15 Best Baking Dishes For Casserole Season

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A casserole that includes fresh vegetables is one of my favorite foods. A good casserole is pretty much the most concentrated blend of flavors you can get and still has that fresh and healthy aftertaste that only comes from recently-picked produce. But do you know the best baking dishes for casserole recipes?

Since spring is finally upon us and casserole season is entering full swing, I decided to write a post about the most important tools for making casseroles well: the casserole dish.

In this guide, I’ll go over the most important factors to consider when buying a baking dish for casserole and answer some commonly asked questions in regards to casserole dishes. I’ll even tell you my personal top 15 casserole dishes for every use.

What to Look for When Buying a Baking Dish

When looking to buy a baking dish for casserole, you should consider these factors:

Shape

The shape of a casserole dish can affect how evenly the heat is distributed during cooking. Getting a perfectly circular or square-shaped dish will help with some recipes, because the shapes promote even cooking.

That being said, many dishes simply won’t fit in some pans. For example, a leg of lamb is best cooked in a rectangular pan. Lasagna noodles will not fit in a circular or oval-shaped pan. Consider what you will be cooking when choosing a baking pan.

Also consider that wide and shallow trays are better than taller casserole dishes for some dishes that need to be cooked quickly.

best baking dishes

Capacity

Smaller baking pans that hold less are great because they cut down on cooking time. They also help with even heat distribution, so they make it harder to make mistakes.

Of course, sometimes you need to cook for a family or even an entire dinner party, and it’s just not realistic to cook in a bunch of small baking dishes. It’s best to have a range of sizes available for different occasions, but bigger is generally better if you can only get one or two. 

Material

The four most common materials used in baking dishes are:

  • Glass – Inexpensive, light, and easy to clean. Unfortunately, they are fragile and can’t withstand high heat as well as some other materials.
  • Ceramic – Can withstand very high heats, including open flames, and has great heat conduction that helps with even cooking. They also look great. Unfortunately, they chip easily and are more expensive than some materials.
  • Stainless Steel – Inexpensive, durable, and has superior heat retention properties so they’re good for use on the stove as well as the oven. However, maintenance is very difficult since they have to be seasoned regularly and hand washed. They’re also very heavy.
  • Stoneware – Stoneware is a luxury option because it has high heat resistance, it’s incredibly durable, it’s easy to maintain, and it looks great. That obviously means the cost is high, though. Most stoneware also has a problem wherein it absorbs odors from dishes.

There are some other materials, like cast iron or copper, that are more rarely used to make baking dishes. Consider that your sneak preview for my recommendations.

Warranty

Especially with more fragile materials like glass and ceramic, warranty length is important. A short warranty period is usually a red flag because it means that the manufacturer is not confident in the durability of its baking dishes.

Care & Maintenance

Is the baking dish safe to stick in the dishwasher? Does it need to be seasoned regularly? Remember that coatings on casserole dishes often make care and maintenance easier but that they also decrease qualities like heat resistance.

15 Best Baking Dishes

“Best Of” CategoryNameShapeMaterial
OverallBaking DishRectangleClay
BudgetNo products found.RectangleGlass
PartiesHeritage Lasagna Deep BakerRectangleStoneware
CeramicNo products found.RectangleCeramic
CoveredNo products found.RectangleStainless Steel
SkilletNo products found.RoundCast-Iron
DesignNo products found.RectangleCeramic
PorcelainNo products found.RectanglePorcelain
VersatileNo products found.RoundCast Iron
SetStaub 4-Piece Baking Dish SetAssortedStoneware
StonewareHeritage Stoneware Rectangular Covered CasseroleRectangleStoneware
BasicNo products found.RoundGlass
ClassicNo products found.SquareGlass
Carbon SteelBlue Carbon Steel Roasting PanRectangleCarbon Steel
Oven-to-TableNo products found.RoundStainless Steel

1. Best Overall: Baking Dish

by Made in

9 x 13″ Baking Dish

This is my favorite casserole dish because it has all the features you want in a baking dish without a very high price.

