Best Pyrex Stacking Ideas

Vintage Pyrex is so pretty, it’s a shame to store it inside a kitchen cabinet. Instead, collectors often arrange their wares on open shelves, carts or hutches using a technique designed to show off each individual piece: stacking.

My own stacking preference is a mix of form and function: I want to be able to see and enjoy the patterns and colors, but I also want easy access so that the items in my collection are actually usable for cooking. So, precarious towers of Pyrex are not my thing. Another consideration: preventing rattles and other noises.

One fun thing about stacking is that it gives you an opportunity to mix and match complementary pieces. Recently I finally acquired enough round mixing bowls to put together my own custom set: (from top to bottom) Spring Blossom (x2), Spring Blossom 2, Verde.

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Since the mixers are nested bowls, you need a little something between each one to lift it up and make the pattern visible (I used folded sheets of bubble wrap). There are lots of ways to do this for different sizes and shapes of Pyrex, so here I have gathered the best ideas I’ve seen on the internet, on social media and in collector groups:

  • packing peanuts
  • bubble wrap
  • Ziplock containers
  • ramekins
  • bags of rice, beans, popcorn, etc.
  • empty packing tape rolls
  • inverted lids
  • glass tumblers
  • cheap plastic bowls
  • Jell-O boxes
  • chunks of lumber
  • slices of pool noodles
  • tuna cans (or similar)
  • berry baskets
  • paper bowls
  • small plastic food containers (e.g., sour cream, margarine, yogurt, deli containers)
  • cut up egg containers
  • squares of non-skid rug protector (for stability)
  • styrofoam blocks
  • floral foam blocks
  • old washclothes
  • canning rings
  • plastic coffee cup lids

Of course, these methods can work for any kind of vintage kitchenware, not just Pyrex. Corning Ware, for example, stacks really easily on inverted lids. Over the weekend we installed some new shelves to house my collection, so stacking all kinds of dishes has been on my mind.

Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Sausage and Kale

Sausage, potatoes and greens are a classic soup combo that I have made a bunch of different ways. For the sausage I’ve used linguica, Spanish chorizo, andouille, kielbasa. Potatoes could be white beans, barley, rice, quinoa. In place of kale: spinach, collard greens, broccoli leaves. (On a side note, if you ever have a chance to get some broccoli leaves, do it! We were ordering them in our Imperfect Produce box for a while and braising them like other hearty greens — really yummy. I’ve never seen them in stores.)

For this soup I wanted to use some of the flavors of potato leek soup but make it chunkier and brothier, like a stew. If you’re not a fan of kale, you can sub in spinach — add it after the potatoes are cooked and simmer for a minute or so just to cook it lightly.

Whether you opt for kale or spinach, it’s helpful to use an oversized pot, so that there’s plenty of room to accommodate the greens before they wilt and become more manageable. I used a 6 3/4-quart Le Crueset dutch oven, my go-to pot for making soup and cooking greens.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 lb bulk italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped (white and light green portion only)
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs mixed potatoes, partially peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (I used russet and red potatoes)
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
10 oz kale (about 2 bunches), stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into bite-sized crumbles, until it’s browned through. Add onions, leeks and celery and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute more.

Add potatoes, chicken broth, wine, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then stir in kale. Bring to a boil again, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cream and heat to warm through, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pictured: Pyrex Butterfly Gold 402 Round Mixing Bowl; Pyrex Spring Blossom 402 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl

Easy 3-Bean Turkey Chili with Chipotle

Chipotle peppers have been my “secret” ingredient in chili for years — I love the spicy, smoky flavor they bring to the dish. Lately I’ve been using them in their powdered form,  but you can also use the canned version with equal success. Throw in a little of the adobo sauce they come in, too.

My other favorite chili technique is using a variety of beans. Kidney beans for their traditional chili flavor, black beans for contrast and garbanzos for something unexpected. Cannellini beans and navy beans also work well.

The spice level here is mild-to-medium. You can pep it up by using a hot chili powder blend, adding more chipotle powder and/or adding red pepper flakes.

Note: Masa harina is a nixtamalized corn flour used to make corn tortillas, typically found in the Mexican/international aisle of the grocery store. In this recipe I’m using it as a thickening agent, so you can do without just fine, but it also adds a subtle earthy flavor that is delicious! If you don’t have masa in your pantry, I recommend seeking it out — then use it to make your own tortillas. Homemade corn tortillas are really tasty and oh so easy — The Kitchn has a nice tutorial here.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 14 1/2-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 15-oz can red kidney beans
1 15-oz can black beans
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
2 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tbsp ground red chipotle
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp masa harina (optional)

Optional toppings:
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onion
sour cream

In a large pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium heat, saute onions in the olive oil until they start to go translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 1 minute. Then add the turkey and cook, breaking it up into bite size crumbles, until it’s browned through, about 7 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato sauce, beans (drained and rinsed), chili powder, chipotle and oregano, stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the masa and simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.

Pictured: Corning Ware Spice O’ Life A-5-B Saucepot; Corning Ware P-150-B Grab-It Bowl; Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl

7 Great Resources on Vintage Pyrex

Corning Museum of Glass: Search the collection or the library for all sorts of models and patterns, even vintage advertisements.

The Pyrex Collector: Lots of information on Pyrex patterns, colors, model numbers, cleaning tips and more.

Hot for Pyrex: Pattern library for rare or hard-to-find pieces as well as international variants.

That Retro Piece: Info on Pyrex from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Pyrex Love: Another good pattern reference, plus cleaning tips and other useful info.

Pyrex Passion: Pattern reference plus some interesting information on specific models and Pyrex history.

Other collectors! Join a Pyrex Facebook group and you will be blown away by the collective knowledge of your fellow enthusiasts. Be mindful of group rules (such as no selling) and dig into resources like photo albums and shared files. Also, a group search can often produce the information you’re looking for.

Pictured: Pyrex Spring Blossom 045 Oval Casserole