbles are a classic dessert that can be made in a cast iron skillet for a rustic twist.

The skillet’s deep sides allow for a generous amount of fruit and crumbly topping, resulting in a dessert that’s both sweet and satisfying.

To make a fruit crumble, toss your favorite fruit with sugar and spices and place it in a greased skillet.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, and butter to create the crumble topping.

Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake in the oven until golden brown and bubbly.

Bread Varieties

Cast iron skillets are not just for cooking meats and vegetables, they are also perfect for baking bread. Here are two bread varieties that can be cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Artisan Loaves

Artisan bread is a type of bread that is made by hand using traditional techniques. It is known for its crispy crust and soft and chewy interior.

Making artisan bread in a cast iron skillet is a great way to achieve that crispy crust.

To make an artisan loaf in a cast iron skillet, start by mixing flour, yeast, salt, and water in a bowl.

Let the dough rise for a few hours, then shape it into a ball. Place the dough ball in a heated cast iron skillet and bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Fluffy Biscuits

Fluffy biscuits are a classic American breakfast food. They are soft and buttery, and perfect for serving with gravy or jam.

Making fluffy biscuits in a cast iron skillet is a great way to achieve that golden brown crust.

To make fluffy biscuits in a cast iron skillet, start by mixing flour, baking powder, salt, and butter in a bowl.

Add milk and mix until the dough is formed. Roll out the dough and cut it into biscuit shapes. Place the biscuits in a heated cast iron skillet and bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Global Cuisine

A sizzling cast iron skillet with a variety of international dishes cooking inside, including paella, fajitas, stir-fry, and tarte tatin

Cast iron skillets are versatile and can be used to make dishes from all around the world. Here are a few examples of global cuisine that can be cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Spanish Paella

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that is typically cooked in a large, shallow pan. However, it can also be made in a cast iron skillet.

The skillet’s size and depth make it perfect for cooking paella for a small group of people.

To make paella in a cast iron skillet, start by heating the skillet over medium-high heat.

Add some olive oil and sauté diced onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent. Then, add sliced chorizo and cook until it is browned.

Add some diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, and saffron to the skillet and stir well.

Next, add the rice and stir until it is coated with the tomato mixture.

Add enough chicken broth to cover the rice, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add some shrimp, mussels, and peas to the skillet and cook until the shrimp are pink and the mussels have opened. Serve the paella hot with lemon wedges.

Indian Naan

Naan is a popular Indian flatbread that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven. However, it can also be made in a cast iron skillet.

The skillet’s high heat retention makes it perfect for cooking naan, which needs to be cooked at a high temperature.

To make naan in a cast iron skillet, start by making the dough.

Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and yogurt in a bowl and knead until it forms a smooth dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for about an hour.

Next, divide the dough into equal portions and roll them out into thin circles.

Heat the cast iron skillet over high heat and place the naan in the skillet.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is puffed and lightly browned.

Brush the naan with melted butter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve the naan hot with your favorite Indian dish.

Breakfast Favorites

A cast iron skillet sizzles on the stove, filled with a colorful array of breakfast favorites. Steam rises from the skillet as it cooks up surprising dishes like frittatas, cinnamon rolls, and hash browns

Cast iron skillets are perfect for cooking breakfast. They distribute heat evenly and create a delicious crust on the food. Here are two breakfast favorites that can be cooked in a cast iron skillet:

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast dish that consists of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste.

To make shakshuka in a cast iron skillet, start by sautéing onions, garlic, and bell peppers in olive oil.

Add canned tomatoes, paprika, cumin, and chili powder and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.

Crack eggs into the sauce and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve with crusty bread.

French Toast

French toast is a classic breakfast dish that can be made in a cast iron skillet.

To make French toast, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a shallow dish.

Dip slices of bread into the mixture, making sure to coat both sides.

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bread slices and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with maple syrup and fresh berries.

Snack Time Delights

A cast iron skillet sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by fresh ingredients like vegetables, meats, and spices. The skillet is sizzling over an open flame, emitting a tantalizing aroma

When it comes to snacking, a cast iron skillet can be your best friend. Here are two snack time delights that you can cook in your cast iron skillet:

Roasted Nuts

Roasting nuts in a cast iron skillet is a quick and easy way to add some flavor and crunch to your snack time.

Simply heat the skillet over medium heat, add your favorite nuts, and stir occasionally until they are toasted to your liking.

You can also add some salt, sugar, or spices to the nuts for extra flavor.

IngredientsInstructions
Nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.)1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the nuts and stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes until toasted to your liking.
3. Season with salt, sugar, or spices as desired.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a classic snack that can be made even better in a cast iron skillet.

Not only does it pop up quickly and evenly, but the skillet also allows you to add your favorite seasonings to the popcorn as it cooks.

IngredientsInstructions
Popcorn kernels1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the skillet.
3. Cover the skillet with a lid and shake occasionally until the popping slows down.
4. Remove from heat and season with salt, butter, or other toppings as desired.

Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or salty, a cast iron skillet can help you create the perfect snack in no time.