A Skillet Pizza | For Fall

September 23, 2015

A Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes

Today, I’m ready. Not yesterday, not last week, but today. Summer was a blast, all the way up until its last second. But today, I’m smiling at the mounds of pumpkins lining the market’s entryway. I’m dreaming of gingerbread everything. And I’m reorganizing my closet so my favorite flannels are front and center. The leaves are suppose to be putting on a spectacular show in the mountains this weekend, so we will be taking a little drive to take a peak at the orange, red, and yellow painted mountains.

This time last year we were selling everything we owned to pack up and move here to Colorado within a few short weeks. Our fall season last year was spent selling, packing, moving, and freaking out once we got here to Denver thinking holy heck what did we just do. This will be our first full season of fall in a state that experiences four seasons. We were suppose to be moving out of our tiny city apartment closer to the mountains in a few weeks, but our budget and lack of interesting discoveries lead us to renewing our current lease another six months. Tears were met by this decision a few short weeks ago. Longing to get out of the tiny apartment life in a neighborhood we are not fond of. The chance of maybe having a kitchen window, access to the outdoors, or not being several floors removed from the ground. Those dreams are gone for now, but there is so much to be grateful for still. For once, we aren’t moving. We’re staying. Things around me are familiar, as much as I may dislike them, I know the territory. All of the markets are in walking distance, I know which streets to walk down and which to avoid, and our friends are only a short drive away. Scott and I have yet to “nest” anywhere we have lived. Until we find a place to stay for good, I don’t think we will. But in effort to enjoy these next six months, we did a little apartment refresh. We cleaned, moved around the few pieces of furniture that we have, and made plans for hanging some pictures and shelves on the walls. This is big stuff for us two, and it was so fun. We even got a few new succulents to hopefully not kill. A little can go a long way. And although Scott won’t let me cover the inside of our apartment with pumpkins till October 1st (counting down the days) I can’t help but eye all the perfect Colorado grown squash crowding the storefronts. Orange, yellow, green, and white. I keep visually picking out my favorites and seeking out nooks I could hide them in until we’re ready to snatch them up. See? Life isn’t so bad.

Now onto this pizza. Today’s recipe post was just one more failed recipe test away from turning into a single photo of me pouring a bowl of cereal. After returning from our extended camping trip last week I was greeted with a rough transition back into the real world. Every recipe test was failing, every photoshoot was a bust. Scott came home from work last Thursday and we went for a walk. He let me vent about how the blazing sunlight was the most terrible lighting for my photoshoots, how I loath having a south facing window, the fact I forgot to season my cast iron between recipes and the dough glued itself to the pan, how I was behind on all of my emails and lists and projects, etc. Then I woke up Friday, put my big girl pants on, gave the recipe another go, and TA-DA. Persistence paid off this time. I give you the very well tested and beloved skillet pizza I’ve been slaving over this past month. The crust is crisp on the bottom, pillowy on the top, and has the perfect chew. Its topped with a simple tomato sauce, beluga lentils seasoned to taste something like pepperoni, my new favorite brazil nut parmesan, and yes – because I topped it off with fresh sage it counts as a fall pizza. Thank goodness for one extra day of recipe testing determination. You almost just got a bowl of apple jacks.

A Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesA Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesA Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesA Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesA Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesA Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesA Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes

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Makes an 8 inch skillet pizza. Serves 1 hungry person, or 2 with a side.

pizza dough
(prepare the day before)
1 cup light spelt flour
1/8 teaspoon yeast
1/4 teaspoon unpasteurized honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons warm water

tomato sauce
a few tablespoons pureed tomato sauce (organic & stored in BPA free container if store-bought)
salt & pepper
dried oregano
dried thyme

peperoni lentils
1/4 cup black beluga lentils
3/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon high heat, neutral tasting oil (ie. refined coconut or safflower)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

brazil nut parmesan
1 cup raw brazil nuts
zest of 1 organic lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt

chopped fresh sage

The key to this dough is fermentation. Although you have to plan ahead for when you’d like to enjoy this pizza, it doesn’t take much effort! In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Create a well in the center and add the honey and warm water. Mix with a fork in the center of the dough, working your way outwards to incorporate all of the dry ingredients as you go. Once fully mixed, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and set aside in an undisturbed area of your kitchen (preferable without a draft) and let it ferment for 24 hours.

