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Looking for cassolette cookware? Sure, you can use any small sized oven-safe dish to prepare cassolette recipes but why not make a set of this mini cookware part of your kitchen arsenal?
Cassolettes make beautiful serving pieces for everything from an appetizer to entrées, main to side dishes and dessert.
Even French Onion Soup bowls would work if not for their capacity. Most hold 12 to 14 oz of soup. A little large for a cassolette but these 8 oz. soup crocks work perfectly!
What Is A Cassole?
Cassole is literally the name of a glazed earthenware dish. This dish comes in many sizes from single serving to slighter larger ones for 2 servings and on up the scale of servings to the Big Daddy which holds enough for 8 to 10 servings.
It is the traditional dish to cook Cassoulet. But yes, you can prepare and serve Cassoulet in individual cassolettes!
Comparing Cassolette Cookware
If you check the French version of Amazon, you will find over fifty choices in cassolette cookware.
Strangely enough, the selection which earned the “Amazon’s Choice” label is a set of oven-safe glass serving pieces complete with lids.
Lids are very useful – they speed up the cooking time for some recipes.
The individual oven cassolette search page displays serving pieces in all sizes, colors, materials, price, and purpose.
Small poêlons (or mini casseroles) belong to the cassolette family. They are one of my favorite ways to prepare and serve certain entrées.
Cassolette serving pieces come in:
- Porcelain – round or oval shape as in au gratin dishes
- Vitrified China
- Stoneware with an enamel finish
- Cast iron – these are my favorite oval shaped Lodge® mini servers. Read more about these below.
- Enameled cast iron
- Traditional glazed earthenware that holds 1 to 2 generous servings.
Cazuelas are the equivalent of cassolettes! Thanks to Mexican cuisine, there is a wonderful selection of individual serving dishes in the cazuela collections. I love the colors!
The closest we’ll come to heavy-duty cassolette cookware is the adorable mini cocotte from Le Creuzet®.
Le Creuset Mini Cocottes
They are available in:
- A rainbow of colors,
- Different shapes,
- With or without a lid
- Last a lifetime.
They are heavy and pricey too!
Staub® Mini Cocottes
My favorite? Staub® because I already have their large cocotte.
It never leaves the stove top. I particularly love Staub® dutch ovens because of the tight-fitting lid with the little spikes that rain down steam to help keep food basted in its own juice. You hardly ever have to check the broth level in that pan.
The small round cocotte holds 8 ounces while the slightly larger oval-shaped cocotte holds 12 ounces.
If you are interested in serving a spectacular seasonal dish, you may like the shaped 16-ounce cocottes like the pig shape, the tomato and my personal favorite – the artichoke.
The 1-quart Staub® ceramic cocottes represents about 3 to 4 servings. No longer considered a single serving cassolette they sure are pretty!
What is vitrified china? It’s basically restaurant grade china which is microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe.
It comes in what I consider to be the ideal cassolette size – 8 ounces.
Corning Ware® Petite Pans
Yes… I have quite a collection of vintage cookware including lots of Corning Ware®. Guess what. The Petite Pans are perfectly sized to serve as cassolette cookware.
At 12 oz capacity, they are a little larger than most dishes but work well for recipes with vegetables.
Copper Cassolette Cookware
Copper is shiny, pretty to look at hanging from the rack and one of the best heat conductor. Expensive too!
Here are some vendors of copper cassolette cookware:
- William Sonoma [called mini cocottes] – Reasonably priced set of 4
- Alessi [they have cassolettes] – Larger than most at 15 oz.capacity and over $200. each!
Just make sure the interior of any copper cookware comes lined with easy to clean and non-reactive stainless steel interior.
Copper cassolettes add a shiny finishing touch to a beautifully decorated Fall table setting!
Imagine setting the table for an intimate Thanksgiving dinner and serving a traditional side dish or even a turkey pot pie in copper cookware.
You can also find copper clad cookware. Also pretty, functional, lined with stainless steel, with an ideal 9 oz. single serving capacity and considerably less expensive.
Ideal Perfect Portion Cassolette
What amount or dish capacity constitutes an ideal single serving portion?
In our home, that is such a subjective question! Fact is there is an enormous difference between a serving (what is listed on a label) and a portion – what someone with a hearty appetite may visualize as the ideal serving 🙂
I may do my utmost to serve suitable portions but to a certain someone, the food I serve as a portion never comes close to his desired portion.
When preparing cassolettes as a main dish, I tend to use the larger cassolettes but never anything more than 12 ounces. You will be serving a vegetable and a salad to go along with them.
As an example, the Chicken in Beer Cheese Sauce was served in a 12 oz dish. Because the recipe was so rich, that amount was too much to eat along with bread and a salad.
I purposely experimented with different sized containers when preparing the Crab Meat Stuffed Flounder. The 8-ounce ramekin and the small Pyrex® “pie plate” were easy to finish but the larger cassolette was too much.
Sometimes, my cassolettes are served as side dishes so I stay in the 6 to 8-ounce range.
Lodge® Cast Iron servers come in several sizes. The 9-ounce server is perfect for individual servings of dessert but the 16 oz. oval server is perfect for entrées and main dishes.
And The Perfect Cassolette Dish Is…
The size that fits the purpose. So which piece of cookware is the perfect one to use? It all depends on which part of the meal they are for:
- As the main dish
- A side dish or
Cassolettes belong in the 8 to 10-ounce range. Anything larger than 14 ounces is a casserole in my kitchen!
But Denby® has been part of my home since 1970. We still eat off the stoneware dishes every day of the week.
Part of their Heritage Pavilion® collection includes the perfect small rectangular oven dish for an individual serving – a hearty serving 🙂 – that goes the freezer to the oven or microwave to the table, into the dishwasher and back for more! How perfect is that?