Sausage & Arugula Skillet Pizza

Skillet pizza

TGIF!  It’s almost Friday and that means pizza night around the Grandy house!  Get out your cast iron skillet and let’s cook us up some PIZZA!  Let’s just backtrack here, you’re asking me if I said cast iron skillet, right?  Why yes I did, you are going to cook this pizza in a cast iron skillet.

This is me telling you to go out and purchase yourself a cast iron skillet.  You don’t need to get a fancy name brand one like Le Creuset (those cost $150 and up).  Pick up a Lodge Logic.  The 12-inch skillet is only $29 and the 10-inch is only $20.  Here is a link to Sur La Table where you can check out the pricing and features.  Lodge Logic is the traditional cast iron pan that your grandmother had.  These pans rock and I am cooking everything in my cast iron skillet lately from breads & pizzas to meats.

Lets get back to this pizza.  This pizza is family and kid approved, I mean like totally!  The bottom of the pizza and the crust gets all brown and crispy from cooking in the cast iron pan, the sausage adds a bit of spiciness to the pizza and the homemade sauce is amazing and so fresh tasting.  I am actually going to use this pizza sauce recipe going forward because it’s so easy and so DELISH!  We honestly felt like we were eating at a fancy pizzeria.

The best part of baking the pizza in the cast iron skillet was that I did not have to roll out any dough!  I always hated that part.

Sausage & arugula skillet pizza

adapted from Martha Stewart living
Makes one 12-inch pizza

  • 2 sweet Italian sausages or 6 ounces sweet Italian sausage – see photo below for what I used
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound store bought or homemade pizza dough – I used Trader Joe’s pizza dough
  • 3 whole peeled canned tomatoes, crushed – I used San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • fresh mozzarella cheese – thinly sliced
  • arugula

Note:  Most store bought pizza dough’s are 1 pound.  You can use the whole pound of pizza dough; I did the first time I made this pizza.  It will be a thicker pizza in general, but it will still taste great.  I used 3/4 pound the next time I made the pizza and it was a bit thinner and less doughy in spots, which I preferred.

I used these classic Italian sausages.  You can honestly use any type of Italian sausages.  These were great as they are nitrate free, raised without antibiotics and with no added hormones.  They were also fully cooked so all I had to do was heat up the meat after I took the meat out of it’s casing.

Italian sausage

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Remove sausages from their casings.  All you have to do to remove the sausage from it’s casing is to cut a slit down the length of the sausage and then peel it open and remove the sausage.  You are going to literally push and tear it out of it’s casing.  You might have some casing left on the sausage, but it doesn’t matter.

Sauté the sausage over high heat until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces.

Cooking sausage

Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the grease.

Slice up your mozzarella, mince up your garlic & toss up your arugula with a splash of olive oil and set aside.

Ingredients for skillet pizza

Put the 3 peeled tomatoes into a small bowl.

Tomatoes in bowl

Crush the tomatoes with a fork and your fingers if needed.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands messy.

Crush tomatoes

Add the 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1-tablespoon olive oil, 1/4-teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the crushed tomatoes, mix them all together.

Tomato sauce ingredients in bowl

Brush a 12-inch cast iron skillet with 1-teaspoon olive oil.  Press dough flat in the skillet, spreading to the edge.

Pressing pizza dough into skillet

John thought it was cool to take an overhead shot of me pressing the dough.  He was aiming the camera in all sorts of directions.  I think this shot below came out sort of cool!

Pressing pizza dough into skillet

Spread the tomato mixture over the dough.

Preparing skillet pizza

Sauced pizza dough in skillet

Cook over medium-high heat until the bottom of dough is golden brown.  The recipe called for 3-4 minutes but mine took more like 5 minutes.  We like ours a bit more browned.  To check the dough, just take a spatula and lift up the side of the dough to see the bottom.

Once the pizza crust is browned on the bottom, transfer the pizza to the preheated oven and bake for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, remove the pizza from the oven and scatter the mozzarella and sausage on top.  REMEMBER TO WEAR AN OVEN MITT WHEN TOUCHING THE CAST IRON PAN AS ITS HOT!  Pop the pizza back in the oven.

Skillet pizza

Cook the pizza for about 8-10 more minutes until the edge of the crust is golden brown.

Slide the pizza out of the cast iron skillet onto a cutting board.  Folks, I have had this cast iron pan for 2 months now and it’s virtually non-stick.  My pizza slid right out of the pan when I tipped it to the side, so don’t fret about your crust sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Skillet pizza

Garnish pizza with the fresh arugula.

Fresh arugula on skillet pizza

Cut into individual slices and serve up with a fresh tossed salad or vegetable of your choice.

Sliced skillet pizza

We liked this pizza so much that my kid’s requested I make it again the next day for lunch!
Needless to say, it was devoured!

If you like skillet pizzas then try my deep-dish pepperoni skillet pizza.

With love Jackie

Sausage & Arugula Skillet Pizza

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Jackie

    Ingredients

    • 2 sweet Italian sausages or 6 ounces sweet Italian sausage - see photo below for what I used

    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

    • ¾ pound store bought or homemade pizza dough -I used Trader Joe's pizza dough

    • 3 whole peeled canned tomatoes, crushed - I used San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes

    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

    • fresh mozzarella cheese - thinly sliced

    • arugula

    Directions

    • Note: Most store bought pizza dough's are 1 pound. You can use the whole pound of pizza dough; I did the first time I made this pizza. It will be a thicker pizza in general, but it will still taste great. I used ¾ pound the next time I made the pizza and it was a bit thinner and less doughy in spots, which I preferred.

    • Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

    • Remove sausages from their casings. All you have to do to remove the sausage from it's casing is to cut a slit down the length of the sausage and then peel it open and remove the sausage. You are going to literally push and tear it out of it's casing. You might have some casing left on the sausage, but it doesn't matter.

    • Sauté the sausage over high heat until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces.

    • Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the grease.

    • Slice up your mozzarella, mince up your garlic & toss up your arugula with a splash of olive oil and set aside.

    • Put the 3 peeled tomatoes into a small bowl.

    • Crush the tomatoes with a fork and your fingers if needed. Don't be afraid to get your hands messy.

    • Add the 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1-tablespoon olive oil, ¼-teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes to the crushed tomatoes, mix them all together.

    • Brush a 12-inch cast iron skillet with 1-teaspoon olive oil. Press dough flat in the skillet, spreading to the edge.

    • Spread the tomato mixture over the dough.

    • Cook over medium-high heat until the bottom of dough is golden brown. The recipe called for 3-4 minutes but mine took more like 5 minutes. We like ours a bit more browned. To check the dough, just take a spatula and lift up the side of the dough to see the bottom.

    • Once the pizza crust is browned on the bottom, transfer the pizza to the preheated oven and bake for 3 minutes.

    • After 3 minutes, remove the pizza from the oven and scatter the mozzarella and sausage on top. REMEMBER TO WEAR AN OVEN MITT WHEN TOUCHING THE CAST IRON PAN AS ITS HOT! Pop the pizza back in the oven.

    • Cook the pizza for about 8-10 more minutes until the edge of the crust is golden brown.

    • Slide the pizza out of the cast iron skillet onto a cutting board. Folks, I have had this cast iron pan for 2 months now and it's virtually non-stick. My pizza slid right out of the pan when I tipped it to the side, so don't fret about your crust sticking to the bottom of the pan.

    • Garnish pizza with the fresh arugula.

    • Cut into individual slices and serve up with a fresh tossed salad or vegetable of your choice.

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      32 thoughts on “Sausage & Arugula Skillet Pizza”

      1. I make homemade pizza quite often, but have never made it in my cast iron skillet. It looks great! I will give it a try in the next week and let you know how it works out.
        xo
        annie

        1. Hi Annie! This was my first cast iron pizza experience as well. I usually use a rimmed baking sheet and bake up a rectangular pizza but my crust never got all brown and crispy and I hated the rolling out process. The cast iron skillet gets the pizza all brown and crispy on the bottom and edges. Let me know how it turns out for you!

      2. This looks like my ideal pizza—I just love the arugula tossed on at the end over all that melted cheese and sausage. My only concern with the skillet is whether the crust would stick to the pan, I don’t have good luck with cast iron no matter how well I grease it!

        1. Hi Sue! The crust did not stick to the pan at all. The pizza actually slid out of the pan when I tipped it to the side. I have only had my cast iron pan for about 2 months and it is already non-stick. I watched a video on cooks illustrated that explained how to care for a cast iron pan and it was helpful information. Give it a shot and let me know how it turns out for you 🙂

      3. YUMMM!!! Pizza is pretty much my top favourite food in the world (apart from sushi, and maybe enchiladas… oh and eggs benedict!). Ive heard about this cast iron skillet tool for baking it – but never had much faith. Youve definitely inspired me to give it a try (and to maybe make Louis buy us one in the States!). I love crispy pizza bases so much! ALSO love fresh salad on pizza – I put cold tomatoes & basil on top and adore it!

        AND – thanks for the book tip – I love the movie and urgently need to read it. PLUS I have a kindle!! Heavy book problem solved!! I actually really love long flights, and just kicking back with a good story!! xoxo

        1. Hi Em! The book is waaaay better than the movie so you will enjoy. Kindle is the way to go. I have it on my iPad but my kids are always using the iPad so I just go the Library route these days for books.

          I am going to definitely make a “mommy” version of this pizza which translates to meat free and full of veggies!

      4. I LOVE my lodge cast iron skillets. Can’t believe I waited so long to pick one up.

        I also like cooking pizza in a skillet. This one looks delicious!

      5. I have tried everything to get my Logic Lodge pan non stick and it just doesn’t work!!! What tips did you use? This looks SOOOO good, but I would be scared it would just stick to the pan 🙁

        1. Hi Allyson. Here are some tips that I do to keep my cast iron in tip-top shape.

          While the pan is warm, I rinse it out under hot running water, and scrub the pan with a brush to remove traces of food. NEVER clean your pan with soap, as that will ruin the pan. After I rinse the pan, I put it back on the burner over low heat until all traces of moisture disappear. I then put a few drops of oil in the pan (when it’s dry & still warm) and rub it in with a paper towel until all the oil is soaked into the pan. Keep wiping the pan (you can even use a fresh paper towel) till all the oil is rubbed into the pan, as you don’t want the pan to feel oily to the touch.

          If you do those steps each time you use the pan, your pan should become non-stick. I hope that helps 🙂

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      7. I found this post a while back and I’ve used this method several times, and the pizza always comes out GREAT! I’ve tried many methods for making pizza and this one is by far the best, the texture of the crust is just fantastic. Just wanted to say thanks!

        1. Hi David! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting as I love hearing from readers. I’m so glad that you love the recipe and that it’s become a staple in your house 🙂

      8. I’m pretty much obsessed with this pizza, we make it a lot! I use my mom’s canned sauce, but once we run out ill try it your way. It’s so fun to make it in the cast iron! It has come out perfectly every time!

        1. Hi Sarah. Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you love this pizza. It’s just a classic, right? I also love that it’s all done via the skillet, easy peasy 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

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