Camp Like a Queen: 12 Gourmet Skillet Recipes

I have a confession to make. All summer long, as plans of adventurous backpacking trips and epic camping weekends circulated amongst my friends, all I could think of was how I excited I was to bring my cast iron skillet with me. You see, these sturdy, heat-retaining vessels were actually designed to be used in hearths and fireplaces, making them the ideal campfire companion. Also, I would rather jump into a bottomless ravine than eat limp, rubbery hotdogs or *gasp* dehydrated trail food. And so, here are 12 gourmet skillet recipes for anyone who, like myself, prefers to camp in style:

Giant Cinnamon Roll Skillet because heaven really does exist

These Skillet Guinness Sausage Drop Biscuits are pretty much all I want to eat, like ever

Skillet Peach Cobbler yes YES YYESSSSS

Skillet Nachos because avocado, duh

Skillet Cornbread with Bacon Jam and Chive Butter sounds like the coziest, most decadent winter evening

Skillet Irish Soda Bread because hopefully we have some leftover chive butter

These Mini Skillet Brownies are giving me life rn

Mixed Berry Cobbler Skillet, which happens to be grain-free and vegan, so pretty much my new favorite summer dessert

This gorgeous 3-Minute Skillet Pizza. The recipe is in French but I’m pretty sure that only increases its sexiness

Completely losing my sh*t over this HUGE, deep dish Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie pie with caramel and sea salt

Skillet Vegetable Lasagna for moments when cookies, pies and brownies just won’t do it

And these Mini Skillet Apple Tarts, which, let’s face it, are probably the only thing that will

Do you have a cast iron skillet? What’s your favorite skillet recipe? Would you try one of these? 

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Going to try one of these recipes? Tag me on Instagram: @cocinadecella #cocinadecella

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie
Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie Mexican Hot Chocolate PieMexican Hot Chocolate Pie

When I was a little girl, I didn’t know that abuela meant grandmother. It was very confusing actually, because we called my grandmother, “Nana,” and my great-grandmother, “Walita.” Imagine my surprise years later to learn that nana is just an informal way of saying abuela and that Walita was not my great-grandmother’s name, just a mispronunciation of the word, abuelita (little grandmother). Her real name was Catalina but Walita suited her; she was small, frail and spoke only in soft, gentle murmurs.

I guess this is the part where I am supposed to recall cherished moments of sipping Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate® with Walita in her Pasadena cottage but that was never part of our story. She fleeted in and out of my life before I had the opportunity to experience those kinds of intergenerational moments, but I feel happy that at least I had the chance to know her. Still, I think of her and of the funny way my sisters and I pronounced her name whenever I drive through the old streets of Pasadena or drink that distinctly spiced Mexican hot chocolate.


Mexican Hot Chocolate PieMexican Hot Chocolate Pie
Mexican Hot Chocolate PieMexican Hot Chocolate Pie

So, how did I come to put Mexican hot chocolate into a pie?

I fell in love with chocolate cream pie when I first saw it in the 2009 movie, Julie & Julia. Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is in the kitchen whipping up a massive bowl of chocolate when she says to her husband (Chris Messina):

Julie: You know what I love about cooking?
Eric: What’s that?
Julie: I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say “nothing” I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.

I meannnn… Since then, this pie has become a staple in my baking repertoire and a welcomed sight at all dinner parties I attend. I modified this recipe to include the Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate tablets, something I’ve been dreaming of doing for quite some time. It turned out WAY better than I expected. I knew I wanted a spiced crust to complement the warm flavors in the hot chocolate mix, so I decided on gingersnap and made modifications to this crust recipe. Insider tip: use kosher salt instead of regular table salt. The large grains don’t completely dissolve into the crust, adding a much-needed savory component that balances out all of the sweet. If you’d rather use a pre-made crust, I think this pie would work wonders in a traditional flaky pie crust, graham cracker crust or even an Oreo® cookie crust. Hell, you might want to try it in a Hot Cheeto® crust. Yep, it’s THAT good.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie Mexican Hot Chocolate PieMexican Hot Chocolate PieMexican Hot Chocolate PieMexican Hot Chocolate Pie Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Saturday. A video posted by Cella (@cocinadecella) on

