If you grew up in the South, you’ve likely seen a cast iron skillet in your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Variations of the skillet are available all around the world, and you can use these skillets to prepare a variety of sweet and savory meals.
Cast iron skillets retain flavor and after you cook in them for years, they are “seasoned” and should be cleaned properly. If you have a skillet that has been passed down to you from a family member or you’ve purchased a new skillet and need recipe ideas, here are a few delicious dishes to try.
1. Rolled Buttermilk Biscuits
These biscuits are fluffy and delicious and make a great breakfast. The light and flaky center of the biscuits is offset by the slightly crispy coating that is created in the cast iron skillet. You can even serve the biscuits in place of rolls at dinner time.
2. T Bone Steak
A cast-iron skillet is one of the best kitchen tools when you want to make steakhouse-quality t-bones for dinner at home. The skillet gives the steak a satisfying outer crust, especially when you add butter or avocado oil to an extremely hot skillet.
Once you add the steak, sear on both sides and baste with a combination of lemon, white wine, and fresh herbs for a gourmet meal you can enjoy in your own kitchen.
3. One-Skillet Pasta
If you’re in the mood for spaghetti, you can prepare yours in your cast iron skillet. Add veggies and top the noodles with cheese for a tasty meal that takes just minutes to prepare.
4. Classic Beef Chuck Pot Roast
Pot roast is classic comfort food that can easily feed the whole family. Instead of preparing the roast in the oven or crockpot, try cooking this savory entree in your cast-iron skillet.
The skillet gives the meat a tasty crust made from herbs and seasonings, and you’ll love the root vegetables at the bottom of the pan complement the pot roast perfectly.
5. Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
Cornbread is a popular side dish that goes great with everything from soul food entrees to chili. You can make this tasty bread in your cast-iron skillet to get buttery, crispy corners each time you cut into this flavorful bread. Cornbread is great for sopping up gravy from meat dishes and goes perfectly with vegetable dishes like sweet potato puree or collard greens.
6. Baked Macaroni and Cheese
If you love mac and cheese and enjoy the cheesy, crispy corners of this decadent comfort food, try making it in a cast-iron skillet. Using the skillet adds flavor to the pasta, and you can place the skillet in the oven to ensure the top of the mac and cheese is golden brown.
7. Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs
Chicken is often a go-to dinner entree for most families, and you’ll love the way this recipe turns out if you enjoy savory and slightly sweet chicken thighs. The skillet is perfect for searing the chicken, and you can add fresh herbs and lemon slices for a brighter flavor.
8. Cast-Iron Skillet Blueberry Cobbler
Cast-iron skillets are not just for savory meals; you can also use the skillet to make a delicious dessert. Combine fresh blueberries and a sugary crust for an easy cobbler that makes a perfect after-dinner treat, especially when you top it with vanilla bean ice cream.
9. Cast-Iron Breakfast Skillet
Get your day started off right with this delicious cast-iron meal. The skillet includes cheese, potatoes, eggs, and meat for a complete meal that will give you the energy you need to tackle the day.
10. Cast-Iron Skillet Fried Mushrooms
If you’re looking for a tasty side dish or want to enjoy a vegetarian entree, try these fried mushrooms. The seasoned crispy coating goes great with the savory, meaty flavor of mushrooms. The mushrooms taste great alone or you can enjoy them with a spicy dipping sauce.
11. Beef Tenderloin with Asparagus
This simple and elegant meal is low in carbs but doesn’t skimp on flavor. After searing the tenderloin, you can place the meat in the oven to cook it through. Prepare the asparagus in the skillet as well for a one-pot meal that takes just minutes to make.
12. Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Make pizza night more exciting in your home by making your pizza in your cast-iron skillet. The skillet gives the crust the perfect char; just add your sauce, cheese, and toppings before placing the skillet in the oven for a few minutes for a perfect homemade pizza.
13. Juicy Lucy Burgers
These delicious burgers are stuffed with American cheese and packed with flavor. The cast-iron skillet is essential for searing the meat to perfection, and you can add your favorite burger fixings for a filling lunch or dinner.
14. Keto Cheeseburger Casserole
You can use your cast-iron skillet to help you stick to your weight loss and health goals. This keto-friendly cheeseburger casserole is filled with savory goodness and has a deliciously cheesy crust and no added carbs.
15. Buttermilk Fried Chicken
If you’re a fan of soul food, you’ll love this buttermilk fried chicken prepared in a cast iron skillet. If you have a skillet that has been in the family for years, the skillet will likely be seasoned to add even more flavor to the chicken.
16. Salmon Patties
Salmon patties are a delicious part of a Southern breakfast, but there are other variations of this fish dish that you can enjoy for lunch or dinner. Preparing the salmon patties in a cast-iron skillet gives the patties a crunchy outside and flavorful inside seasoned with onions, garlic, and herbs.
17. Chicken-Fried Steak
Chicken-fried steak is hearty comfort food you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The skillet gives the breading for the steak the perfect amount of crispiness, and you can top the steak with a white gravy seasoned with pepper as a tasty finishing touch.
18. Easy Apple Crisp
Whether you want something sweet for brunch or you’re looking for a dessert that takes just minutes to assemble, try this easy apple crisp. The skillet helps to soften the apples while adding a syrupy, sugary coating, and you can top the crisp with chopped nuts and whipped cream.
