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Is there such a thing as a well-stocked kitchen that lacks a good casserole dish? The answer, of course, is no. These all-purpose, oven-safe dishes are typically made from glass, ceramic, enamel-coated cast iron, or even metal. As the name suggests, they’re great for casseroles and lasagnas, but you can also use them to bake brownies, crisps, crumbles, and more. 

The best casserole dishes come in a range of aesthetic styles, but the material can also affect your finished outcome, like how quickly your lasagna sets. “Each material responds differently to the conditions of the oven,” says Fran Groesbeck, managing director, Cookware Manufacturers Association. “The color and weight of the materials can impact baking times. For example, lighter colors can reflect the heat for a slower bake, while darker colors will absorb or attract the heat at a faster rate, speeding up baking times.” To see which casserole dishes truly made the cut, we baked macaroni and cheese in seven casserole dishes, testing for consistency, ease of use, ease of cleaning, durability, and more. Here’s what we thought.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Made In Gratin Dish

Type of Material: porcelain | Dimensions: 10 x 6.6” | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Maximum Temperature: 650 degrees

What We Like


  • High-heat compatible
  • Large capacity
  • Naturally nonstick

What We Don’t Like


  • Porcelain can break if mishandled
  • Somewhat shallow
  • White porcelain can show wear

Why we chose it: A multi-functional, quality piece that works for both cooking and baking

An oval casserole pan that works double duty as a beautiful serving piece, this porcelain gratin dish is an exceptional all-purpose piece for your kitchen’s arsenal. Food releases easily, it can go in an extremely hot oven, and it holds nearly two-and-a-half quarts of mac and cheese. Since it’s porcelain, you do need to treat it with care, and the relatively shallow dish means that it won’t be the dish you use for every single occasion. White porcelain can show wear over time.

Best Value: Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole Dish

Type of Material: cast iron | Dimensions: 15 x 12” | Dishwasher-Safe: no | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees

What We Like


  • Inexpensive
  • Available in many colors
  • Retains heat well

What We Don’t Like


  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Not good for high heat
  • Round isn’t useful for everything

Why we chose it: An affordable option for those in need of a quality casserole dish.

This affordable round casserole dish, which comes in a host of different colors, won’t break the bank–and it gets high marks for its performance in and out of the oven. Made from enameled cast iron, it retains heat and can be used in the oven or on the stovetop. The accompanying lid is perfect for serving hot items (or keeping them hot if you’re serving a buffet-style meal). There are a few drawbacks here, like the fact that you can’t put this pan in the dishwasher. The shape, too, isn’t useful for everything. The manufacturer advises a maximum temperature of 400 degrees, so you won’t want to use this dish if you’re broiling anything.

Best Covered: Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Covered Casserole Dish

Type of Material: stoneware | Dimensions: 11 1/2″ x 7 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Maximum Temperature: 500  

What We Like


  • High-heat compatible
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Available in many colors

What We Don’t Like


  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Can be hard to store

Why we chose it: An iconic covered casserole dish from a legendary cookware manufacturer.

Marrying the best of both worlds–a rectangular casserole that also happens to include a lid–this dishwasher-safe dish, which comes in practically every color under the sun, is a must-have for the kitchen connoisseur. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees (the highest disclosed of the dishes we tested) and made from easy-to-clean stoneware. Some drawbacks to this coveted pan? It is expensive, somewhat heavy, and can be challenging to store in smaller kitchens.

Best Handmade: Outi Putkonen, Mugi Studio Handmade Ochre Lidded Casserole Dish

Type of Material: stoneware | Dimensions: 9 x 10 x 5” | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees 

What We Like


  • Great design
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Lidded

What We Don’t Like


  • On the smaller side
  • Cannot exceed 450 degrees
  • Delicate

Why we chose it: This beautiful dish stands in as a serving vessel, too.

One of the more stunning dishes we sampled, this Outi Putkonen piece doubles as a serving piece, especially around the holidays. It’s a lidded casserole and can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees. Made from earthen stoneware, it can be cleaned in the dishwasher, an added bonus if you happen to be cooking for a crowd. Since this dish is on the smaller side, it works better for side dishes than it does for entrees.

Best for High Heat: Serax Surface Cast Iron Covered Casserole Dish

Type of Material: cast iron | Dimensions: vary by size | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees

What We Like


  • High-heat compatible
  • Lidded
  • Dishwasher-safe

What We Don’t Like


  • Heavy
  • Round isn’t useful for everything
  • Can be hard to store

Why we chose it: This flexible cookware is great for high-heat cooking.

Deep, lidded, and dishwasher-safe, this casserole dish is great for everything from ratatouille to, yes, macaroni and cheese. It can go in an extremely hot oven and is designed to stand the test of time. Some drawbacks: this is a heavy piece, and it can be difficult to maneuver in and out of a hot oven. A round dish is not always useful for all kinds of cooking, and, a lidded dish of this nature can be difficult to store, at times.