First of all, it’s a perfect size. 17”x11”x3” is large enough to make a hearty amount of food without being unwieldy.

Second, the enamel coating works well. It’s non-stick, thermal shock-resistant, and safe up to 485 degrees Fahrenheit.

Third, it’s gorgeous. The three color options are all unassuming but attractive enough to make great centerpieces at the dinner table.

2. Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Baking Dish

by No products found.

No products found.

For $16, you won’t find anything as convenient and durable as this model. It’s got a nice classic casserole dish shape and sports two wide handles all along either end that make picking it up and transporting around the kitchen (or to the table) a breeze.

The bottom of the dish is engraved with its volume, which is really nice for families that have not-so-frequent chefs (like the kids) using the baking dishes sometimes to prepare special meals.

What with the price, I was surprised that the OXO Good Grips Dish was made from borosilicate glass, which is essentially the same as Pyrex. The material can withstand extreme temperature changes without cracking, and it cools off quickly after cooking.

3. Best for Parties: Heritage Lasagna Deep Baker

by Le Creuset

Heritage Lasagna Deep Baker

With a huge capacity of over six quarts, this stone baking dish is more than big enough to cook for an entire dinner party without having to use multiple pans. It’s especially great for making lasagna, since it was actually engineered with lasagna in mind and is consequently sized to perfectly fit lasagna noodles.

Since it has a depth of more than four inches, you can include a few layers of lasagna with plenty of cheesy, gooey, and flavorful filling without having to worry about the ingredients bubbling over the edge.

The stoneware construction of this lasagna dish is awesome. It resists cracks and nicks like a champ at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and the non-stick capabilities are on point. The muted red color is very attractive too.

My one complaint is that the material does retain odors from previous recipes, so I advise sticking to lasagnas and other tomato-based recipes when using the dish.

4. Best Ceramic: Staub Rustic Ceramic Bakers

by No products found.

No products found.

Like most ceramic baking dishes, this guy gets hot very quickly and does an excellent job of distributing that heat evenly throughout the pan’s surface. You can crank the heat up very high, too, as ceramic cookware has the best heat tolerance of any material used in the kitchen.

Unlike most ceramic baking dishes, though, the bottom rim on this model is highly polished so that it cools down quickly. This is an especially nice feature to have given that the dish looks great and can be brought to the table for use as a serving dish.

The dish is also optimized for use in microwave ovens, so it is easy to reheat the dish if you have space.

5. Best Covered: All-Clad Gourmet Accessories Stainless-Steel Lasagna Pan with Lid

by No products found.

No products found.

This covered casserole dish is perfect to bring to a picnic, potluck, or any kind of gathering where food is involved.

The dish itself is made from 18/10 stainless steel. That means it contains 18% chrome, which helps it resist rust, staining, and other forms of corrosion, and 10% solid nickel, which makes it gleam like a brand new product even after years of use. The stainless steel can withstand heats up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can be placed on any kind of stove in addition to in an oven or broiler.

The two riveted stainless steel handles on either end are great, too. Not only do they look good, but they make transporting the covered pan easy. The lid is especially thick, and its jet-black color compliments the intense gleam of the baking dish nicely.

6. Best Skillet: Le Creuset Signature Cast-Iron Skillet

by No products found.

No products found.

So this one isn’t technically a casserole dish, but the unique construction of this skillet makes it just as good as a casserole dish for preparing dishes that require precise heat distribution.

Le Creuset haven’t revealed their secret, but something about the skillet’s design and its matte-enamel interior make it a sort of super-skillet. You don’t need to season it, the skillet heats up more quickly than its competition, and it is more able to give foods a crunchy exterior and a fluffy interior.

The skillet looks just as good as it cooks, too. It’s available in nine exciting colors, from flame orange to Caribbean blue. All the colors are enhanced by glossy enamel construction.

7. Best Design: BFU Ceramic Baking Dish Set

by No products found.

