Pizza is one of my top five favorite foods – call me basic and boring, but I LOVE IT DEEPLY. We have tried several ways to make pizza at home and achieve that crispy bottom crust without a pizza stone, but we hadn’t ever had much success. Pizza stones are great, but they are giant and HEAVY, and I’ve never been good at transferring a pizza from the peel to the stone. I wanted an easy at-home method!
We tried plain baking sheets, preheated baking sheets, the “air bake” circle sheets that have holes in the bottom to help air circulate up and crisp the crust – several different methods, but not much success!
One day, we tried making pizzas in a cast iron, and man – let me tell you guys – HUGE GAME CHANGER. The bottom of the crust is insanely crispy, the inside of the crust is chewy and delicious, it makes a perfect sized pizza for one person (that person being me who can eat copious amounts).
Here’s how the method works:
- Preheat your oven to 475 WITH the cast iron in the oven. This way, it’s heating with the oven and is a smoking hot, preheated surface for your pizza to go on
- When you’re ready, take the cast iron out of the oven, drizzle avocado oil into the pan, add your pizza crust, add sauce/toppings/etc…
- Bake for 10 minutes!
Perfect, and I mean absolutely pppeeeerrrrfffeecccttt homemade pizza – no stone or pizza peel required!
It can be a little bit scary because you’re dealing with a 475 degree pan, but I’m telling you guys – it’s so worth it. And you get used to it super quick – this is the only way we make pizza anymore. Now for the details of this particular pizza – holy MOSES IT IS DELICIOUS. The flavors here are just…wow. Details below! 👇🏻
- The crust: I used store bought dough from the bakery section of my grocery store. It was from Publix, and it was actually very very good! If you don’t have store bought available, it’s not hard to make your own, just a few extra steps.
- The base: Instead of sauce, we use an infused olive oil base here, which is one of my favorite things to do with pizza. This oil is infused with garlic, thyme, and a pinch of pepper flakes.
- The toppings: caramelized onions, fontina, fresh arugula, a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
The crust is crunchy on the bottom and chewy on the inside, the olive oil is savory and complex, the onions are slightly sweet, the cheese is gooey and delicious, the arugula is fresh and peppery, and the balsamic brings a bright, sharp finish to balance everything out. HEAVEN.
WATCH how to make these pizzas below!
Caramelized Onion and Fontina Cast Iron Pizzas
These cast iron pizzas have the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and fresh with a touch of bright sharpness from the balsamic. So good!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 pizzas (4 servings) 1x
- 1 pound pizza dough (I buy mine fresh by the pound in the bakery section of my grocery store)
- 8 oz block of fontina cheese, shredded
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Several sprigs fresh thyme (about 5)
- 1 pinch pepper flakes
- Fresh arugula (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Heat a large skillet or pot over medium – medium high heat with some olive oil. When hot, add your onions + some salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, for about half an hour, or until the onions are deeply brown and caramelized. Set the onions aside
- In a small pot, add your oil, garlic, thyme, and pepper flakes over medium heat and let lightly simmer for 7-10 minutes, until the oil has had some time to infuse. Set aside
- Preheat your oven to 475 degrees with your 12 inch cast iron inside so the pan preheats with the oven
- Separate your dough into 2 halves and roll each out into a circle a little smaller than your cast iron
- Remove your preheated cast iron from the oven, drizzle a swirl of avocado oil* into the pan, and carefully add one of your pizza crusts into the pan
- Brush a liberal amount of infused oil across the top of the pizza crust, and sprinkle half your cheese on top. Add about 1/4 cup of caramelized onions (or about half of what you have) over top of the cheese
- Put the cast iron back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are very golden
- Remove the pizza to a cutting board and repeat the same steps with your second dough + the rest of your toppings
- Top each pizza with a big handful of fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (about 1 teaspoon of each) + some fresh black pepper
*You can use any other high heat, unflavored oil instead of avocado. Vegetable or canola will work. Coconut will work as long as it’s refined (if it’s unrefined, you’ll taste the coconut).
- Serving Size: 1/2 pizza
- Calories: 621
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 458 mg
- Fat: 33 g
- Saturated Fat: 13 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 54 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 25 g
- Cholesterol: 66 mg
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and tag me @thegarlicdiaries so I can see!