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Weeknight Dinners Made in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron is known for its excellent heat retention and is a kitchen superstar whether you’re using the stovetop or oven or both in the same recipe. But it’s easy to fall into the routine with this hefty, durable pan and only use it for a few specific jobs—think frying up bacon or the occasional cornbread. We love that stuff! But cast iron can really do it all.

Here are five weeknight recipes that stand out in a cast iron skillet

12" (30-cm) Cast Iron Skillet Meal Set
12" (30-cm) Cast Iron Skillet Meal Set

Look no further for a new family chicken dinner than this jerk-flavored one-pan meal. Nothing blackens chicken like cast iron. It can take the high heat on the stovetop and then goes in the  oven to finish roasting the chicken and peppers all together.

Blackened Chicken
Blackened Chicken

Why wait for St. Patrick’s Day to have this as a breakfast-for-dinner option. The hot cast iron skillet will give you nice crispy potatoes. To save time and still get tasty results, our friends in the Test Kitchen suggest asking your deli counter for one 8 oz. (250 g) piece of corned beef and then chopping it yourself at home.

Corned Beef Hash
Corned Beef Hash

Inspired by pretty much everyone’s favorite childhood comfort food—mac & cheese—this recipe takes it to a whole new level with fresh ingredients. Cast iron really shines in this recipe for browning the andouille sausage and heating the delicious homemade cheese sauce. Then it goes under the broiler to brown the panko crumbs for a crunchy topping.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese
Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Local Motor City lore says the first Detroit deep-dish pizzas were baked in heavy-duty utility pans from an automotive factory. Since most of us don’t have industrial equipment around the kitchen, a cast-iron skillet is your best option for making this style of pizza. If pizza burnout exists (doubtful), then this recipe will give your pizza night some new life.

Detroit-Style Pizza
Detroit-Style Pizza

Free-Style Fajitas

Try this no-recipe recipe. If you have some leftover chicken from your Blackened Chicken recipe or any chicken dinner, turn it into easy chicken fajitas.

Heat a little oil in your cast iron skillet over medium-high for 3–4 minutes to get that restaurant sizzle. Add chicken cut into strips, sprinkle with taco seasoning or our Tex-Mex Rub, and cook 4–5 minutes, then remove. Add a little more oil, then sliced bell peppers and onions; cook 3–5 minutes. Add the chicken back to warm it all up.

Enjoy with tortillas or make fajita bowls over rice. Top your fajitas any way you like!

Free-Style Fajitas
Free-Style Fajitas

Got a great recipe that you love to make in cast iron? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below.

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