6 Easy Weeknight Meals to Cook in a Cast-Iron Skillet

Nothing quite captures the essence of down-home cooking like a cast-iron skillet. Not only does it offer the taste and aesthetic of traditional home cooking, but it also reduces the hassle of kitchen clean-up by eliminating the need for multiple pots and pans. On top of that, cooking on a cast-iron skillet crisps foods to perfection — whether you’re serving chicken, steak, tofu, or a pasta dish, the results of your efforts will be irresistible!

Try any of these cast-iron skillet recipes for a delicious down-home dinner.

1. Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes

Gnocchi pasta

Gnocchi | Source: iStock

Gnocchi are delicious at any time of year, but this dish hits its peak when prepared with freshly ripened tomatoes and basil. This dish takes just a few simple ingredients and can be thrown together by a cook of any level in just 15 minutes or so. A cast-iron skillet is the ideal method of preparation for this dish, as it lends the best color and sear to the tomatoes and sausage. This recipe from the Kitchn yields 4 servings.


  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 ounces (about 3 links) cooked chicken sausage, sliced into ¼-inch-thick coins
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 to 2 ounces fresh basil, julienned (½ to 1 cup loosely packed)

Directions: Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling; cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.

Heat a 10-inch or larger cast iron skillet over medium heat with a light drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Push the sausage into a pile at the edge of the skillet and turn the heat up to high.

When the skillet is quite hot, add the tomatoes, skin down, crowding them in if necessary. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are blistered, then stir in with the sausage. Cook for 2 more minutes, until both tomatoes and sausage are slightly browned. Stir in gnocchi and cook just until all is combined but the tomatoes have not broken down into sauce.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.