Best Retro: Dansk Round Casserole

Type of Material: stoneware | Dimensions: 8.25  x 5.50″ | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Maximum Temperature: not specified

What We Like


  • Pleasing design
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Easy to clean

What We Don’t Like


  • Unknown heat durability 
  • Cannot be placed on stovetop
  • Can be hard to store

Why we chose it: The retro design and durability make this Dansk piece a prized dish.

In the 1960s and 70s, Dansk’s stone and enamelware casserole dishes were king. The iconic brand continues to create these eye-catching designs today, and this stunning round piece, which is dishwasher-safe, is a testament to the brand’s longevity. Made from enamelware, this casserole doubles as a serving dish. Dansk does not disclose its heat durability, so we advise keeping it out of a super hot oven (and off of the range). It can also be hard to store, but such is the price to pay for such retro beauty and class.

Best Splurge: de Buyer Copper Oval Gratin Pan

Type of Material: copper, stainless steel, and brass | Dimensions: vary by size | Dishwasher-Safe: no | Maximum Temperature: not specified

What We Like


  • Excellent heat retention
  • Varied size options
  • Great for browning

What We Don’t Like


  • Expensive
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Copper requires maintenance

Why we chose it: Temperature control and durability are the names of the game with this showstopping piece. 

An open, oval gratin-shaped pan with a copper bottom, this casserole is designed to take advantage of your oven’s heat. De Buyer offers multiple size options and all of these pans are excellent for heat retention and browning–both on the bottom and top of your dish. This pan is expensive, which is why it’s our splurge buy. It’s not dishwasher-safe, either, and, like all copper pans, it requires maintenance if you want it to retain its luster.

How We Chose These Products

For testing, we repeated the same recipe—baked macaroni and cheese— all seven pans. We evaluated how easy the pan was to place into and remove from the oven; the response to the material when placed under the broiler; the browning of the food at the bottom of each pan; and, for pans with lids, how well the lid guarded against over-browning.

Features to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a casserole dish

Material

Casserole dishes are available in glass, stoneware, enameled cast iron, porcelain, and metal. Porcelain, cast iron, metal are able to withstand the highest temperature, while glass and stoneware often cannot withstand heat over 400 degrees. Keep this in mind when shopping for a pan, as pans with lower heat capacity cannot be placed under the broiler or on the grill. “If you are planning to use them under the broiler or in the freezer, you do want to make sure they are safe for that since some less expensive brands won’t be,” says Ali Rosen, author of Modern Freezer Meals. “It will say freezer-safe (and microwave-safe) if it is.”

Size & Shape 

Casserole dishes come in round, oval, square, and rectangular shapes and can hold anywhere from two quarts to three quarts. You may find that owning a series of different shapes and sizes is beneficial, particularly if you plan to use these dishes as serving vessels as well. Shallower casserole dishes will yield food that tends to cook more quickly, while deeper dishes–which is preferable for foods like lasagna–are for slower-cooking, larger dishes. 

Lids

Lids on casserole dishes prevent moisture from escaping and also keep food from browning prematurely. Although you may prefer to use a lidless casserole dish on food that you want to be browned, like stuffing or potato gratin, a lidded dish can be useful on items that are meant to stay moist, like macaroni and cheese. “Lids are great for storing and retaining heat while cooking,” Rosen adds. 

Maximum Heating Capacity 

Depending on the material used, maximum heating capacity will vary in casserole dishes. Stoneware and glass are typically safe to 350 or 400 degrees, while more durable materials, like copper, cast iron, and porcelain, can be safe up to 1000.

Ask the Experts

Q: Can I bake a cake in a casserole dish? 

Yes, you can bake a cake in a casserole dish, says Ali Rosen–but you may not want to bake in all casserole dishes. “I think metal is better for cakes because it conducts heat better,” she says. “That being said, the one advantage can be that you can prep and cook in a casserole dish if you want to make your life easier.” 

Q: Can I freeze casserole dishes?

Assuming you’re using a freezer-safe dish, feel free to freeze your casseroles, Ali Rosen says. “Both glass and ceramic do great, and usually it’s written on the bottom whether it’s ok for the freezer or not,” she says. Freezer-safe casserole dishes can go straight into the oven, and often don’t even need to be defrosted. For best results, Rosen suggests cooling cooked food before freezing it, so that it doesn’t develop ice crystals, which “can ruin the structure of what you’re making (think soggy food and freezer-burn!).”

Q: How many casserole dishes do I need? 

As many as you want, says Fran Groesbeck. “Seriously, casserole dishes are very versatile,” she says. “They can be used for serving as well. So have fun! There are so many beautiful shapes and colors out there – use them to express yourself in your kitchen.”

Q: What shouldn’t I do with casserole dishes? 

Consider the manufacturer’s instructions, Groesbeck says. “Be gentle in storing them, especially the glass lids,” she says. “While very durable, they can still chip or crack if struck hard enough. Also, clean thoroughly after first use. For many cookware and bakeware items, it is important to clean the vessel thoroughly. Foodstuffs left behind can impact the next dish you cook.”

Our Take

Square, round, lidded, open, shallow, deep, earthenware, enamel: casserole dishes sometimes feel like the catchall category to describe the type of pan that does everything. But our favorites performed well across the board and looked good doing it. 

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