28 Great Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

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A cast iron skillet is one of the most versatile tools in the kitchen. It easily goes from stove top to grill to campfire, and offers excellent heat distribution. Here are 25 of our favorite cast iron skillet recipes.

Grilled Steak Bites in a cast iron pan
Grilled Steak Bites in a red wine sauce cooked in a cast iron skillet are absolutely irresistible!

Benefits of Cast Iron

If you’ve received your Grandma’s old cast iron skillet, or bought a set from an estate sale, you already know benefit #1:

  • Cast iron lasts forever. Unless you drop it on concrete or take a hammer to it, cast iron is not going to melt, chip or break.
  • Once the pan is hot, it stays hot. If you want to geek out with us, cast iron has a whopping .64 emissivity rating, which means that when you’re cooking in it, you’re not just cooking the surface in contact with the metal, but you’re cooking a good deal of food above it as well. This is great for searing steak, or keeping soups warm at a potluck. The best way to make sure your skillet or dutch oven is heated evenly is to preheat it in the oven, or over an even fire or grill.
  • The more you use it, the better it becomes. What is this mysterious “seasoning” you always here about in relation to cast iron? Seasoning is when the skillet is rubbed with oil and heated repeatedly, causing the oil to polymerize. That’s right, it’s not just residual oil, it’s chemically altered and bonded to the metal. This is what makes cast iron non-stick. So go ahead and scrub with soap, it’s not going to come off. You can read this Serious Eats article for more details.
Cornbread cooked in a cast iron skillet

What Cast Iron Pieces Should I Buy?

We fell in love with Finex Cast Iron years ago. We have a 10″ skillet, a Dutch Oven, and a sauce pan, and love them all. These are handmade in Portland, Oregon and aren’t cheap, but they will be smoother than less expensive brands.

Lodge Cast Iron is our go to for a more affordable purchase for someone just starting out. They also have a great variety of grilling specific pieces as well. Either makes for an amazing heirloom gift for the food lovers in your life. Both come pre-seasoned.

Grilled Scallops in a white wine pan sauce in cast iron pan.
Scallops in a 10″ Finex Skillet

Caring for Cast Iron

There are a lot of misperceptions on cast iron care.

  • The number ONE thing you should never do is leave it sitting in water soaking. Ever. Over time you erode the seasoning and rust can more easily develop.
  • You CAN use dish soap if you want. But remember rule one – don’t let it soak. And be sure to oil it again.
  • If you have a lot of stuff on it add water and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes use a long stiff brush to remove all the junk in the pan.
  • Consider special tools like a chainmail tool that scrapes cast iron.

Whenever you have finished cooking and cleaning your cast iron add a touch of oil to the pan and scrub it with a paper towel. This keeps it looking shiny and protects that precious investment.

What Can You Cook in Cast Iron?

You can cook just about anything in cast iron. On the stove you can use it to sear fish or meat. On the grill you can use it like a flat top griddle to cook eggs or pancakes. Over a fire you can use a cast iron skillet to roast nuts or make a melty cheese fondue. Lastly in the oven you can bake brownies, bread, and more. Read on for our favorite Cast Iron Skillet recipes.

Appetizers on the Grill

When you’re already outside grilling the main dish, add one of these appetizers to the grill for friends and family to nibble on before dinner.

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Pull Apart Bread in a cast iron pan
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Pull Apart Bread Recipe

Tangy and rich Buffalo style pull apart bread grilled to golden brown perfection. Great in the oven as well.
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Baked Brie dip with crostini.
4.49 from 25 votes

Grilled Baked Brie with Wine and Thyme

Grilled brie wheel with white wine and thyme served with grilled crostini.
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Grilled Brie Cheese with Blackberry Jam on a serving platter
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Baked Brie with Blackberry Jam

Grilled Baked Brie with a homemade blackberry jam is an excellent holiday party appetizer! Use fresh or frozen blackberries for one of the best appetizer recipes.
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Chestnuts roasting over a grill
4.80 from 5 votes

Roasted Chestnuts over Open Fire

An easy recipe for roasting chestnuts over an open fire of charcoal or embers.
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Sausage Queso Bean dip in a cast iron pan
5 from 3 votes

Sausage Queso Chipotle Bean Dip Recipe

A jazzed up Queso Bean Dip featuring ground sausage, green chilies, smoky chipotle pinto beans, and real shredded cheese. Smoky Chipotle Bean and Sausage Queso dip is a fantastic dip for summer cookouts, tailgating, or even camping.
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Brisket Nachos
4.58 from 7 votes

Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos

Brisket Nachos are the perfect use for leftover smoked beef brisket. Create a rich chili out of leftover brisket and use that chili to make indulgent, spicy, cheesy, nachos.
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Smoked Stuffed BBQ Meatballs in a cast iron pan
4.46 from 11 votes

Smoked Stuffed BBQ Meatballs Recipe

Smoked meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese, slowly smoked on the grill, and then finished with a BBQ sauce glaze. These are the ultimate game day food or appetizer for your next gathering. 
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Smoked Pulled Pork Nachos in a Cast Iron Skillet
4.41 from 5 votes

Ultimate Pulled Pork Nachos Recipe

An incredible use for leftover pulled pork. Pulled Pork Nachos. These were made with smoked pulled pork, but you don’t have to have smoked pork to make these indulgent nachos. Can be cooked in the oven or directly on the grill. 
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Grilled olives warmed up with garlic and hot peppers in a baking dish on a cutting board.
5 from 2 votes

Grilled Olives Recipe (Baked Olives) with Garlic and Hot Peppers

Warmed olives simmered in a bath of quality olive oil, garlic cloves, and hot peppers.
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Main Dish Recipes

Cooking on a cast iron pan is like a one pot meal! These dishes are all cooked in the cast iron pot and on the grill. These recipes couldn’t be easier.

