easy sheet pan dinner recipe ideas
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Need an easy dinner that involves just one pan and hardly any clean up? The choice is obvious: sheet pan dinners! These are some of our favorite sheet pan dinner ideas for any day.

Some people read recipes and think, “That sounds delicious! I’ll make it tonight after work and the gym and before Netflix in bed!” I read a recipe and stop after the third item I will inevitably have to wash. I loathe washing dishes. Sure, I pull on some heinous rubber gloves and turn up a podcast (thank you, “Reply All!”) but I do not enjoy it. Especially when I’m just watching the last of my free moments slip down the drain.

As a result, my favorite recipes require little more than a few vegetable chops and sheet pan. Crank up the oven, spread everything onto a sheet pan, and you’re done. Just one item to wash. Even better, line that baby with aluminum foil and you don’t even have to wash it!

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Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Sheet Pans and Cookie Sheets?

The following recipes are all single sheet pan dinners, so put those cookie sheets to work for something more than dessert!

And if you need a meatless main, you can replace animal protein with tofu in pretty much any sheet pan dinner (see this Sheet Pan Crispy Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli recipe for an already-veggie version and take it from there).

1. Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli

Salmon is a very forgiving fish, so it’s ideal for this sheet pan recipe. The parmesan crust gives it a great depth of flavor and also protects it from drying out while providing a perfect crunch. Feel free to use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or even panko to save yourself a step. Get the Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli recipe.

Related Reading on CNET: The Best Places to Buy Seafood Online

2. Sausage, Kale & Squash Sheet Pan Dinner

The perfect fall flavors all come together on one easy sheet pan in this recipe. You can usually even find the squash pre-cut in the grocery store if you’re in a rush. But use a good quality sausage, as the blistered crisped skin of these is the best part. And for an all-season supper, just switch out the specific veggies you use, and even the sausage (think chicken links when it’s warmer and you want a lighter bite). Get the Sausage, Kale & Squash Sheet Pan Dinner recipe.

3. Roasted Shrimp with Polenta

Buy a roll of pre-cooked polenta and slice it into rounds for the easiest dinner ever. The polenta rounds go on the sheet pan first as they take a little longer to crisp up, and then you simply scatter the shrimp and tomatoes toward the end so the shrimp stay perfectly moist and tender. Technically two steps, but still only one sheet pan. Get the Roasted Shrimp with Polenta recipe.

Related Reading: Everything You Need to Know About Buying Shrimp

4. Sheet Pan Chicken Caesar Salad

Replace a cold premade Caesar salad with this easy meal that will keep you warm without weighing you down on a chilly night. If you’ve never roasted lettuce before, this is the one to try because just like root vegetables, the lettuce gets crisp and caramelized, while the parmesan and panko turn a nutty golden brown on the chicken. Hot salad never tasted so good. Get the Sheet Pan Chicken Caesar Salad recipe.

5. Sheet Pan Clambake

Just like the shrimp recipe above, this hearty clambake keeps everything on one sheet pan. This method means all the briny shellfish juices meld with the spicy chili lime seasoning to create some pretty amazing potatoes. A squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of cilantro bring the whole meal together. (Try a version with lobster tails and andouille too!) Get the Sheet Pan Clambake recipe.

6. Sheet Pan Quiche

Admit it. There is rarely a time when you’re not in the mood for quiche. Especially with salty ham and sharp cheddar cheese. Put it all on a sheet pan and it’ll cook in no time, plus you’ll practically leap out of bed in the morning knowing this is for breakfast too. Well, maybe not leap, per se, but it’ll soothe a case of the Monday mornings. Get the Sheet Pan Quiche recipe.

7. Sheet Pan Shakshuka

Free form dinner at its best, this shakshuka couldn’t get easier to assemble. Throw some za’atar-spiced onions, potatoes, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes onto the sheet pan, bake for a while, then crack as many eggs as you’ve got all over it. It’s impossible to mess this up. Try it for dinner, then keep it in your pocket to impress your friends by making it for a mostly hands-off brunch when we can all gather together again. Once it’s in the oven, you’ll have both hands free for mimosas. Or Bloody Marys. Or one of each. Get the Sheet Pan Shakshuka recipe.

8. Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Zucchini

If you eat it with zucchini, chicken parm just got healthy, right? I’m declaring it so. Feel free to use whatever veggies looks good at the market or arrive in your CSA to round this out if zucchini has gone out of season. Get the Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Zucchini recipe.

Related Reading: 7 Produce Delivery Services to Try

9. Sheet Pan Pizza

Just like the pizza you grew up with on Fridays in the cafeteria, it just tastes better when it’s square. Top it with all of your favorites and save cash on delivery. Now it’s Friday whenever you need it! Get the Sheet Pan Pizza recipe.

10. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

The healthiest Mexican option you can find, these chicken fajitas cook up faster than you can make guacamole (which you should also do to go alongside). Multi-colored bell peppers pack vitamins and flavor into dinner, while dried chili flakes and paprika lend a spicy and smoky punch. Sheet pan steak fajitas are a great choice for red meat eaters. Get the Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas recipe.

11. Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

The secrets to this recipe are paprika and Greek yogurt. The yogurt provides both a richness and tangy note, while the paprika gives this dish a fruity earthy pop. Plus, it’s equally good hot or cold, making it ideal for lunch the next day. Two meals, one pan? Can’t beat that. Get the Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes recipe.

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The original version of this story was by Vanessa Simmons in 2015. It has been updated with additional images, links, and text.

Header image courtesy of rudisill / E+ / GettyImages

Vanessa W. Simmons is a former cook living in San Francisco, helping to run a food business. She’s probably hungry, but if not she could eat.
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