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11 sheet-pan dinners that make the perfect lunch the next day

The gift of the sheet-pan dinner is that it keeps on giving into the next day!
Sheet Pan Sausage
Bowl of Healthy Sheet Pan Sausage, Asparagus, Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Mini Peppers over Quinoa.rudisill / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Sheet-pan dinners are a quick and easy way to get a healthy meal on the table with minimal cleanup. But another bonus of these meals is that they yield enough leftovers to serve for lunch the next day.

Frank Proto, director of culinary operations at the Institute of Culinary Education told TODAY Food that he likes to use items that reheat well for sheet-pan meals, such as chicken thighs, pork shoulder, pork shoulder chops or chuck steak. "Stick with cuts that have some fat, certain steaks and lean meats tend to dry out and are not good the next day," he advised.

Another secret to great sheet-pan meals is to keep it simple with the protein and to season simply with salt and pepper.

"I like to make a sauce that accompanies the finished product like salsa verde, chimichurri or salsa macha," said Proto. "This way you can customize each meal to the way you like it."

When it comes to a successful sheet pan meal, it's important to cut the dense veggies like potatoes a little larger than lighter ones such as broccoli, Proto said.

"Also, add quicker cooking vegetables into the oven later in the cooking process, such as onions, garlic and other aromatics," he said. "Mix it up and use produce that is in season!"

If you want dinner to turn into lunch for the next day, to enjoy at home or pack into your kids' lunchboxes, you can use the sheet pan recipes as fillings for sandwiches or wraps, or even toss the ingredients into chicken or vegetable broth to make a soup.

"Make a little more than you think you need, about 1.5 times the normal amount of food you make for dinner," suggested Proto. "Involve the kids and make a range of items that they can select and make on their own trays."

Proto suggests trying out the following sheet pan meals and tossing them with some greens and vinaigrette to make a salad for lunch. And don't forget to line your tray with foil to make cleanup even easier!

  • Chicken thighs, potatoes and broccoli: Thick cut potatoes, broccoli spears tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper along with chicken thighs.
  • Meat and potatoes: Chuck steak, whole peeled potatoes, whole peeled onions and peeled crushed potatoes are seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Pork shoulder chops: Pork shoulder chops are added to the pan with cored and quartered granny smith apples, sweet potatoes that are cut in long spears and green beans.

Need more inspiration for your next sheet pan meal? Try out these recipes that will look just as good the next day for lunch as they did for dinner!

Sheet Pan Pineapple Chicken

This bright and colorful meal would taste amazing the next day as a wrap!

Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt

Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt

Add more greens to this dish to turn yesterday's dinner into today's big, yummy salad.

Sheet-Pan Chicken Parm with Garlic Bread and Broccoli

This no-fry recipe has all the elements to make a perfect dinner or lunch.

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta

The boneless, skinless chicken in this recipe can be put into a wrap or serve it the next day with rice or a salad.

Eggplant with Tomato, Broccolini and Mozzarella

This sheet-pan meal is a great way to get your veggies in -- turn it into a salad the next day for even more nutrients!

Valerie Bertinelli's Sheet-Pan Baked Salmon

Add this healthy fish to a salad the next day to make delicious, complete meal!

Valerie Bertinelli's Salmon-Stuffed Avocados

Use the salmon recipe above to make yet another scrumptious lunch.

Sheet-Pan Masala-Spiced Veggie Bowl

Bowls are on-trend for healthy lunches for good reason — they pack all the nutrients you need to power through your day into one container.