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40 sheet-pan dinners that will make weeknights a whole lot easier

The humble sheet pan is the hero of weeknight cooking. Just chop, drop and roast.
/ Source: TODAY

Often, when you think about homemade pizza, you may think it requires a lot of work with special tools or appliances like a pizza oven, a certain pizza peel or a pizza stone. And yes, these tools are great, but certainly not required to achieve a perfectly cooked homemade pizza. You can make the magic happen with just fresh, simple ingredients and a standard sheet pan!

Sheet-pan dinner recipes might as well be called "weeknight saviors." Seriously. It's as easy as hitting up a quick service restaurant or picking up fast food and you don't even have to get in the car (especially helpful on rainy days).

Sheet-pan suppers are ideal for everyone, from folks who want to whip up something wholesome and healthy for themselves to those who need something tasty and nourishing for the whole family to home cooks on a mission to impress their dinner party friends. There are easy sheet-pan recipes for fresh, light seafood, elegant roast chicken dinners, as well as vegan and vegetarian recipes with fresh, seasonal veggies aplenty! The recipes are weeknight-friendly because many come together in less than 30 minutes and work well for those busy schedules.

Once you've tried your hand at all of these wonderfully easy dinner recipes, it can be fun to put together your own spin on some sheet-pan staples for the meal plan. Frank Proto, director of culinary operations at the Institute of Culinary Education previously shared four tips for making a sensational sheet-pan supper:

  1. Use proteins that reheat well the next day. Think chicken thighs, pork shoulder, pork shoulder chops or chuck steak.
  2. Keep the seasoning simple and make a sauce to give the dish more flavor.
  3. Cut denser vegetables like potatoes a little larger than lighter ones such as broccoli.
  4. Add lighter vegetables like onions and garlic later in the cooking process to avoid burning.

See? Easy breezy!

Sheet-pan chicken and meat recipes

This brightly-seasoned roast chicken dinner gets its sweetness from honey and its spice from ancho chile powder. When topped with creamy cotija cheese and zesty cilantro, this easy, all-in-one meal is unbeatable.

This sheet-pan supper takes franks and beans to another level. Buttery cannellini beans and kale pair wonderfully with this peppery, nutritious Italian sausage dinner. A delightfully easy meal for any night of the week, the whole thing only takes 10 minutes to put together in one sheet-pan and takes just 30 minutes to bake.

Sweet, saucy, and oh-so-delish, this is a dish your whole crew will really enjoy. It’s bright, colorful and packed with protein and other countless nutrients, thanks to the chunks of juicy pineapple, red onion and bell peppers.

Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt

This recipe because always leaves diners feeling cozy yet refreshed! Chicken and potatoes are a classic and jazzing it up with harissa and yogurt adds spice, tang and richness.

This sheet-pan Parm skips the frying step and adds roasted garlic bread and broccoli to make it a complete meal with very little cleanup. Plus, it’s a healthier way to enjoy everyone’s favorite Italian American dish.

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta

In this relatively speedy sheet-pan dinner, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are seasoned with a savory, cumin-scented spice mix and roasted with whole garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes, which turn soft and sweet in the oven's heat.

This chicken recipe takes a basic comfort food and turns it into something really special. The spicy harissa, sweet pomegranate, crunchy walnuts and fresh mint hit all the flavor notes. Also, the whole thing only takes about 30 minutes to make, so you've got a full dinner on the table fast.

Can't decide on a perfect slider recipe? Serve up a variety with cheddar-barbecue, mozzarella and tomato and a Chick-fil-A dupe on perfectly portioned mini chicken sandwiches.

This dish has all the flavors of a classic chicken cacciatore in a tender and juicy package. Plus, the side dish is made right alongside the chicken so it's an all-in-one meal. What could be a better family dinner?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! This quick and easy one-sheet wonder requires just a handful of basic ingredients and features a smoky and flavorful marinade for the chicken that the whole family will love.

This super simple sheet-pan chicken utilizes the garlicky, onion flavor of ramps, smashed garlic and lemon slices to infuse the chicken with these flavors, while the chicken drippings, in turn, season the rest of the dish. The lemon rinds will become soft and edible and the garlic soft and spreadable.

This sheet-pan chicken recipe pairs juicy, bursting sweet grapes with charred red onion, loads of rosemary and crispy, ancho chile-rubbed chicken. The pan juices are just so darn good — make sure to have a bit of bread to sop up all the goodness.

Sheet-Pan Pesto Chicken with Broccoli Rabe and Potatoes

Craving a comforting roast chicken dinner but don't have the time for an elaborate prep? This savory Italian-flavored meal includes the main dish, plus, all the hearty sides all in one sheet-pan. Just take 10 minutes out of your day, then let the oven do the work!

"There's nothing my family loves more than dark-meat chicken and bread. I, for one, appreciate that this delicious meal can come together on one sheet pan, providing everyone a win-win weeknight meal," says Siri Daly.

This meatloaf is light in texture but heavy in flavor, and when it's combined with my favorite potato recipe of all time and cooked on just one sheet pan … it's pretty much an award-winning dish.

Greek Sheet Pan Chicken

If you like quick and easy meals that can be prepped in advance, this is the recipe for you. The marinade can be made months in advance and frozen. Defrost overnight and pour over the chicken the morning you want to cook it. And yes, one pan means less mess to clean up.

Ratatouille Sheet Pan Chicken

As the meat cooks, the glorious chicken fat coats and crisps the vegetables, imbuing them with flavor. And the chicken absorbs the heady character of onion, peppers, and herbs. It’s not as laissez-faire as other sheet pan recipes — there’s some rotating of pans so everything cooks evenly — but the combination of crisp chicken skin, fragrant herbs and soft summer vegetables is well worth the work.

