Plan Your Pan

By Brita Nelson
Created December 8, 2016
Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells
Make dinner even easier by going pan-first. We choose four common pans and five dinners that are great for each. MORE+ LESS-

When you’re making dinner, not having the right-sized pan can stop you in your tracks. The dish could be in the sink, holding leftovers, left at a friend’s house (and you forgot which friend), or maybe you never had it in the first place. Whatever the reason, we’re proposing a new way of looking at recipes so you can grab your ingredients and go. Plan your dinner around your pan. 

Only have an 8x8? Great! We have tons of delicious dishes that will fit perfectly. Just pull the 9x13 out of the sink? Use it here for a dinner you’re more than ready to make. 

We chose four common pans (baker, square, cookie sheets and loaf) and found five dinners that fit perfectly in each. Pick your pan and start making.


13x9-inch Baking Dish

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Whether you go glass or ceramic, 13x9 dishes are the perfect go-to for easy dinners. Buy one

  1. Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells
  2. Grands! Pepperoni Pizza Bake
  3. Lickety Split Alfredo Style Mac and Cheese
  4. Easy Chicken Enchilada Crescent Bake
  5. Leftover Turkey Crescent Bake


Square Pan (8- or 9-Inch)

Upside Down Pizza

These pans come in 8- or 9-inch sizes and are perfect for everything from smaller-serving dinners to filling casseroles. Buy your own

  1. Upside Down Pizza
  2. Grands! Fiesta Chicken Casserole
  3. Pulled Pork Tortilla Pie
  4. Mexican Lasagna Verde
  5. Speedy Enchilada Bake


Cookie Sheet

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Pizza Sticks
Maple Bacon Monkey Bread

Okay, so these aren’t all dinner recipes. But they’re still five ways to use your loaf pan from meatloaf to monkey bread. Buy the pan

  1. Maple Bacon Monkey Bread
  2. Goat Cheese and Kale Egg Bake
  3. Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Loaf
  4. Pull Apart Caramel Loaf
  5. Italian Meat Loaf

Which pan would you like to see more recipes made in? Let me know in the comments section below!