Some days, wielding pots and pans requires simply too much brain power. Cooking with them often means dealing with a finicky stove, measuring out all ingredients beforehand, and pacing out cooking times and temperatures. That’s when I turn to sheet-pan dinners—simple throw-together meals that involve little more than placing ingredients on a baking sheet and letting the oven work its magic. The meals are simple, speedy, and, best of all, preserve that precious brain power to be used elsewhere.
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
Sheet-Pan Roast Chicken
Chicken tends to perform well in a sheet-pan supper, where it receives even heat and browning in the oven and adds a savory boost to any vegetables cooked alongside. Our One-Pan Roast Chicken with Cauliflower and Tomatoes is a perfect example of that symbiotic approach: Chicken leg quarters are brushed with a flavorful mixture of olive oil, garlic, lemon, and sage. To finish cooking all ingredients at the same time, wedges of cauliflower are placed in the center and the chicken on the perimeter of the rimmed baking sheet (the greater exposure to heat around the edges allows faster cooking). Finally, finishing the entire mixture under the broiler crisps the chicken skin, chars the cauliflower, and roasts the cherry tomatoes all at once.
One-Pan Roast Chicken with Cauliflower and TomatoesSometimes the key to the perfect one-pan dinner is making the right incision.
On days when I’m particularly lethargic, nothing brings more relief than a piping-hot, bubbling slab of pizza. Luckily, our Pepperoni Pizza with Blue Cheese, Pickled Peppers, and Honey comes together quickly in the oven, yielding crispy edges and plenty of slices to share. Store-bought dough and jarred marinara make this pizza particularly weeknight-friendly and ready in a flash. Simply spread dough into an oiled sheet pan and build from there, topping with sauce, mozzarella, blue cheese, pepperoni, and cherry peppers. The pizza bakes up in just 10 to 15 minutes in a 500-degree oven; drizzled with honey, this pizza is restaurant-style both in flavor and ease of cleanup.
Pepperoni Pizza with Blue Cheese, Pickled Peppers, and HoneyPepperoni and blue cheese? Trust us.
Sheet-Pan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hot sandwiches such as grilled cheese, tuna melts, and Reubens always hit the spot, especially if you make a bunch at once. Using a sheet pan and oven minimizes effort and maximizes yield, evenly warming up to six sandwiches at a time. To whip up a large batch of grilled cheese sandwiches, we recommend lining a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup, slathering bread slices with butter or mayonnaise, and piling on the filling before baking in a 425-degree oven. Our Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese employs this cooking method and includes tangy cream cheese, succulent bacon, and fiery peppers. For a fresher take, try our Turkey, Cheddar, and Pickled Apple Sandwiches, which use the same sheet-pan method to make a melty, tangy sandwich fit for any weeknight.
Jalapeño Popper Grilled CheeseAll the flavor and creamy goodness of a jalapeño popper gets baked into a grilled cheese sandwich.
Contrary to its name, meatloaf doesn’t need to be made in a loaf pan. Our One-Pan Meatloaf with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts comes together on a sheet pan and is completely hands-off once transferred to the oven, with all ingredients added at the same time. The meatloaf includes soy sauce, Parmesan, and granulated garlic for a savory flavor that permeates during baking, while a mixture of crushed saltines and milk keeps the beef moist in the oven. A coating of ketchup naturally transforms into a sweet, tangy glaze that flavors the meat as it cooks. Small red potatoes and brussels sprouts become tender and browned alongside the meatloaf, with all ingredients cooking perfectly in a 400-degree oven. A final tossing of the roasted vegetables in lemon-parsley oil keeps the mixture bright against the hearty slices of meatloaf.
One-Pan Meatloaf with Potatoes and Brussels SproutsThere’s something nostalgic about a classic meatloaf supper, but there’s no nostalgia for doing lots of dishes.
Sheet-Pan Chicken Wings
My favorite lazy dinners often involve a plate of wings, a cold drink, and my feet up in front of the television. Wings have the casual appeal of a takeout meal, always feel like a treat, and best of all, are entirely makeable on a single baking sheet. Our Soy Sauce Chicken Wings create a big batch without turning on the stove—simply start by marinating the wings in a combination of soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, and cayenne. Let the flavors mingle for up to 6 hours and bake the wings off whenever hunger strikes. The wings render slowly in the oven, yielding golden, flavorful bites, ready just in time before your nightly show begins.