Casserole dish lids disappear; they crack or break, or they just plain wear out. So, if you need a lid for one of your dishes, read on for a few alternate possibilities.
There are a whole host of casserole dish lid alternatives ranging from aluminium foil, silicone lids, baking sheets or a dinner plate to mention a few. Each of these have a upside and a downside, it depends on what you are cooking, how long for and what you have to hand.
In this article, I am going to run through the 12 different casserole lid alternatives that you can buy, find in your kitchen or use from another appliance or item within the home.
Can I Use a Different Lid for My Casserole Dish?
Sometimes we cooks can be a bit rough on our kitchen tools and lids are often the first victim of our carelessness. They get dropped accidentally or bang around in the dishwasher and develop a crack. It happens to the best of us—and the best of our dishes.
But before you throw the baby out with the bathwater (or the casserole dish out with the broken lid), consider using an alternative item to cover that orphaned dish the next time you use it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a different lid for your casserole dish.
Lids play an important role in the success of your dish. Using a lid during baking helps distribute the heat more evenly throughout the dish. If your food needs to stay moist while baking in the oven, a lid will keep moisture inside the casserole dish and prevent your meal from drying out.
Even after the baking time, a lid continues to come in handy. Having a lid nearby to cover that delicious casserole full of comfort food will help keep it warm if traffic is brutal and your significant other gets home late. Once supper is over, just drop the lid back on the dish for the short trip to the fridge.
What Should I Look for in a Casserole Dish Lid Alternative?
When you start looking for something else to use as a lid for your casserole dish, you should think about how you plan to use it. The type of alternative you choose will depend on when you need it:
- During baking only
- After baking only
- Both during and after baking
- While transporting
You should also consider other factors that affect the lid’s practicality and usefulness.
The questions to ask are: Is this lid…
- Rated for high heat or broiler use?
- Environmentally friendly?
- Easily cleaned?
- Free of harmful chemicals?
As a general rule of thumb, a good casserole dish lid alternative that will be used in various ways needs to withstand high oven temps, including the broiler setting, create a tight seal to prevent moisture from escaping, and be microwave and dishwasher safe.
There are a few features that are handy to have on a lid. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if the lid doesn’t have one of these, but they can make using it easier.
- Handles: Ever tried to pull a lid off a very hot casserole dish and got “steamed” or accidentally touched the pan? Ouch! Lids with handles on the side or a knob on top alleviate this problem because they give you something to grab hold of when you’re handling a hot dish.
- Clear Material: A lid made of clear material makes it super simple to check on the status of your dish’s oven time. You can see how things are coming along without having to move the lid aside.
- Fastener: If you plan to travel with your casserole dish, it’s a good idea to find a lid that has some type of fastening system – a bungee cord that goes over the top or a snap-in-place design. This will keep food from sloshing all over you or the car while in transit.
Lids, just like casserole dishes, come in all shapes and sizes. Finding a replacement lid to fit your orphaned dish might be a challenge, but it can be done if you “think outside the dish.”
12 Casserole Dish Lid Alternatives
If you find yourself out of a casserole dish lid, the following are 12 alternatives you can try in its place:
Let’s be real here. Aluminum foil is like the duct tape of the kitchen! Its uses are practically endless. You can use it as a baking dish by rolling the edges and sliding it into the oven. Wrap up leftovers in it directly for storage. Line the bottom of the toaster oven or regular oven with a sheet of it. You get the picture.
In our hunt for alternative casserole dish lids, aluminum foil reigns supreme. Every kitchen has (or should have) a roll on hand at all times. It’s budget-friendly and takes the heat of the oven like a champ.
Just measure off the amount of foil you need, lay it over your casserole dish, and crimp tightly around the edges to get a good seal. You can even double up and use two sheets if you need more heft.
Just a few things to remember about aluminum foil are:
- DO NOT use it in the microwave oven.
- It’s not a good idea to use foil with acidic foods like tomato, tomato sauce, or vinegar. The aluminum reacts with the food and leaves a metallic taste.
Granted, aluminum foil is a one-time use product, and it does require that you lift an edge up to check on the status of your dish. However, its versatility outweighs these minor inconveniences.
If you prefer a more permanent alternative for your casserole dish lid, consider investing in the relatively new selection of silicone lids. Made of BPA-free, food-grade, and food-safe silicone, they are rated for oven and microwave use.
You’ll find these lids come in all shapes and sizes, from itty-bitty 2.5 inch rounds up to 10- or 12-inch rounds or rectangles. They are durable and, when used properly, provide a tight seal over your dish whether it’s in the oven or the fridge.
Speaking of a tight seal, silicone lids come in a couple of different designs in the way that they fit over your casserole dish:
- Silicone suction lids can be pressed down over any dish for an air-tight, leak-proof fit. Some suction lids also have a knob handle that makes them easier to remove.
- Silicone stretch lids are designed to stretch over the rim of a dish without tearing or warping. Some have built-in tabs or “handles” around the edges so that you can peel the lid off when you’re ready.
