I feel like as the holidays approach, people want to save their cooking energy up, so I’m doing an easy ‘Sheet-Pan’ week with a bunch of dinners that can be made on one sheet pan at the same temperature in the oven. That way, there’s no fussing about! Let us know what you think!
Monday: Sheet-Pan Mac & Cheese
When you think of mac & cheese, you think of creamy, cheesy noodles. This is that, but on crack. It’s super cheesy, super creamy, and the breadcrumb topping adds a much needed crunch.
This makes a LOT of mac & cheese, but lucky for you, it freezes well. Try packing it for lunch the next day for an extra special treat.
Time: 40 minutes
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the macaroni, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water. Set aside.
2. Heat the milk, cream cheese, and reserved pasta water in a large pot over medium heat, stirring until the cream cheese is completely melted and the mixture just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the cheddar, Monterey jack, Dijon mustard, and hot sauce, whisking until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth.
3. Add the macaroni to the pot and stir to combine. (It will look very loose, but the pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it bakes.) Season to taste with salt if desired. Spread the macaroni mixture on an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan.
4. Toss the panko, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl and sprinkle evenly over the pasta. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are brown and crisp, rotating halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!
Adapted from: foodnetwork.com
Tuesday: Sheet-Pan (Fried) Chicken, Broccoli
& Sweet Potato Wedges
Here’s an easy dinner that can be cooked all on one-sheet pan even with three different cooking times. Just prep each stage as the prior one is cooking and it’ll all be done at the same time. Cuts down on dishes, work, and time. And you end up with a super healthy and super easy dinner. What’s better than that?
Time: 60 minutes
6-8 (3 1/2-oz.) chicken drumsticks, skinned
Juice of one lemon
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large sweet potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
7 cups broccoli florets
1 garlic clove, minced
5 lemon wedges
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Place chicken in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and black pepper; toss to combine.
3. Place eggs in a shallow dish. Combine panko, Parmesan, oregano, and parsley in another shallow dish. Dip each drumstick in eggs then dredge in panko mixture. Place drumsticks on a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray; discard remaining egg and panko mixture. Coat tops of drumsticks with cooking spray. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.
4. While the chicken is baking, combine potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Arrange potatoes on one half of another rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Place in oven with chicken, and bake at 425°F for 10 minutes.
5. While chicken and potatoes are cooking, combine broccoli, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic clove, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove baking sheet with potatoes from oven; turn potatoes over, and add broccoli to other half of pan. Place in oven with chicken, and bake at 425°F for 20 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are done. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over broccoli. Serve remaining lemon wedges with the meal. Enjoy!
Adapted from: cooklight.com
Wednesday: Sheet-Pan Sausage & Peppers
This past summer, we were down the Jersey shore and went to the boardwalk where they had the best sausage and peppers sandwich. Ever! The bun had just the right amount of butter, the sausage had the perfect snap and the onions and peppers basically melted in your mouth. I still dream of it on cold days. So now that the weather has turned and is staying cool, I’m dreaming of hot summer days where I can eat that sandwich again.
Since we’re a long way off until next summer, I decided to warm my house and stomach with a sheet-pan version of that sandwich I had last summer. It uses chicken sausage instead of pork sausage to make it a little healthier. And smaller ciabatta buns instead of big hoagie rolls to reduce the carb intake.
This easy one-pan weeknight dinner is a total crowd pleaser and ready in about 30 minutes.
Time: 30-35 minutes
6 chicken sausage links (any flavor)
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 hoagie rolls, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the onions on the prepared baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread the onions in an even layer and roast for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and push the onions over to one side.
3. Toss the bell peppers in a medium bowl with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place the seasoned peppers in the center of the baking sheet. Place the sausages in the empty area next to the peppers, spacing them evenly apart.
Roast until the onions are translucent and tender, the peppers are soft and charred in spots, and the sausage is warmed through, about 20-25 minutes. Rotate sausages and veggies half way through for even cooking.
4. Cut the sausages into bite-size pieces and divide evenly between four hoagie rolls. Top with the peppers and onions. Enjoy!
Adapted from: foodnetwork.com
Thursday: Sheet-Pan Shrimp Scampi
What is scampi? Most people think it’s the combination of shrimp with pasta. But, scampi actually refers to the garlic butter sauce the shrimp is sautéed in. It can be served with bread crumbs on top, pasta, rice, or bread on the side. This version deconstructs the typical scampi and cooks each piece separately, but on one pan. It cooks up super quickly and doesn’t waste any time with prepping separately from cooking – they happen in parallel! You can even opt to omit the bread and double the veg for a carb-free version.
1 medium yellow squash, sliced into 1-inch slices
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, grated
Zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, for serving
1/2 loaf French bread, split horizontally, then halved crosswise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the squash and zucchini on a baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until golden, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the butter, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a couple of grinds of pepper in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter is melted, about 1 minute. Drizzle the bread evenly with 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture and sprinkle with the cheese; set aside. Toss the shrimp with the remaining butter mixture.
3. After the squash and zucchini have roasted for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet and flip the vegetables, moving them to the center third of the baking sheet. Put the bread on one outer third of the baking sheet and the shrimp on the other. Slide the vegetables closer to the bread so that the shrimp is in a single, even layer. (This is to ensure even cooking.) Return to the oven and cook until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread is golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!
Recipe from: foodnetwork.com
Friday: Sheet-Pan Mini Meatloaves
When I was a kid, my mom used to make meatloaf more than I preferred. Like one time a year was more than I preferred. Don’t get me wrong – she did it right keeping it moist and flavorful. I just thought the idea of meat looking like bread was wrong.
Fast forward 25 years later, and I still don’t love the idea of meatloaf. But, mini meatloaves are a different story. I’ve convinced myself they’re large meatballs so now I like them!
You make them in a similar way to meatballs and they taste amazing with green beans and any kind of potatoes. There’s no reason to limit what you serve them with, even pasta or rice! I make them with a baked potato, but mashed would be just as tasty.
Time: 45-55 minutes
2 medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated yellow onion
1/3 cup ketchup, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
1 large egg
12 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Coat a large piece of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray; place potatoes on foil. Drizzle potatoes with water; wrap foil around potatoes, sealing tightly. Place foil packet in one corner of a 13 x 18–inch half sheet pan and place in oven.
3. Meanwhile, mix breadcrumbs, onion, 2½ tablespoons ketchup, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, garlic, beef, and egg in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 x 2½ –inch freeform loaf and add to the sheet pan. Spread remaining 3 tablespoons ketchup evenly over meatloaves. Bake meatloaves and potatoes for 15 minutes.
4. Combine green beans and oil, tossing to coat. Remove pan from oven. Arrange green beans on pan around meat loaves and potatoes. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Enjoy!
Adapted from: cookinglight.com
Is there something you'd like to see Julie do for a week? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her!
Julie is a stay-at-home mom of two girls and with a passion for all things food. She loves growing, cooking, and, of course, eating food! She started meal planning years ago to stay organized and eliminate food (and money!) waste and started sharing it on her own blog, Season Generously.