The best casserole dishes on test

The ultimate comfort food creator, a robust casserole dish is a must-buy for lovers of one-pot recipes. We put cast iron and ceramic pans through their paces to bring you a review of the most durable, hardworking buys.

Sausage casserole in a cast iron pot

All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more and read about how we write BBC Good Food reviews.

 

Casseroles are a versatile piece of kit – they can be used to make soups, stews, pot roasts, sauces – the list goes on. For the home cook, a good one is an essential.

A casserole that is suitable for hob and oven and is attractive enough for serving at the table maximises practicality and minimises washing-up. Cast iron may seem like an expensive option, but a dish that’ll last for decades is an investment worth making. As for other materials, we found non-stick metal or ceramic casseroles offered unique points and were more budget-friendly. 

Read on to discover which casserole dishes to buy. For over 200 buyer's guides, visit our product review section and find reviews of slow cookers, pressure cookers and much more.

Le Creuset pot

Le Creuset Signature 26cm shallow casserole 

Best casserole dish for longevity

Best bits: attractive, good heat distribution and good range of shapes and sizes

For range of colours, shapes and sizes, Le Creuset can’t be beaten. It is expensive, but we can say from experience that its products stand the test of time, and the cooking results are excellent. With fantastic heat distribution, these pans don’t need much oil compared to some cast iron brands, and ingredients rarely stick. We chose this shallow pan for occasions when a deep pan just won’t do – think creamy risottos, meatballs in tomato sauce or fish curries.


Available from: 
Amazon (£210)
Le Creuset (£210)

Staub

Staub 24cm round cocotte 

Most stylish casserole dish

Best bits: statement design and sleek cast iron finish

When this pan came into the BBC Good Food test kitchen, we were blown away by its appearance. If it didn’t cook so well, we’d put it in a display cabinet and gawp at it all day! After leaving onions to cook for a stew, we were pleasantly surprised by the aroma of caramelisation – the slow, even heat softened them so nicely that we were instantly sold. It may be a lot of money, but Staub does offer exceptional results.

 

Berghoff

BergHOFF Ron 28 x 22cm covered oval casserole

Best budget cast iron pan

Best bits: value for money

If you’re after cast iron but Staub and Le Creuset are out of your price range, then this is a good alternative. It offers all the key features of cast iron such as durability and even cooking, and is suitable for all types of hob and oven too.  It didn’t feel quite as responsive as the others, but for the price it's an absolute winner.

Available from Amazon (£152.72)

Mason Cash

Mason Cash Cane 2-litre casserole dish

Best casserole for traditionalists

Best bits: a reasonably priced pot for occasional casserole-makers 

Although we tend to prefer hob-to-table casseroles, we appreciate the old-fashioned virtues of a ceramic serving dish. This diminutive casserole is not suitable for the hob, so you’ll need to do onions, garlic and braising separately before assembling your casserole for the oven. Big enough to serve two to three people, we made a French-style sausage stew, and the flavours and liquid remained beautifully locked in for a truly moreish result. It's safe for use in the microwave too, unlike cast iron or metal.


Available from Amazon (£22.54)

Buyer’s advice

What we looked for when testing casserole dishes

Durability: a casserole that could stand a certain amount of wear and tear.
Versatility: we wanted a pan that ticked at least three of the following boxes – suitable for all hob types, the oven, serving, the dishwasher and/or the microwave.
Good heat distribution: the key to teasing out a richness of flavour from ingredients.
Well sealed: we wanted all the flavours and moisture to remain firmly intact.

Related reviews

Best hand blenders
Best kettles
Best pestle and mortars
Best toasters
Best mixing bowls

Casserole recipes

Our best-ever casserole recipes
Vegetarian casserole recipes
One-pot recipes
Tagine recipes

This review was last updated in October 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk. 

Do you have a trusty casserole pot? Leave a comment below... 

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Shirley Valentine's picture
Shirley Valentine
8th Mar, 2018
I've always wanted a Le Crueset casserole but could never afford one. However, I did manage to get two fantastic cast iron M&S brand pots (one deep and one wide/shallow) in their sale several years ago for a mere £16 - a real bargain and they produce delicious meals! I agree with other comments re looking for more affordable items in TK Maxx (or Homesense) and especially Sainsbury's own range which is often on sale at excellent prices. Amazon Warehouse also do some very good brand name bargains (Le Crueset/Staub/Lodge) which are sold cheaply due to damaged/missing packaging or slight marks, but still usually come with a guarantee and are fit for purpose. After owning cast iron, I don't think I could go back to cooking my casseroles, stews etc in anything else now as the flavour produced is far superior in my opinion.
Tony Kneecaps
27th Sep, 2017
I agree with what people are saying here - Le Creuset and Staub are well out of the range of what many people would be willing to pay. T K Maxx is an excellent hunting ground for good quality kitchen kit. I can personally recommend House of Fraser's Linea range of cast iron cooking ware. Five years ago, I bought a 25 cm round casserole pot for £30 (Current full retail price £50). I use it at least twice a week and it's excellent. It also came with a lifetime guarantee. I'd be far happier if GF reviews mentioned more items that are inline with what people are realistically looking to pay and fewer Rolls Royce-type items.
Julieatt
24th Sep, 2017
I do love Le Creuset but it is far too expensive for the normal bod. I would recommend Sainsburys own or as someone else has said go to TK Max and have a look at what they have
Leleni
30th Jan, 2017
£100 - best for budget? Not for mine, and there are a lot of people worse off than me. It's quite upsetting to read this sort of thing when you know you'll never manage to get what is considered bottom of the range. Please be more realistic in order not to alienate your users.
Rolandclarke12
2nd Jan, 2017
I'm sure all of these cook well and Le Creuset is great stuff, albeit, at a price. My recommendation to anyone looking for a good value casserole dish to either buy from TK Max (stock changes so you to see what is available), price usually sub £30. Alternatively, Sainsbury's have been stocking their own range of cast iron cookware in a range of attractive colours. From time to time these are sold at half price so a decent size casserole dish can be had for £25 or less...
griddle_pan
19th Oct, 2017
Or, do as a lot of people do and wait for the sales or buy seconds. My 22cm Le Creuset was bought (as a second) in a sale in 1984 when I moved into my present home and it is still going strong. griddle_pan
catie74
20th Oct, 2017
My mother was given the smaller Le Creuset belonging to her mother when she moved into her own home back in the 60's. My mother has now passed this on to me. This much loved dish has fed generations and cured many a broken heart. I love the fact that it was my Grandmothers, then my mothers and now mine. I will dutifully pass it o. I think this alone stands testament to its durability. Granted they are expensive, but you get what you pay for. As said look out for seconds and also look in TK Maxx
Danipeart
1st Oct, 2017
Can these be used on a ceramic hob? I’ve never tried a casserole dish on my hob as I’m always worried it will break!
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
6th Oct, 2017
Thanks for your question. The top four can be used on a ceramic hob but not the last Mason Cash one - this is designed for oven use only. We would recommend that you look at the specifications/ product details before you buy any casserole as it always lists exactly which types of heat source can be used.
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.