One-pot pasta has been all the rage when it comes to quick-cooking dinners, and while we're a fan of that method, our current crush is the sheet pan miracle meal. We're talking about the dinner you feel confident about putting together to make sure dinner happens at home, on time, and without stressing out the cook while still appealing to the eater. From our essential method of making sheet pan supper of chicken, veggies, and potatoes, to a honey-sesame glazed tofu to appeal to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, here are the five five recipes that have us shouting "I believe in miracle meals!"
We Love Sheet Pans
And we're sure you probably do too. After all, this essential home-cooking tool helps us bring everything from dinner to dessert to the table with ease. But before we dive into the recipes, lets make sure you're covered on the basics of sheet pans.
Know Thy Pan
Historically, sheet pans were a tool relegated to professional kitchens. When we talk about the ones most often used at home, they measure 18x13 inches with a lipped edge. You'll often find them labeled as half sheet pans if you're purchasing them from a restaurant supply store. Is your pan a bit smaller? Longer? No big deal. As long as you have enough space to spread things out into a single layer, you're good to go.
Understand the Basics
Want a meal that cooks up golden and crisp — not steamed and mushy? Yeah, us too. That's why we rely on the combination of high heat and a little space to get us there. Our cooking lesson on sheet pan chicken and broccoli teaches you why that's critical. We put that principal into effect in the recipes that are inspired by it. Sometimes, certain cuts of meat mean you won't need any extra fat (skin-on chicken thighs, in particular, render their own fat when added to a preheated pan). Other recipes, like this sheet pan steak and veggie number from our pal, Chungah of the blog Damn Delicious, require an extra bit of fat to help everything crisp up.
Broil Like You Mean It
I'm of the firm belief that the broiler is one of the most underused tools in the kitchen. If you need an introduction to all it can do, let a few of these sheet pan recipes be your guide. The broiler allows you to add a big blast of direct heat to brown meat and vegetables. See the skin on the chicken thighs pictured above? That's all thanks to the broiler.
In some ways, the sheet pan dinner is a blank canvas. Although we're sharing a collection of five new recipes here, the number of meals you can make with this pan are endless. Got frozen broccoli? Toss it onto an oiled sheet pan and stick it in a super-hot oven without having to wait for the broccoli to thaw. Same goes for most other frozen veggies. Sometimes all you've got in the kitchen are a few veggies, an odd number of eggs, and that lone can of beans. Well, guess what? You can make an incredible hash with all that stuff and call it dinner.
We often talk about dinner in a hurried language — about it often being this fast and efficient affair. That's because we're right there with you, feeling the pressure of the everyday and fielding our desires to cook at home with the realities of time and a busy schedule. When your situation requires something fast, something accessible, and something you can feel good about serving, consider the miracle meals the sheet pan helps you accomplish. We're hoping they will help you use the time they save to enjoy the company of the people at your table.