Tips & Tricks

The Perfect Sheet Pan Equation for Easy Weeknight Dinners

With no need to babysit the stove and limited cleanup, sheet pan dinners give you plenty of time to enjoy holiday food and festivities.

The sheet pan tucked away in your cabinet is your best friend this holiday season. Considered indispensable in our own kitchens, it has a magical way of seamlessly getting dinner—and dessert—on the table without breaking a sweat. We love its versatility and ease, as well as the way it naturally spotlights fabulous ingredients—which makes eating seasonally a cinch to do. And with no need to babysit the stove and zero heavy-duty cleanup, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the food, good company, and festivities.

Successfully cooking dinner with your sheet pan boils down to mastering one ridiculously simple equation, then playing around with the ingredients and seasonings as your heart desires. You can prepare your meals in a multitude of ways and ensure that everything comes out of the oven at the same time. We recommend taking your kitchen by storm and having fun with it! From marinating your chicken first to cutting your vegetables larger or smaller to experimenting with different types of proteins and their cooking times—the sky’s the limit. Without further ado, here’s the basic equation to get you started on your sheet pan adventure:

SHEET PAN + PROTEIN + VEGGIES + OLIVE OIL/ SALT/ PEPPER = DINNER!

Tips

  • Choose an 18 x 13” sheet pan. We prefer aluminum or stainless steel—to avoid the messy business of a non-stick coating ending up in your food when it eventually wears away.
  • Line your sheet pan with foil for easy cleanup.
  • Cut your vegetables roughly the same size, so they roast evenly.

Fish + Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Toss any combo of prepped vegetables with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet pan and roast them in the oven until they’re almost tender, 15–18 minutes, then remove the vegetables and top them with the fish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return everything to the oven and roast together until the vegetables are tender and the fish is opaque, 12–15 minutes more.

Chicken + Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Toss any combo of prepped vegetables with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet pan and top them with the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then transfer everything to the oven and roast together until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 25–30 minutes.

Meatballs + Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Toss any combo of prepped vegetables with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on 1 side of a foil-lined sheet pan and roast them in the oven until they’re almost tender, 15–18 minutes, then remove the vegetables and arrange your prepared meatballs on the other side. Transfer everything to the oven and roast together until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 12–15 minutes more.

Dessert
Sheet cakes are another delightfully easy (and sweet) way to use your trusty sheet pan. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease one with butter or baking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease it once more. Spread your favorite prepared cake batter into the pan in an even layer, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 20–24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set the cake aside to cool completely, then frost as desired or leave it as is. Cut into pieces, grab a fork, and enjoy ASAP!

Extra Credit: Sheet pan ideas to feed a crowd

  • Fully loaded nachos
  • Slab pie
  • Grilled cheese
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