The best casserole dish for hob and oven reviewed

A robust casserole dish is a must for lovers of one-pot recipes. We put cast iron and ceramic pans to the test to bring you the best hob and oven pots.

Chorizo and pork casserole in a cast iron pot

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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. 

A blue cast iron casserole pot filled with a sausage cassoulet

What size casserole dish do you need?

To help you choose the right dish for your household, BBC Good Food recipe expert Anna Glover suggests which casserole dishes to buy for couples and families. 
 
Best casserole dish size for a couple: 20cm/2.4 litre round casserole dish
Best casserole dish size for a family of four: 24cm/4.2 litre round casserole dish
 
Larger casserole dishes are also available and will allow you to feed upwards of four people or have leftovers for popping in the fridge. 

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

The best casserole dishes for hob and oven

Masterclass casserole dish, best casserole dishes  
MasterClass 4-litre cast-aluminium casserole dish

Best lightweight casserole dish  

Pros: super lightweight, large capacity 
Cons: oven-safe up to 200C

At a glance the MasterClass dish looks like a cast-iron casserole pot. Pick it up and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how lightweight it actually is.

It’s a deep one, so we recommend trying it between your oven shelves in a cold oven, just in case you need to rearrange them for cooking. 

There was no sticking when it came to browning chicken legs on its non-stick base, which heated quickly and evenly. It’s also PFOA- and BOA-free; a good option for chemical-free cooking.

The dish has a self-basting lid which successfully kept moisture circulating within a casserole, which came out tender and thick. 

It’s safe for oven use up to 200C, so there are limitations to the functionality of this dish when it comes to using in very hot ovens; it’s one for low and slow cooking.

However, being so lightweight and dishwasher-safe, it gets points for overall convenience. It also comes with a 25 year guarantee. 


Available from Lakeland (£44.99)

Staub Cast Iron Cocotte, best casserole dishes

Staub 2.2-litre cast-iron Cocotte

Best casserole pot for aesthetic

Pros: lovely design 
Cons: small capacity for the price tag

The Staub Cocotte is a statement, showpiece casserole dish, almost as delicious to stare at as the meals you can make within it. If you have money to spend on a classic casserole pot, the Staub is a small but perfectly formed option designed to last. 

At 24cm across, the dish is roughly the same width as any generic pan and compact enough to stack in the average cupboard.

We fitted four chicken thighs in against its matte black cooking surface and found there to be some initial sticking whilst we seared the skin, even with a layer of oil. However, over time the dish is designed to build up a natural non-stick patina and has a legacy of long-term performance. 

Cast iron holds and distributes heat evenly across its surface. With such high sides we found our casserole simmered well.

Small picots beneath its lid guide all condensed moisture back into the casserole itself. Plus although its little handles are not heatproof, they are a practical shape for gripping, and come in handy for lifting it in and out the oven.

 

Samuel groves enamelled cast iron casserole dish, best casserole dish

Samuel Groves 27cm oval cast-iron casserole dish

Best large casserole dish 

Pros: would feed eight from one pot 
Cons: heavy when empty, very heavy when full

This Samuel Groves cast-iron casserole dish is vast – allowing you to cook for up to eight people at a time. 

Not only is the oval design conducive to cooking whole joints of meat on the bone or an extra large chicken, you could also make loaves of bread inside it. 

Being 27cm across at its widest point, it will still fit in a standard oven. The lid is tight fitting thanks to its sheer weight, so bread like sourdough, which initially needs steam trapped inside to stop a crust forming too early, would fare well being cooked inside here. 

With a small amount of oil we didn’t see any sticking when browning meat or frying garlic. With the right care, you can prevent the marking which sometimes builds on light coloured casserole dishes. 

Enamelled cast iron gives you longevity and would likely stand the test of time. We’d recommend making space for storing this dish in the bottom of a floor cupboard, as it’s very heavy.


