A casserole, from the French word for "saucepan", is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan.
In many cases, a casserole is served directly from the dish it is cooked in. Because of this, a casserole dish may be made slightly ornamental, so that it looks attractive on the table. The dish also typically has large handles which make it easy to grip with the assistance of a potholder. In many cases, a mating lid may be designed as well, for transporting casseroles safely and for keeping them from drying out while under refrigeration.