Another plus: most silicone lids are dishwasher-safe too. Treated with care, silicone lids can be reused over and over again. Since they’re not terribly expensive, to begin with, their reusability makes them a very economical choice.
You can use a dinner plate as a cover in a pinch if your casserole dish is round. The caveat is that the plate must be oven-safe if you plan to cover your dish while it’s cooking. Oven-safe plate materials include:
- Cast iron
Using a dinner plate that is not made out of one of these materials might result in a cracked or broken plate. Look on the bottom of the plate to see if it’s designated as oven-safe. If you don’t see any markings, it’s best to find something else to use a lid.
Food “Shower Caps”
Food storage covers are a very economical alternative for covering a casserole dish. However, they are only suitable for storage or transport, so don’t use them in the oven or microwave or while your dish is super-hot.
Even though they’re made of clear plastic, these shower cap style covers offer a tight seal when stretched across your container. Since they’re round, you might wonder if they will work on square or rectangular dishes. Believe it or not, they do!
Standard sizes include Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large and will fit containers from 2” to 10” in dimension. While these covers are not dishwasher-safe, they are reusable after being washed with dish soap and water.
You also don’t have to worry about this type of lid contaminating your food. They are made from non-toxic materials and have the added benefit of being translucent so you can see what’s inside the casserole dish.
Aluminum Pie Tin
Many people end up saving the “disposable” pie tins that store-bought pies come in. They can be used for many things around the house (a houseplant drip pan or a paint tray, for example). A pie tin also makes a handy lid for a round casserole dish.
You won’t necessarily get a tight seal from a pie tin, nor is it a viable option as a storage lid. With no way to securely fasten the pie tin to your casserole dish, it tends to slide easily.
But using a pie tin will help you keep a dish from browning too much while it’s cooking in the oven.
Baking or Cookie Sheet
Obviously, a baking or cookie sheet can withstand the heat of an oven; that makes these common kitchen items a great alternative as a casserole dish lid!
Because they are typically rectangular in shape and larger in size, they work especially well on the big 13 x 9 casserole dishes.
Using a baking sheet may not give you a super-tight seal, but it can help prevent unwanted browning or moisture escape.
It’s a good idea to put your casserole dish in the oven and then place the baking sheet on top. Otherwise, it may slide off during the counter-to-oven transfer.
Okay, now we’re really thinking outside the box with this one. Many cooks have some oven bags on hand from one Thanksgiving to the next since you only need one to roast a turkey, and the box gives you more.
These oven bags are, well, made for the oven. So why not use them to contain whatever’s in your casserole dish? You can go ahead and get the bag set up in your dish and bake your recipe right inside. Then it’s easy enough to tie it tight for storage or transport later.
Cling Wrap or Press-N-Seal Wrap
Cling wrap and press-n-seal wrap are excellent lid alternatives when it comes to food storage or transport purposes. You can’t use either product in a regular oven during cooking, but they are microwave-safe.
Both wraps are BPA-free and food safe. According to the manufacturer, the press-n-seal wrap provides a tight seal on your casserole dish, tight enough to contain liquids. Regular cling wrap doesn’t usually seal quite that tight, but for non-soupy dishes, it’ll do just fine.
Pizzas bake at very high temperatures, 400° or so typically, making a pizza stone a unique possibility when you need a lid during cooking. Ceramic pizza stones are crafted and fired in a kiln, so they can withstand the high heat of an oven.
While not a suitable lid for your casserole dish in the fridge or in transit, grabbing a pizza stone to cover a casserole while it bakes will work in a pinch.
Another Casserole Dish
If you have two casserole dishes the same size and shape, or better yet, one the same size but slightly bigger, an easy lid alternative is to turn one of them upside down over the dish your food is baking in.
It won’t be very stable and can be prone to slipping off, but since it’s ovenproof like your baking dish, you can make it work.
To avoid the risk of your “lid” sliding off and breaking, be sure to put the casserole dish in the oven first before carefully placing the second dish inverted over that.
Beeswax Food Wrap
A relatively new, little-known product that can function as a casserole lid is a beeswax food wrapper. Available in assorted shapes and sizes, these reusable wraps are an alternative to traditional plastic wrap.
Completely organic, biodegradable, and compostable, you’ll like the convenience of these wraps to seal and cover food dishes both at home and outdoors. All you have to do is rub the cotton material between your hands to warm it so that it adheres to itself or your dish.
Plastic Replacement Lids
Casserole dishes haven’t changed much over the years. Pyrex dishes are generally found in a few standard sizes and shapes. Rounds, squares, and oblongs in one, two, and three-quart sizes are common.
If you’re missing the lid from the Pyrex dish you got as a wedding present years ago, a quick internet search will lead you to sets of plastic replacement lids. Look for the sizes you need for the dishes you have. These lids are BPA-free and safe for the top rack of the dishwasher, the microwave, and the fridge.
Do not use these plastic lids in the oven. They are not rated for oven heat.