Out of the way, Crock Pot. The sheet pan is taking your place—it’s our go-to for getting dinner on the table in minutes during the busy fall season. And bonus: there’s only one pan to clean up. How can something this easy be soooo good?
It’s sooo simple. Just season your meat, fish, shrimp, chicken, tofu or any protein you like, and place it on the pan. Broil larger pieces for a few minutes before you add your fresh veggies in. Potatoes are a great addition too, but cut them up so they cook at the same rate as everything else. Mingle it all together on the pan or keep it separated—your choice.
Coat it all with marinade, or a few glugs of good oil (try some of our pour-your-own flavored oils in the Bulk Foods area—we especially like using the bacon, shallot and garlic flavors for this.) Add some salt and pepper, and any other seasonings that appeal to you, and roast the whole thing on a high temperature (400-425°) until it’s golden brown—about 15 or 20 minutes. The metal sheet pan will heat up and give everything a nice sear on the bottom.
Need help getting your sheet together?
We’ve got some tried and true sheet pan recipes we know you’ll love. If you’re in the mood for a midweek island getaway, try this month’s featured recipe, Hawaiian BBQ Pork Sheet Pan Meal.
Portabella Mushroom Sheet Pan Fajitas brings the classic sizzling dish from the fire to the sheet pan.
And Mediterranean Gnocchi and Vegetables is another great one for sheet pan nights.
Feel free to riff on these recipes, have fun and create your own. Sheet pan cooking is very forgiving.
Sheet pan shopping tips
There are aluminum sheet pans and stainless steel ones. Aluminum is less expensive, and it heats up and cools down faster. But there are reasons why professional kitchens are outfitted with stainless steel pans. They’re less likely to warp under high heat, or get scratched with use, or become stained when you’re cooking salty or acidic foods. Aluminum is also a reactive material, which means it can transfer a metallic taste to food. And an aluminum pan needs to be hand-washed, because it will discolor in the dishwasher. Stainless steel can go straight into the dishwasher with everything else.
The lower the gauge number, the thicker the pan.
Choose something with a thickness between 10 gauge (about 0.102 inches) and 18 gauge (about 0.0403 inches), 10 gauge being the thicker option. The lower the gauge, the higher the temperature it can take without bending or warping.
Whichever sheet pan you choose, put it to work this fall, and enjoy turning the end of a busy day into something special.