Sheet pan meals are the latest trend in cooking. With today’s busy lifestyle, simplicity and speed are top priorities. A sheet pan dinner makes life easy; all the elements of the meal are cooked together, leaving just one pan to clean afterward.
There are no rules, but some basic tips will help make your sheet pan meals successful.
- Choose your meat well. Avoid the big cuts that require braising or long roasting times. Bone-in chicken legs or breasts are good bets, as are pork chops, loins, tenderloins, flank steak, tenderloin, rack of lamb or lamb chops, and of course, fish (whole or fileted). We like small birds like quail, poussin, and charcuterie such as duck confit, sausage, or ham, in sheet pan dinners.
- Use plenty of oil or duck fat. Don’t let your sheet pan meal dry out. Toss vegetables with fat in a bowl before laying on the pan, so they are evenly coated.
- Cut vegetables into uniform sizes. Be sure to cut everything into similar sizes so they cook evenly.
- Think strategically. While it is simple, a sheet pan meal requires staging, as most ingredients will cook at different rates. Stagger them, starting with root vegetables, like potatoes, carrots or even squash. Add more delicate vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, or asparagus, later in the process. Take care not to overcook – or under-cook – the meat. This will require taking the pan in and out of the oven to add ingredients, but remember the payoff: a lovely, roasted meal and only one sheet pan to clean. Add herbs or nuts last, and cook for only a few minutes.
- Finish under broiler at the end. Just a few minutes under the blazing broiler will give everything a golden, crispy finish.
Here are 5 sheet pan recipes that are sure to satisfy your craving for real, home-cooked food, and the need for convenience and simplicity.
YIELD: SERVES 3-4 | COOK TIME: ABOUT 1 HOUR