As much as I love to cook, there are many nights when I have neither the time nor the energy to orchestrate a nutritious multi-course meal. The popularity and time-saving genius of sheet pan suppers have opened the door to a world of simple and delicious meals that come together in minutes and are a dream to clean up. The idea of making an entire meal on a single baking sheet has captured the imaginations of home cooks around the world. It’s no surprise these one-pan wonders are the culinary darlings of the Internet.
If you haven’t heard of or tried sheet pan dinners, I offer this tasty starter recipe—or two. It’s so simple and prep takes only minutes—especially if you buy your veggies pre-cut. From here the world of an almost infinite variety of sheet pan recipes is just a mouse click away.
This easy recipe for two starts with two marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I used my go-to salad dressing (published in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of My Generation) as a marinade. It really couldn’t be simpler and works perfectly for this dish.
Maple Dijon Dressing/Marinade
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 clove garlic minced
Combine the ingredients in a jar and give a vigorous shake.
This is one of my favorite sheet pan recipes. The rich, nuanced taste of the marinated chicken is a perfect foil for the root vegetables, which are as yummy as they are colorful. The fennel adds a surprising taste that ups the sophistication of the dish a few notches. Here’s the sheet pan hack that turns one meal into two—just add extra chicken to your pan.
Meal #1: Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Chicken with Root Veggies
4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.25 lbs), or an equal weight of chicken thighs, or a mixture.
3 cups of diced root veggies—1/4” dice (I used parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes, precut from my supermarket)
1 fennel bulb—trimmed and cut into wedges (save the stalks for other uses)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Maple Dijon Dressing
Preheat oven to 375º.
Marinate the chicken breasts—two for now and two more for the next meal—in 1/4 cup of dressing. Or you can mix it up by adding chicken thighs to the two breasts. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour, but overnight is even better.
Lightly grease sheet pan (I use non-stick aluminum foil for easy cleanup) and arrange all the marinated chicken in the center of the pan.
Surround the chicken with vegetables. Drizzle veggies with the remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing. Salt and pepper chicken and veggies to taste.
Roast for about 40–50 minutes until chicken is cooked through and veggies are softened.
Serve half the chicken with the roasted vegetables and warm, crusty bread. Refrigerate the rest of the chicken for Meal #2.
Now you’re ready for your second meal, courtesy of last night’s Sheet Pan Supper. What do you get when you combine the savory yet slightly sweet taste of the Maple Dijon Marinated Sheet Pan Chicken with a classic Old School Waldorf Salad? You get a substantial salad that is out of this world delicious, that’s what!
Meal #2: Waldorf Chicken Salad with Honey Greek Yogurt Dressing
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I like full fat, but any will do)
2 teaspoons honey
2 cups diced Maple Dijon chicken
1 red apple (I like Gala) cored and diced
1 celery stalk sliced thin
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup toasted nuts, chopped (walnuts are traditional, but I also love pecans, almonds or even sunflower seeds)
Mix the yogurt and honey. Combine the next five ingredients. Dress with the yogurt mixture.
Immediately before serving top with nuts. Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich made with multigrain bread.
Use the feathery fronds from the fennel, finely chop and mix them into your salad. Think dill only…different!
Fennel stalks and fronds can be used when poaching fish, added to chicken or vegetable stock, and added to pesto.
If you find yourself with leftover veggies, try reheating them in a skillet and topping them with a fried egg or two. This veggie hash is a satisfying and totally tasty breakfast.
Candace Karu makes her living writing about food, fitness and travel. She lives near the ocean in an old farmhouse with two ill-behaved dogs and two hard-working barn cats. Follow her on Instagram: @candacekaru or at www.candacekaru.com.