Whether you’re Italian at heart or just love delicious comfort food, it’s hard to resist a plate full of hot lasagna. If you want to add this rich dish to your cooking repertoire, you should invest in the best lasagna pan. Find a casserole dish that you love, and you’ll use it again and again for lasagna and other dishes.
For such a staple piece of kitchenware, you shouldn’t settle for less than the best. Instead, purchase a lasagna pan that has all the features you desire, and you’ll be pleased every time you use it.
Features to Look for in Lasagna Pans
Cooking a delicious dish of layered pasta begins with selecting the best lasagna pan. You could pull any old baking dish out of your cabinet to cook this meal, but a pan designed especially for lasagna is ideal. The right pan will make the cooking process easier, and the final product will look more beautiful and possibly even taste more delicious. Similar to purchasing the right cookware sets for glass top stoves, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the following features as you shop:
- Rectangular shape: Lasagna noodles are long and rectangular. They fit best in pans that are similarly shaped. There’s no good way to evenly place straight-edged pasta in a round or oval dish. A square dish is a reasonable substitute if you want to make only a small portion of lasagna, but you’ll have to break the noodles in order for them to fit.
- Deep sides: The taller your dish is, the more delicious layers of meat, cheese and noodles that you can include. Ideally, a lasagna pan will have sides that are at least 2.5 to 3 inches in depth. Since regular baking dishes are often more shallow, this is one of the best reasons to invest in a lasagna-specific pan.
- Built-in handles: Lifting a heavy pan of cheesy, saucy lasagna out of the oven can be a challenge. Dishes that have easy-to-hold handles can improve your ability to maneuver the pan. The easiest handles to use are the ones that allow you to wrap your hands all the way around them; however, this style can require more storage space than a pan with smaller handles.
- Easy-clean surface: Lasagna has a reputation for getting stuck on the sides of a pan. Although you can’t necessarily prevent ingredients from becoming baked onto the pan, you can choose a baking dish that is easy to wash. A smooth metal, glass or glazed ceramic surface is best for this purpose. Rough ceramic can be harder to wash. Some metal pans have a special non-stick coating that can reduce the need for elbow grease while washing. You might even want to look for a pan that is dishwasher-safe.
Best Materials for Baking Dishes
Most casserole dishes are made out of metal, glass or ceramic. All three of these materials have a place in the kitchen, but you might prefer one over another for your favorite lasagna pans.
- Metal: Known as great conductors of heat, metal baking pans don’t take long to get hot. For those who love crispy lasagna edges, this material may be the best way to go because the high heat is good for browning the sides of the pasta. However, some metal pans can impart a metallic taste to foods, especially those, like lasagna, that are made with tomato ingredients. Also, you must be careful when cleaning a metal pan because abrasive scrubbers can scratch them. Some metal pans have enamel coatings that enhance both their beauty and their ease of cleanup.
- Glass: Baking dishes made out of glass are often recommended for casseroles that need to bake for a long time, such as lasagna. Glass doesn’t get up to temperature as soon as you put it in the oven. Instead, it warms slowly, but it retains that heat. This characteristic can help your lasagna bake evenly. Some experts recommend lowering your oven by 25 degrees when baking in a glass pan. You might have to extend the cooking time in order to compensate for the lower temperature.
- Ceramic: This category includes porcelain, stoneware and earthenware dishes. Ceramic dishes are usually glazed, which makes them fairly easy to clean. Unglazed stoneware can require more care. Ceramic and glass have a lot in common. Like glass, ceramic doesn’t heat up right away, but once it gets there, it does a good job of holding in the heat. One of the biggest advantages of ceramic dishes is that they are produced in a range of shades and designs, so you can select one that catches your eye or coordinates with your kitchen.
Other Uses for Lasagna Pans
If you make lasagna only a few times a year, it’s easy to believe that you won’t get enough use out of a lasagna pan. However, there are many other meals that you can make in a lasagna baking dish. By letting your pan do double or triple duty, you’ll quickly realize that your purchase was a worthwhile investment.
Use your lasagna baker for some of the following purposes:
- Egg casserole: Feed breakfast to a crowd with a casserole that combines eggs with other delicious ingredients, such as meat, cheese, potatoes or vegetables.
- Macaroni and cheese: Creamy cheese combines with small noodles in another favorite baked pasta dish.
- Roasted meat: Many lasagna pans double as roasters. Some even come with a roasting rack. With this, you can make roast beef or a baked chicken.
- Roasted vegetables: Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with seasonings, roasted veggies make a delicious side dish for any meal. The high sides of the best casserole dish ensure that you can freely stir the vegetables during cooking without worrying that they’ll topple over the edge of the pan.
