Meatless sheet pan dinners are a quick and easy way to put dinner on the table.
New year, same old dilemma. We would prefer to eat fresh, home cooked food – almost every night! But after a full day of coaxing second graders into their seats, or attending meeting after meeting, or putting out literal fires, the thought of preparing, cooking, and cleaning up a full meal is overwhelming.
These are the nights that Sheet Pan Dinners were made for.
What is a Sheet Pan Dinner?
Basically, a sheet pan dinner is a meal completely prepared and roasted on a large baking sheet (or 2 for a family). Everything is cooked at once, and if you line the baking sheet with aluminum foil, there is hardly any clean-up. So, we can come home, throw the meal together, toss it in the oven, and relax for a few minutes while it is roasting.
What Foods Make Good Sheet Pan Dinners?
Almost anything can be made into a sheet pan dinner – thus it’s a good way to clean out the refrigerator too! I have successfully made sheet pan dinners using: potatoes, winter or summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, tofu, tempeh, pumpkin seeds, green beans, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Plant based chicken or beef strips work well too. As do mushrooms and onions.
Sheet Pan Dinner Tips
Either use vegetables and meats that have a similar cooking time; like potatoes and squash, or stagger when you add new vegetables. For example, I roasted the above vegetables for 10 minutes and then added chopped tofu to the sheet until everything was cooked through.
The roasting time can be reduced by cutting the pieces smaller too. I cut the squash and potatoes into fairly small pieces above so that they would cook as quickly as the Brussels sprouts.
How Long Does a Sheet Pan Dinner Take to Cook?
All ingredients can be roasted at either 375 or 400 degrees.
Hard vegetables like potatoes, carrots, winter squash, turnip, rutabaga, beets, and sweet potatoes cut into wedges or large pieces will take about 45 minutes to cook.
Cauliflower or broccoli cut into medium-sized florets, and Brussels sprouts cut in half, will take about 30 minutes to cook.
Zucchini pieces, green beans, bell peppers, tofu, and tempeh will take about 20 minutes to cook.
Of course, all of this depends upon your particular oven – some may take a little more, some a little less, but the timing is close.
What Other Ingredients Are Needed to Make a Sheet Pan Dinner?
For an easy meal, simply drizzle the cut ingredients with olive oil and a seasoning mix like lemon pepper before roasting.
You could also use a pre-made oil-based salad dressing like Italian or a vinaigrette instead of just using olive oil. Or make your own vinaigrette with olive or avocado oil, your favorite vinegar, a little prepared mustard, and some dried herbs like basil, thyme, or tarragon.
Where Do I Find Seasoning Mixes?
Although you can find basic seasoning mixes with the spices in almost any grocery store, I like to use the quality mixes from Penzey’s Spices. Their Lemon Pepper is tangy and full of flavor, Sunny Paris adds great onion flavor without cutting up onions, BBQ 3000 and Pizza Seasoning add an umami boost to everyday vegetables, and they have numerous other mixes – you are sure to find at least one you like!