Thanks for joining us for Cookware Week! In case you missed it, we shared our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances, plus intel on how to care for all of it, and the best recipes to make with every piece.
Unless you’re a banana bread fiend, chances are your loaf pan doesn’t get quite as much action as the other cookware in your cabinet. These pans are essential for making bread, but a lot of us don’t use them all that frequently. Maybe a few times a year, at best.
However, what if we told you there were a surprising number of other foods you can make in a loaf pan? Here’s how to put your bread pan to good use so it doesn’t feel neglected.
AmazonBasics Nonstick Loaf Pans, 2 for $11.99 on Amazon
The classic nonstick metal loaf pan is surprisingly versatile in the kitchen.
If you don’t have a square pan handy or you just want thicker bars, you can use a loaf pan to whip up a batch of your favorite homemade granola bars. Just line the pan with some parchment paper and press the granola mixture into the bottom. Once it’s baked and cooled, you can pull out the paper and chop the block into bars. It’s as easy as that!
Silivo Silicone Loaf Pans, 2 for $10.99 on Amazon
Or try a silicone pan that should easily release anything you make in it.
All Kinds of Cake
Give your favorite cake a new shape with the help of your loaf pan. You can make all kinds of cakes in this form, including ginger cake and pound cake. You could probably even adapt your favorite cake recipe for a loaf pan—just keep in mind it’s going to need a lot of extra bake time.
Cooking for just one or two people? Then you probably don’t need a full casserole dish of lasagna—that’s where the loaf pan comes in. With this handy little pan, you can create the perfect two-person serving of delicious lasagna by halving your usual recipe. This is also ideal if you like a thicker slice of lasagna, as the higher sides allow you to layer up more ingredients.
No ice cream maker? No problem! There are lots of no-churn ice cream recipes out there, and one of the most convenient ways to freeze these sweet concoctions is in a loaf pan. Just pour your mixture in, let it freeze overnight, then scoop it out to eat. Make sure to cover it tightly with tin foil, though, or it might get freezer burn.
Pyrex Glass Loaf Pans, 2 for $16.36 on Amazon
We like a Pyrex loaf pan for this one, but any kind will work.
Meatloaf is a surprisingly divisive topic: Should you make it in a loaf pan or freeform? We’ll let you come to your own conclusions about which way is better, but the fact remains you can cook meatloaf in a loaf pan—which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that “loaf” is right in its name.
If you’re anything like me, you can’t stop eating cheesecake until every last bite is gone. To minimize temptation, you can make a smaller cheesecake using your loaf pan—Dessert for Two has a perfect two-person recipe. Plus, as an added bonus, you won’t have to struggle with a water bath.
If your kids are asking for ice pops but you don’t have any molds, you can always use a loaf pan. Just line the pan with parchment paper, then fill it with your favorite ice pop recipe. Place Popsicle sticks in a line down the center, then slice between them and serve once the ingredients are frozen. It works well with mini loaf pans, too!
A loaf of chocolate? Sign me up! You can make this decadent dream into a reality by whipping up a chocolate mousse loaf, like this one from Shugary Sweets. Just be sure to line the loaf pan with plastic wrap so you can get it out easily.
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