Power Hour Meal Prep

Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of Vegetable-Heavy Sheet-Pan Dinners

published Feb 24, 2023
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power hour of different prepped meals
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

One way I take care of myself is to meal plan before a busy week begins, and when the meals I prepare are packed with a variety of vegetables, that is even better. This week’s Power Hour is all about the excitement of eating our veggies, from bright red bell peppers and tomatoes to crunchy kale and creamy black beans. Because there is such a wide world of ways to prepare all of this pretty produce, I’m sticking with a single tool: the sheet pan. But while each of these dinners relies on a rimmed baking sheet and the oven, you won’t ever feel like you are eating the same thing twice. Here’s how to prep a week of veggie-packed sheet pan dinners.

Meal Prep Goals

  • Dinner: Easy sheet pan dinners that rely mostly on vegetables.
  • Nutritional goals: The focus of this week’s meal plan is on the ease of sheet pan cooking. We’re leaning on vegetables to offer flavor and variety to these dinners.

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: 4 people 
  • Prep time: About 2 hours
  • Meals covered: About 70% of dinners (no weekend dinners)
  • Weeknight cooking required? A mix of reheating and light cooking where ingredients are prepped and ready for a sheet pan.

Meal Plan

Dinners

Shopping List

This shopping list contains everything you will need for this week of one-pan meals. It assumes cooking basics like cooking oils, salt, and pepper are already in your kitchen. Before heading to the grocery store, compare this list to the contents of your pantry, fridge, and freezer to avoid buying ingredients that you already have on hand.

  • Deli/bakery: 1/2 medium loaf (about 8 ounces) ciabatta bread or sourdough boule, 4 (6- to 8-inch) split hoagie or sub rolls, 1 cup guacamole, 1 cup pico de gallo
  • Dry goods: 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard, 1/3 cup honey, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 6 large or 10 small pickled pepperoncini, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 (8-ounce) bag tortilla chips, 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños (optional)
  • Dairy: 6 large eggs, 8 ounces (2 cups) grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Produce: 1 medium (about 14 ounces) acorn squash, 1 pound broccoli, 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves (optional), 1 medium bunch flat-leaf kale (about 8 ounces), 10 cloves garlic, 2 large leeks, 2 lemons, 4 large red bell peppers, 3 red onions, 1 pound small red potatoes, 3 scallions, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 zucchini, 3 ounces (1/4 medium head) radicchio
  • Meat: 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 13 to 16 ounces plant-based hot or sweet Italian sausage, 3 ounces prosciutto
  • Frozen: 1 cup frozen corn kernels

Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done

  1. Prep vegetables. Sheet Pan Honey Dijon Chicken and Vegetables: Halve 1 pound small red potatoes, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate. Cut 1 pound broccoli into bite-sized florets, then cut 1 red onion into 1-inch pieces. Combine broccoli and onion in another food storage container and refrigerate. Sheet Pan Sweet Potatoes and Back Bean Hash: Prepare the following, placing in the same large food storage container when finished. Peel and dice 2 sweet potatoes, slice 2 zucchini, dice 1 red bell pepper, drain and rinse 1 can black beans, portion 1 cup frozen corn kernels, mince 3 cloves garlic. Toss with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, then cover and refrigerate. Fall Panzanella with Crispy Leeks: Prepare the following, adding to the same large food storage container: 1 acorn squash halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch wedges; 1 thinly sliced lemon with seeds removed; light green and white parts of 2 large leeks, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces; 1 teaspoon light brown sugar; 1 teaspoon kosher salt; 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Vegan Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers: Prepare the following, adding each to the same container: Seed and thinly slice 3 large bell peppers (about 4 cups), thinly slice 1 medium red onion (about 2 cups), thinly slice 4 garlic cloves. Toss with 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  2. Make dressings. Sheet Pan Honey Dijon Chicken and Vegetables: Combine 1/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small jar, cover, and refrigerate. Fall Panzanella with Crispy Leeks: Finely grate 1 large garlic clove into a jar. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into the bowl (about 1 tablespoon), then juice the lemon into the bowl (about 2 tablespoons). Add 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and whisk to combine. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and screw on the lid and refrigerate. In a separate container place torn, bite-sized pieces of 1 bunch flat-leaf kale and 1/4 head radicchio.
  3. Make black beans: Dice 1/2 red onion, mince 2 cloves garlic, then sauté with cumin, chili powder, and salt in olive oil until soft. Drain and rinse 1 can black beans, mash slightly with a fork, then stir the beans and 1/2 cup water into the onion mixture. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and refrigerate in a food storage container. 
  4. Cut bread: Slice 1/2 loaf ciabatta or sourdough bread into 1-inch-thick slices, then tear into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a large zip-top bag and store at room temperature.
  5. Prep chicken: Cut 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate.
Credit: Photo: Paola + Murray; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

A Week of Veggie-Packed Sheet Pan Dinners

Dinner

  • Monday, Sheet Pan Honey Dijon Chicken and Vegetables. Place a baking sheet in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Toss the prepared potatoes with another 1 tablespoon oil, then place, cut-side down, on the hot baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Add the prepped chicken to the container with broccoli and red onion. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and toss to combine. Add the chicken mixture to the baking sheet and pour half of the prepared honey-Dijon mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Toss to coat, then spread into a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes, then pour in the remaining honey-Dijon mixture. Toss again, spread into an even layer and finish roasting for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Tuesday, Sheet Pan Sweet Potatoes and Back Bean Hash. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Spread the sweet potato and black bean mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet, then toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer, then bake, stirring halfway through, until the sweet potatoes are tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and make 6 wells in the vegetables with the back of a spoon. Gently crack an egg into each well, keeping the yolk intact. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the egg whites are set, about 8 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
  • Wednesday, Fall Panzanella with Crispy Leeks. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 425ºF. Spread the prepared vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, then spread into an even layer. Roast on the upper rack for 25 minutes. Arrange 3 ounces prosciutto in a single layer on a second baking sheet, then spread the torn bread on top. Drizzle the bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the prosciutto and bread to the oven on the lower rack and bake until the bread is lightly toasted and the prosciutto is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the prepared kale and radicchio into a large bowl. Shake the prepped dressing, pour over the greens, then toss to coat. Add everything from both baking sheets to the bowl, then gently toss to combine. Thinly shave 2 ounces of Parmesan cheese over the top before serving.
  • Thursday, Vegan Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 450°F. Spread the prepared bell peppers, red onion, garlic, 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and toss to coat. Spread into an even layer. Remove the casings from 1 pound plant-based hot or sweet Italian sausages, if needed, then pinch them into bite-sized pieces and add to the vegetables. Roast on the lower rack until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile thinly slice pepperoncinis. Remove baking sheet form the oven and turn on the broiler. Add the pepperoncinis and 2 tablespoons brine from the jar to the baking sheet and toss to coat. Push the vegetables and sausage to one half of the baking sheet and line the other half with aluminum foil. Place 4 hoagie rolls on the foil (do not split yet). Broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide the sausage and peppers between rolls and serve.
  • Friday, Loaded Black Bean Nachos. Reheat the bean mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Meanwhile, spread half of the tortilla chips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Dollop half of the warmed bean mixture evenly over the chips and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with half of the pico de gallo, and sliced scallions. Repeat the layers, but do not top with the remaining scallions. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes in a 400°F oven. Top with the remaining scallions, pickled jalapeños (optional), yogurt, and guacamole.