Available from Amazon (£39.99)

Le Creuset shallow casserole dish, BBC GF


Le Creuset signature 26cm shallow casserole dish

Best cast-iron casserole dish

Pros: attractive, good heat distribution and good range of shapes and sizes
Cons: you pay premium for the Le Creuset brand

For range of colours, shapes and sizes, Le Creuset’s cast-iron pans and dishes can’t be beaten. This dish is expensive, but we can say from experience that the brand’s products stand the test of time and the cooking results are excellent. 

With efficient heat distribution, these pans don’t need much oil compared to other cast-iron brands and build up a natural patina with prolonged use that helps with non-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. It’s about surface area, not depth, and would also be a great option for pilaf rice, gratins and roasting whole chickens.

Big enough to cook for six, this is the kind of casserole dish you get excited about bringing to the table, plus it comes with a lifetime guarantee. 

 

Marks and Spencer casserole dish, Best Casserole dish for batch cooking

M&S 5-litre cast-aluminium casserole dish

Best casserole dish for easy batch cooking

Pros: practical handles for easy lifting 
Cons: loose fitting lid

If, like us, you love batch cooking or catering for a full table, this 5-litre cast-aluminium casserole dish by M&S is a functional option.

We particularly love the price. For under £50, this is a lightweight alternative to the traditional cast-iron options which can become overwhelmingly heavy when full. Its two broad handles are a practical size and easy to grip for lifting in and out of the oven. Safe up to 240C, it copes well in hot ovens.

It has a large, practical base which heated quickly on an induction hob. Eight chicken breasts can be browned evenly across its non-stick surface at one time – we didn’t see any evidence of sticking. 

The lid to this dish sits flat, so once on, it doesn’t add to the pan’s overall height – good for smaller ovens. The seal is relatively loose, so we’d recommend filling only two thirds full to avoid any liquid bubbling over.

When it came to cleaning, we were able to wipe all residue away with a damp cloth before giving it a quick wash with hot soapy water. It can also go in the dishwasher. 


Available from Marks and Spencer (£49.50)GreenPan Casserole Dish, best chemical free casserole dish


GreenPan 5.3-litre Featherweight  

Best chemical-free casserole dish

Pros: PFA, PFOA, lead and cadmium free casserole dish
Cons: pricey

If chemical-free cooking is a deciding factor for you, the GreenPan Featherweight is a high performing, non-toxic alternative to a traditional non-stick casserole pot.

It’s big. The 5.3-litre capacity can comfortably feed eight hungry mouths in one go. You can sear 12 chicken breasts at a time without fear of them sticking.

As the name suggests, it’s lightweight. Despite its size and traditional dark cast-iron design, it weighs less than a normal frying pan when empty – so, no problems lifting when it’s full.

Two custom silicone covers slip snugly onto the dish’s handles, although if you’re sliding the pan between two oven trays, we’d recommend using oven gloves for added hand and wrist protection from any hot metal.

We were also impressed with the snug fit of the casserole dish’s lid, which would’t slide off even if knocked or jolted in busy kitchens.  

A drawback could be the dish’s price. At over £100, you don’t get the ‘lifetime durability’ of a cast-iron pot. But taking into account its non-toxic properties, the GreenPan is a great performing casserole dish. 


Available from Amazon (£129.99)
VonShef cast iron casserole dish, Domu Brands, best casserole dish

VonShef 3.8-litre cast-iron casserole dish

Best budget casserole dish 

Pros: durable cast-iron construction
Cons: small size limits how much you can cook at one time

Similar to the Staub, this is a small and weighty addition to the pan cupboard – but with a more contemporary design and feel. Both share cast-iron construction that holds and spreads heat notoriously efficiently.

High sides give this dish good depth and counteracts its small footprint, being just 25cm in width. Arguably, one of the main differences between these dishes is the price. The VonShef is under £40 and for that, you’re getting a durable dish for life. 

It’s not the largest casserole dish but you would get four meals out of its capacity – a great option for individuals or couples wanting a cost-efficient casserole dish for hob and oven. 


Available from VonShef (£34.99)

Best casserole dish recipes for couples and families

BBC Good Food cookery expert, Anna Glover shares her top tips and favourite casserole dish recipes for making at home.

