A friend, fellow mom, and meal planner confessed to me recently how much she loathes cooking dinner since going back to work full-time. "I never loved cooking or meal planning before, but now I really can't stand it. I see cooking as time taken away from my now-limited time with my kids," she lamented. We talked a bit about what her family does (and doesn't) like to eat and decided on a strategy.
If you need a dinner strategy that gives you some extra time to help with homework or return emails or do a YouTube yoga video, this week of sheet pan dinners will be your new BFF. Cooking dinner on one pan in the oven gives you hands-off time to do more of what you love.
Here are five distinctly delicious recipes that cook on a single sheet pan.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
We're making this crustless quiche on Monday so the leftovers can be served for breakfast the next two days. Use the same ham here that you buy for Thursday's sliders. Serve this quiche with roasted broccoli or a simple Caesar salad — the salad ingredients can do double duty here and as a pizza topping on Friday.
Tuesday: Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki
This sheet pan dinner has so much to love: crispy potatoes, tender chicken thighs, and sweet roasted peppers. Save a leftover chicken thigh for Friday's pizza, and while you're at it chop an extra pepper for Wednesday night's hash.
Wednesday: Sheet Pan Sweet Potatoes and Black Bean Hash
Yes, we are doubling down on eggs as a protein this week, but serving them in a totally different way than Monday's quiche. My kids love this sheet pan meal and we often warm up a few tortillas to serve on the side for wrapping up the roasted vegetables.
Thursday: Cubano Sheet Pan Sliders
Full disclosure — this recipe actually uses two sheet pans to create a pressed sandwich. Use foil to cover both pans so you'll have fewer dishes to wash after dinner. As for sides, truthfully we'll eat these with potato chips and apple slices, but if you've got leftover potatoes from Tuesday, warm them up and serve them as "fries" on the side.
Friday: Chicken Caesar Pizza
Tuesday's chicken thigh will make quick work of this chicken Caesar pizza for Pizza Friday. Bonus points if you made a Caesar dressing on Monday and can now use it and the leftover romaine tonight.