Food brings people together, especially comforting casseroles, like shepherd's pie, jalapeño macaroni and cheese, and lasagna. You need something to transport the final product, though, and a casserole carrier is the right vessel for the job, whether you're headed to a holiday dinner, tailgate before the big game, or night of binge-watching Netflix with friends and lots of good food.
Before you purchase your carrier, be sure to evaluate your needs. Are you the one who always brings multiple dishes? A dual compartment might be the right choice. Are you in charge of the pie? Go for a round model. Maybe you don’t own bakeware and opt for aluminum disposable pans? There is a carrier for that. Whatever your culinary leaning, there is a vehicle for you.
From stylish, eco-friendly options to insulated tote bags, here are the best casserole carriers.
Mier Insulated Double Casserole Carrier
Pouch for tongs and cutlery
Multiple pattern choices
Zippers can sometimes be sticky
This versatile model is lined with food-grade, BPA-free aluminum foil, and insulated with 8-millimeter-thick thermal foam to ensure dishes maintain their temperature whether that be hot or cold. The dual compartments are expandable and can accommodate most 9 x 13-inch baking pans, and the liner is a snap to clean.
This model from Mier comes in a variety of patterns and colors to suit any taste, and the exterior is crafted of durable, water-resistant Oxford fabric. The exterior pocket is great for storing utensils, napkins, and serving ware for any occasion from picnics to potlucks. The handles are dual-padded for maximum comfort, and the whole carrier folds up for easy storage.
Price at time of publish: $32.99
Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 7.5 inches | Material: Water-resistant, dirt-proof Oxford fabric | Insulated: Yes
“Keeping food within the recommended safe zone, cold food cold and hot food hot is critical in maintaining quality as well as safety. Food can become inferior and dangerous if not kept at recommended temperatures.” — Michael McHenry, founder of The McHenry Group
Juvale Insulated Casserole Carrier
Small handle cutout
Looking for a great casserole carrier on a budget? Look no further than the Juvale Insulated Casserole Carrier. Smartly designed for both hot and cold foods, this insulated bag has a top closure for easy access to your food container. Made with high-quality aluminum foil, it has 2 millimeters of padded foam, helping to keep glass and ceramic food containers safe during commutes and car rides.
The Juvale Insulated Casserole Carrier is also an ideal product for anyone who works at an office with a communal refrigerator because there is a clear compartment to store a name tag or business card. This feature is also useful for parties and potlucks.
Price at time of publish: $17.99
Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 4 inches | Material: Plastic | Insulated: Yes
Mark and Graham Plaid Insulated Food Carrier
Easy to carry
Choice of shapes
Monogram is an additional cost
If you’re looking for a stylish way to carry your mac and cheese or even a freshly baked pie to a potluck, you’ll love the Mark And Graham Plaid Insulated Food Carrier. An insulated carrier is essential to maintain the food’s temperature and can protect you from the heat.
Made from a durable blend of polyester and cotton, the carrier can quickly be wiped clean if accidental splashes and spills occur. The plaid pattern also easily hides stains. The antique brass hardware and reinforced handles are an additional decorative touch along with a faux leather handle wrap with matching zipper pulls.
Available in both round and rectangular shapes, the plaid design is great for the holidays and all year round. Best of all, it can be personalized with a choice of 20 different monograms in seven different colors. So, this also makes a great gift to give to your favorite chef.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 14.78 inches | Material: Polyester and cotton blend | Insulated: Yes
“Any insulated and approved vessel that maintains core temperature for at least the minimum time for your travel [is essential]. If you can’t meet this, pivot to heating or achieving core temperature at your desired location.” — Michael McHenry, founder of The McHenry Group
Best for Potlucks
Picnic Time Insulated Potluck Casserole Tote
Extra pockets for tools and drinks
Framed window for ID storage
Reinforced bottom to keep food upright
Top compartment is small
If you need a carrier to hold both the sweet potato casserole and the wine, the Picnic Time Tote has you covered. Its two-tier design is reinforced with a sturdy, insulated bottom to maintain shape securely around your baking dish and keep everything hot, and the zippered top compartment easily holds a couple of bottles plus a wine key.
There is more to love about this attractive tote. The double-stitched, reinforced handles are comfortable to carry, and design options include neutral black and fun plaid. The two elastic loops on the top compartment hold serving utensils, and the framed window slot for an ID card ensures your nifty new carrier makes it home.
Price at time of publish: $42.99
Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 7 inches | Material: Aluminum and polyester | Insulated: Yes
Best for Picnics
Kate Spade Jumbo Dot Insulated Picnic Cooler
Service for four
Light color could get dirty
If you’re going on a picnic, it’s essential to choose a casserole carrier that’s easy and comfortable to transport. The Kate Spade Jumbo Dot Insulated Picnic Cooler features long, thick nylon straps so you can easily put the carrier on your shoulder while searching for the perfect spot to sit at the park or while hiking. Whether you're eating warm foods like rice or cooler foods like pasta salads, you can take it all on the go in this cheerfully designed insulated cooler bag.
