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Want to make friends? Get into making casseroles. Showing up with a generous tray of comfort food is a good way to show others you care. “A casserole is the dish you serve when you have people over, or that you take when you're going somewhere,” says Jenné Claiborne, author of the vegan cookbook and blog Sweet Potato Soul. “It’s food to share,” she says.
Every kitchen needs at least one casserole dish for lasagna, mac and cheese, enchiladas, or tuna noodle casserole. But finding just the right one depends on your needs and your budget. The price range in this category of cookware is wide. There are basic ones that get the job done and objects of beauty you’ll pass on in your will. Whether you need one perfect option or are looking to add fun shapes and sizes, our list of the best casserole dishes has something for everyone.
High-fired clay is very durable
Heat proof to 520 degrees
Glaze resists crazing and scratches
Could break if banged or dropped
This well-made casserole dish by Emile Henry is constructed of high-fired Burgundian clay, giving it superior heating and heat-retaining capability. This material is highly resistant to thermal shock, so you can confidently move it from the freezer to the oven without worry. This baker also features a scratch-resistant glaze which gives the pan a nonstick quality that will make the surface quite easy to clean. Oven and broiler-safe up to 520 degrees, this versatile dish looks great on your table and is made to last.
Whatever casserole dish you buy, you’ll want to keep it looking nice and extend its life by washing it the right way. Most casserole dishes are technically dishwasher safe, but you don’t want to put them there. “Clean it as best you can with liquid soap and sponge, then use baking soda to scrub it. This makes your casserole look totally new,” says Claiborne.
Glass allows you to visually monitor cooking
Wide looped handles allow for secure transport
Isn't as attractive as non-glass casseroles for table presentation
Clear glass doesn’t quite have the eye appeal of most of the casserole dishes on our list, but in terms of functionality for the price, it doesn’t get better than this workhorse from Pyrex. Like our Best Overall pick, generously sized looped handles make this a breeze to pick up and easy to carry.
The tempered glass is safe for the microwave, oven, and freezer. And though the glass may look basic, it does have advantages, too. You can see whether your masterpiece is getting bubbly and ready to hit the table. The lid also aids in-oven visibility and makes it convenient to carry to a party or store leftovers in your refrigerator.
Great performing stoneware by leading French manufacturer
Comes with oven-safe lid
Available in several beautiful finishes
Pricier than most
Can be quite heavy
This French brand of cookware is an object of desire for most enthusiastic home cooks. It looks gorgeous and is highly functional. The products are of high quality and often last a lifetime. You’ll need to keep that in mind in order to get over the price tag.
If you’re ready to invest in the casserole dish you’ll leave to the next generation, this lidded beauty won’t let you down. The lid will let you skip the aluminum foil recipes often ask you to use, and it makes it easy to transport your casserole to a party or potluck in style. It’s available in several colors so you can find one that suits your tastes.
Can also be used on any cooktop for frying, braising, and more
Cast iron can be heavy
Not every type of casserole wants to be a rectangle. This beautiful round option is a great buy when you are looking to expand beyond the classic shape. It’s also bigger than most other casserole dishes on this list, so it is perfect if you want to feed a crowd your trademark mac and cheese.
Round baking dishes are also well suited to paella and roasts, making this an especially versatile choice. The enamel cast iron finish is easy to clean. This is another durable piece of cookware that can last a lifetime.
Perfect capacity for individual servings
Also great for scaling down recipes
Durable and easy to clean
Expensive since you'll likely have to buy multiples
When you are really ready to embrace a casserole lifestyle, get a few of these small casserole dishes and delight your family with personal servings of mac and cheese. Mix and match the bright colors (these dishes are available in more than a dozen fun shades) for a bold look on your table.
They’re also low maintenance because they’re chip resistant as well as dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. These would also be memorable vessels for individual fruit cobblers or crisps at dessert. When you aren’t hosting dinner parties, this size is perfect for poaching garlic cloves in oil without using a gallon of oil to get the job done.
Great size for scaled down recipes
Ideal size for brownies
Extra sturdy ceramic construction
Attractive finish that looks great on the table
Doesn't come with lid
A square 8-by-8 baking dish is not exactly half the size of a 9-by-13 inch casserole, but it’s pretty close. If you’re not cooking for a crowd, you will typically have good results if you cut a recipe that calls for a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in half with this smaller casserole dish.
It’s also the perfect size for brownies, snack cakes, and hot dips like spinach artichoke. Emile Henry crafts cookware with its special HR ceramic. It’s sturdier and less likely to break than standard ceramic.
Generous depth, perfect for layered dishes
Handles make it easy to transport to and from oven
Only available in plain white finish
At first glance, this casserole looks a little plain Jane with its monochromatic plain white design. But sometimes the classic look of porcelain cookware is exactly what you want. Its looped handles make it easy and safe to maneuver around the kitchen even while scalding hot, and it’s fairly deep for those times when you want to make a tall lasagna or extra tuna noodle casserole. This is an especially good choice for cooks with less arm strength—it’s much lighter than the cast iron options on the list. The glazed porcelain is easy to keep bright and clean.
Two sizes to fit any capacity need
Gorgeous rustic look
Very well-priced set
Does not have handles
Two round casserole dishes plus a lid make this set perfect for all of your cooking needs! There is one 1 1/2-quart casserole and one 2-quart casserole, so you can cook everything from macaroni and cheese to chicken and rice.
Rather than having prominent side handles, the flared sides widen on either end to create handles that make for a prettier presentation on the table. Got leftovers? You can easily store them in the refrigerator or freezer. When it comes time to cook or reheat, they're microwave safe and oven safe to 500 degrees.
Reviewers say they are beautiful pieces, and the lid has a large loop handle that’s easy to grasp (even when wearing oven mitts). They’re dishwasher safe for easy cleaning when all the food is gone, but users have commented that they are easy to clean by hand as well.
Even if you’re not a casserole enthusiast, you should have one great casserole dish, and it should be the Emile Henry Modern Classics Large Baker. If you have to have an equally versatile round option, get the lidded 3.6-quart Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish, or save some cash with the affordable Pyrex Easy Grab 2-Quart Casserole Dish.
Why Trust the Spruce Eats
Joy Manning is a food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. She’s the author of Almost Meatless and Stuff Every Cook Should Know.
This piece was edited by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.