Which Baking Dish Do I Need?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Baking Dishes?

A baking dish is a deep, oven-safe pan, usually about one to two inches tall, used to bake foods.  A baking dish is sometimes called a casserole dish.  They are usually made of glass, ceramic, aluminum foil, silicone, or metal.  A baking dish can be square, rectangular, or even circular, and can come in different sizes.  A standard baking dish is usually 9 x 13in.

What are Baking Dishes Used For?

Baking dishes are used for making a variety of foods.  Common foods made in baking dishes include casseroles, lasagnas, and even some desserts like cobblers.  You can also use specific kinds of baking dishes to roast meats or vegetables like potatoes.  Because baking dishes are so big, they are also used to bake larger foods, like whole chickens or stuffed peppers for everyone.

Glass baking dish with a delicious casserole fresh out of the oven and ready to eat.
Glass baking dish with a delicious casserole fresh out of the oven and ready to eat.

What are the Different Types of Baking Dishes?

  • Glass or Ceramic
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Metal

Glass or Ceramic: Glass or ceramic baking dishes cook food more evenly in the oven, which is perfect for lasagna.  They also stay warmer for longer once they are out of the oven, but they can shatter if they get too hot.

Aluminum Foil: Some baking dishes are made of aluminum foil.  Aluminum foil baking dishes are used for storing leftovers, baking, and grilling outdoors.  Aluminum foil baking dishes are used because they can be thrown away at the end of a meal for easy cleanup.  Baking dishes made from aluminum are usually not strong, so heavier foods cause the dish to lose its shape.

Metal: Metal baking dishes heat up quickly in the oven and cool down quickly out of the oven.  Metal baking dishes handle high temperatures well.  If you want to make crispy vegetables or brownies, you will want to use a metal baking dish.

Light and Dark Colored: There are light or dark-colored baking dishes, too.  Baking dishes made of darker metal will usually cause foods to brown faster.  Darker metal baking dishes are good for making your roasted potatoes crispy.  If you’re making certain kinds of bread, cakes, or other foods that you bake until they are golden-brown, you may want to use a lighter metal baking dish so your food doesn’t burn.

What Other Things do Baking Dishes Have?

Different baking dishes have different things on them that set them apart.  Some baking dishes come with lids to help you store your food in an air-tight container.  Almost all ceramic and glass baking dishes have handles for easy carrying.

Recipes Using Baking Dishes


Make a delicious meal with a homemade lasagna. Layer marinara meat sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese in a deep baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake. Serve with parmesan over the top for a cheesy finish.

Cherry Cobbler

Use fresh sweet cherries to create a tasty dessert to complete any meal. Pit and wash the cherries first. Combine with sugar and cornstarch to thicken the filling. Layer the cobbler batter over the top of the cherry filling in a large baking dish and bake. Learn more about cherries here.

Baked Scrambled Eggs with Cheese

A great way to cook several eggs at once is to bake them. Place eggs, butter, salt, and pepper into a deep baking dish and beat together. Mix in vegetables, top with grated cheddar cheese, and bake. We recommend using cheddar cheese because it melts well in the oven.

Easy Homemade Brownies

Every chef should have a delicious brownie recipe! Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the batter into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish for thicker brownies. Learn about why you need baking powder to make your brownies rise.

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