Kate Jerome is a freelance writer, horticulture instructor and the urban farm director at a local technical college.

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Simple Winter Sheet Pan Dinners
by Kate Jerome       #Edibles   #Recipes   #Vegetables

Chicken sheet pan dinner is roasted in a hot oven for a short time.


Chicken sheet pan dinner takes few ingredients, all of which are readily available.

Basic sheet pan dinner
Serves two

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4-6 small, red potatoes, quartered
½ red onion, sliced thick
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
½ sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ sweet yellow or green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
5-6 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced in half
High quality, fruity olive oil
Fresh herbs of choice. Rosemary and thyme are excellent.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place vegetables in roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Rub chicken with a little olive oil and then salt and pepper to taste. Nestle in with vegetables. Sprinkle chopped herbs on the chicken and then roast 35-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170 F, and vegetables are tender. If chicken isn’t browned enough, put under broiler for five minutes.

I love winter cooking. There is nothing that makes you feel cozier than the aromas of garlic, rosemary, potatoes, and whatever else you love to eat. But I’m also all for making cooking as simple as possible. I discovered the beauty of sheet pan dinners a few years ago and have been using them as my go-to for busy days and even for entertaining ever since.

This is a great way to show off all of those delicious fall vegetables, from the root crops, such as parsnips, beets, and turnips to winter squash and potatoes. The combination is really up to you and your family’s tastes. You can change flavor easily by the addition of different herbs. Spice up your dish with chilies or rosemary; mellow it with smoky paprika or roasted garlic. The essence of the sheet pan dinner is that the flavors of everything meld and caramelize in flavors unlike they would be, if served alone. Carrots cooked in the pan with chicken taste totally different than carrots cooked by themselves.

Quick and easy
Best of all, you simply prepare it and slide it in the oven. The only prep time is the time it takes to pare and cut up the vegetables. You can even prepare everything ahead of time and then just refrigerate until you want to cook it. It’s a great way to have a wholesome dinner in half an hour when you come home from a long day at work or in the garden.

When your sheet pan dinner comes out of the oven, pair it with a crisp salad, crusty bread and you have a delicious, home-made healthy meal.

The easiest pan to cook the dinner in is a flat pan with sides. A jellyroll pan can work, but if the sides are too short, you’ll have spillovers. The optimal pan is the bottom of a broiler pan. You can also use a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, but the flavor may be somewhat different since a smaller surface area and higher sides tend to do more braising than roasting.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can change it into whatever you fancy. Salmon lends itself really well to cooking in a sheet pan as do cod and sole. For vegetarian options, use marinated tofu cut into 1-inch squares or cooked chickpeas mixed with the vegetables. You can go vegan easily by just cooking the vegetables. For any of the recipes, use whatever vegetables you love. Changing them out will give you an entirely different flavor each time.

Green beans and salmon have been roasted and are ready to serve with a lemon garnish.

Salmon with Green Beans
Serves two

2, 4-ounce salmon filets of the same thickness, skin removed
½ pound green beans, trimmed, but left whole
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
½ lemon, sliced½ lemon, cut into wedges
Few sprigs of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried

Preheat oven to 425 F. Blanch green beans briefly in boiling water (just about five minutes). Rinse in cool water. Toss beans with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Place salmon in oiled roasting pan, spreading beans around the salmon. Drizzle salmon with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill and place lemon slices on top. Roast 15-17 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Serve with additional lemon wedges on the side.

Fall Root Vegetable Medley

1 beet, cut into ½-inch dice
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 carrot, scrubbed or peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
Olive oil
Chopped herbs of choice (thyme and rosemary are delicious)
Crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. Place in roasting pan and roast 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or at room temperature with a sprinkling of feta cheese. Delicious served over rice.

Salmon sheet pan dinner is served. • Cut the stem ends from green beans in preparation.

Asian Treat

1 block extra firm tofu, marinated and cut into 1-inch thick slices or cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small carrot, shredded
½ 10-ounce package frozen edamame, thawed
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss vegetables with seasonings and place in roasting pan. Place tofu on top, and roast 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.


Proteins to choose from:
• Chicken tenders
• Chicken breast
• Pork chops
• Ham
• Kielbasa
• Hot or sweet Italian sausage
• Andouille sausage
• Turkey breast
• Turkey leg
• Tofu. Marinated will have the best flavor. Marinate your own or purchase it marinated.
• Chickpeas
• Salmon

• Zucchini
• Summer squash
• Winter squash such as butternut or Delicata
• Pumpkin
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Peppers, sweet and chili
• Root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, parsnip, turnip, kohlrabi, rutabaga, and beet
• Onion
• Garlic
• Mushrooms of all kinds
• Edamame

Herbs (may be used fresh or dried):
• Thyme
• Rosemary
• Dill
• Basil
• Oregano
• Lemon thyme
• Tarragon
• Lemon balm
• Sage
• Parsley


A version of this article appeared in a November/December 2017 print edition of State-by-State Gardening.
Photography courtesy of Kate Jerome.


Posted: 11/14/18   RSS | Print


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