A casserole is the epitome of comfort food. The simple casserole is a mainstay of the American diet, whether it’s loaded with meat and pasta, vegetables and cheese, or something else entirely. But if you want perfection, you need the proper casserole dish.
Because there are numerous manufacturers, designs, and varieties available, picking the best one might be challenging. The question is, where do you even begin? For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the top ten best casserole dishes.
Important Things to Think About When Purchasing Quality Casserole Dishes
It’s clear from our evaluations that there’s a wide variety of options available. You can discover a cheap and convenient option that suits your needs, whether you’re cooking for a party or simply preparing a casserole on the weekend to last you through the week.
However, you could have some lingering inquiries about the differences between various casseroles. You may have questions concerning the variety of materials, sizes, and applications. Make the appropriate purchase decision and obtain the best casserole for your needs with the guidance of our buying guide below.
The casserole dish you use can have a significant impact on the final product. Individual taste is a prime example of this. One form could be more alluring to you than another. A deep square casserole dish, for instance, may be preferable to a long rectangular one because it allows for more even heat distribution.
But the form also affects how conveniently the casserole dish fits in your dishwasher, cupboards, and other locations. If you do a lot of baking, you might find that two rectangular dishes are more convenient than one round or square one because you can fit both in the oven at once.
The use of suitable material is an important factor to consider. We’ve tested a variety of dishes, and you’ll see that they all offer something unique to the table. We’ll explain each of these options in detail below.
Casserole dishes made from cast iron have many advantages. Given proper care, they may outlast you. When compared to many other materials, they are superior in terms of heat absorption, distribution, and retention.
Coating something with high-quality enamel also results in a nonstick, non-reactive surface that is ideal for cooking nearly any meal. But there are costs and benefits to think about as well.
The weight is the first major disadvantage. There’s a significant amount of weight to it. So, it might not be the best option if you have weak upper body muscles. Additionally, cast iron that has been enameled cannot be scratched with metal tools because doing so would cause the enamel to deteriorate and the iron to rust.
Casserole dishes are typically made of glass, and there are several good reasons for this. It lasts a long time, doesn’t break the bank, doesn’t weigh much, and can be used
A glass casserole dish can be used in the microwave, fridge, and freezer without damaging the dish in any way. It provides a convenient means of preparing and storing food for later reheating in the microwave or conventional oven.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean glass isn’t a poor choice. When shattered, it can cause damage that metal dishes do not. Glass isn’t nonstick, and you might not appreciate how the entire meal is on full display to your guests.
Although it is lightweight, adaptable, and robust, aluminum is not widely utilized, which is why we only tested one aluminum casserole dish. On the other hand, it may cause an adverse reaction when combined with acidic or tomato-based dishes.
Stoneware is a type of dense, long-lasting pottery. The choices we reviewed demonstrate its attractive aesthetic potential and its useful heat-dispersing and -retention properties. The finish applied to the stoneware will dictate whether or not it may be washed in the dishwasher or if hand washing is preferable.
Stoneware, however, has a few limitations. It’s not as light as, say, glass or aluminum dishes. Another issue is that it’s still breakable and likely to shatter into sharp bits.
The size of a casserole dish is a crucial factor to think about. Does a regular 9-by-13-inch baking dish suit your needs? Is a bigger size what you’re after? Maybe you’d be better off with a smaller size. Do you think a round dish would work better?
Size is important for more than just aesthetics or storage space considerations. For instance, when using dishes of varying sizes, the same amount of ingredients will produce layers of varying thicknesses. When compared to a small, spherical dish, a 9×13 pan provides more room for ingredients to spread out.
So, how will that affect your cooking? A casserole takes longer to cook if it is thicker. Because of this, the amount of time spent cooking will need to change based on the size of the dish being used.
To avoid burning while still ensuring thorough baking, you may need to take additional steps, such as covering the dish at a specific moment in a longer cook time.
Number of Dishes
It is recommended to acquire a set of casserole dishes while shopping for one. This gives you two or three dishes to choose from, ranging in size from small to medium, giving you more options and allowing you to save time and money. Buying a single casserole dish is great if you never plan on using more than one at a time or if you never plan on using more than one size.
No-Lid or With-Lid
Our ratings and reviews will show you that some dishes are sold with lids and others do not. If a cover is important to you, that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself. Please consider the following questions and provide your answers:
Do you plan on bringing the dish with you? In that case, a cover is crucial, especially if you plan on transporting a hot dish that needs to be kept warm.
Do you want your food to stay warm or moist? If you don’t have a lid, plastic wrap will do, but if you have, the dish needs to be covered.
