Skillet Margherita Polenta Pizza – a quick easy twist to the classic Italian Margherita pizza. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, clean eating, and with easy substitution can also be made vegan….whoa! o.k. lets just say this pizza is the perfect choice for whatever your preferred style of eating might be. (and don’t forget healthy…it’s that too!)
The tastiness starts with a polenta crust done in a cast iron (or oven proof) skillet. Magic happens when you cook stuff in cast iron…and pizza is no exception. The crust gets just the right amount of crispy on the bottom while at the same time remaining soft and chewy inside.
Depending on the size of your cast iron skillet, you can make this polenta pizza deep dish or regular crust. I used an 8 inch skillet which made a 4 slice deep dish pizza. You could use a 10 inch for regular crust or even a 12 inch for a thin crust pizza (reduce cooking time in oven if using a larger skillet)
The process of cooking the polenta pizza crust to perfection starts on the stove-top for a few minutes until the crust starts to set. Top the pizza with zesty marinara, fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese (omit for Vegan option, you could sub olives and/or artichoke hearts) and fresh basil.
Pop the skillet in the oven for about 10 min to finish the cooking process. I gave mine a quick couple of minute zap with the broiler, after cooking ,just to get the cheese extra gooey and browned. Top with additional fresh basil and fresh cracked pepper or red pepper flakes (optional).
You might want to warm up some additional marinara to have on hand for dipping the crust! Just sayin’…it’s so GOOD! Something about dipping the crispy crust in some warm tomato goodness that just takes pizza eating to the next level.
- 1 cup fine polenta
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (use GF flour for GF option)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg (omit for Vegan option - add an additional 1 Tbsp of almond milk)
- ⅔ cup milk (use almond milk for Vegan option)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (use Vegan parm cheese for Vegan option)
- ½ -1 tsp dried red chili flakes (more or less to taste)
- ½ cup marinara sauce (divided) (or your favorite pizza/tomato sauce)
- 4 oz. mozzarella cheese , sliced or cut into chunks (omit for Vegan- sub ¼ cup black olives)
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 375F
- In a large bowl mix together the polenta, flour, salt.and baking powder. Add egg and milk, thoroughly combining to form a thick batter. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chili flakes.
- Heat an 8 inch (for deep dish style) or 10-inch cast iron skillet (or oven- proof fry pan) over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil and swirl to cover pan. Pour (or spoon) in batter and spread evenly. Cook until base is set (approx. 3-4 min.) and top is soft set.
- Spread a layer marinara sauce over top of pizza (reserve any sauce for dipping crust) and add mozzarella, and tomato slices.
- Place pan in the oven and cook until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned (approx. 10-12 min.) Switch oven to broil and broil until cheese begins to bubble and brown (about 3-4 min.) Remove from oven.
- Sprinkle basil over the top and serve. Add fresh cracked pepper if desired. Heat any remaining marinara sauce to use as a dip for crust.