“Sheet pan dinners” are all the rage. Whose social media feeds haven’t been chock-full of delicious-looking pan dinners over the last few months?
Why are sheet pans your best friend when it comes to making easy, healthy dinners for your family (or yourself!)? The Papa Cantella’s family has made literally thousands of dinners on sheet pans over the years – back before it was even “a thing!” – and we’ve got the scoop.
Perhaps the best thing about cooking your whole dinner on a sheet pan is that cleanup is a breeze. This makes it even easier on weeknights to get dinner on and off the table in a snap. Our favorite sheet pan dinner tip? Line the pan with aluminum foil then spray with cooking spray before you add any food. That takes cleanup from “a little scrubbing” to “wad it up and throw it away!”
Roasting Makes Everything Better
Did you know that roasting brings out the natural sweetness in almost every ingredient? Roasting your food is a great way to produce concentrated, caramelized flavor, particularly in vegetables. A few of our favorite veggies to roast include carrots, onions, and eggplant, all of which get even more delicious after a trip through the oven. And oven-baked sausage? It’s impossible to mess up! Even heat is a sausage’s best friend.
No Babysitting Your Food
Another great thing about cooking sheet pan dinners is that once you get everything on the pan, you can more or less walk away for a bit. We use the time while everything’s roasting to give the kids a bath, open the mail, or even just catch up with our spouses over a glass of Malbec. Sometimes a slow-stirred risotto is exactly what you need; Tuesdays are just not that time. Sheet pan dinners are hands-off in the best possible way.
Easy Prep, Easy Cook
Our favorite thing about sheet pan meals is that they’re family friendly. Because they’re so forgiving, they’re great for getting the kids involved in the kitchen. From chopping the fresh vegetables to skewering the sausage, there’s always something the kids can do while you’re getting your dinner on the pan. We find that the more involved kids are in the cooking process, the more likely they are to eat the nutritious, delicious result!
Sheet pan dinners are a revelation. They’re like casseroles but easier. Like pasta dishes but lighter. There’s really nothing not to love about streamlining the way you get weeknight dinner on the table.
Looking for a new way to spice up your rotating list of sheet pan menus? Fresh sausages + chopped vegetables like peppers, asparagus, potatoes, or eggplant are always our go-tos, but we’ve started incorporating lots of fresh herbs and even sauces to create more cohesive dishes.
There’s really no wrong way to cook your favorite sheet pan dinner. We’d love to hear your best recipes! Share them with us over on the Papa Cantella’s Facebook page.