Cast Iron Pressed Pizza Sandwiches

published Sep 12, 2020
summer
Cast Iron Pressed Pizza Sandwiches

This recipe, known in some regions as mountain pies, combines the best of a panini, grilled cheese, and pizza into one crisp sandwich.

Serves2

Prep5 minutes

Cook5 minutes to 10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Cast Iron pressed pizza sandwich being lifted from press.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

This recipe, known in some regions as mountain pies, combines the best of a panini, grilled cheese, and pizza into one crisp sandwich. The outside is buttered and sprinkled with garlic powder and dried oregano — reminiscent of any New York City pizza shop — while the inside is filled with pizza sauce, mozzarella and mini pepperoni, ensuring you get a perfect bite every time. And like a panini, the outside is pressed so it’s evenly crisp and golden-brown. When you take a bite, you’re greeted with a steamy cheese pull.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

I originally made these sandwiches with my family over an open fire using a pie iron. The tool, which goes by a few names online (sandwich toaster, cooking iron, and camp cooker), is an enclosed cast iron pan used to make anything golden-brown and delicious, typically while camping. There are round variations, but for this recipe I recommend the square version. Beyond crisp pizza sandwiches, you can make quesadillas, biscuits, and pies, too.

If you don’t have easy access to an open fire, you can make this recipe at home by using an additional skillet to press down the sandwich while cooking. The result is slightly different, but you will still get a warm, gooey sandwich to enjoy. Like most recipes, this one is easily adaptable to your favorite pizza toppings. Pineapple? Mushrooms? Sausage? All fair game.

Cast Iron Pressed Pizza Sandwiches

This recipe, known in some regions as mountain pies, combines the best of a panini, grilled cheese, and pizza into one crisp sandwich.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 4 slices

    white sandwich bread

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 6 tablespoons

    pizza or marinara sauce

  • 1/2 cup

    shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese

  • 18

    mini or 12 regular pepperoni slices

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place 4 slices white sandwich bread on a work surface. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter onto the bread. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

  2. Flip the slices over and spread with 6 tablespoons pizza sauce. Divide 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese among 2 of the bread slices, then top with 18 mini or 12 regular pepperoni slices. Sprinkle the pepperoni with 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes if desired. Close the sandwiches with the remaining 2 bread slices sauce-side down.

  3. Option 1: Stovetop cooking with a skillet. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and place a cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pot or pan on top of the sandwiches as a press. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Uncover and flip the sandwiches. Place the second pan on top of the sandwiches again and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes more.

  4. Option 2: Pie iron cooking. Open a cast iron pie iron and place 1 sandwich inside. Close it completely over the sandwich and latch it shut.

  5. Place the iron on top of the embers of an open fire. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the iron and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat, place on a heat resistant surface, and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes while still shut. The iron will still be extremely hot even after cooling, so be careful.

  6. Carefully unlatch the cast iron square and pop the sandwich onto a plate. Repeat cooking the remaining sandwich.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient/Equipment Variation: If you’re camping or would like to cook this recipe over an open fire, use a cast iron square.