Casserole dishes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, useful for baking casseroles, bread pudding, lasagna, scalloped potatoes, and so much more. Many of these versatile baking dishes can be safely used in the oven, microwave, and broiler. Additionally, many casserole dishes are attractively designed and can be used as serving pieces for special occasions.
This guide discusses key features to consider when selecting the best casserole dish for your kitchen. Read on to learn why the following dishes are among the best in their categories.
- BEST OVERALL: Lodge 3.6 Quart Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Libbey Baker’s Basics 3-Piece Casserole Dish Set
- UPGRADE PICK: Le Creuset Stoneware Covered Rectangular Casserole
- BEST LARGE CAPACITY: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Cast Iron 7-Quart Casserole
- BEST SET: CorningWare French White Casserole Set
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Casserole Dish
While searching for a casserole dish to suit your cooking needs, there are a number of features to keep in mind. Shape, size, material, lid or no lid, and dishwasher compatibility are the most important considerations.
Casserole dishes also come in a variety of shapes including rectangular, square, round, and oval. The right shape for you will depend on how you plan to use the casserole dish.
Rectangular casserole dishes are well suited for meals such as lasagna, potatoes au gratin, sheet cakes, fish fillets, and roasts. Square casserole dishes are great for recipes like baked french toast, baked eggs, and macaroni and cheese. Round casserole dishes are ideal for foods like quiche and hot dips, and both round and oval dishes are attractive shapes for serving.
In addition to the choice of shapes, casserole dishes also are made in a variety of sizes. The number of people you plan to feed and the desired amount of food will help determine the size of the casserole dish that will meet your needs. Manufacturers provide the dimensions of their dishes in addition to quart capacity. Consider the following tips on casserole dish sizes:
- Large rectangular casserole dishes measuring 9 by 13 inches are among the most popular. Since they hold about 3 quarts, some Dutch oven recipes can be used interchangeably with these dishes.
- Medium-sized 8- by 8-inch casserole dishes are also popular, and hold about 2 quarts.
- A smaller 1-quart casserole dish is suitable for side dishes, or to accommodate a few meals.
- Extra large casserole dishes with 4- to 7-quart capacities are great for larger gatherings and meal prep.
Material is another important feature to consider. Casserole dishes commonly contain ceramic, glass, cast iron, or stoneware. Each material has different benefits to consider:
- Ceramic casserole dishes can be used in high-heat ovens and under the broiler, though only some are safe for the freezer. Ceramic does not release elements into the food or absorb anything from its content, which is ideal when baking for long periods or storing food in the fridge. These models are often designed to double as serving dishes; enameled ceramic dishes are especially attractive and among the most expensive options. Most ceramic casserole dishes are dishwasher safe, but it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
- Glass casserole dishes are often the most budget friendly, and are safe for the microwave and dishwasher. Some glass types, such as borosilicate glass, can be stored in the freezer. Like ceramic, glass does not release elements or absorb odors. These dishes tend to weigh less than other casserole dish materials as well. While some glass casserole dishes are vulnerable to shattering if dropped, there are shatter-resistant options available as well.
- Cast iron casserole dishes offer durability and excellent heat retention. This material is suitable for high-heat baking, boiling, and stovetop use. Cast iron requires regular seasoning with oil and must be washed by hand to prevent rust and support an easy-release cooking surface. Cast iron casserole dishes can be quite heavy, and their handles can get very hot, so treat them with extra caution. This material can be less expensive compared to ceramic and stoneware, though still more expensive than glass.
- Stoneware can withstand high heat, though not all options can withstand broiling. This material is long-lasting and difficult to scratch, crack, or chip. It’s also safe for the microwave and dishwasher. Unless stoneware features an enamel coating, it’s vulnerable to stains and can absorb tastes and odors. Stoneware casserole dishes tend to be higher in cost, and should be washed by hand. Like ceramic dishes, many stoneware options can also function as serving dishes.
Lid and Handles
Casserole dishes can come with or without a lid. Lids help distribute the heat more evenly as your food cooks. A clear glass lid is especially useful, allowing you to check on food as it bakes without having to remove the lid. Lids help keep baked items warm after leaving the oven, and can be used to cover cooked food when storing leftovers in the refrigerator. A lid is also a helpful accessory if you frequently transport casseroles to a gathering at friends’ or family members’ homes.
