A solid casserole dish is an absolute essential for one-pot meal enthusiasts. Not only are they perfect for hob and oven use, but they also look super attractive for serving at the dinner table. Maximising practicality and minimising washing-up, these little pots of magic are a real lifesaver for the busy home cook.
When we think of sturdy pots for everyday cooking, cast iron is often the first to come to mind. But let's face it, they can be a hassle to maintain and way too heavy to handle. Fear not, because there is a better option! The MasterClass Cast Aluminium Casserole Dish is incredibly robust yet extremely lightweight, making it ideal for everyday cooking.
Those feather-weight casserole dishes are not only meant to cook hearty stews; you can cater for a full table to make a feast, prep your weekly meals in advance and even bake bread! That’s how versatile this MasterClass Cast Aluminium Casserole Dish can be.
What is a Casserole Dish?
Also known as a casserole pan, a casserole dish is a large, deep cooking dish renowned for its heavy-duty design and premium quality. Actually French for ‘stew pan’, these kitchen staples are simultaneous with rich and hearty stews, casseroles and braised dishes - in effect, any meal that requires long and slow cooking for ultimate tenderness. You don’t need to worry about them being a one-size-fits-all pot either, they come in a range of colourways and sizes to suit your family and cooking needs.
What is the Best Material for a Casserole Dish?
While you may instantly think of cast iron when it comes to a casserole dish, we’ve got an alternative for you that is just as effective but light as a feather! MasterClass is renowned for its Cast Aluminum Casserole Dishes that have become a cult favourite over the years. Why? Because they offer all the signature benefits you would expect from a casserole pot, such as being sturdy, distributing heat evenly and keeping moisture in - but they are super light and easy to carry. If you want to weigh up the pros and cons of Cast Aluminum vs. Cast Iron yourself, you can read our handy guide here.
What Can I Cook in a Casserole Dish?
From cooking to serving, this brilliant pot cannot only cook your everyday meals but can also help you achieve excellence in everything you do. Whether you're an experienced cook or just starting out, keep on reading to discover the many delicious possibilities of cooking with the MasterClass cast aluminium casserole dishes.
Our Top 11 Ways to Use a Casserole Dish:
1) Satisfying One-Pot Meals
If there is something at what these casserole dishes exceed is of course cooking stews and one-pot meals.
Cook everything from beef stroganoff or coq au vin to black bean stew or sausage casserole, not forgetting our personal fave…Hungarian goulash!
Heat your casserole dish on the hob to sear the meat and trap all those treasured meat juices, add all your fresh ingredients, and place it in the oven to work its magic…voilà! A hot and bubbling mouth-watering meal is ready to feed hungry guests right at the table.
Cast aluminium casserole pots can withstand high temperatures, which makes them great for both stovetop and oven cooking. With a little creativity, you can make many different delicious and hearty one-pot meals to satisfy the whole family.
2) Cost-Effective Batch Cooking
For all the busy bees out there, the cast aluminium casserole dish can be a godsend! With its ample capacity, you can easily prepare enough food to last for several meals. Say goodbye to cooking every single day when you're pressed for time. Simply whip up a big batch of your favourite recipe in your casserole dish and enjoy the convenience of having ready meals for days.
With the larger MasterClass Cast Aluminium 4 Litre Casserole Dish, you can easily make big batches! Simply scale up the ingredients to make a larger batch and cook everything in one go. Whip up hearty stews, comforting casseroles, and nourishing soups with ease. With the even heating of cast aluminium, you can be sure that every mouthful will be just as delicious as the last.
It's important to make sure that the dish is large enough to accommodate the recipe you're making. Overcrowding the dish can prevent the food from cooking evenly and may result in a less-than-perfect batch.
Once the dish is cooked, you can portion it out into individual servings and store them in the fridge or freezer for later use…or just freeze the leftovers of a big meal for a lazy day and you’ll reap the reward of comfort food when you most need it.