No products found.

These two miniature casserole dishes bring a light-hearted flair to your kitchen or table. The hand painted designs look like they came straight out of a fairytale. They’re sill elegant, though, and have been a hit at dinner parties every time I’ve used them.

What makes these baking dishes different is that, even though they’re gorgeously hand-painted, they’re quite heavy-duty. After they’re made from a high-quality porcelain, they’re coated with a transparent glaze and fired at 1300 degrees. This gives them incredible nonstick properties that make serving and cleaning up easy. They are even dishwasher-safe, which is quite a rarity with hand-painted pieces.

I also want to mention the size of these dishes. The bigger one is 10.5”x7.5”x2.25” and the smaller one is 7.5”x5”x2”, sizes that are perfect when cooking side dishes or preparing meals for couples.

8. Best Porcelain: Pillivuyt Porcelain Rectangular Baker

by No products found.

No products found.

Pure porcelain isn’t cheap, but this casserole dish is the best example of why. It can withstand extremely high temperatures and distributes heat evenly without absorbing any odors or flavors like stoneware.

What’s more, porcelain is naturally non-stick, so you don’t run the risk of releasing any harmful chemicals into the food even if you turn the heat all the way up.

Porcelain already has naturally good heat distribution and retention, but the extra-thick walls on this baking dish amplify that effect even more so your casseroles and other dishes will always come out perfectly-cooked. The dish’s walls are three inches high, so you can fit a lot in and have room to spare.

9. Most Versatile: Staub Cast-Iron 3.5-qt. Braiser

by No products found.

No products found.

I can’t tell you how many different types of food I’ve prepared in my cherry red Staub braiser. I have made great casseroles in it thanks to its black matte enamel interior, but it also does an exceptional job with tons of other types of dishes from crispy fried chicken to Asian stir fries.

The tight-fitting glass lid has just the right shape for maximum heat retention and also allows you to watch the food as it cooks so you don’t overdo anything. The size of the pot is also perfect for an entrée. Last but not least, the piece looks fantastic and is available in six vibrant colors.

10. Best Set: Staub 4-Piece Baking Dish Set

by Sur La Table

Staub 4-Piece Baking Dish Set

Having a set that includes a square-, circle-, and oval-shaped baking dish is really great, especially since they compliment the most common shape for baking dishes, the rectangle. Three diverse stoneware pieces that look as good as these do for only $150 is a steal.

Stoneware usually has the issue of absorbing odors and flavors from whatever recipes are cooked in it, but the casserole dishes in this set avoid that issue through their glass-porcelain enamel glaze. The glaze is scratch-resistant, can withstand very high heats, and it’s 100% natural so it is not unhealthy to cook in.

Since the pieces are stoneware, they are extremely durable, have great heat distribution and are easy to maintain.

11. Best Stoneware: Heritage Stoneware Rectangular Covered Casserole

by Le Creuset

Heritage Stoneware Rectangular Covered Casserole

I know I just got done raving about a stoneware set, but this is my favorite stoneware casserole dish of all.

Like the set, it is treated with a glaze that is non-porous, has awesome thermal resistance, and is resistant to both scratches and stains. The glaze is available in 17 gradient color options that look absolutely stunning.

The baking dish gets an A in terms of design, too. Its 2.5” depth is perfect for casseroles, but it still has dimensions large enough to serve a dinner party.

The lid is tight-fitting enough to trap moisture, but still loose enough to make removing it hassle-free. And the upturned handles make grabbing the dish convenient.

12. Best Basic:  Moss and Stone Basics 3-Piece Glass Casserole

by No products found.

No products found.

For people who don’t yet have any casserole dishes and want to start with something basic, this set is a great choice. The glass baking dishes (which are all the same size) are not huge, but they are perfect for a two- or three- person meal and don’t take up much space.

They’re only oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s going to be more than enough for most casseroles anyway.

