Whether or not mac and cheese or tuna wiggle are in heavy rotation in your house, you need a casserole dish or two — especially around the holidays. Even if your candied yams start out in a can, and it's just fine with me if they do, you can gussy them up by serving them out of a pretty heat-and-serve dish. You can prep your mashed potatoes ahead of time, pile them into a casserole dish, and then pop it into the oven or the microwave just before feast time.
A casserole dish is always oven-safe and you can find a fairly shallow one for baking a lasagna or an apple crisp, or deeper ones that can hold a beef stew. Some are made of metal so they can also be used on the stovetop and others are glass or ceramic so they can go in the microwave. I'm partial to ones that are attractive enough to double as serving dishes. More specifically, though, here are some of my faves that check off a few key boxes.
Why You Should Trust Our Gear Pro
For more than 30 years, I was in charge of testing and reporting on everything from wooden spoons to connected refrigerators at the Good Housekeeping Institute. I've walked the floors of every trade show and read every new product release for longer than most digital publications have existed!
My street cred? I also worked as a chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. And, at home, I make a fair amount of casseroles.
I've played with, tested, and used nearly every piece of kitchen gear (including casserole dishes) to come on the market for years. When it comes to gear, it takes a lot to impress me, and I know what actually works.
Picked by a Pro. Tested by Real Home Cooks.
I've tested what feels like every casserole dish on the market (at all the price points, low to high!) and these are my all-time favorites. But you don't have to take my word and my word alone, either. Kitchn editors — a unique hybrid of professionals and home cooks, who develop and test great recipes in real home kitchens — and real Amazon shoppers weighed in on some of these picks too, testing my favorites in the context of their actual home cooking.
After all, when it comes to kitchen gear, what matters is that it works for a home cook — not just that a chef endorses it, or that it passed some high-flying bar in a sterile test kitchen. You want gear that is, above all, practical, long-lasting, and mindful of real cooks, real kitchens, and real budgets.
A Quick Note on All of These Picks
Every single one of these casserole dishes heats up evenly and holds heat well. I didn't mention it in each listing because it's just a given. Dishes that couldn't do those things weren't even considered past the first round.
The Best Basic, Budget-Friendly Casserole Dish
Corningware French White
Regardless of your style, these classic white stoneware pieces will fit right in with your table decor. They're oven-, microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe and are exceptionally reasonably priced. Choose from round, oval, and oblong shapes in a variety of sizes with and without glass lids. The 4-quart lidded casserole, one of the largest, is perfect for a chicken stew like coq au vin and will set you back a mere $31. You will, however, have to brown your poulet in a frying pan before simmering.
Second opinion: "I grew up with Corningware casserole dishes of all shapes and sizes (my mom still uses the same ones!), and when I moved into my first apartment, my mom bought me my own set," says Associate Food Editor, Kelli Foster. "They're proof that your casserole dish doesn't need to be fancy to get the job done. They're classic white, which means they go with everything, and, best of all, these dishes come with a glass lid, which make storing leftovers a breeze."
The Best Glass Casserole Dish
There's so much to love about glass casseroles. They're cheap yet attractive and complement any type of food or decor. You can use them in the freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher. And they don't react with foods, even acidic ones like tomato sauce — meaning your eggplant Parmesan won't pick up a metallic tang, and the casserole won't develop a pinkish hue.
If I've sold you on glass, Pyrex is the brand to look for and, in particular, the Easy Grab collection with oversized handles that are, well, easy to grab. You can find Easy Grab in a covered 2-quart casserole and oblong dishes of all sizes. The one I turn to the most often is the 2-quart oblong baking dish that comes with a lid for storage. I use it for ratatouille but also for roast chicken and coffee cake. Glassware holds in heat extra well and, therefore, sometimes you have to dial back the oven temp by 25°F. It's easy to tell if your food is getting too brown on the bottom because, of course, glass is see-through.
A few cautions: Pyrex should only be put into a preheated oven, shouldn't go directly from the freezer to the oven, and can't be used on the stovetop or under the broiler. There are reported incidents of Pyrex shattering spontaneously. Most cases involve old glassware, which may have developed internal damage. Avoid subjecting your Pyrex to sudden temperature changes, and you can minimize the risk of breakage.
Second opinion: "I know that glass casserole dishes can shatter, but I've never had any problems," says Lauren Masur, staff writer. "You just have to be careful not to expose it to drastic, quick changes in temperature. I love that it's glass because it lets me see what's happening and is easy to clean."
The Best Casserole Dish for Frequent Entertainers
Le Creuset Stoneware
If you're looking for a splash of color, this is the collection for you. You can choose from a bevy of shades ranging from the company's signature flame, cherry red, ocean blue, and, in some cases, Provencal lavender or pale pink. In addition to the oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher, these pieces can be used under the broiler, which comes in handy if your potatoes au gratin aren't quite brown enough or you want to crisp up the topping on your green bean casserole. Most of Le Creuset's stoneware pieces are fairly shallow and they range in price from about $38 to $100. The 2 1/2 quart heritage rectangular dish is $50 and would be perfect for baking stuffing, apple cobbler, or ziti.
Second opinion: "I love this casserole dish because it's gorgeous and I can take it from the oven to the table," says our News & Culture Editor, Ariel Knutson. "You can see I did that in this story we shot for Kitchn. I also love how heavy it is, which seems like a silly thing, but seems important when I'm loading it up with ingredients and putting it in a hot, hot oven. The heavier (read: sturdier), the better!"
The Best Casserole Dish for Serious, Chef-y Home Cooks
Cuisinart Multiclad 5.5-Quart Casserole
For giving the Brussels sprouts a last-minute sizzle on the stovetop rather than in the microwave, you'll want a casserole that's made of metal. These round gleaming stainless steel pieces are gorgeous enough to bring to the table. When they're not doing casserole duty, they'd be the perfect pans for paella … which is, after all, kind of a casserole too! I also really love the 3-quart version if you're making a smaller dish.
Second opinion: It's funny that so many of the Amazon reviewers use this more like a regular, everyday pan. But that should give you an even better idea of how it holds up. "We cook every night. This was the perfect addition to our other Cuisinart cookware," says one reviewer. "We already have the long-handled pan, same dimensions, so the short-handled one is a MUST. It gets used every night, washed, and placed on the cooktop, ready for the next day's meals. LOVE IT!!!"
The Most Versatile Casserole Dish
Emile Henry Flame Ceramic
While you'll pay a bundle (between $80 and $200) for these casseroles, you get ultimate flexibility. They can be used in the oven, under the broiler, on the stovetop, and in the microwave and all come with covers. You can even put them directly from the freezer into the oven. For the most part, the Flame collection is composed of deep casseroles (in red or black) that you'll pull out all winter for stews, pot roasts, or soups. But the low-profile braiser is the perfect size for a cheesy vegetable bake or a fruit crisp. Come Thanksgiving you can load it with the made-ahead-of-time creamed onions and mushrooms and reheat them in whichever cooking appliance isn't busy with other dishes.
Second opinion: "Emile Henry isn't the cheapest brand for a casserole dish, but they are so timeless that I think the investment is worth it," says Assistant Food Editor, Sheela Fiorenzo. "We were gifted a couple of pieces for our wedding and I know we'll have them for a lifetime. I love how evenly they cook and how sturdy they feel, without being too heavy. Plus, they're pretty enough to serve right out of — so very French!"