3) Asian Flavours
Stir up the fragrant flavours of Indian curries and make your own Tikka Masala, Korma or Rogan Josh. Enjoy Moroccan tagines? No problem! You don’t really need a special vessel to enjoy the best of North African cuisine.
We all know that whipping up those classic slow-cooked dishes requires a whole lot of time and patience, but here's where this trusty cast aluminium casserole dish comes to the rescue! It heats up really quickly and distributes heat evenly, making it the perfect kitchen sidekick for those slow-simmered curries and tagines.
Toss in your flavour-packed aromatics, such as onions, garlic, and ginger, giving them a good sauté until they're softened. Add in some whole spices and let them mingle with the aromatics for a minute or two until they release their heady aroma. Then, bring on the protein, whether it's chicken, lamb or paneer, and cook until it's perfectly browned on all sides.
Once nice and brown, toss in some veggie goodness, such as red peppers, aubergines or cauliflower, along with creamy coconut milk or tangy tomato sauce. Give everything a good stir and bring it to a simmer. Now, turn down the heat and let your curry do its thing.
Sit back and let the flavours infuse as the veggies soften — before you know it, your delicious, aromatic curry will be ready to be devoured! This usually takes around 20-30 minutes, but trust us, the wait is worth it.
4) Crowd-Pleasing Lasagne
For all of you lasagne lovers out there, this MasterClass Cast Aluminium 4 Litre Shallow Casserole Dish will make your pasta dreams come true
First, prepare and lay out all the ingredients in the cast aluminium pot. You'll need to layer the pasta sheets, fill them up with ragu and béchamel sauce, and then sprinkle a generous handful of grated cheese on top.
Pop it in the oven and let the magic begin! Cast aluminium casserole dishes are oven-safe and are just as good as any baking tray. But what sets them apart is their ability to keep all that precious moisture locked in, ensuring your lasagna comes out juicy, flavourful, and utterly irresistible.
Once your lasagne is ready, you can choose to serve it straight from the pot or portion it into individual plates. Thanks to the non-stick surface of the pan, you won't have to worry about your food sticking to the bottom, which means less scrubbing for you later on.
5) Mid-Week Suppers
Looking for cookware that can multitask? Cast aluminium casserole dishes are your answer. Not only can they be used for casseroles, but they can also double up as a frying pan for meats and veggies, making them perfect for a kitchen with limited space.
With their top-notch heat retention, cast aluminium pots excel at stir-frying, allowing you to achieve a beautiful sear on your ingredients while locking in all those delicious juices. The broad surface area of the casserole dish not only ensures that your ingredients cook evenly, but also gives you ample space for tossing them around.
With the MasterClass Cast Aluminium 4 Litre Shallow Casserole Dish, you can even brown up to six chicken breasts all at once! And, as a bonus, the non-stick coating means you'll need less oil for cooking and clean-up will be a breeze.
Its high sides prevent any unwanted spattering, making it a much cleaner and safer option than your average frying pan. Plus, the non-stick coating makes for healthy cooking with less oil and easy clean-up afterwards.
6) Savoury Side Dishes
These cast aluminium casserole dishes are an excellent choice for making rice and pasta. With their ample space, they can accommodate varying quantities of rice or pasta, while the uniform heating ensures even cooking throughout.
Whip up some boiled rice to accompany your meals, or prepare a mouth-watering Indian biryani for your curry nights. Feeling like Italian tonight? Cook up some speedy linguine al pesto or indulge in a rich spaghetti Bolognese.
To cook your spaghetti to perfection, just fill up your cast aluminium casserole dish with enough water to submerge your pasta and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once it’s bubbling away, toss in some seasoning to give it extra flavour.
Now it's time for the star of the show — add in your fresh pasta and give it a good stir every now and then to prevent any unwanted stickiness. Depending on the type of pasta, you'll want to cook it for around 8-12 minutes to get that perfect al dente texture. Presto! Pasta perfection in your cast aluminium casserole dish.
7) The Perfect Accompaniments: Sauces, Gravies and Stocks
Using a cast aluminium casserole dish to make sauces, gravies, and stocks is a fantastic way to add the best flavour to your meals.
