Written by UConn Dietetics student Caroline Thiede
Making a well-balanced meal for dinner each night can be difficult for some families. If you are low on energy, low on time, or simply want to change it up, try a sheet pan dinner!
These recipes require little equipment and clean up, as the majority or all of the dish will be cooked together on a baking sheet. Sheet pan dinners are also a great way to add more vegetables to your meal. Roasting vegetables in the oven brings out their sweetness as sugars caramelize, adding so much flavor and texture to the food. There are hundreds of recipes online, but you can make your dinner as simple as you want.
First, pick a protein! This can be fish such as salmon or tilapia, chicken, pork, and even tofu.
Then, choose some veggies. Virtually every vegetable can be used for your sheet pan dinners. Use this as an opportunity to include veggies that your family loves, or to introduce veggies you may not use as often in a new approach! Try roasted Brussel Sprouts or broccoli with chicken, sweet potatoes or butternut squash with pork, or carrots and asparagus with fish.
Make sure to season the protein choice and vegetables as well! Garlic, onion, cumin, and oregano are great go-to options that can elevate the flavor of your dish!
The most important step to creating your sheet pan dinner is to add oil (such as olive oil) to the ingredients. Since everything is being roasted in the oven, the oil will allow everything to cook thoroughly and without burning. Typically sheet pan dinners will be cooked in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to adjust the cooking time for whichever protein you chose, as well as the size and quantity. For example, chicken and pork will usually take around 30 minutes, while fish cooks much faster at around 15 minutes or less.
For your starch, you can include grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or couscous. Of course, these need to be cooked separately from the sheet pan. However, there are starches such as potatoes, and legumes or beans like chickpeas, that can be added straight to the pan alongside your protein and vegetables! Make sure to spread out your ingredients on your sheet pan to ensure that everything cooks evenly. Turn the pan halfway through the cooking time!
Then simply divide into servings, plate up, and ENJOY!
Below is a delicious and simple sheet pan recipe to try next time you need some inspiration!
Sheet Pan Kickin’ Curry Honey Mustard Chicken & Veggies
Recipe and photo obtained from ambitiouskitchen.com
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 30 min. Total time: 45 min
For chicken and veggies:
- 1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cups, 1 in. diced yukon potatoes
- 3 large carrots, sliced into 1 in. thick chunks
- 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks
- 8 oz. brussel sprouts, cut in ½ and outer leaves removed
For kickin’ curry honey mustard:
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. yellow curry powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet or two small baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- Add chicken thighs, potato cubes, carrot chunks, onion chunks and halved brussels sprouts into a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, mix together honey, dijon mustard, olive oil, yellow curry powder, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. Use clean hands or a tong to toss all of the ingredients together until well combined and spices and sauce evenly coat the chicken and veggies. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet (or evenly divide between two baking sheets.) Group the vegetables as best as possible: carrots in one section, chicken in one section, potatoes in one section and brussels and onions in one section (as indicated in the photos). Season with additional salt and pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes, rotating the pan(s) and stirring vegetables halfway through to encourage even cooking. You’ll know it’s done when the carrots and potatoes are fork tender and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Once chicken and veggies are done cooking, remove from the oven and immediately garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
This material is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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