Believe it or not, casserole dishes have history. The term is French and translates roughly as “saucepan.” During the Great Depression and World War II, the “casserole” adopted a new meaning. It became known as the main course, a filling dish made from whatever ingredients were available. People learned to make do with less.
It was after the war that the casserole dish we know today came into being—when new synthetic materials like Teflon and heat-resistant glass were used in manufacturing cookware. The casserole dish was typically sold with a recipe book, and so, the cookware and the meal became synonymous. Here are some fantastic casserole dishes that we recommend for making your own homemade meals.
Purchasing Casserole Dishes
When shopping for your next casserole dish, consider these key factors:
- Material: Cast iron, glass, ceramic—each has its value. If you know that you’re a cast-iron person, then you’re set. If not, do a little research to find out which you like best.
- How Many: If you want a single casserole dish, a set, or a big set, you have lots of options. If you know that you want one dish, you’re lucky. Dish sets are designed with storage space in mind, as most share the same stackable feature.
- Appearance: What’s your style? There are the enamel-glazed rich colors of Le Creuset, crystal-clear glass, and hefty cast-iron pans. Some brands, like Le Creuset, sell collections so that you can match colors and styles. Other dishes don’t attract attention based on appearance but focus on utility instead.
Best Classic: CorningWare French Ceramic Bakeware
The CorningWare name has a long history in the world of casserole bakeware, becoming a household name in the 1950s! It’s a popular brand due to its quality products. This 12-piece set is a valid representative of their standards. Each piece comes with its own BPA-free plastic cover for refrigeration.
CorningWare French Ceramic Bakeware
Try out your casserole baking skills with this lovely 12-piece set. Everything is quality ceramic except for the BPA-free plastic lids.
Best Design: Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Casserole
This stoneware casserole by Le Creuset is both beautiful and practical. It’s safe to go in the oven, freezer, or microwave, delivers even heat distribution, and is scratch- and stain-resistant. The glossy enamel glazing and rich color lend a regular ol’ casserole dinner some class.
Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Casserole
This gorgeous dish allows you to easily create a delicious dish.
Best Glass Set: Libbey Baker’s Basics 3-Piece Casserole
Libbey’s was founded in 1818? Seriously? Well, this set certainly has the most updated glass construction. It’s safe for the oven, microwave, freezer, and refrigerator. And because each piece is glass, you get to keep watch over that green bean or tater tot casserole as it bakes. Stackable, lead-free, and durable—this set is a great buy. Each piece comes with its own glass cover.
Libbey Baker's Basics 3-Piece Casserole
This set features easy-to-read dimensions on the handles of each dish.
Best Cast Iron: Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan
Some cooks are cast-iron enthusiasts. This casserole dish by Lodge makes it easy to understand why. If you’re baking a casserole, you want the dish to retain its heat for as long as possible, especially if you have to take it to a potluck or over to the neighbors. Cast-iron pans make that possible! The best part: You can use the pan for baking or cooking on the stovetop. Now, that’s versatile!
Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan
This tough dish is amazingly multi-purposeful, allowing you to use it on the stove or in the oven!
Also Great: M MCIRCO 8-Piece Deep Glass Baking Dish Set
This colorful set features eight stackable glass baking dishes, each with a BPA-free lid. This collection is for the cook who wants to: make everything from lasagna to casseroles, transfer the dish to the refrigerator for leftover storage, and retrieve it to reheat. That is to say, these dishes hit all of the marks for an excellent bakeware set. They’re made of borosilicate glass, which won’t crack under extreme temperature changes like regular glass does.
M MCIRCO 8-Piece Deep Glass Baking Dish Set
You can have leftovers in the fridge, lasagna in the oven, and another meal defrosting in the microwave, all at the same time.