The dishes are made from Pyrex glass, so they look good and are easy to maintain. They come with Pyrex lids, too, so you can trap moisture inside while you cook and transporting the food before or after cooking is no problem. You can also prep, cook, serve, store, and reheat all in one pot.

13. Best Classic: Pyrex Basics 8.1” Square

by No products found.

No products found.

This square baking dish has a simple, retro look that blends in with any kitchen’s design scheme. Its small square shape is easy to maintain and store, too, making it possibly to most convenient casserole dish on this list.

A square also is a good shape for baking. It has great heat distribution, and it’s very manageable to take in and out of the oven. I’d definitely recommend anyone who doesn’t yet have a square baking dish pick up one of these.

14. Best Carbon Steel: Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan

by Made in

Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan

Because this model has a higher carbon content than normal steel, it can withstand temperatures up to a scorching 1200 degrees, making it an ideal choice for dishes that you want to really char on the outside and leave significantly less cooked in the center.

It’s also a great choice for gourmet camping trips since you can put it over a campfire and still achieve great heat distribution. The baking pan has a considerable surface area so is good for large parties as well.

Note that carbon steel is not dishwasher-safe, and it should be seasoned before each use.

15. Best Oven-To-Table: Ruffoni Symphonia Cupra Stainless Steel Casserole Dish

by No products found.

No products found.

This beautiful casserole dish has a hand-hammered copper finish that was applied by Italian artisans. The large curved handles on either side of the dish and on top of the lid are not copper-coated but instead made from gleaming nickel-infused stainless steel.

The whole piece has a jewel-like appearance that makes it possibly the most attractive baking pan I’ve ever seen. It’s a perfect option for oven-to-table serving, especially since it cools quickly.

The dish is great at cooking delicate recipes, too. It has good heat conductivity, it’s oven- and stove-safe, and it can withstand heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baking Dish FAQ

Why did my casserole dish explode in the oven?

When you suddenly move a dish from a very cold environment to a very hot environment or vice versa (for example, the freezer to the oven), it experiences a phenomenon called “thermal shock.”

Some types of casserole dish, like stoneware or ceramic-glazed porcelain, can withstand thermal shock. However, glass casserole dishes often explode when exposed to thermal shock. This can even include Pyrex glass.

Can you bake a cake in a casserole dish?

Yes. You’ll probably have to make some adjustments to cooking time and temperature, though, to make sure the cake cooks the same as it would in a cake dish.

Since cake dishes are generally shallower and wider than casserole dishes, you will usually have to bake the cake on a lower temperature for a longer time to make sure the center of the cake is cooked properly.

How do you carry a hot casserole dish?

To carry a casserole in your car, wrap the entire casserole dish in tinfoil and then wrap that in plastic wrap. The tinfoil will keep it hot and the plastic wrap will prevent spillage.

Despite those precautions, make sure the casserole dish is in an upright position the entire time while you’re transporting it.

To carry a casserole dish around the house, just use oven mitts.

Can you freeze casserole dishes?

Yes, all casserole dishes are safe for the freezer. That being said, some types of casserole dishes (especially glass ones) will crack or even shatter if you move them suddenly from the oven or stove to the freezer.

Check if your choice of these best baking dishes for casserole recipes is susceptible to this phenomenon, called “thermal shock.” If it is, make sure you allow your casserole dish to cool at room temperature before putting it in the freezer.

Note that some casseroles may not taste so good after being frozen. For example, cooked cheese does not freeze too well.

What can I bake in a baking dish?

Some of my favorite recipes to make in a good baking dish or casserole dish are:

Cheesy Hashbrown Potato Casserole
Lemon Bread Pudding
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Corn Pudding

Putting It All Together

Casseroles are full of interesting flavors and textures, and a proper casserole dish makes them even more special! Now that spring is finally here again, and summer beyond that, it’s time to hit the produce section and get started on some delicious and nutritious creations.

Here’s hoping that this guide to best baking dishes for casserole recipes gives you some of the inspiration you need to get started!

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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