Power Hour Meal Prep

How I Prep a Week of Fall-Inspired Sheet-Pan Dinners

published Oct 14, 2021
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power hour of lots of different oreooed meals on the tv
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk
Credit: The Kitchn

At Kitchn, we are big fans of sheet-pan dinners 365 days a year — but if we had to pick one season where we find ourselves churning them out the most, it’s unquestionably fall. With school back in session and our schedules becoming busy after a relaxed summer, the ease that comes with a sheet-pan dinner is hard to beat. Toss all of your ingredients on a baking pan — veggies, protein, seasonings, and all — and in under 30 minutes you have a complete meal and not much cleanup.

This week’s Power Hour celebrates the glorious sheet pan dinner. In under two hours, you’ll have prepared a week’s worth of seasonal dinners that simply need to be dumped out on a sheet pan and cooked quickly in the oven when dinnertime rolls around. You’ll also have enough time during your meal prep session to get breakfast and lunch sorted for the week. Here’s how to make it all happen.

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: A quick and easy option that requires no prep at all (five days).
  • Lunch: Two simple choices that can be alternated and personalized depending on your family’s tastes and needs (five days).
  • Dinner: Ready-to-cook sheet pan dinners that require less than 30 minutes to pull off on the night of the meal. Each dinner is full of fall ingredients like squash, Brussels sprouts, and more (four days).
  • Nutritional Goals: No set goals, but all meals are wholesome and satisfying.
Credit: The Kitchn

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: 2 adults + 2 children
  • Prep Time: Under 2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 70% (no Friday night or weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (about 30 minutes of easy cooking)

Meal Plan


  • Yogurt with Fresh Fruit and Granola



Credit: The Kitchn

Shopping List

This week’s shopping list is a mix of meat, veggie, and pantry favorites. It assumes cooking basics like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.

  • Produce: Apples, bananas, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch thyme, 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, 2 avocados, 2 beefsteak tomatoes, 1 head Bibb or butter lettuce, 2 limes, 2 large sweet potatoes, 2 medium red onions, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 pound pre-cut butternut squash cubes, 1 bunch rosemary, 1 pound carrots, 1/2 pound parsnips, 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • Meat and Deli: 1 pound sliced deli turkey, 1/2 pound sliced deli cheese, 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, 8 ounces uncooked sweet or hot Italian sausage, 1 1/2 pounds smoked kielbasa
  • Refrigerated: 2 large tubs plain yogurt, 1 (4-ounce) log goat cheese, small chunk Parmesan cheese, 2 ounces feta cheese
  • Freezer: Frozen steamed brown rice, 1 pound frozen potato gnocchi
  • Pantry: Granola, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise or mustard for sandwiches, 1 can chipotles in adobo, honey, ground cumin, 1 can chickpeas, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika
  • Other: 2 loaves sliced whole-grain bread
Credit: The Kitchn

Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done

  1. Roast the tomatoes and mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 375°F and roast the tomatoes and mushrooms according to recipe instructions.
  2. Prep the honey-chipotle chicken: While the vegetables roast, make the chipotle marinade and combine it with the chicken thighs, sweet potato chunks, and red onion wedges in a large zip-top bag and refrigerate.
  3. Prep the vegetables for the gnocchi: Prepare the mushrooms, onion, and rosemary for the sheet pan gnocchi. Combine them with the pre-cut squash in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  4. Prep the carrots and parsnips: Cut the carrots and parsnips. Combine them in an airtight container and refrigerate. 
  5. Prep the Brussels sprouts: Cut the Brussels sprouts and refrigerate them in an airtight container.
  6. Store the tomatoes and mushrooms: Transfer the roasted tomatoes and mushrooms to an airtight container and refrigerate.
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Brett Regot/Kitchn

A Week of Easy Sheet Pan Dinners for Fall


Enjoy a serving of yogurt with granola and either an apple or banana.


Alternate between turkey sandwiches filled with your choice of sliced cheese, avocado, tomato, and/or lettuce leaves and toasts topped with rewarmed roasted tomatoes and mushrooms and crumbled goat cheese.


  • Monday, Sheet Pan Honey-Chipotle Chicken and Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the marinated chicken skin-side up and the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the chicken registers 165°F and the vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized, 30 to 35 minutes. While the sheet pan is in the oven, warm the frozen steamed brown rice according to package instructions. Serve the chicken and vegetables over the rice.
  • Tuesday, Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Butternut Squash: Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 450°F. Toss the prepared vegetables with the frozen gnocchi, olive oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet, then drop pieces of the uncooked sausage on top. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack. Roast on the bottom rack until everything is cooked through, about 25 minutes, then transfer to the upper rack and broil for a few minutes to brown (if your broiler is at the bottom of your oven, transfer the pan there for broiling). Serve garnished with grated Parmesan.
  • Wednesday, Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots, Parsnips, and Chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the prepared carrots and parsnips with olive oil, salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (or urfa biber if you have it on hand) on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, add a whole can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, and roast for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with a big squeeze of lime juice instead of the pomegranate molasses and top with crumbled feta.
  • Thursday, Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Kielbasa: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the prepared Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the smoked kielbasa. Add the kielbasa to the sheet pan and roast until the Brussels sprouts are browned and the kielbasa is heated through with crispy skin, about 10 minutes.
  • Friday, Takeout! Celebrate a successful week of meal planning by ordering in your family’s favorite takeout.

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Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.