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie


    For the pie crust:
  • 12 ounces or 2 3/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs*
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • *substitute with crispy gluten-free cookies to make this allergen-friendly
  • For the pie filling:
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablets of Abuela's Hot Chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • For the whipped cream topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, almond flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl
  3. Add melted butter to cookie mix and stir until combined
  4. Press cookie mix into a 9" pan
  5. Chill pan in the freezer for 10 minutes
  6. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes
  7. Let crust cool completely
  8. Coarsely chop the Abuela's Hot Chocolate tablets and place in a heat-proof bowl with the oil (make sure the bowl is large enough to sit atop a sauce pan)
  9. Put one inch of water in a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer over the stove
  10. Place bowl with chocolate tablets on top of the sauce pan and stir until the chocolate is completely melted
  11. Remove bowl from heat and let cool completely
  12. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer for five minutes
  13. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and the melted Abuela's chocolate until fully incorporated
  14. Add eggs to batter one at a time, blending each one for five minutes
  15. Spread batter in cooled pie crust and refrigerate overnight
  16. Top with whipped cream and a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon
  17. To make homemade whipped cream, beat the whipping cream with the powdered sugar with a mixer until stiff peaks form.

Do you like Mexican hot chocolate? Do you like it enough to put it into a pie? If you try this recipe,  don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram photos: @cocinadecella #cocinadecella

Perfect Crustless Quiche

Somewhere between the time I purchased my first lip gloss and a string of wild, blurry summers in the mystical town of Isla Vista, my breakfast preferences switched from sweet to savory. I mean, you can’t cure a hangover with pancakes, french toast or your dad’s famous Belgian waffles… You need omelettes, hearty breakfast scrambles and breakfast burritos. It is known. Once I had this culinary awakening, quiche quickly became a staple in my semi grown-up kitchen. It was an easy and satisfying free-for-all, a “what’s in my fridge” kind of meal… The best part? It’s classy AF! The perfect accoutrement to mimosas at brunch. I decided to put together this simple guide to making a perfect crustless quiche because I wanted to share with you the unparalleled bliss of a satisfying and elegant hangover meal.

Perfect Crustless Quiche


  • Fillings: To avoid a bland quiche, cook and season your fillings before assembling. Cook meats until JUST cooked. Sauté veggies with oil and something fragrant like onions, shallots or garlic. Don’t forget to season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Cheese: This is where the magic happens. My go-tos are sharp cheddar, swiss and parmesan; use goat cheese or gruyere for an indulgence. I haven’t tried it but I bet Daiya or other vegan cheeses would work beautifully in this dish.
  • Liquid: Keep it simple with just 5 whisked eggs or, for a creamier quiche try whisking 3 eggs with 1.5 cups milk. If you are dairy-free but want the creamy texture, try a nut milk.
  • Spices: Salt and pepper are a must. Use one teaspoon of each, as well as one teaspoon of any other spices you like. Some great options include garlic power, cayenne, nutmeg, cumin and cajun seasoning.

To prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch pan with butter or cooking spray
  2. Cook the fillings and layer them flat in the pan
  3. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the fillings
  4. Mix liquid with spices and pour in pan. Shake pan and tap it on counter to ensure the liquid gets dispersed throughout the ingredients
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center slightly jiggles

My favorite quiche combinations are:

  • ham, green chile and cheddar
  • spinach, mushroom and goat cheese
  • butternut squash, kale and gruyere
  • bacon, greens and swiss cheese
  • chorizo, potato and and cojita
  • caramelized onion, squash and goat cheese
  • roasted root vegetables with gruyere

What’s your favorite quiche? Which one would you like to try?

P.S. Are we Instagram friends? Follow me at @cocinadecella :)