A casserole baking dish is an essential piece of cookware, right up there with an all-purpose saucepan and a great skillet. From preparing hearty baked pasta with a gooey melted cheese crust to show-stopping whole roast chicken for a crowd, every home cook needs one for their favorite comfort food. Of course, finding the best one isn’t as straightforward as you might think. From various materials like metal, stoneware, and glass to different sizes, shapes, and features, there’s plenty to consider before choosing a great casserole pan.
“When I am roasting meat, I tend to gravitate towards a stainless roasting pan," says Jessica Woodford, personal chef and founder of Cooking by Jessica. " find it’s better for cooking at higher temperatures and the pan retains heat well to create that beautiful golden brown coloring I am looking for."
To help narrow things down, I’ve tested and cooked with some popular picks to assess their performance, durability, and versatility. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for a first-time kitchen or the best extra-large pan for big-batch cooking, I've found the best baking and casserole dishes for every kitchen and household.
Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Covered Baker
What We Love: Broiler safe, won't stain or absorb odors, will last for generations
What We Don't Love: Heavy, expensive
This all-purpose casserole dish is as beautiful as it is practical. The stoneware dish comes in a wide range of colors and has the timeless farmhouse design you expect from the Le Creuset brand. The tight-fitting domed lid means that you can use this dish for braising and food storage just as easily as you can use it to broil lasagna or roast a leg of lamb.
The dish's 2.5-inch deep sides give it extra space, holding up to 15 cups of water when I tested it. Despite having some heft—the dish weighs 9 pounds with the lid—it’s easy to manage in the kitchen with two hands, thanks to the handles. Stoneware is a hardy surface that maintains heat evenly and for a long time, so your casserole will stay warm out of the oven. It’s also incredibly easy to clean. Food comes right off with warm water and a soft scrub brush, and the hard enamel surface doesn’t hold on to stains or food flavors.
Price at time of publish: $135
Material: Stoneware | Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 5.5 inches with lid | Capacity: 4 quarts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Pyrex Easy Grab 3-Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid
What We Love: Includes plastic lid, Easy Grab handles, safe in microwave and freezer
What We Don't Love: Small capacity, not broiler-friendly
Pyrex baking dishes are classics for a reason. The timeless style and durable construction of this glass casserole pan ensure that it will last for decades. And unlike earlier models from Pyrex, this newer version has the open Easy Grab handles that make transporting the dish to and from the oven easier than ever. While I tested it, I was able to hook my fingers inside for better grip, even if I was using an oven mitt or potholder. My potholder did not get in the food at all since the handles are wide enough so your hands stay away from the contents of the dish.
While Pyrex dishes should not be used under the broiler, you can safely use this dish in a preheated oven as well as the microwave, fridge, freezer, and dishwasher. The red plastic lid that comes with the dish snaps on for a fairly tight seal but has a somewhat brittle feel to it that suggests it may not hold up to regular use. In my tests, the baking dish only held 13 cups of water, which is less than the other 3-quart dishes.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Glass | Dimensions: 15.5 x 9.75 x 2.25 inches | Capacity: 3 quarts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best for Big Batches
All-Clad Stainless Steel Lasagna Pan
What We Love: Extra large and extra tall side handles, stovetop safe, broiler-safe, includes snap-on lid
What We Don't Love: Lid is hard to put on and off, lid is not heat-safe
All-Clad's 15 x 12-inch 18/10 stainless steel casserole dish is perfect for entertaining and large households. It’s deep and spacious enough to easily handle roasting a whole chicken or lasagna for a crowd. And the tight-fitting snap-on lid means you can easily transport the dish without worrying about spills. During testing, however, I did notice that the lid could be hard to take on and off. It's other downside is cleaning a dish this size is a bit cumbersome in smaller sinks.
The handles are raised about 3 inches above the lip, making the dish easy to grab hold of without your potholder getting into the food. The interior stainless steel isn’t quite as nonstick as some of the other materials I tested, so burned-on food like cheese did tend to stick. However, the heavy-gauge steel can be scrubbed clean and we were able to remove stuck-on bits with hot water and soap before popping the dish into the dishwasher. We love that the dish goes straight from stovetop to oven and even works with convection stoves. This means you can make your gravy right in the pan you used to roast the bird.
