There may be no kitchen tool more versatile than the sheet pan. We use it to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies and roast broccoli until its edges are crisped and brown. But this baking dish is good for so much more.
When you’re short on time and can’t fathom washing more than two or three dishes, you can bring an entire meal together on a sheet pan. We’ve laid out some of the most important rules of sheet-pan cooking, so you can improvise your way to easy weeknight dinners. Looking for recipes to get you started? Here are our eight favorites.
Contrary to popular belief, whole fish can be an ideal weeknight dinner. Here, whole porgy is laid out on a sheet pan along with shishito peppers, lemon slices, and cherry tomatoes. We leave the peppers and tomatoes whole (which minimizes knife work), and the lemon slices ensure the fish doesn’t stick to the pan as it cooks. Under the heat of the broiler, the fish becomes crisp and tender while the peppers and tomatoes blister and caramelize. How’s that for a weeknight dinner?
Need more proof that fish can be an easy weeknight protein? Let this tender salmon with tomato-eggplant compote convince you. Most stew-making projects are best reserved for the weekend, when you have plenty of time to cook. But this easy tomato-eggplant one comes together quickly, on the same pan you use to cook the salmon until it’s flaky and tender.
This vegetarian sheet-pan dinner offers layers and layers of flavor, without demanding a ton of time or effort. Gingery, tangy yogurt acts as a base for spiced cauliflower, crisp tofu, preserved lemon, and a quick red onion and herb salad.
We adapted this recipe from our classic grilled skirt steak fajitas recipe, without sacrificing any of the flavor that makes the original recipe so great. The direct heat of an oven’s broiler browns and chars the skirt steak, which is served on the sheet pan along with sweet peppers and warm corn tortillas.
Not a fan of steak or looking to switch things up a little? We used Kenji’s original grilled skirt steak fajitas recipe as inspiration for these chicken ones that are juicy, flavorful, and easy to get on the table.
You just need one sheet pan to make crisp-skinned chicken thighs, a potato-fennel gratin, and a simple sheet-pan sauce comprised of a can of beer and some mustard. This might be a dead-simple weeknight dinner, but what you gain in ease and efficiency, you certainly don’t give up in flavor.
This recipe was designed with a hungry crowd in mind. Technically, you’ll need two sheet pans to make these Cuban sandwiches—one to bake them on, and one to press them—but beyond that, you don’t need any special equipment. And while most traditional Cuban sandwiches call for slow-roasted pork, we opt for quick-cooking tenderloin here, so you can make these impressive sandwiches midweek.
If you’ve got shrimp in the fridge and a beer on the counter, you’ve already got almost everything it takes to make this quick dinner. We leave the shrimp shell on, so they remain plump and juicy, and broil them on a sheet pan along with a reduced beer, butter, and harissa sauce. Sop up the flavorful sauce with crusty bread, between bites of sweet shrimp. Not too bad for a Wednesday.
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