After the dough has completed its first rise of 24 hours, uncover the dough and scoop it out onto a well floured surface. It will be very sticky so sprinkle the dough with more flour as needed. Press the dough out into a square, and fold each corner into the center. Flip the dough over so the smooth side is facing up and place back into the rising bowl. Cover again and let rise for another hour.

During the second rise of the dough, prepare the toppings. Combine the lentils and water in a small saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook until all of the water is absorbed by the lentils (about 15 minutes). Then remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes to steam. Remove the lid and add the rest of the ingredients for the lentils. Mix well and set aside.

For the tomato sauce, simply whisk a few pinches of each of the seasonings listed into your sauce, tasting as you go until you approve. Set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the brazil nut parmesan in a food processor and process into a coarse meal. Transfer the parmesan to an airtight container and set aside until ready to use. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

When you are ready to bake the pizza, preheat the oven to 500F. After the oven has preheated, place a well-seasoned 8 inch skillet inside to heat for 10 minutes only (important). Have all of your toppings ready for when the skillet is removed from the oven (use a very thick oven mitt or a few kitchen towels to protect your hand when removing, it will be HOT). Place the heated skillet on a heatproof surface. Turn the dough out of the bowl and into the skillet. It will sizzle. Work quickly, pressing from the center of the dough ball to the outside, spreading the dough to cover the base of the skillet and slightly up its sides. Be sure to leave an inch perimeter around the edge of the dough where your fingers do not come into contact with – preserving the rise so that the edges puff up nicely. Spoon the tomato sauce on top of the pizza and sprinkle on the lentils. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (should have golden, crisp edges) then let the pizza sit in the skillet on the counter for an additional 5 minutes once removing it from the oven to ensure the dough is fully cooked through. Using a knife or spatula, pop the pizza out of the skillet and onto a large plate to slice. Top with a generous handful of brazil nut parmesan, and a tablespoon or two of chopped fresh sage to serve.

This post was done in collaboration with Finex. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I love my eight inch skillet!


A Skillet Pizza, For Fall // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes


  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full September 23, 2015 at 6:15 am

    Hahaha “you almost got a bowl of apple jacks.” Oh Jessie. I’m sorry your post-camping transition wasn’t the smoothest. But compared to the majestic, wide-open grandeur of the great outdoors, I can see how coming back to a tiny space would be difficult. For what it’s worth, I think the lighting in your apartment is lovely – I remember writing that in one of the first emails I sent you. (Something like: “How is your lighting so perfect?! What do you do to achieve that?! Can I be you!?!?”) ;) But it looks like everything turned out, right? This pizza looks absolutely AMAZING and I love that you made it in a cast-iron skillet. Also, brazil nut parm?? Genius. You’re doin’ great, girl <3

    • Reply Faring Well September 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Teehee – it happens! And I remember you writing me that, and me thinking “this girl is crazy, my lighting in a constant struggle!” Haha – its all in the eye of the beholder, right?! Thanks for all of your kind words, Sarah, you really are the sweetest and glad you are loving that parm! Its SO GOOD. xo

  • Reply Kathryn September 23, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden, the switch just flicks and you go from mourning the end of summer to embracing autumn? I totally feel like that yesterday and now I’m ready for scarves and jackets and flannel (woohoo!) and jeans tucked into boots and all that good stuff. Intrigued by the idea of these pepperoni-style lentils. Definitely a must try. Everything about this pizza just looks so good.

    • Reply Faring Well September 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      It is so funny, it happens all of the sudden – every time! So excited for coziness and the feeling of brisk air and warming foods! Having seasons is the best! Thanks about my pepperoni lentils too :) I hope that if you get to make them you enjoy them as much as we did <3 happy autumn Kathryn!

  • Reply Jodi September 23, 2015 at 6:21 am

    I get it. I get the wanting to move yet not wanting to pack at the same time. I get the that you guys want a place to nest, a place to feel cozy and girl do I ever get that you want a kitchen window. I signed a 6 month lease here in the city, and after 3 years of living in the mountains it’s going to be one hell of an adjustment. But, friends and family are closer, and coffee shops and health food stores are abundant. The city will have it perks too, so while 6 months might feel like a long time, I know it will go by quickly. The mountains are calling Jess, and one day you’ll be there too! Hopefully with lots of flawless pizza + photos too. Thanks for the courage in putting on your big girl pants, this recipe was well worth it. Here’s to six months of making the best of it xo

