Pepper and Olive Pan Pizza


Cooking the pizza briefly over direct heat sets, crisps, and lightly blackens the crust in a way that the oven cannot do. If you have a cast-iron skillet, more the better, but this pizza will work just fine in any heavy-duty ovenproof skillet.

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
One 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet with about 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with the cornmeal.

2) Unroll the pizza dough and ease it into the skillet. The dough will be uneven and fit partway up the sides of the pan, which is fine, since the pizza is rustic and free form. Stir the garlic into the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and brush about half of the garlic oil onto the pizza dough. Scatter the red bell pepper, onion, olives, oregano, mozzarella, and Parmesan over the dough.

3) Set the pan over direct medium-high heat and cook until the dough begins to puff and the bottom becomes golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake until the cheese is melted, toppings are hot, and the pizza is rich golden brown and crusty, 15 to 18 minutes.

4) Serve the pizza, cut into wedges, directly from the skillet.


Pepper and Olive Pan Pizza Tips

  • Remember that the skillet handle will be very hot right out the oven. Be sure to use a potholder and drape it over the handle after if comes from the oven to remind you not to touch it.
  • A good skillet that sits evenly on the burner works best for this, and all other skillet recipes as well. It's worth the investment.
  • Cornmeal gives the crunchy bottom that is typical of a good pizza parlor pizza.
  • Pepper and Olive Pan Pizza Variations
  • Any other combination of toppings, as long as they are not too heavy, works well here. Other quick cooking vegetables, such as thin asparagus, sliced Roma tomatoes, or green bell peppers don't need to be precooked, but leftover cooked vegetables such as broccoli make a great pizza, too.
  • Packaged shredded "4-cheese" pizza blends can be substituted for the mozzarella and Parmesan. They are found in the dairy/cheese section of the market.
  • Flavored olive oils, such as garlic and/or herb oil can be used in place of plain olive oil.
  • Substitute other herbs, such as basil, thyme, or marjoram, for the oregano.

Buy the Book!


Ready, Set, Dough!
Incredibly Easy and Delicious Ways to Use Store-Bought Doughs
by Melanie Barnard
Broadway Books
$17.95, Trade Paperback Original
$26.95 Canada
ISBN: 0-7679-1424-4
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Ready, Set, Dough!



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