Price at time of publish: $100
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 14.5 x 11.75 x 2.5 inches | Capacity: 5.25 quarts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Casserole Carriers
Best with Lid
Food52 x Dansk Kobenstyle 4-Quart Casserole
What We Love: Beautiful design, stovetop safe, lid doubles as a trivet
What We Don't Love: Not suited for meals made in 9 x 13-inch dishes, pricey
When Food52 bought the Scandinavia-inspired design brand Dansk, the latter's iconic eye-catching Kobenstyle pot found new fans that wanted it as the centerpiece of their kitchen. It has a lovely design and comes in various color options to match any kitchen scheme.
And when it comes to versatility, it’s hard to beat this dish. First, it's safe in the dishwasher, oven, and freezer and works on induction cooktops. The pot has a tight-fitting lid that’s perfect for braising and doubles as a trivet if you’re presenting your dish family-style on the table. The steel construction is incredibly lightweight. This, along with the protruding side handles, makes this one of the easiest pots to move about in the kitchen. The handles are far enough away from the pot lid that you don’t have to worry about your potholder getting into the food. The enamel coating also makes this pot easy to clean and great for sauteing aromatics and other ingredients with minimal oil.
Price at time of publish: $95 for 2QT
Material: Enamel-coated steel | Dimensions: 9 x 12 x 5.25 inches | Capacity: 4 quarts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Dutch Ovens
Staub Ceramics Oval Baking Dish Set
What We Love: Broiler safe, spear point for poking and initiating cuts, set of two
What We Don't Love: No lid, can be fragile
Oval is a great shape for roasting large cuts of meat, or baking quiches and casseroles. This set of two brightly colored baking dishes from Staub is a great one-and-done purchase for many households.
The smaller baking dish is a great size to feed two to three people, and you can easily feed a crowd with the larger one. Both dishes have a nonstick coating that’s easy to clean and dishwasher-safe, though you do want to be sure not to use metal cooking tools or abrasive scrubbers that may scratch the surface of the pot. The ceramic handles make transport easy, but the handles on the smaller pot aren’t the easiest to grip with a large or bulky potholder.
Price at time of publish: $120
Material: Ceramic with glass porcelain coating | Dimensions: 11.2 x 6.9 x 2.2 inches / 13.9 x 8.7 x 2.6 inches | Capacity: 1.1 quarts, 2.4 quarts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Ceramic Cookware
Best for Small Households
KitchenAid Stoneware Oval Baker
What We Love: Freezer safe, lid doubles as a trivet, affordable
What We Don't Love: Lid is not tight-fitting
If you’re feeding three or fewer people, KitchenAid's compact 2.5-quart baking dish offers the full package of features in a manageable size. The dish is made from thick and durable stoneware, which is a nonporous surface that won’t absorb odors or stains during cooking. This is important because you’ll love the smooth and shiny pale green ceramic finish on this attractive baking dish.
The lid's slight curves allow it to be used as a trivet to serve your food. The stoneware also has a nonstick coating that’s easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. While testing, I found the handles to be a bit small on this dish, so you’ll need to take care not to let your potholder get into the food when transferring it to and from the oven.
Price at time of publish: $34
Material: Stoneware | Dimensions: 3 x 10.75 x 8.6 inches | Capacity: 2.5 quarts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Lasagna Pans
A tight-fitting lid and safe in every oven make the durable Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Covered Baker (view at WIlliams Sonoma) our top casserole dish. If you're looking for the most affordable or best glass casserole dish, the Pyrex Easy Grab 3-Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid (view at Amazon) is your best bet.
What Are the Other Options?
Made In Rectangular Baking Dish (view at Made In): This 9x13-inch ceramic baking dish has a lot in common with our best overall pick. It is very well-built and oven-safe up to 650 degrees. But the pan is shallower than the Le Creuset option and doesn’t have a lid, which limits its versatility a bit. Food cooks evenly in the dish and is easy to remove, as the glazed ceramic surface is nonstick. It’s also dishwasher safe, though it takes up a lot of space. While the dish is certainly beautiful and comes in several nice color options, it ultimately was not differentiated enough from the other top picks on our list.