Pickled pepperoncini are the secret ingredient here, adding spice and tanginess. They also serve to brighten up the meaty pork chops, nutty chickpeas and earthy broccoli.

This chicken cacciatore is a the lighter, more summery take on the dish, and there's almost no prep involved! Feel free to double this recipe if you need to serve more.

This dish, a sheet-pan take on Italian sausage with peppers and onions, could not be easier but packs such a flavor punch with the added spice mixture and bright, herbaceous citrus sauce.

This one-pan baked chicken with vegetables looks as if it took hours to put together, but with these simple and flavorful ingredients it can be prepared in minutes. The parsley, lemon and chile flakes give it a fresh taste, while the olive oil and chicken juices cook the vegetables to juicy perfection. This high-protein, healthy dinner will be your go-to for an easy and surprisingly sophisticated meal.

For Nigella Lawson, this dish is the essence of easy home cooking. Everything goes into the roasting pan together — yes, even frozen peas, unthawed — and what emerges is a comforting dish with an elegant flavor that is sure to become a favorite.

Sheet-pan seafood recipes

Ideal for a solo night of self-care, this one-serving sheet pan meal is quick, easy and yet will make you feel nourished and spoiled. It can be easily multiplied for more guests but is a must to make.

Sheet Pan Flounder with Roasted Tomatoes and Black Olives

Cooking fish at home often seems intimidating. What type should you buy? Won't it overcook? Will it stick to the pan? Enter this recipe, one of the go-to dishes to serve friends or family. It’s the easiest and tastiest way to make fish for a group.

This powerhouse one-pan dish is so easy to prep that you'll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes! The flavored olive oil melts into these ingredients and creates an incredible flavor. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, potassium, selenium and antioxidants.

Flummoxed by cooking fish? In this simple and flavor-packed sheet-pan dinner, white fish is topped with a lemon-dill-mustard dressing for a bright, herby flavor that pairs well with juicy tomatoes and crunchy green beans.

The Mediterranean diet is trendy not only because it's healthy, but also because it's delicious. This all-in-one, easy shrimp dinner is no exception. Oregano, mint and feta round out the veggies, salty Greek olives and shrimp.

The fresh herbs and sophisticated flavors make this simple recipe feel fancy, but the quick prep and cleanup make it easy enough for any weeknight.

Miso paste and lemon: These two little ingredients that pack as much punch as another 20 combined. If you aren't familiar with miso paste, it is a form of fermented soybeans that somehow delivers an incredible amount of umami flavor in a tiny spoonful. On salmon, it provides the perfect flavor profile.

Vegetarian and vegan sheet-pan dinners

Sheet-Pan Salad

This sheet-pan salad is hard to put into words, but we'll try: Roast squash and cauliflowerwith shallots and chickpeas, then use the roasted veggies as a base to build a serious looker of a salad. It's a showstopper, actually. Creamy tahini dressing really makes it unique, but this salad is so pretty and delicious, you could top it with ranch and it'd still be a star!

Sheet-Pan Korean Barbecue Cauliflower

Whether it's Meatless Monday or you want a protein-rich serving of vegetables with plenty of umami flavor for dinner, this all-in-one dish is a winner. Cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms and bok choy come together beautifully in a Korean barbecue sauce speckled with raw cashews for a perfectly balanced crunch in each bite.

This sheet-pan dinner is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables, either as a main course or side dish. Eggplants have a high moisture content, so this recipe blasts them under direct heat from the broiler so that the liquid cooks off, then adds in the oil so that they soak them up like a sponge without leaving you with that rubbery texture that can happen with eggplant

"I live for my sheet pan because not only does it allow me to make delicious cookies, but it also gets lunch or dinner done all in one shot," says Samah Dada. "At the end of the day, I’ll slice up a bunch of vegetables — carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes — drizzle them in some extra-virgin olive oil and season them heartily with masala, salt and pepper."

Shakshuka is traditionally a breakfast food made in a cast-iron pan, but there is just never enough for the whole family to enjoy. This sheet-pan version makes enough for everyone — even with seconds, and will make for a fabulous, filling dinner.

You're going to love this versatile rice medley. It's perfect for a weeknight meal because everything is conveniently mixed together, dumped right onto a sheet pan and ready to eat in 30 minutes. Once you pull this pan from the oven, the onions will be caramelized, the raisins will be plump, the veggies will be tender.

Giada's Sheet-Pan Eggplant Parmesan

This healthier and simplified version of eggplant Parmesan is a perfect fit for an easy weeknight meal. You could use regular eggplants for this recipe, rather than Japanese eggplants, but you would need to salt them 20 to 30 minutes before.

Sheet-Pan Gnocchi

If you've never tried making gnocchi in the oven, this is a must-try! Using pre-packaged gnocchi makes this delicious vegetarian dinner from Ree Drummond even quicker and easier than the average sheet-pan dinner. It's sure to be a repeat recipe in the meal plan.

Sheet Pan Aloo Gobi

This staple of Indian cuisine is simple to put together, pretty hands off, and its flavor to ease ratio is off the charts. Also, potatoes and cauliflower are truly exceptional at absorbing and enhancing seasonings.

“Frying” rice in the oven, on a sheet pan, is not only possible, it actually produces the perfect amount of crisping. Kimchi takes this veggie-packed dinner to the next level flavor-wise, and eggs can be added or skipped depending on dietary preference.

Sheet-Pan Pizza Del Boscaiolo

Often, when you think about homemade pizza, you may think it requires a lot of work with special tools or appliances like a pizza oven, a certain pizza peel or a pizza stone. And yes, these tools are great, but certainly not required to achieve a perfectly cooked homemade pizza. You can make the magic happen with just fresh, simple ingredients and a standard sheet pan!