Is the dish meant for outdoor use? If that’s the case, having a cover over it will help keep flies and other insects out.
Consider the creation of a lid if you determine it is necessary. The following are some considerations to keep in mind:
Confirm a snug fit by closing the lid. During travel, the lid will slip back and forth if it is not secure. It will also function as a vent for excess heat and moisture.
A dish’s lid will stay in place more reliably if it has a rim that fits snugly into the dish’s rim.
The lid needs a handle or knob to open and close it. Handles are either affixed to the top or located on the side, depending on the type. For example, the lids of some cast-iron casserole dishes have stainless steel knobs.
Please keep in mind that the foregoing only refers to containers with closed tops. Some casserole plates have soft lids that can be used for both transporting the food and keeping insects out when eating outdoors.
These covers are typically manufactured from materials that degrade with heat, such as silicone or plastic. They also typically can’t be heated in a microwave.
In the eyes of some consumers, adaptability is a must-have feature. You need a suitable material for cooking, serving, and storing your food in a single dish. As a rule, glass and stoneware offer the most adaptability.
Both glass and ceramic casserole dishes can withstand high temperatures in the oven (up to 500 degrees), as well as those in the microwave (though you should check the glaze on stoneware first), the dishwasher, the refrigerator, and the freezer.
Consequently, there will be no airtight seal on any of these. Even if they have a lid, air can still get in, so cover them with plastic wrap or use two layers of plastic wrap.
As much as we’d like it not to be, cleanup is a significant part of the culinary process. Make sure the casserole dish you buy can go in the dishwasher if you care about convenience. These are the sorts of things you may expect to discover true most of the time:
Iron Cast: No dishwashers should ever be used on plain cast iron. The same goes for hand washing with soap and water. After being scraped and oiled, it can be stored away.
Cast iron with an enamel finish is often safe for the dishwasher (but not always, so check your set first). Lodge is just one of many brands that suggests hand washing to avoid discolouration.
All the casserole dishes we tested were made of glass, and most people know that glass is dishwasher safe.
Dishwasher safety for aluminum utensils and utensil holders vary greatly throughout manufacturers and even between individual pieces of aluminum cookware, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before placing yours in the dishwasher.
Not all stoneware is safe for use in the dishwasher. Ultimately, the dish’s success depends on the type of coating it was given. Before placing your dishes in the dishwasher, be sure to read the included instructions.
Handle Shape and Size
The convenience of transport is another factor to think about when choosing a casserole dish. In this case, handles are your best bet. Handles come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are rarely identical.
Casserole plates may feature handles that are slanted in one direction or another. While they certainly add a touch of class, they aren’t really the ideal choice for everyone given how easy it is to knock over the dish.
If you want a safe and comfortable way to hold your casserole dish, look for one with a flat handle. Ideally, the handles will spread out like wings from the edge of the dish.
Shapeless: Models with shapeless handles, like the stoneware dish by Rachael Ray that we reviewed, are increasingly unusual but not unheard of. Because they are an integral part of the dish’s decorative flange or lip, the handles on these dishes are not immediately seen.
Disposable Casserole Dishes
We did not review any disposable casserole dishes, but they are available. These choices are created from durable aluminum foil, however they are only good for a single usage. Some even have plastic covers to keep pests and dirt out of your food as you move it.
Should you use a paper plate? If your household never eats casseroles and you only ever require one for special occasions like a holiday meal or office party, investing in a casserole dish can be a good idea.
However, for a family that eats out frequently, disposable plates and cups aren’t the best solution. It’s more expensive in the long run to use disposable pans than it would be to invest in a single, high-quality pan that would last a long time.
10 Best Casserole Dishes
Lodge 3.6 Quart Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish with Lid (Carribbean Blue)
- Reliable Manufacturer
- Cast iron enamel
- A volume of 3,6 quarts
- Has a cover built in
- Can be used in the oven or on the stove
Cast iron can do things that other materials simply can’t. But cast iron naturally rusts, so you’ll need to put in some extra time and work to season it and keep it seasoned. Lodge has created an enamel cast iron casserole dish that sidesteps all of these issues.
It comes with a cast-iron casserole dish and cover that can hold up to 3.6 quarts of food. The stainless steel handle on top of the lid makes it simple to open and close. This elegant and durable casserole dish can be used for a variety of different dishes.
This casserole dish can withstand temperatures in the oven of up to 500 degrees, making it suitable for a wide variety of uses (including the lid). You can use it in the oven to broil, braise, bake, roast, sauté, simmer, or even fry if need be, but it can also be used on the stovetop if that’s more convenient. This dish can be washed in the dishwasher, however the manufacturer suggests hand washing because the enamel may fade.
Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole Skillet – 3.3-Quart, White
- Capacity: 3.30 quarts
- Enamel-coated cast iron that doesn’t react
- Bakeable and broilable
- Guaranteed for a full year.
For all your baking needs, this cast-iron casserole dish is the perfect all-purpose tool. An easy-to-carry stainless-steel-handled lid is included. Another convenient feature is a pair of loop-style handles on the dish’s side.
You can cook more efficiently with this casserole dish since it distributes heat uniformly. It can be baked in an oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit without damage (including the lid). The enamel coating won’t react with your food, therefore it won’t change the taste. This cast-iron casserole works equally well on induction as it does on any other type of stovetop. You shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher, though; it’s handwash only. However, there is a warranty that protects you for a whole year.
Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Shallow Casserole Braiser Pan
- Great for use in the oven and other kitchen applications
- Superior cast iron
- Capacity: 3.80 quarts
- Carrying loops
- Epoxy-based enamel coating that inhibits chemical reactions
This 3.8-quart cast-iron casserole dish by Bruntmore could be the answer to your search for a dish with more storage space. Cast from high-quality iron and enameled for nonreactivity, it performs admirably.
Both the dish and the lid can withstand temperatures in the oven up to 500 degrees. Both the lid’s stainless steel knob and the dish’s loop-style side handles make it easy to transport the set. It’s also great for the stove, and it’s compatible with induction and other cooking surfaces.
Libbey Baker’s Basics Glass Oval Casserole Baking Dish
- Glass only
- Has a cover built in
- Holds up to 1.6 quarts
- Prepare, distribute, and keep
- Safe for the dishwasher
This Libbey alternative is a great compromise between the larger sizes of similar casserole dishes and is a classic style that can be found in most homes. It has a capacity of 1.6 quarts, making it ideal for most condiments, and the top fits snugly to help contain any potential spills.
Oven-safe glass is used to make this casserole dish. On the other hand, you shouldn’t try to use it on the burner. High adaptability is achieved by the fact that it can be used in the microwave, fridge, and freezer in addition to the dishwasher.
Libbey Baker’s Basics 3-Piece Glass Casserole Baking Dish Set
- Three-piece casserole set
- Good glass
- Safe for use in microwaves
- Safe for the dishwasher
Even though glass appears to be a conventional material, it actually represents a major breakthrough. What else can’t you put in a stovetop, oven, microwave, freezer, or refrigerator? In addition, you will have the resources to meet any requirement.
This set includes a 2-quart, a 2.7-quart, and a 3.4-quart casserole. However, keep in mind that none of these are sealed. It’s fine to put them in the oven, dishwasher, fridge, and freezer.
Rachael Ray Cucina Casserole Dish Set with Lid
- Two casseroles and a single cover
- Dishes made of stoneware are quite adaptable.
- Proof of safety up to 500 degrees
The Rachael Ray Casserole Dish Set with Lid combines country chic with superior functionality. The stoneware construction ensures even heating and excellent heat retention, and the matching lid serves both as a decorative touch and a practical means of keeping your new cookware safe from the elements.
You get one round dish that holds 1.5 quarts and another that holds 2 quarts, both with a protective and aesthetically pleasing ceramic glaze. The dishware’s freeform handles are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also practical for lifting and transporting the dishes. It’s fine to bake each dish at a temperature of 500 degrees. They are safe to use in a microwave oven, fridge, and freezer. The dish and its cover are also dishwashing safe.
Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Dish/Casserole Pan with Lid, 2.5 Quart, Mushroom Brown
- Metal grips with rivets
- Aluminum-based construction
- Toxin-free, nonstick coating
- With this limited lifetime warranty
The Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Dish/Casserole Pan with Lid is a great option for those in search of a large casserole dish. It has a 4.5-quart capacity with a nonstick interior that is PFOA-free to keep your food from sticking.
High-quality cast aluminum is used for the casserole’s body, which is subsequently coated to prevent oxidation. For longevity and a consistent, comfortable grip, the handles are securely bonded to the body. You can bake in an oven as hot as 500 degrees with no harm done to the casserole dish. Likewise, it can be used on most stove tops, albeit it might not work with induction stoves. The item comes with a lifetime warranty that can be used to rest easy.
Anchor Hocking 2 quart Glass Casserole Dish, Clear
- Capacity: 2 quarts
- The handles are sized for a comfortable hold.