OXO Good Grips Glass Baking Dish (view at Amazon): OXO's take on the glass casserole dish is durable and was easy to clean when I baked some cheese onto it. Its lid fits extremely well and is high-quality. But ultimately, it wasn't better than the Pyrex Easy Grab pan. The most dangerous part of making a casserole is when you have to grab the hot pan out of the oven. With this, the handles are fairly narrow, which can make it hard to grasp well. A large pot holder might get into the food if it curls over the handle into the dish.
How We Tested
Our tester and writer Lizzy Briskin sifted through dozens of highly-rated casserole dishes, closely looking at consumer reviews and available manufacturer information, to choose her top picks. We then purchased these products for Lizzy so she could put them to the test in her home kitchen. She filled each with water to see exactly how much volume it held, baked a favorite dish in it—allowing the cheese to bake on if she could—to examine how it performed with heat distribution, and noted how easy or difficult they were to clean.
After testing, Lizzy submitted feedback about what she liked and didn’t like about each dish and rated each one on the following features: Design, Durability, Heating Capacity, Ease of Cleaning, and Overall Value. Learn more about how we test products.
What to Look for When Buying a Casserole Dish
The most common materials used for baking dishes are sturdy and heatproof. They include stainless steel, stoneware, and glass. Each material has its pros and cons. Metal is very heat-resistant and won’t shatter, chip, or crack. It can also often be used on the stovetop, including induction burners. However, stainless baking dishes are not usually nonstick and can be more difficult to clean than enameled dishes.
Stoneware baking dishes are often coated with a nonstick finish that makes them easier to cook with and clean. However, they're also heavier and can break if dropped or chip from a metal utensil or scrub brush. Stoneware maintains heat very well and evenly, which makes them more reliable for long-cooked casseroles and braised dishes.
Glass is also easy to clean and has the added benefit of letting you see exactly what’s happening during cooking from all angles. However, most glass baking dishes are not broiler-friendly. Some are also sensitive to major changes in temperature and can only be used in a preheated oven.
Baking dishes come in a wide range of sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your household needs. Three to 5-quart casserole pans are a great middle ground. An extra-large 5-quart dish is great for roasting whole birds and other large-format dishes. For some recipes, a deeper casserole pan with 4-inch or higher sides can come in hand. In particular, if you’re braising meat or making a soup or stew. On the other hand, more shallow baking dishes generally have more surface area for melting cheese on lasagna or crisping up the breadcrumb topping on mac and cheese.
Before buying a new baking dish, it’s best to read the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance. While many baking dishes are technically dishwasher-safe, some are recommended for handwashing only. More delicate materials like glass-enameled stoneware, for example, have to be handled carefully and the dishwasher may erode the nonstick finish. Other surfaces can be scratched or chipped with a hard scrub brush.
"When it comes to maintaining my casserole dishes/roasting pans, I never put them in the dishwasher," says Jessica Woodford. "Just because a product is dishwasher-safe doesn’t necessarily mean it should be cleaned via dishwasher. I like to soak mine for a little bit and then I use a nonabrasive sponge to get rid of any little fond or bits of food left in the pan. For those really tough bits that won’t come off, I make a solution of baking soda white vinegar and warm water."
Can you use a casserole dish for roasting?
Absolutely. A casserole dish does much more than baking casseroles. You can use any of the dishes on this list to roast up veggies, meat, or seafood. Deeper dishes will trap more steam and moisture inside, so you may not get the same caramelized edges on your roasted sweet potato fries as you’d get using a shallow baking sheet. But this can be a benefit if you’re roasting up juicy chicken or a side of salmon.
How do you prevent a glass casserole dish from shattering?
The best way to prevent your glass baking dish from shattering is to not expose it to extreme temperature changes. For example, you never want to put a dish directly from the freezer into a hot oven. And make sure that your oven is preheated before you place the dish inside. Give your dish time to warm up!
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
We thoroughly research the top products on the market to identify the best tools, appliances, and gadgets for home cooks. From tried-and-true brands to up-and-coming newcomers worth paying attention to, we stay in the loop about all things kitchen-related so you never miss a bite.
All of the products in this article were tested and reviewed by Lizzy Briskin, a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who loves a great one-pan meal.
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