Weeknight Dinner: How to Make Pizza on the Stove Top

This started out as a way to make pizza during the summer without heating up our entire apartment, but it's quickly become a favorite new technique! Using a cast iron skillet, the pizza gets super crispy and slightly charred on the bottom while staying chewy and soft in the middle. Very yum.

Here's the method we've developed:

1. Prep the Dough - If you're making your own pizza dough, get it started in the afternoon, or make it the night before and keep it in the fridge. We've actually been using our recipe for pita bread and just cutting off pieces of dough as we need them. (One pita recipe makes about 4 pizzas.) If you're using store bought, your job is already done! Either way, let the refrigerated dough warm on the counter a little as you prep everything else.

2. Prep the Toppings - Once you get going with the pizza, it's like a train that won't stop! You won't have time for last minute chopping or rummaging through the fridge, so make sure all the toppings you want to use are ready and waiting next to the stove.

3. Heat the Pan - Set a 10"-12" cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and slick the bottom with a very thin layer of oil. Cast iron works really well for getting the crispy, charred bottom so we definitely recommend it here. You'll be flipping and moving the dough, so if you don't have a cast iron skillet, we think it's probably best to use one with non-stick coating.

4. Roll Out the Dough - While the pan is heating, quickly roll out the pizza dough. It should be a little smaller than the size of your pan and about 1/4"-1/2" thick. Dust the counter, the dough, and your rolling pin with flour so the dough doesn't stick.

5. Cook the Dough for 1 Minute - Transfer the dough to the hot skillet. We found it easiest to drape the dough over the rolling pin to transfer and center the dough in the skillet. Cook the dough for about 1 minute. If bubbles start forming in the dough, poke them with a knife to get them to deflate.

6. Flip the Dough and Add the Toppings - Flip the dough onto the other side and immediately start adding the toppings. Once everything is on there, cover it with a lid so the cheese melts and the ingredients heat through. (You can also run it under a broiler, as we did for this Asparagus, Shitake, and Mozzarella Pizza!)

This should take about 5 minutes or less, and the pizza is done when the cheese has melted to your liking. If the pizza crust starts to smell like it's burning, you can lower the heat to medium - though the charred "burned" bits on the bottom were honestly some of our favorites!

And that's all there is to it! From starting to prep the ingredients to finished pizza, this usually takes us about a half an hour with 5-10 minutes of active cooking time at the hot stove. We probably wouldn't use this method if we were cooking for a crowd, but one pizza with a side salad is a great dinner if you're eating solo or if there's just two of you. It's also easy enough to cook off another pizza if you're still hungry.

Do you ever cook pizza on the stove top? What's your method?

Related: Weekend Cooking: Have a Pizza Night!

(Image: Emma Christensen)