Cast iron pans are one of the most versatile kitchen tools! These vegan cast iron skillet recipes include ideas for dinner, breakfast, and dessert, all of them easy to make and bursting with flavor!
No matter if you're vegan, vegetarian, or just want to try something new, you'll love these vegan skillet recipes!
Why Use a Cast-Iron?
- Affordable. How many times have you bought a non-stick pan that wore off after a few weeks or months? Well, with cast iron skillets, if taken proper care of, you can use them for literally YEARS.
- Durable. You don't have to worry about scratching the bottom, or the handle baking off. It's a single piece of iron than survives just about anything.
- Gives food flavor. One of my favorite things about cast iron skillets is that they give food a smoky flavor and a crispy and charred exterior.
- Oven-proof. You can transfer it from the stovetop to the oven, which is SO useful, especially when making recipes like vegan cordon bleu and mushroom pot pie. Fewer dishes = less time in the kitchen.
- Retains heat well. Once cast iron heats ups, it stays hot for a long time!
- Simple to clean. Water and soap are all you really need.
- Free of chemicals. When non-stick pans overheat, Teflon coating starts to break down, releasing toxic chemicals into the air. You don't have to worry about any of that using a cast-iron skillet!
- May help with iron-deficiency anemia. However, further research is needed in this field so take it with a grain of salt.
Tips for Using a Cast Iron Skillet
- Buy a high-quality pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet. A good one will last you for a lifetime, that's why it's important to buy one that is pre-seasoned. Check out the end of the post where I share the best brands for cast-iron skillets.
- Dry well after washing. This is very important and will prevent rust. Make sure to use a clean cloth to pat dry the skillet, then place it on the stovetop and heat over low heat for a few minutes to dry completely.
- Oil after each use. For the best results, rub your cast iron with oil after drying. I like to use a paper towel and add a small amount of oil to it, then rub the skillet everywhere, including the handle and the sides.
- Never put it in a dishwasher. NEVER! It can ruin your cast iron skillet and cause it to rust.
- When cooking, preheat the pan before adding oil or food. You want to leave it on the stovetop for a few minutes on low heat to make sure that it's heated through.
- Use enough oil when cooking. Cast-iron skillets don't have a non-stick coating and require more oil than non-stick pans do. Start with 1 teaspoon oil and add more if needed to prevent your food from sticking or burning.
Basic Vegan Cast Iron Skillet Recipes
If you're new to cooking with a cast iron and don't know where to start, I recommend trying one of these basic vegan cast iron skillet recipes first. They're all great staples that you can make time and time again.
Naan Recipe without Yogurt
Vegan Flour Tortilla Recipe
The Best Vegan Cornbread
Easy Sourdough Focaccia Bread
Pan-Fried (Roasted) Chickpeas
This section has one of the best vegan cast iron skillet recipes. My personal favorites are the vegan mac and cheese and the tofu fajitas.
Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews Recipe
Panda Express Tofu Eggplant Recipe
Tofu Fajitas Recipe
Garlic Chili Oil Noodles with Cilantro
Gigi Hadid Vodka Pasta without Vodka
Vegan Cordon Bleu (with Seitan Chicken)
Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry Recipe
Vegan Kung Pao
Pumpkin, Red Lentil & Coconut Curry
Baked Vegan Bacon Ranch Pasta Skillet
Sides and Appetizers
I absolutely love searing and roasting vegetables in the cast-iron skilled. They get nicely charred and super smoky. These cast-iron veggie recipes are great for complementing any main dish!
Vegan Jalapeno Popper Dip
Cast-Iron Asparagus (10 minutes!)
Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
Chinese Broccoli Recipe
Green Beans Almondine
Old-Fashioned Vegan Baked Beans
This section is gold for busy people. If you don't have time in the morning, but still want to eat a nutritious breakfast, make one of these one-pan breakfast recipes!
Roasted Skillet Breakfast Potatoes
Easy Vegan Baked Blueberry Pancake
Simple Tofu Scramble
Vegan Potato Frittata
I bet you didn't know you could make desserts in a cast-iron skillet. Well, you'll be shocked when you try it for yourself and see that you can actually make some of the best vegan desserts in it.
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crumble
Double Chocolate Skillet Brownie
How To Take Care of a Cast Iron Skillet
- Wash your skillet well using soap. There are some myths out there that you can't use soap on a cast-iron skillet. Not true! Soap is absolutely fine (and necessary) to use to fully clean the skillet, AND it doesn't remove the coating as some people believe.
- Dry thoroughly. You don't want to leave water soaking in your cast-iron skillet. That's big a no-no because it will make it rust. Always dry it very well after washing.
- Rub with oil. Add a few drops of oil to a paper towel and rub the whole skillet, including the handles, the sides, and the bottom. Remember to use an oil high in unsaturated fats like canola oil. Butter or coconut oil is not recommended!
- Heat on the stovetop for a few minutes. You want to make sure that there is no moisture left or the oil may go rancid. Heat your skillet for 3-4 minutes on low heat or until completely dry.
- Season 2-3 times per year. If you want to keep it glossy and healthy, you HAVE to take season it every few months. Read this article on how to properly season a cast iron skillet.
Yes, a cast-iron is super useful if you're following a vegetarian or vegan diet. You can sear and saute vegetables, tofu, meat substitutes, and beyond! The cast iron will give your food amazing browning and a delicious smoky flavor.
There is a common misconception that you can't cook tomatoes and acidic food in a cast-iron skillet. And that is simply not true. A well-seasoned and high-quality cast iron can be used to cook everything.
No. For best results, use a refined oil with a high smoke point such as canola oil. Save your expensive extra virgin olive oil for salad and to finish dishes.
Not seasoning your cast iron properly or not adding enough oil will make your food stick. Make sure to take care of our cast iron pan and add at least 1-2 teaspoon of oil.
So, you've picked the recipes you want to try, but which cast-iron skillet is the best? There are so many brands out there, but fear not, we're here to help!
Here are some of my favorite brands that I've tried over the years, and some which were recommended by friends.
- Lodge 10-inch skillet. This one is my absolute favorite and is the one I use now. It's inexpensive and high-quality, and with the right care will last you for a lifetime!
- Lodge 12-inch skillet. This one is pretty much just a bigger version of the 10-inch skillet and is useful if you're cooking for more people or making a bigger batch. The only downside that I've found is that it's heavier.
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This one is definitely on the pricier side, but it's a beautiful pan with enameled coating- which means it's basically non-stick and will last you for a long time! The best part is that it doesn't need to be seasoned, which makes it perfect for people who don't want to do that extra step.
Now that we've covered everything, let me know which one of these vegan cast iron skillet recipes you're going to try first! Leave me a comment down below with your thoughts.