    • Reply Faring Well September 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Oh Jodi, you always get me. And I know you get it. Like REALLY get it. It means so much to have like minded souls to connect with and feel each others pain as well as joy. Thank you for always being so open and encouraging – I adore you and hope your switch to city life is filled with positivity too! We are both in the “6 month” boat together – we can do this!! xo

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan September 23, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Oh I feel this so so often Jessie! I am on the other side of the seasons here, not quite ready for fall! I think the summer flew by SO fast for me that I’m mourning the loss of not doing enough ‘summery’ things with the nice weather. I did spy squash at the farmer’s market last night, but I couldn’t purchase any juuuust yet, I’m not ready! I’ve been there with the recipe testing/lighting/etc. Some days you just have to face that it isn’t working and set it aside for another day. Go you for persisting and keeping on, it paid off!

    • Reply Faring Well September 24, 2015 at 7:08 am

      At least it is a slow transition into fall :) I’m sure a pumpkin scone spotting of some sort will win your heart over soon! (Hehe) And thank you for the encouragement and your kind words Abby! Hugs! xo

  • Reply Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet September 23, 2015 at 8:23 am

    I’m right there with ya Jessie! And this pizza!! Wow girl. So beautiful and simple. Your photos are always so great!

    • Reply Faring Well September 24, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Aw you are THE sweetest Lauren! Thanks so so much <3

  • Reply Kalie September 23, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Jessie, this is beautiful! Cheers to all your trials and not giving up, haha :). What kind of yeast do you recommend? Also, do you think this would work in saucepan or something other than a skillet?
    And I have to thank you for always being such a positive light! Your posts are always so uplifting and it’s wonderful to read about the beauty you see in everyday life, especially when times are tough. You’re very inspiring and a joy to read.

    • Reply Faring Well September 24, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Wow Kalie, you just made me smile so so big! Thank you for commenting and taking the time to just be so nice. It really is appreciated over here on this side of the screen and I want you to know :). As for the yeast – I use active dry yeast by Red Star (I buy the big jar of it and keep it in the fridge) and as for the skillet – you can totally just bake this pizza on a preheated cookie sheet as well! Should still be stellar :)

  • Reply Sydney | Modern Granola September 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

    This pizza looks lovely. Sometimes the best stuff happens 5 seconds before we give up. What great inspiration to keep trying! And for the record- your lighting is lovely!
    Happy Fall!
    xx Sydney

    • Reply Faring Well September 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Its so true about that 5 seconds part – anything can happen ;). Thank you for you uber sweet compliments and for cheering me on! You’re a gem, Sydney <3

  • Reply Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow September 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    It takes a special person to lovingly listen as his wife vents about lighting and it sounds like scott and barrett are both said type of person. (I too vent about shooting out of my south facing window…it is the worst.) For what it’s worth, your photos are always stunning, including the photos of this super creative pizza. Brazilian nut parmesan?! SO COOL!

    • Reply Faring Well September 24, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Ah you SO know what I mean (about that south window). We two are lucky gals, Brooke, rocking some of the best hubs. Thanks for your encouraging words – it means a ton and I just adore you friend! <3

  • Reply Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist September 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    “one more failed recipe test away from turning into a single photo of me pouring a bowl of cereal” That sentence and the image of you posting a pic of yourself pouring cereal made me laugh out loud. I’m glad things came together. I think you are the master of reframing “bad” events/news into positive, life affirming moments for growth and renewed perspective. Amen to that. I loved the Instagram pic of your new succulents. I have a succulent farm here (a bit of an over exaggeration. But I have a lot.) They started out like little ping pong balls and now they’re huge! I’ve had to repot them three times. Good luck with yours. Happy fall!

    • Reply Faring Well September 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

      Haha I’m glad it made you laugh! ;) And goodness that means a ton, thank you Kathryn! And that is so neat about your succulent farm, I love it. I hope ours continues to grow too! They are just the cutest to see everyday. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and happy fall to you as well! <3

  • Reply Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation September 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    This looks amazing!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe testing and photography journey. It is so helpful to hear especially as I had a lighting issues just today; it is good to know it is not just me :)

    • Reply Faring Well September 28, 2015 at 7:17 am

      You are too sweet thank you Kimberly! And you are so welcome, I know we probably all struggle with similar things and it does help to hear it from others from time to time to remind ourselves no one’s life is struggle free! Hope you had a lovely weekend and are enjoying the new season <3

  • Reply hannah-phoebe September 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    this looks so good! Thanks so much for being honest, we so appreciate that you persevered! Any ideas to sub in for honey?