Grilled Garlic White Wine Shrimp
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Garlic Chardonnay Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp in a cast iron pan finished with a chardonnay, wine, and, garlic pan sauce.
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Steak Fajitas
4.75 from 4 votes

Grilled Flank Steak Fajitas Recipe

Tequila and Soy Marinade and grilled flank steak with cast iron seared peppers and onions.
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Grilled Scallops in a white wine pan sauce in cast iron pan.
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Scallops Recipe with White Wine Butter Sauce

A rich and buttery white wine pan sauce with grilled scallops cooked in a cast iron pan directly on the grill. Rich and tender flavor and ready in less than 10 minutes.
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stuffed peppers on the grill
4.50 from 6 votes

Grilled Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers

Ground beef, rice, tomato paste, herbs, and cheese cooked on the grill.
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Classic Shepherd's Pie on the Grill
5 from 2 votes

Shepherd’s Pie on the Grill

A Classic Shepherd's Pie recipe cooked on any grill or smoker for great smoky flavor. This recipe is easy, healthy, delicious and perfect for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations!
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Grilled Steak Bites.
4.70 from 10 votes

Grilled Steak Bites Recipe with Red Wine Pan Sauce

Savory seasoned sirloin bites grilled in a cast iron pan and then finished with a quick red wine pan sauce.
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Smoked Ham Breakfast Hash
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Ham Breakfast Hash

Ham and Potato Breakfast Hash made with smoked ham leftover from your holiday dinner. Learn how to make an incredible breakfast hash with any leftover meats and vegetables you have. 
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cast iron pan of mussels on the grill
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Mussels Recipe with White Wine and Garlic

Mussels cooked on the grill in a steaming broth of garlic, shallots, white wine, and herbs. Don't forget the crusty bread to soak up all that delicious broth.
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grilled chicken fajitas in a cast iron skillet
4.50 from 6 votes

Grilled Chicken Fajitas Recipe with Chipotle Marinade

A tasty and slightly spicy garlic chipotle marinade for chicken, and how to use it for Grilled Chicken Fajitas.
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Smoked Tri Tip Macaroni and Cheese, Cooked on the Grill
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Tri Tip Mac and Cheese Recipe

Smoked Tri Tip Mac and Cheese is made with perfectly smoked and tender tri tip, mixed with an ultra creamy cheese sauce and cooked on the grill.
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Smoked Chuck Roast Pot Roast Stew in a large cast iron pot
4.65 from 14 votes

Smoked Chuck Roast Stew with Red Wine Braise

A slowly smoked Chuck Roast finished in a red wine, beef stock, and vegetable braise. This Chuck Roast is tender and a perfect roast alternative.
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Smoked Beef Short Ribs. How to smoke short ribs and incorporate them into an incredible, rich, stew
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Beef Short Rib Stew

How to cook incredibly tender beef short ribs on the smoker and finish them in a rich and indulgent stew.
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Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Creamy smoked butternut squash puree mixed with smoked chicken, bacon, and cheese for a creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.
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Side Dishes

Pair these sides with a traditional BBQ Brisket or Ribs, or pair them with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Skillet Cornbread Cooked on the Grill
4.75 from 8 votes

Skillet Cornbread Recipe on the Grill

Grilled Cornbread in a cast iron skillet with green chilies and cinnamon topped with smoked honey drizzle.
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Smoked Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Cornbread Stuffing for Thanksgiving, cooked on the smoker or grill
4.58 from 7 votes

Smoked Sausage, Caramelized Onion, and Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

A simple smoked sausage, caramelized onion, and cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving, cooked on the smoker or grill.
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BBQ Baked Beans in a cast iron pan
4.50 from 16 votes

Smoked BBQ Baked Beans

Easy barbecued baked beans that are comforting, slightly sweet, mildly smoky, rich, meaty, and totally indulgent.
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Sausage Gravy in a cast iron pan
4.67 from 3 votes

Smoked Sausage Gravy Recipe

Sausage Gravy starts by smoking the sausage, and then adding layers of flavor into the gravy for a savory jam-packed bite. This recipe provides is an easy way to add a ton of flavor to your favorite breakfast biscuits.
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Campfire Cast Iron Recipes

No meal is complete without a scrumptious dessert! These cast iron skillet dessert recipes can be baked over the campfire, on the grill, or in the oven, wherever you happen to be!

top view of skillet brownies
5 from 1 vote

Skillet Brownies on the Grill

Made to be dense and rich in chocolate, these Skillet Brownies are cooked on the grill and then topped with a chocolate drizzle and vanilla bean ice cream. Gluten free.
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grilled apple crisp cooling
5 from 2 votes

Grilled Apple Crisp

How to make a traditional apple crisp on the grill. Grilled Apple Crisp is going to become your new favorite fall dessert! It's also the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving dinner!
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My Favorite Cast Iron Accessory: Teeny Tiny Cast Iron Pan

Check out what to do with a tiny 4″ cast iron pan.

Thank you for being part of our community. If you make any of our dishes we’d love to see them on social media using the hashtag #vindulge and give it a 5 star review.

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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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