Roasted vegetables on a pan

Let’s Cook: Sheet Pan Suppers to Save Your Sanity

Our routines are upended — no question about it. Making healthy, filling dinners may pose a special challenge at this time.

To avoid early evening chaos and a mountain of dishes, and even have leftovers for the next day’s lunch, lean on sheet-pan cooking. This straightforward technique cooks protein and plants on a single pan and offers maximum flexibility. (If you want to serve it with a side of brown rice, quinoa, or another whole grain you have on hand, get that started separately.)

5 Steps to a Successful Sheet-Pan Supper

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line 1-2 sheet pans with parchment or foil.
  2. Choose your vegetables. Any vegetables will do, but try for a mix of starchy (sweet potatoes, squash, root vegetables) and non-starchy (broccoli, peppers, onions, kale, etc.). If you’re picking multiple vegetables that might cook at different rates, cut them into same-size pieces and segregate them for easy removal.
  3. Add protein. Tofu, tempeh, poultry, fish, or beef will all work here. Plan for 2 to 4 ounces per serving, and keep in mind that some proteins need longer to reach a safe temperature.
  4. Add fat and flavorings, and roast until golden brown. Drizzle with olive, grapeseed, or sunflower oil and season with salt and pepper. If you’re moved to add herbs and spices, smashed garlic cloves, lemon slices, or fresh chiles, go for it. (This isn’t the time to get picky. Use what you have and what you like.) Toss to coat, then arrange in a single layer with plenty of space between each item. Roast in the hot oven until the vegetables are golden brown and the protein is cooked through, checking every 10 minutes and tossing each time. Once items are cooked, remove them and continue cooking the rest.
  5. Serve with a whole grain, if desired.

Need recipe inspiration? Check out a few of our favorite healthy sheet-pan dinner recipes. Each one is adaptable, so think of them as a template — not a prescription.