Our 11 Best Cast-Iron Skillet Recipes To Cook This Fall

How about those extra-crisp edges and perfect sears?

Cast-iron skillets are a SAVEUR kitchen essential (pro-tip: we’ve got a new favorite) whether you’re whipping up a simple side dish or a labor-intensive main course. Making apple pancakes with dulce de leche or any of our other one-pan breakfasts? Cooking in a cast-iron skillet allows you to simplify your morning routine without sacrificing a tasty meal. Whether you’re searching for a classic fall recipe or just a frying pan dish that fills your kitchen with seasonal aromas, our best cast-iron recipes will spice up your autumn cooking.

Cast-Iron Squash Pudding

This luscious, cakelike pudding, made with milk-poached butternut squash batter and crowned with caramel-drenched delicata, rides the line perfectly between side dish and dessert, “kind of like yams with marshmallows,” says Joe Beef’s Red Morin, who serves it with caramel sauce or sweetened whipped cream. For an easy caramel sauce and squash topping (pictured right), double or triple the quantities of delicata and granulated sugar, and repeat step 4 as needed. Or if you want to amp up the savory nature of the dish, nix the caramel and offer grated cheddar at the table. Get the recipe for Cast-Iron Squash Pudding »

Potatoes with Chestnuts and Clams

These stuffed potatoes, which tenderize first in foil packets then crisp up in cast iron atop the coals (or in the oven), are packed with a mix of roasted chestnuts, bacon, and juicy whole clams. “Clams and potatoes are a match made in heaven,” says Joe Beef’s Dave McMillan of the unusual, yet welcome addition of seafood to potatoes. “Just think about clam chowder.” Get the recipe for Potatoes with Chestnuts and Clams »

Sour Cream Corn Bread

This simple Southern-style cornbread harkens to cookbook author Lee Bailey’s Louisiana upbringing and highlights his simple entertaining and cooking style. Bailey calls for baking the cornbread in a cast-iron skillet, but you can substitute a well-greased 9-inch metal baking pan. Get the recipe for Sour Cream Corn Bread »

Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings

In these delightfully rich dumplings, homemade or store-bought chile oil is balanced by freshness from scallions and ginger and sweetness from oyster sauce. To maximize the crispy surface area, stretch and arc the shape of the raw dumpling slightly. Get the recipe for Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings »

Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata

Like a lot of chefs, Jared Bennett of Metropole in Cincinnati is into charring vegetables to amplify their natural sweetness inside, and lend them a pleasantly bitter crust. The secret, he says, is precooking many of the vegetables and then just searing them in a smoking-hot cast-iron pan, so they don’t go to mush before getting a char. One of his signatures: this sweet potato side dish with pomegranate, lemon juice, pistachio, and ricotta salata. Get the recipe for Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata »

Cornbread Dressing

This classic Southern-style Thanksgiving dressing is tossed with crumbled breakfast sausage and plenty of sage, then cooked in a casserole dish beside the browning bird. Get the recipe for Cornbread Dressing »

Todd’s Turkey Hash

This hearty breakfast dish is perfect for the morning after Thanksgiving. It uses up leftover cooked turkey as well as Thanksgiving pantry ingredients you may not have used up the day before, like cream, stock, and herbs. Get the recipe for Todd’s Turkey Hash »

Spicy Cabbage and Chorizo Soup

This riff on the traditional Portuguese soup, Caldo verde, replaces the more common kale with savoy cabbage and spices things up with chile flakes. Get the recipe for Spicy Cabbage and Chorizo Soup »

Garlicky Skillet Greens with Ham

Garlic confit, a silky, spreadable condiment, relies on a French technique for gently poaching peeled whole cloves in oil or fat. The process caramelizes the cloves and draws out their sweetness, yielding a sumptuous spread. We love to use it in dishes like these skillet-cooked greens from Linton Hopkins, chef and owner of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, which feature garlic confit and a piquant sorghum gastrique. Get the recipe for Garlicky Skillet Greens with Ham »

Giant Apple Pancake With Dulce de Leche

Soft apples with a hint of tartness balance a bittersweet caramelized crust, spurred on by rich dulce de leche. Get the recipe for Giant Apple Pancake With Dulce de Leche »

Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes

If you find yourself with a surplus of fresh cranberries, these elegant cakes are the perfect solution. They can be cooked in individual miniature pans, or in a single skillet for convenience. Get the recipe for Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes »

Basque Braised Chicken With Peppers (Chicken Basquaise)

This braised chicken recipe, adapted from chef Sébastien Gravé, is emblematic of the Basque region’s affection for colorful, peppery stews. Though paprika can work in a pinch, it’s the flakier, lightly spicy, more enigmatic Espelette pepper that’s characteristic of the region. Get the recipe for Basque Braised Chicken With Peppers (Chicken Basquaise) »

Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes with Lemon Crema

Granola and quinoa lend a sneaky earthy-crunchy vibe to these substantial, fluffy pancakes from Dennis Bernard, chef de cuisine of Chicago’s Dove’s Luncheonette. Get the recipe for Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes with Lemon Crema »

Basque Potato and Pepper Tortilla with Ham and Cheese

In Basque country, this egg-based tortilla is sometimes sliced through the middle like a sandwich roll and layered with cured ham and sheep’s milk cheese. If cutting horizontally through the thin, delicate tortilla seems too troublesome, the ham and cheese are just as delicious served on the side. Get the recipe for Basque Potato and Pepper Tortilla with Ham and Cheese »