19. Blackened Salmon Filets
Searing salmon in a cast-iron skillet is a great way to prepare this fatty fish and add more flavor to your meal. Serve the salmon with steamed veggies, or add your vegetables to the skillet for a healthy one-pan meal.
20. Brown Sugar Herb Chicken
If you love entrees that feature both sweet and savory flavors, try this brown sugar herb chicken. The sugar gives the chicken a sweet crust and brings out is natural flavors, and fresh herbs combine with the sugar for a delicious balance. You can serve the chicken with rice and veggies for a complete meal.
21. One-Skillet Chili and Cornbread
This Southwestern shepherd’s pie combines two foods that go great together — chili and cornbread. Add your favorite ingredients to the skillet to make chili before pouring cornbread batter over the chili and placing the dish in the oven. This meal is packed with flavor and is a perfect solution when you need to get dinner on the table in a pinch.
22. Sesame Naan
Naan is an Indian bread that makes a great side dish for curried meat and vegetable entrees. Seasame adds more protein and flavor to the naan, and using a cast-iron skillet makes it easier to cook naan to the perfect consistency.
23. Honey Balsamic Chicken
This chicken dish is a decadent mix of sweet, bitter, and savory flavors, and it’s a great way to add new and unique flavors to your dinner entree. The balsamic flavor is also great for root vegetables, which you can prepare in the skillet to ensure all the components of your meal are ready at the same time.
24. Pork and Shrimp Burgers
If you’re in the mood for a burger but want to add some unique flavors, try making a burger with pork and shrimp. Add the patties to a cast-iron skillet to lock in the flavors and give the burgers a buttery crust that goes great with burger fixings like cabbage and cucumber.
25. Skillet Apple Pie
When you think of apple pie, you may picture yourself spending hours in the kitchen making apple filling and homemade crust. However, you can make this classic homestyle dessert in a cast-iron skillet for added flavor and a little less work. This pie is a huge hit at dinner parties and potlucks.
26. Vegetable Hash
This delicious hash is meat-free and a tasty breakfast option. The avocado and tomatoes add appealing color to this side dish, and you can add fried eggs for a boost of protein.
27. Skillet Strawberry Pancake
Pancakes are a great way to get your family to the table for breakfast. This morning treat is even more delicious with fresh strawberries. You can make a giant pancake in your cast-iron skillet which enhances the flavor and makes for a great presentation. Cooking the pancake in a cast-iron skillet also takes the guesswork out of making a perfectly shaped pancake.
28. No-Knead Skillet Bread
This easy, tasty side dishes allows you to serve homemade bread with dinner, and you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. You don’t even have to knead the dough for this bread to come out perfectly. Top the breast with butter, olive oil, and fresh herbs for a tasty finishing touch.
29. Cajun Blackened Catfish
A cast-iron skillet is one of the best tools to use when you want your catfish to have blackened Cajun flavor. Cooking the fish in the cast iron skillet allows a flavorful crust to form on the fish, and you can serve it with a side salad for a light and flavorful lunch.
30. Skirt Steak Tacos
Make Taco Tuesday even more exciting with skirt steak tacos prepared in a cast iron skillet. You’ll have the perfect cooking surface to sear your meat to perfection, and you can sautee onions, peppers, or tomatoes to add to the tacos for a delicious Mexican-inspired meal.
31. Cast Iron Skillet Sticky Buns
If you prefer a sweet breakfast in the mornings or you’re looking for a new treat to enjoy with your coffee, try making these sticky buns in your cast-iron skillet. The presentation is also impressive, which makes this a great idea for a brunch with friends.
32. Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna
Try preparing lasagna in your cast iron skillet this popular Italian-inspired entree. You can get dinner on the table in less than an hour and serve the lasagna with Italian bread and a side salad for an easy meal that will likely become a family favorite.
33. Spiral Skillet Potatoes
Potatoes make a great side dish no matter how you slice them. This cheesy dish features potatoes cut into small discs and seasoned with salt, pepper, butter, and parmesan for a dish that goes great with chicken, steak or seafood.
34. Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Cornbread
If you love cornbread with dinner, give this popular side dish a savory and spicy kick by adding bacon, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese to the batter. This cornbread goes great with chili and meat dishes that feature Southwestern flavors. You can also enjoy the cornbread with a side of vegetarian beans and spicy greens for a nutrient-dense meat-free meal.
35. Pork Loin with Veggies
Prepare a flavorful pork loin and delicious root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes to add more nutrition to this cast-iron dinner. You can also add apples to the vegetable mix since apple and pork go great together.
36. Cowboy Skillet Pie
This Western version of shepherd’s pie is one of the best dishes to make in a cast-iron skillet. Cowboy skillet pie is filled with hearty ingredients like ground beef and corn with a fluffy, savory crust that brings the entire meal together.
37. Chicken Dijonaise
Try this French-inspired chicken dish for a gourmet meal that is easy to assemble and even easier to enjoy. The chicken is seasoned with dijon mustard, honey, onions, and bacon for an explosion of flavor that will make this chicken a favorite with your family and friends.
Michael Johnson is the founder of The Pan Handler, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.