The double zipper also makes this a very durable carrier. With a waterproof liner as well as a water-resistant bottom, there’s no need to worry about accidental leaks or messes on your clothes.
Price at time of publish: $39.95
Dimensions: 10.75 x 15.5 x 7.25 inches | Material: Polyester canvas | Insulated: Yes
Rachael Ray Lasagna Lugger Combo
Large exterior pocket for tools
Two different size carriers included
Zippers may stick
Sometimes you are responsible for more than one dish at the function, which is where the Rachael Ray Lasagna Lugger Combo comes in. The dual compartments are insulated individually, and the lining is crafted from Sanafor Technology which features an antimicrobial additive to reduce odors, mold, and bacteria. Plus, it wipes clean easily.
Available in a variety of colors and patterns, this casserole carrier is attractive and ergonomically designed. The padded handle is comfortable when carrying even the heaviest load. Better yet, it is versatile. You can load up an icebox cake in the top and a steaming pan of lasagna in the bottom without fear of losing temperature either way. The exterior pocket is the spot to stash serving ware, and the whole carrier is collapsible to aid in storage.
Price at time of publish: $34.99
Dimensions: 16.7 x 4.9 x 12.8 inches | Material: Polyester | Insulated: Yes
OddsnSands Round Casserole Carrier
Folds for easy storage
On the smaller side
Pies make get-togethers better, and with this two-layer insulated carrier, bringing a couple is easy. The fun doesn't stop at apple crumb, key lime, and lemon meringue, though. This expandable, soft-sided carrier can fit a 12-inch salad bowl, bundt pan, casserole dish, and more.
This sturdy, stylish carrier has a smaller upper compartment to transport sauces, napkins, plates, or even a thin pizza. The durable handles are gusseted for comfortable carrying, and the carrier collapses for easy storage. The handcrafted OddsnSands carrier is an attractive, well-insulated choice when lugging along peach pies or spinach quiches to your next shindig.
Price at time of publish: $37.99
Dimensions: 2.5 x 5 x 2.5 inches | Material: Premium denier polyester | Insulated: Yes
The Mier Insulated Double Casserole Carrier is our top choice because of its expandable dual compartments, thick thermal lining, and extra accessory pocket to accommodate serving utensils. If you are looking for an affordable and multi-purpose option, go for Juvale Insulated Casselore Carrier. The durable insulated carrier features a convenient snap-together handle and makes spill-free transporting as simple as can be.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the top-rated casserole carriers on the market, evaluating their key features, such as insulation performance and transportation convenience. We carefully compared the key components of an excellent casserole carrier, from the material of the lining to the temperature of food it was able to maintain. We also looked at reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assess which products were the best for personal needs in your kitchen.
What to Look for in Casserole Carriers
The best rule of thumb when evaluating casserole carriers is to think about what you will be transporting. You need a carrier large enough to accommodate the dishes you regularly use. Compare your most-utilized pan dimensions to the carriers you are considering before purchase.
It does no good to buy an inexpensive carrier that frays or rips because you'll just end up buying another one. Look for features like double-stitching, reinforced seams, heavy-duty zippers, and exterior materials that will stay strong after repeated use. Another consideration in the quality sphere is ease of cleaning. A carrier with a lined interior may cost a bit more, but will make up that cost in stress-free cleanup.
When considering the design of a carrier, take a look at the handles. You may have heavy dishes you are toting and will want a handle that is not only reliable, but also comfortable to carry. Padded and gusseted handles are the best choice to ensure a comfortable grip that keeps dishes upright.
Besides transportation, the primary reason for a casserole carrier is maintaining temperature—hot and/or cold. Thick thermal insulation is the best option, but any level of insulated lining will help macaroni and cheese arrive bubbly.
Can you wash a casserole carrier?
This really depends on what type of carrier you bought. If it is an uninsulated material, like cotton or polyester, you can throw it in the washing machine without fear. If it is a plastic container, it is likely dishwasher safe. The best advice is always read the manufacturer’s care label. Most insulated containers are wiped clean and not submerged.
How hot is too hot for a casserole carrier?
Do not put pans directly out of the oven and into a carrier. The high heat will damage the lining. The best practice is to cover the pan with aluminum foil or a lid if it has one, wrap the entire hot pan in a kitchen towel, and set it in the carrier. Hot and cold packs can also help your dish maintain temperature during transport. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s label for clear instructions about heat resistance.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Carrie Honaker is a food writer who owns an embarrassingly obscene number of casserole pans and is always on the lookout for a reliable carrier to transport them to her next potluck. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she has baked thousands of casseroles for gatherings and knows the importance of having a carrier that keeps everything hot and is comfortable to carry. Her work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.
Amanda Lauren is a lifestyle writer, host, interior design expert, and co-creator of the online public relations course, Pitch Please. She's also the host of the Bougie Adjacent Podcast. She loves to bring food to a party, although she admits it’s far easier to just pick up a bottle of wine.
United States Department of Agriculture. Organic textiles.