Three-section Lasagna Pans
As you shop for lasagna pans, you may come across some options that have three separate sections. These allow you to bake three different varieties of lasagna at once. If you’re feeding both meat eaters and veggie lovers, this style of dish allows you to please everyone without having to make two enormous pans of pasta. These three-channeled pans can also come in handy if you are cooking for picky eaters.
Many lasagna pans cook enormous batches of this dish. If you’re cooking for just one or two, don’t feel that you must limit yourself to a tiny pan. Instead, consider buying a large dish so you’ll have leftovers to freeze.
Lasagna freezes nicely, and having individual portions ready to heat and eat can be a real time-saver. To ensure that your pasta will be delicious after reheating, follow these steps:
- Allow the cooked lasagna to fully cool before preparing it for the freezer. To accomplish this, you may want to leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cut the cooled lasagna into your preferred portion size.
- Tightly wrap each portion in plastic cling wrap.
- Stack the wrapped portions into a large zip-top freezer bag or an airtight plastic container. Place this in the freezer.
- Keep the lasagna in the freezer for up to three months.
- To prepare a portion for eating, unwrap the plastic cling and place the lasagna on a plate. Cook it in the microwave for about four minutes. If it isn’t quite hot enough yet, let it cook for an additional minute.
The 5 Best Pans for Baking Lasagna
If you’re ready to shop for the best baking dish, check out the five selections below. These casserole dishes are top choices for baking delicious batches of lasagna.
1. Golden Rabbit Enamelware Lasagna Pan Set
Large handles and tall sides make these Golden Rabbit products some of best baking dishes with lids. The glass cover is domed and oven-safe. You can cover your lasagna while it bakes and take a peek at it without having to lift the lid.
This dish is made of carbon steel that is coated with porcelain enamel. It has an eye-catching swirled pattern that is available in a rainbow of colors. The outer trim is made of stainless steel.
The Golden Rabbit pan measures 16 inches by 12.5 inches by 4 inches. It can be used in the oven and on the stovetop. For convenience, you can wash it in the dishwasher.
2. All-Clad Stainless Steel Lasagna Pan with Lid
Another top choice for a baking dish with a lid is this stainless steel casserole set from All-Clad. Its tall handles are some of the best for gripping.
Stainless steel is a good choice for a metal lasagna pan because it won’t react with the acid in tomato sauce to give your meal a metallic flavor. In addition to a stainless steel body, the dish has an aluminum base. The pan is recommended for oven and broiler use, and it can handle temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The lid is plastic. It snaps tightly to the pan, but it shouldn’t be used in the oven.
The metal casserole dish measures 12 inches by 15 inches. At 2.75 inches tall, it comes in just shy of 3 inches. The pan is dishwasher-safe.
3. Chef Tony’s TriSagna Pan
Chef Tony’s three-section baking dish lets you make three different types of lasagna at once. Each of the three channels has its own lifting tray, so you don’t have to maneuver a knife and a spatula in the narrow spaces.
The pan is made of carbon steel. It has a non-stick coating to help with cleanup, and the whole thing can go in the dishwasher.
Overall, the pan is 11.6 inches by 17 inches, and it is about 2.5 inches tall. Each section of the pan matches the width of a standard lasagna noodle. You can use all three sections or fill just one.
4. Emile Henry Large Rectangular Baker
The Emile Henry ceramic baking dish is crafted from Burgundy clay, a material that helps your casserole heat evenly. The protective glaze comes in multiple colors, and the molded handles help you lift the dish.
The pan can go in the oven or under the broiler, and unlike metal pans, it is safe for microwave use. It is built to handle temperatures up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can also go in the freezer. It is dishwasher safe.
This casserole dish holds 4.8 quarts. It measures 11.5 inches by 8.25 inches and is about 2.5 inches deep.
5. OXO Good Grips Freezer-to-Oven Safe 3 Qt Glass Baking Dish
If you expect to keep leftover lasagna in the refrigerator, consider this glass dish from OXO. Its snap-on lid allows you to store the lasagna right in the baking dish. It’s also useful for carrying casseroles to parties and potlucks. Handles run the full length of each of the dish’s short edges.
The lasagna dish is made out of glass and can safely be used in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher. The lid is made of translucent BPA-free plastic so you can easily see what’s inside the pan.
This pan is a standard 9 inches by 13 inches, and it’s close to 3 inches in depth. The sides are slightly sloped, and the lid is raised so it won’t stick to the cheesy top of your lasagna.
Whether you prefer metal, ceramic, or glass lasagna pans, these top five casserole dishes will help you bake pasta that pleases. You can feed just yourself or satisfy an entire crowd with the casseroles that you bake in these dishes. The top lasagna pans have features that simplify your cooking process, such as easy-to-hold handles, wipe-clean surfaces, and deep sides. They look beautiful on your table and bake evenly for lasagnas that come out right time after time.