Whether you want to cook some rich gravy to pour over your Sunday roast or add some creaminess to your Italian pasta dishes, a homemade sauce can take your meal to the next level.
A good stock is the backbone of so many delicious dishes, from warming soups and hearty stews to creamy risottos and seafood paella. With a cast aluminium casserole dish, making your own stock couldn't be easier!
The cast aluminium casserole heats up quickly, so you won't be waiting around for your stock, gravies and sauces to come to a temperature. Plus, with even heat distribution, you won’t have a lukewarm sauce served at the table again!
8) Bake Your Own Bread
You may not think of your casserole dish as a bread-baking tool, but it actually works wonders. The dish's unique properties allow it to create an environment similar to that of a professional baker's oven.
The preheated casserole mimics the effect of a stone oven, providing the perfect environment to accelerate yeast activity and raise your bread. Plus, the enclosed space traps in steam, further aiding the yeast.
The uniform heat distribution will ensure that the bread cooks evenly and the high sides will help to create a perfectly crispy crust. The non-stick coating of the pan facilitates the effortless removal of the bread without any sticking, allowing for a smooth and hassle-free baking experience.
The best part? You can experiment with different bread recipes, from classic sourdough to seeded wholemeal loaves, and create the perfect crust and texture every time.
9) Afternoon Treats
Have a sweet tooth? This casserole dish can bake indulging cakes and desserts too! Make comforting bread & butter pudding effortlessly, or bake a batch of hot cross buns without the need of purchasing specialised baking trays.
Imagine sinking your teeth into a warm slice of tarte tatin, with its buttery, caramelised apples and flaky pastry, straight out of a shiny, cast aluminium casserole dish. Or perhaps you fancy a slice of juicy apple pie, with its crumbly crust baked to perfection.
The MasterClass cast aluminium casserole dish is a perfect heat conductor, which means your cakes will come out evenly baked and perfectly moist. With a non-stick coating, you don't have to worry about your cake sticking to the bottom of the pan and ruining all your hard work.
10) Energy-Boosting Breakfasts
Who says you can't have your morning breakfast made in a casserole dish too? Prepare your oatmeal porridge, rice congee or oven-baked granola bursting with nuts and dried fruit effortlessly.
Whether it's the comforting goodness of oatmeal, the chewy texture of pearl barley, or aromatic rice, the base is just the beginning. Add some water or milk to the mix, and throw in your favourite toppings like sweet sultanas, dried bananas, crunchy walnuts, or superfood chia seeds.
Pop your dish onto the stove over medium heat and give it a good stir until your oats start to bubble. Once that's done, turn down the heat to low and let it cook away, giving it the occasional stir, until it reaches the thickness you like.
This usually takes around 10-15 minutes, but let's be real, time flies when you're making porridge! Before you know it, you'll have a piping hot bowl of creamy goodness that'll really set you up for the day ahead. So, let's grab our spoons and tuck in!
11) Serve Up in Style
As we all know, casserole dishes are a kitchen superhero that can turn any meal prep into a breeze. From soups and stews to curries and tagines, these versatile dishes are ideal for making large portions that can be easily reheated and served buffet-style, allowing guests to help themselves.
To make sure everyone gets their fill, it's important to choose the right pot size based on the number of guests you're serving. As a general rule of thumb, a MasterClass Cast Aluminium 5 Litre Casserole Dish can comfortably feed a group of 6-8 people, depending on their appetites and serving sizes.
You can easily serve your culinary creations on the dining table with these lightweight pots. Their sleek and modern design adds a touch of elegance to any dinner party or special occasion. Moreover, serving directly from the pot reduces the cleaning work after the meal.
Find a Cast Aluminium Casserole Dish For Every Occassion!
Get ready to check out a bunch of different sizes and colourways, including the hot-off-the-press 2023 spring/summer collection as well as the tried-and-tested classics that everyone, from the casual cook to the seasoned chef, loves. Shop the entire MasterClass collection here.