Are you tired of sitting around waiting for someone to hand you a fun new sheet pan dinner to follow? Screw that! You can make your dreams a reality by making up not one, not two, but an infinite amount of sheet pan dinners using my incredibly easy sheet pan dinner formula. Are you ready? LET’S DO THIS.
Cook your sheet pan dinner at 400 degrees.
We’re keeping it simple, ya? So we’re just going to roast these sheet pan dinners at 400 degrees. You’ll notice I listed out the cooking times for each protein below so you know how long they are going to need in a 400 degree preheated oven. Easy, peasy.
Some meats don’t need as much cooking time, so add them later! Just because you want your vegetables and potatoes to roast for 30 minutes doesn’t mean you need to overcook a nice piece of salmon because of it. Add the salmon halfway and cook it with your vegetables for the last 15 minutes.
Remember, you are not restricted to this food list! I provide different types of foods as examples of what I use for my sheet pan dinners. But you can easily follow this same formula and do whatever kind of sheet pan you want. Just make sure to research the proper cook time and internal temperature for your protein of choice if you don’t see it listed below.
Choose 1 protein
Picking your protein is the first important step because it’s going to determine how long you cook your food for! Each type of meat cooks for a different period of time, which I list out with each protein below.
- Chicken thighs (45 minutes)
- Chicken wings (45 minutes)
- Chicken strips/tenders (20 minutes)
- Frozen meatballs (30 minutes)
- Shrimp (15 minutes)
- Tilapia (15 minutes)
- Salmon (15 minutes)
- Chicken sausage (30 minutes)
- Pork chops (30 minutes—depending on the chop thickness)
- Pork tenderloin (30 minutes—depending on thickness)
- Kielbasa (20 minutes)
- Turkey sausage (30 minutes)
- Bacon (20 minutes)
Not sure if your meat is done? Get yourself a meat thermometer and check the temperatures. Here are the internal temperatures to look out for:
- Chicken: 165 degrees
- Ground beef: 155 degrees
- Ground turkey: 165 degrees
- Pork: 145-160 degrees
- Seafood: 145 degrees
Choose 1-2 vegetables
Okay, so my basic rule of thumb is to roast vegetables for 30 minutes. Here are the vegetables I personally love to use in my sheet pan dinners.
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Summer squash*
- Butternut squash
- Snow peas
- Green beans
- Corn on the cob (sliced in chunks)
- Cherry tomatoes
*Indicates a vegetable that most likely won’t need a 30 minute roast. Check after 10-15 minutes and see if these vegetables are to your liking.
Choose 1 carb (optional)
Now you want a low-carb dinner, go for it! The sky is the limit with this sheet pan dinner formula, so if you’re not feeling like having an extra starch with your dinner, you can skip. However, if you’re wanting the starch, here are some of my favorites to roast alongside my dinner. These all roast perfectly around 30 minutes of cooking.
- Potato wedges
- Mini potatoes
- Sweet potato wedges
- Frozen gnocchi
- Chickpeas (canned, drained)
Now there are some carbs I like to add to my dinners that don’t make sense to roast. Like, you’re probably not going to roast a tortilla, right? But a chicken that has taco seasoning next to some sliced bell peppers just calls for a pile of tortillas. So here are some non-cook carbs you can add afterwards instead:
- Sandwich bread
However, I do recommend toasting these before serving, because who doesn’t love some toasted bread?
Choose 1 spice
Alright now this is where we’re going to get creative, y’all. You’re going to choose how you want your sheet pan dinner to taste! If you’re looking for an Italian theme, use the Italian Seasoning. In the mood for some spicy cajun? Use that seasoning instead!
For your seasonings, here are some I love to use:
- All-purpose seasoning
- Taco seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Herbes de provence
- Garlic salt
- Indian spice blend
- Everything bagel seasoning
Mix with your base
Before you cook, you cannot forget your base. You’re going to want to mix your food in the following base. To do so, you can drizzle and sprinkle everything on the sheet pan and spread it around with a pastry brush or a wooden spoon.
For a proper sheet pan dinner, follow this base formula:
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoning (listed above)
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (or coconut, or avocado)
Choose 1 sauce (optional)
Now that your sheet pan dinner is cooked, why not add a sauce to go with? I find it fun to add a dipping sauce or a drizzle of some kind of sauce on top of my dinner, so here are a few I commonly add to my meals.
- Dijon mustard
- Taco sauce
- Buffalo sauce
Here are some examples!
Here are a few of the sheet pan dinners I’ve made to inspire you.
Okay I hope this was super helpful and I cannot wait to see your beautiful sheet pan dinners. So can you do me a favor? Follow me on Instagram and share your meals using #cookingwithkes so I can see! And if you tag me, I am so going to share on my Instagram stories so people can drool over your beautiful dinner.