- Including cover
- Dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe
This glass casserole dish holds two quarts and comes from one of the most trusted names in the industry, Anchor Hocking. Round in form, with long handles and a top that turns on a knob, it is easily identifiable.
The glass’s unique shape ensures uniform baking and lets you keep an eye on the process as it goes on. It’s also 100% American-made. You can use the same container for both cooking and storage in the dishwasher, microwave, oven, and freezer/refrigerator.
Le Creuset PG07053A-3367 Heritage Stoneware Covered Rectangular Casserole
- Authentic Le Creuset workmanship
- Shaped like a rectangle, it has long handles.
- Including cover
- Safe for temperatures up to 500 degrees
When it comes to reliability, longevity, and efficiency, few companies can match Le Creuset’s standing in the market. There is nothing special about this rectangular casserole dish. It’s sturdy and simple to operate, yet it’s also attractive and adaptable. Given its large four-quart capacity, this casserole dish is ideal for feeding large families or hosting large gatherings. When the top is properly fastened, it keeps in both heat and moisture.
This stoneware casserole dish is dishwasher safe, as well as being resistant to stains, chips, and odors. Although it can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, the manufacturer advises against microwaving the product.
Rachael Ray Glaze Ceramics Dish/Casserole Pan with Lid
- In a square configuration
- Capacity: 2.5 quarts, deep
- Fabricated from long-lasting stoneware
- Safe for temperatures up to 500 degrees
This square casserole dish is both unique and visually appealing; it has a capacity of 2.5 quarts with a snug-fitting lid that keeps in heat and moisture. In addition, it’s lightweight and convenient to transport thanks to the long handles.
Both the body and the lid are made of strong stoneware that won’t fracture, stain, or absorb odors. They can be used in the kitchen, the fridge, and the freezer with no worries. Both can withstand heat up to 500 degrees.
Understanding Thermal Shock: The Necessary Information
The term “thermal shock” is bound to crop up in your search for a suitable casserole dish. So, what does this term entail, and how can you use it to your advantage when shopping for dinnerware? Let’s delve even farther into it.
What Is It?
When a material at a high temperature comes into touch with something at a considerably lower temperature, a phenomena known as thermal shock occurs (or vice versa). One such situation is when cold water is poured into a hot casserole dish.
What Does It Do?
Shock from temperature changes can shatter or even fully ruin a casserole dish. A material that has been heated by contact with something cold causes that material to contract. Since the dish is shrinking, there is a risk that it will split into pieces or develop cracks.
What Materials Are Affected?
All materials are susceptible to some degree of damage when subjected to a thermal shock. However, it does a lot of damage to fragile things like glass, porcelain, and stone. These are crystalline, so they break easily if the temperature suddenly changes.
What about Metal?
Heat shock has far less of an impact on metal casserole plates. For this reason, metal is more resilient to temperature changes than other materials since it lacks a crystalline structure.
You will have to dish up whatever you cook in a casserole. Though it may appear easy at first, there may be complications. As an example, the dish’s nonstick coating could be harmed by the serving utensil you choose to use.
A definition, please. Spatulas and ladles made of metal will harm delicate dishware if used on them. As soon as you scratch the surface, it starts to deteriorate.
Take note that this is applicable to enameled casserole dishes as well as metal pans with nonstick surfaces. In the event of a scratch, the surface is immediately compromised. This causes the nonstick coating in the aluminum pan to degrade and possibly peel. Exposing the cast iron underneath an enameled dish can lead to the rapid development of rust and eventual failure of the pan.
What Can You Make in a Casserole Dish?
It might seem simple to use a casserole dish. Aren’t they meant for casseroles? However, there is actually a lot more to it than that.
A casserole dish is an extremely versatile cooking tool. These dishes have many uses beyond casseroles, and here are just a few examples:
- Foods made with polenta
- Pasta with chicken alfredo
- In the oven, biscuits and gravy.
- Baked chicken and broccoli.
- Frito pie with chicken
- Baking noodles in sauce
- Pasties in a pot
- Creamy potato dish
- Toasting hash browns
- Cheese noodle casserole
- Ravioli cook in the oven
To reiterate, these are but a sampling of the possibilities. Thousands upon thousands of delicious and comforting dishes, from healthy options to magnificent junk food, can be made in a casserole dish.
There is a casserole dish for any need and preference, whether you choose glass or metal, a big or little dish, or any combination of these factors. To help you choose wisely, we’ve detailed the top 10 casseroles, discussed what sets them apart, and included a handy buying guide. There’s no better time than now to go into the kitchen and whip up a tasty meal.