Sheet pan dinners are the ultimate one-pan meal. They can easily be adapted to please picky eaters, involve mostly hands-off cooking, and turn out reliably satisfying results.
With a trusty sheet pan, five or six pantry staples, and 30 minutes of cooking, you can have a hearty dinner on the table any night of the week.
Sheet Pan of Success
Sheet pans, baking sheets, and jelly roll pans are often confused with each other. Sheet pans are made from aluminum or stainless steel, have a deep rim, and measure 18×13 inches. Sometimes they are sold as “half sheet pans.” Nonstick sheet pans are good for cleanup, but they don’t give a lot of color to roasted chicken or vegetables.
While you can use a sheet pan for everything from baking cookies to roasting dinner, the same cannot be said for flimsy non-rimmed baking sheets and jelly roll pans, which can heat unevenly and warp at high heats. Buy yourself at least two sheets pans — your local restaurant supply store probably has the best price — and you’ll see just how indispensable they are.
Preheat the Pan for Crispy Skin
If you’ve ever had roasted chicken thighs and been disappointed by soft, rubbery skin, this trick is for you. While the oven preheats, stick the sheet pan in the oven. Once the oven is heated, carefully put the chicken skin-side down on the hot sheet pan. The hot pan will crisp the skin, and the skin will release plenty of fat to season the potatoes and broccoli.
Mixing It Up
With a really sturdy sheet pan and this preheating trick for browning meats and vegetables, you can adapt this technique to other proteins or vegetables. Swap the chicken thighs for breasts or use sausage instead. Replace the broccoli with cauliflower, carrots, or mushrooms. Roast peppers and onions instead of potatoes and broccoli. Switch out the maple-mustard seasoning for soy and honey, or your favorite spice blend.
How To Make a Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan Meal
What You Need
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, skin on but bones removed
1 pound small red potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Rimmed baking sheet
- Heat the oven and baking sheet: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while the oven is heating.
- Season the chicken and potatoes: Season the chicken and potatoes all over with the salt.
- Start roasting the chicken and potatoes: Place the chicken skin-side down in the middle of the hot baking sheet. Add the potatoes around the edge of the baking sheet, immediately return the sheet to the oven, and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the maple syrup and mustard in a small bowl.
- Add the broccoli: Flip the chicken skin side up. Brush the chicken with the maple-mustard mixture. Add the broccoli to the baking sheet.
- Bake until crispy: Bake until the chicken and potatoes are crispy, about 15 minutes more. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.