In the home cook’s ongoing quest for the easiest, speediest, healthiest weekday dinner option, the sheet-pan meal just might reign supreme. With a single pan and less than an hour, you can enjoy a nutritious, all-in-one meal.
If you follow only one tip, let it be this: Give your food room to breathe. Overcrowding your ingredients will cause them to steam rather than roast, and you’ll miss out on the caramelized crust and deep flavor they would otherwise develop.
That’s why I like to use the largest sheet pan that fits in my oven. These recipes all call for a standard half-sheet pan (18 x 13 inches) and make enough for two servings. You can easily double or triple any of them — just use a second pan and cook in batches if necessary so that all the ingredients fit in a single layer.
For easiest cleanup, line your sheet pan before putting it into the oven. There are plenty of liner options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks (see “Line ’Em Up,” below).
These recipes can also be prepped in advance. Just pack up individual servings once they’ve cooled, add some cooked grains and fresh herbs, and bask in the glory of being a make-ahead-meal genius all week long.
Spicy Ginger Shrimp
Makes two servings
Prep time: Five minutes, plus 30 minutes marinating time
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
3 tbs. hoisin sauce
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 tbs. rice vinegar
1 ½ tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red-pepper flakes (optional)
Spicy Ginger Shrimp
1/2 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed if frozen)
2 cups green beans, trimmed
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients. Pour two-thirds of the marinade into an airtight container, reserving 2 tablespoons for later. Add shrimp to marinade and toss to coat. Marinate shrimp for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to two hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange green beans and bell pepper on sheet pan in a single layer. Add remaining 2 tablespoons marinade plus ¼ teaspoon salt, and mix on sheet pan until thoroughly coated.
Place sheet pan in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, then add shrimp. Return to the oven and cook until vegetables have softened and shrimp is pink and opaque, about five to seven minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion, and serve with optional cooked grains.
This originally appeared as “Simple Sheet-Pan Meals” in the October 2019 print issue of Experience Life.