Casserole recipes for two 

Top tip: You can make a batch of something in a casserole dish and portion it out for the freezer. Slow cooks and braises are often sometimes a little more time-consuming, so making 4-6 portions can future-proof your freezer. Sometimes you just want something for two – here are some of our favourite recipes for two that you can make in a casserole.

Sausage casserole in a bowl served with garlic bread
Sausage casserole and instant garlic bread

This is a great dinner for two. Browned sausages are nestled in a tomato and bean sauce. A casserole pan is perfect for this recipe – it needs to be covered for part of the cooking time, making the tomatoes to break down into a rich sauce that coats the sausages.

Sausage casserole and instant garlic bread recipe


Simple fish stew

A simple fish stew is always best served fresh – here everything cooks together in a casserole so the fish gets an even heat throughout cooking to turn deliciously flaky and tender.

Simple fish stew recipe

Easy caponata served in a bowl

Easy caponata

The thick base of a casserole dish means you can caramelise onions evenly without burning, perfect for this easy caponata stew, where aubergine and onions are cooked until golden, then simmered in a tomato sauce with plenty of basil and punchy capers.

Easy caponata recipe

Lamb and apricot stew

This lamb stew is fragrant with Middle Eastern spices, studded with sweet apricots, and packed with tender lamb that’s been browned before being added back to the pan. A casserole is great for caramelising and searing chunks of meat. All that meaty flavour isn’t lost in the pan, too, as it get picked up in the sauce without burning onto the bottom of the pan which gives the sauce a distinct bitterness.

Lamb & apricot stew recipe

Lemongrass beef stew with noodles

Lemongrass beef stew with noodles 

Slow-cooked beef is perfect for a casserole dish – this recipe uses lemongrass, chillies, five spice and soy to flavour the beef, which is cooked with the lid on for over an hour on a low heat until fall-apart-tender.

Lemongrass beef stew recipe

Casserole recipes for families of four

Tomato and harissa stew with cheese dumplings served in a casserole dish

Tomato and harissa stew with dumplings 

Stew and dumplings are great in a casserole dish as you can transfer them from hob to oven without having to swap dishes. Try this spiced veggie stew with cheesy dumplings.

Tomato & harissa stew recipe


One-pot chicken casserole

One-pot dinners are made so easy with a casserole, as you can fry, then slow-cook, or simmer. Try this spring chicken stew with carrots, mustard and plenty of herbs.

One-pot chicken casserole recipe

Mexican chicken casserole in a white cast iron pot

Mexican chicken stew

‘Pulled’ chicken in a rich, spiced sauce will become a family favourite. The chicken thighs are simmered in the sauce before being shredded. A casserole dish is great for this as there’s even heat through the base, which helps the chicken cooks evenly.

Mexican chicken stew recipe


Chicken & chorizo jambalaya

Rice dishes are great in casseroles as the even heat and sturdy lid help the rice cooks perfectly, and evenly, with no risk of the grains on the bottom of the pan burning or catching. Try this Cajun-inspired recipe or a pilaf, instead.

Chicken & chorizo jambalaya recipe

Simple seafood chowder served in two bowls

Simple seafood chowder

A simple seafood chowder is made a little more special in a casserole as onions and bacon are cooked until crisp, then the fish and creamy sauce is cooked gently so the seafood lightly poaches, and the cream doesn’t split.

Simple seafood chowder recipe

Vegan lentil casserole in a cast iron pan

How we tested casserole dishes

We reviewed a representative range of casserole pots and scored them against the following critera:

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.
Depth: having a pot that’s deep enough to submerge chunky ingredients in like whole chickens gives you flexibility over what you can cook. 
Surface area:  when it comes to browning ingredients like chicken thighs, a large surface area enables you to do so evenly. 
Good heat distribution: the key to teasing out a richness of flavour from ingredients.
Looks: casseroles are for sharing so get a dish you’re proud to bring to the table. 
Well-sealed: we wanted all the flavours and moisture to remain firmly intact.
Heat: the hotter the dish can handle, the better. 

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This review was last updated in June 2020. 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. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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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.
HeatherSuzanne's picture
HeatherSuzanne
13th Mar, 2020
Quite right, I agree. These prices make the article come across very snobbish.
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.
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