    • Reply Faring Well September 28, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Aw thank you Hannah! And you may absolutely use maple syrup instead of honey :)

  • Reply Becca | Spices and Spatulas September 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    That is the CUTEST skillet ever! And it looks even better filled with your pizza ;) xo

    • Reply Faring Well September 28, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Isn’t that skillet fun!? And thank you! xo

  • Reply Emily September 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Jessie, thank you for being so real with us and for showing us your heart to be thankful in midst of disappointment. I will pray for you to find just the right place to live at just the right time. Just think, when you find that perfect place, it will be AWESOME. I would never have imagined that you struggled with lighting because your photos are always PERFECT! I actually use a south facing window for most of my shoots as well and sometimes I drape a white sheet over the window when the sunlight is too strong. It seems to help a lot especially during those middle of the day shoots. I’m sure you probably do something like this already since your photos are better than mine, but I thought I’d mention it just in case. As for the skillet pizza, I am fascinated! I just found a bag a black beluga lentils I don’t even remember buying, but now I’m going to save them for this. And one last thing- I bet you could make a bowl of apple jacks look totally tempting! ;)

    • Reply Faring Well September 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Oh Emily thank you so much! I appreciate you and your sweet heart. And you’re photos always blow me away – I would have never guessed you struggled with south light too! Its all in the eye of the beholder, right? I do find some relief in a sheer white curtain/sheet too, it can do a pretty good job at times! Thank you again for your overly sweet compliments, and hope you get to put that newly discovered bag of beluga lentils to work soon! <3

  • Reply Megan September 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    “there is so much to be grateful for still. For once, we aren’t moving.” Always good to look on the bright side :) But for real, I totally get the frustration of apartment/city living, having done that dance for the last few years. But, I suppose if we never had to live in tiny crappy apartments, we wouldn’t be able to fully understand how awesome it will feel to have space in a beautiful place, eh?

  • Reply Renee September 24, 2015 at 2:28 am

    This looks amazing!! I so want to make that for dinner. Very cool :) http://www.reneesexton.co.nz

  • Reply Anna September 24, 2015 at 2:56 am

    this is such a great idea!! love it


  • Reply Grace September 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I can’t think of a better way to celebrate fall than with this celebratory skillet pizza! Plus pepperoni lentils?! Genius! Also, I’m such a sucker for Finex – so cool that you teamed up with them!

  • Reply Ana @ The Awesome Green September 24, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Jessie, I totally understand the feeling of packing, moving, re-arranging – we’ve moved to our new apartment two months ago, after one year of waiting and losing hope that things will come together at some point, and two months of packing. Although I’m also still accommodating with the new natural lightning, the “nesting” feeling and the time I manage to spend feeling, smelling, and tasting the fall magic from my window, from the nearby park and farmers’ market erased all the bad feelings from last year. You gave me a great idea for using my skillet, and maybe I’ll just add a little cashew cream sauce on top of this gorgeous pizza. Until then, I’m just making myself courage to raise a pizza dough by looking at your beautiful (and perfectly lit) photos. I wish you a magic autumn :)

  • Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) September 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Those Finex pans are some of the most gorgeous cookware I’ve ever seen! The handles, the shape, everything. Love this pizza and the lentil addition. So creative, and fun. [Also, gorgeous, gorgeous photography, as always!]

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life September 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Ah Jessie, reading your posts are always so refreshing! I love how honest and open you are about sharing the good, but also the struggles. You have a way of seeing the beauty in all things, even when times are rough, and I truly admire that. I totally get the living in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city…it’s starting to weigh on me too. I hope you make the most of these next 6 months and you see it as an opportunity to explore and do things you won’t be able to do when you move to the mountains. Like you said, there is still so much to be grateful for. Now this pizza is really intriguing! Skillet pizza? Genius! And your photos are seriously always so perfect! It’s hard to imagine that lighting is an issue. But it makes me feel much better to see that we’re facing the same struggles, so thank you for sharing that. <3

  • Reply Ju (JuYogi) September 26, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Mmmmh that looks so wonderful!
    I just stumbled upon your blog and I totally fell in love with it!
    I’m vegan myself and also have a food (-and yoga) blog and I really LOVE your recipes!
    Definitely stop by from time to time!

