Make dinner a breeze with sheet pan meals

Combining meat and veggies on a baking sheet adds ease to your cooking and reduces clean up

As cool weather brings us back inside, try to simplify your meal-making process.

Sheet-pan cooking, where all the ingredients for your meal are cooked on a rimmed cookie sheet or two, will help not only minimize the number of dishes you use, it may also help cut down on the dishes you wash.

You can make anything from breakfast to dinner to dessert on a sheet pan.

It’s an easy way to make your meal, but there are some tips that can help you.

Line your sheet pan with foil or parchment to make clean up simple.

While the vast majority of sheet-pan dinners require only one baking dish, there are times when you may find it helpful to use two — when the meat may release a lot of juice but you want your roasted vegetables to remain crisp, for example. Other times, when you want the flavors of the meats and vegetables to meld, one sheet will do nicely.

When making dinner, select a group of vegetables that cook at the same rate, such as sweet potatoes and beets or mushrooms and asparagus, to avoid overcooking one element or undercooking another.

For nicely browned veggies, place the cut side down on the baking sheet when you begin roasting.

If you want to mix a quick-cooking vegetable with a more sturdy variety, bake the sturdy veggie first and toss the more delicate one in for the last few minutes of baking.

If you want to crisp chicken skin, sausage casings and fish skin, turn on the broiler for the final few minutes of cooking.

When in doubt, add a sauce to the finished dish. Since most sheet pan meals are a basic mix of meat and vegetables, a simple sauce such as pesto, salsa or chutney, adds welcomed flavor and texture.

To add a fresh, raw crunch, sprinkle tender greens like baby arugula, spinach, pea shoots, or sprouts over the top of baked sheet pan meals before serving. Toasted nuts like almonds, pine nuts, and cashews also work.

While roasting can bring out the sweetness of most vegetables, there are other ways to bring out flavor in foods. Toss in herbs or sliced citrus, drizzle some vinegar over your ingredients or add a splash of dry white wine until you find a combination you enjoy.

Following are some sheet-pan meal recipes from the


Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas


For the seasoning:

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

For chicken and veggies:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell Pepper, sliced


Sour Cream





Whisk together all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Season both sides of chicken breasts with seasoning. Set aside.

Arrange onion and peppers evenly on a rimmed sheet pan. Place seasoned chicken on top. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 22 to 30 minutes, until chicken registers 165 degrees in the largest part. Place chicken on a plate and rest 10 minutes. If vegetables aren’t cooked to your liking, bake them more while the chicken rests.

Slice chicken and serve with vegetables in a tortilla with sour cream, avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Makes four servings.




Sheet Pan Steak and Fries


4 1-inch-thick top sirloin steak, patted dry

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For fries:

2 russet potatoes, cut into 8 long wedges

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves


Place potatoes in a single layer on one side of a baking sheet that’s coated with cooking spray. Add olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, tossing occasionally.

Season steaks with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet in a single layer opposite the potatoes. Broil four to five minutes per side, until the steak is browned and charred at the edges.

Serve immediately with garlic butter and garnished with parsley, if desired.

Makes four servings.



Shrimp and Tomato Sheet Pan Supper


1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cups cherry tomatoes

4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

Olive oil



1 lemon, halved


Put the shrimp, cherry tomatoes and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until shrimp are opaque and tomatoes begin to burst. Top with a generous squeeze of lemon.

Serve with salad, bread or pasta.

Makes four servings.




Sheet Pan Crispy Cheddar Pork Chops


4 bone-in, thick-cut pork chops (can also use boneless)



2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 cups panko

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound Brussels sprouts, cut in half

1 pound baby potatoes, quartered

2 tablespoons olive oil


In a shallow dish, whisk together egg and milk. In another shallow dish, combine panko, cheddar cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

Salt and pepper the pork chops, then dredge in the egg mixture and coat in the panko mixture. Lay on a sheet pan that’s lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray.

In a large bowl. combine Brussels sprouts and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then toss with olive oil. Lay next to the pork on the sheet pan.

Bake in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Flip the pork over and bake 12 to 15 minutes more, until the pork is 145 degrees.

Makes four servings.



Sheet Pan Tilapia and Vegetables


4 6-ounce tilapia fillets

2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced

3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 teaspoons fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh oregano



1 large zucchini, sliced

1 cup baby carrots, cut in half

2 cups broccoli florets

1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends removed


Heat olive oil on low-medium heat in a small pan. Add garlic and saute on low about one minute. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.

Arrange fish and vegetables in a single layer on a sheet pan. Evenly pour garlic spice mixture over the top. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.



Tuscan Pork Sheet-Pan Supper


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup olive oil

4 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper

2 pork tenderloins, each slightly more than 1 pound

6 sweet potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges

6 shallots, quartered

Chopped fresh parsley


Whisk balsamic vinegar, garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil, two teaspoons oregano and one  teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Place pork in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the marinade, seal the bag and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or two hours in the refrigerator.

Toss sweet potatoes and shallots with the remaining olive oil, one teaspoon salt, two teaspoons oregano and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Lightly oil two sheet pans. Put one pork tenderloin on each pan, letting some of the marinade drip off first, then season lightly with salt. Arrange sweet potatoes and shallots, cut-sides down, around each tenderloin.

Roast on the upper and lower thirds of a 450-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes,  rotating the pans halfway through and shaking them to loosen the potatoes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 140 to 145 degrees and the potatoes are tender.

Slice the pork and serve with the vegetables. Top with parsley.

Makes four to six servings.




Sheet Pan Salmon Puttanesca


3 cups sourdough bread cubes (1-inch pieces)

1/2 cup pitted niçoise olives

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

6 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoons capers, drained

1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, plus chopped parsley for topping


Combine bread cubes, olives, red onion and cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil. Toss until everything is evenly coated. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until bread just starts to crisp.

Rub salmon with one tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Arrange on the baking sheet among the bread mixture. Bake eight to 12 minutes, until salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Whisk remaining olive oil with vinegar in a large bowl. Add capers.

Arrange salmon on a platter and top with chopped parsley. Add bread mixture to the vinaigrette along with parsley leaves. Toss until completely coated. Serve salmon with the bread salad.

Makes six servings.



Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma

With Sesame Sweet Potatoes and Hummus


2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

4 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt

Black pepper

2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

4 cups baby arugula

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes plus 2 tablespoons oil from the jar

4 ounces cubed feta cheese

2 cups plain hummus


Persian cucumbers

Fresh dill


On a rimmed baking sheet, combine chicken, two tablespoons olive oil, honey, garlic, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat the chicken.

Add sweet potatoes and drizzle with olive oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Arrange everything in an even layer. Add the juiced lemon halves. Roast in a 425-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.

Combine arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

To serve, spread hummus into bowls and top with chicken, arugula, cucumbers, feta and fresh dill. Serve with naan.

Makes six servings.




Herbed Potato, Asparagus and Chickpea Sheet Pan Dinner


1 pound baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

1-1/2 cups petite baby carrots

1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds

1/2 large yellow onion, sliced lengthwise


Freshly cracked pepper

Fresh parsley, to serve


Place potatoes, flesh-side down, carrots and chickpeas on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray, then drizzle with 1-1/2 tablespoon olive oil and three-quarters of the spices. Toss to coat.

Bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, push the potato mixture to one side and place the onion and asparagus on the other. Season them with the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, tossing to coat.

Return pan to the oven and roast 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool a few minutes before serving.

Place in individual serving bowls and top with parsley sprinkled over top and sliced avocado on the side.

Makes three servings.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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