Handles on either side of a casserole dish are a standard feature, with variations in thickness and size. If you’re concerned with handling the weight of a casserole dish, look for larger thick handles for a secure grip.
Our Top Picks
Offered in different shapes, sizes, and price points, the following recommendations are top picks for home chefs to create tasty baked meals. These quality casserole dishes were selected based on durability, design, and functionality.
Lodge’s casserole dish tops the list with a sleek enamel finish and versatile cast iron construction. The 3.4-inch deep dish can broil, braise, bake, roast, saute, or fry and withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Cast iron provides superb heat retention and even heating, while a double layer of enamel is non-reactive to ingredients. A stainless steel knob and loop handles enhance durability, and the tight-fitting lid seals in moisture.
The 3.6-quart capacity and low, wide shape are suitable for medium-sized casseroles, roasted meats, paella, and more. Lodge’s durable casserole dish can be used on gas and electric ranges, ceramic and induction cooktops, as well as the oven. The Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish is dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended to preserve its appearance. Available in glossy blue, white, and red finish options, the Lodge casserole dish can also act as an attractive serving dish.
Libbey Baker’s affordable three-Piece set includes 1-quart, 2-quart, and 3.2-quart casserole dishes with lids. The multifunctional glass dishes are safe for the oven, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher. The clear design allows you to check on your food while it’s cooking, without having to take off the lid.
These Libbey Baker dishes are dishwasher safe and stackable for easy storage. They have reasonable depths between 2 3/4 and 3 1/4 inches. The three pieces cost less than some single dishes, offering excellent value.
Le Creuset’s high-end stoneware casserole dish is an elegant piece that can be passed down for generations. The solid stoneware provides even heating, safe for the freezer, microwave, oven, broiler, and dishwasher. The 3.5-quart covered casserole dish features a shiny enamel exterior that resists scratches and stains, safe for cutting on with kitchen knives.
The naturally non-stick glazed interior easily releases food for easy cleanup, and the handles are riveted for a secure grip. Designed to maintain its attractive appearance for years, this sturdy casserole dish can withstand the demands of daily use. The dense construction blocks moisture absorption to prevent cracking, crazing, and rippling with extended use.
This Le Creuset casserole dish looks beautiful as a serving vessel on the dining table. The dish is 3 inches deep, available in four shades of blue and oyster grey.
If you’re cooking for a crowd or a large household, the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic casserole dish is up for the task. The 7-quart round casserole dish features cast iron for excellent heat retention and even heat distribution, both of which are especially important in such a large, deep vessel. The porcelain enamel finish adds strength to the cookware and won’t impart flavors or absorb odors.
This multipurpose casserole dish is ideal for cooking, serving, and entertaining. It’s compatible with all stovetops, including induction, as well as safe for the oven, broiler, and dishwasher. The dish contains secure handles and the lid has a longer knob for an easy grasp. The Cuisinart casserole dish is 6.22 inches deep, available in rich colors to complement your kitchen.
The CorningWare French White Casserole Set features 2.5- and 1.5-quart dishes with glass and plastic lids, as well as a 16-ounce round dish. This stylish oven-to-table bakeware contains a durable stoneware material that resists chipping and cracking. The clear glass lids are useful for keeping an eye on food as it cooks, while the BPA-free plastic lids allow for convenient leftover storage.
These CorningWare dishes are safe for the oven, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. Their high-gloss exteriors are non-porous, easy to clean, and won’t absorb flavors, odors, or stains. The different sized dishes and bonus plastic lids offer excellent value to this reasonably priced set.
FAQs About Your New Casserole Dish
You may have lingering questions on how to use a casserole dish. If so, take a look at some of the frequently asked questions below.
Q. Can you fry in a casserole dish?
Some casserole dishes can be used on the stovetop, depending on the material. A cast-iron casserole dish can be used for frying purposes.
Q. What size casserole dish do I need?
The best casserole dish size for you will vary based on what you are cooking and how much food you are planning to make. Your recipe may also suggest a specific-size casserole dish. For example, lasagna is typically made in a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish, which holds 3 quarts.
Q. What can I use instead of a casserole dish?
If you don’t have a casserole dish, you may be able to find a substitute item in your kitchen. Alternatives with a lid include an oven-safe saucepan or a Dutch oven. If you have a slow cooker with a removable pot, you can use the pot as a casserole dish. If the recipe you plan on making doesn’t require a lid, a cast iron skillet or a deep baking pan are also suitable options.