    Keep it up!

    All the best,

  • Reply Susannah (Lemon and Coconut) September 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I know how that feels! Hang on in there! What a lovey recipe, I’m longing to make it, though I need to get a skillet. I love your use of lentils and sage, so lovely… :)

  • Reply Nissrine @ Harmony a la Carte September 29, 2015 at 2:35 am

    What a fantastic looking pizza. Love that you put lentils on it. I get your desire for more space. We’re in a tiny city apartment in Milan and as a Canadian I crave space and the green outdoors at times but at the same time I love the conveniences that city life offers and the fact that I can walk everywhere. Just have faith that you are where you should be for now and that life will always bring you what you need. Happy autumn!

  • Reply Cara September 29, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious and your photos are so stunning :) Welcome back from camping!

  • Reply Alena September 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Jessie- wow! I’m pretty sure I just found my new favorite blog :). So nice to see such a genuine voice not to mention the photos are recipes look absolutely divine. You’re so lucky to be in Denver, that area is one of my favorite’s for renewal and connection with nature, I grew up in Wyoming about 2 hours North. My hubby and I recently stayed in the most amazing ghost town close to Denver called Silver Plume- you have to check it out! You will feel like you’re in a 1880’s movie set. There is the most charming little bar called Dram Apothecary in the middle of this sleepy town. It’s magical!
    Looking forward to more posts from you!!


  • Reply Nina September 30, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Jessie this post was so fresh and honest, I recognize so many of the feelings you share. I’m older than you, but for a big part of my grown up life I experienced the same frustrations with living spaces, choosing a creative path can be challenging indeed. I also had crap photo shoots :), last week I made a cake that looked like a throw up the first time I made it, and have lots of things that I need to catch up with… But still, so much beauty and lovely creativity to share, this series of pizza shots are really inspiring! Also the pumpkin bread kills!! I’m a big fan! And you write like a pro! I would love to buy your cookbook on outdoor camping style foods if you make one!

    • Reply Faring Well September 30, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Nina! Thank you so much. You are so kind and I really appreciate you writing to share with me your similar struggles, and encouragement that comes along with them as well. I look up to you and your photography + recipe development skills a great deal. It helps to hear even you have crap photo shoots ;). Your comment here genuinely lifted my spirits! Thank you <3 And sheesh about the cookbook! Hopefully one day - that would be AWESOME :)

  • Reply KJ October 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    This post reminds me that I still don’t own a cast iron skillet!! The pizza looks delish!
    Happy 1st year anniversary in CO :) I can totally relate to always moving and not wanting to “nest” or over decorate in anticipation of the next move. I’ve been in UT for 2 years now and we only recent put up art and 2 shelves. I get so anxious when we need to re-up our lease because being in one place too long makes me antsy!
    Enjoy your fall color drive!!

    • Reply Faring Well October 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      YES get a cast iron, they are the best! And thank you for the one year anniversary congrats, its crazy how time flies. And I totally feel you on the antsy part, can be so hard sometimes but I guess its good for us ;)

  • Reply Shelley | Sevengrams October 5, 2015 at 5:46 am

    I’ve fallen a little behind on my blogs lately, and though its already October and I can envision your house exploding with pumpkins, I can totally relate to the Autumn ‘build-up.’ We live right beside a market, and I just couldn’t bring myself to load up on baby pumpkins until this weekend either. We got out for a weekend bike ride this weekend and came home thinking that we would love to escape more often and be closer to the mountains, but alas, we sit in our city apartment making the best of it. Jessie, the next 6 months will fly by, the snow will be melting and new adventures will be on the horizon. Oh and this pizza — so glad the dough finely worked and the light was just right. Beauty photos as usual, x

    • Reply Faring Well October 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      You are the best, thank you Shelley! Its so true, when I think about how fast this year has gone, another six months will fly by too. And yay for it now being October so we can both fill our homes with pumpkins! Hehe. Hugs friend! <3

  • Reply Julia Thorpe-smith November 22, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Hey! This looks so good
    Is there a gluten free option that you think could work?
    Just wondering
    Thanks x

    • Reply Faring Well November 26, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Hi Julia, thank you! Sadly I do not know of one, I would recommend using another recipe from someone who is more experienced in gluten free baking <3.

  • Reply Julia Thorpe-smith December 6, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Ok all good thanks!!!

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