Life is busy enough without having to worry about what to feed your family after a long day at work. Between sports, homework and other extracurricular activities, evenings can often feel more hectic than the actual work day. It would be wonderful if were able to prepare Pinterest-worthy dinners that looked like they came out of French bistro. Sadly, however, after the backpacks are strewn in the living room, post-school grazing commences, fights are broken up, and last minute carpools are created, it feels like an accomplishment if a salad accompanies a frozen pizza. These 15 sheet pan recipes are meant to counterbalance the craziness of dinnertime with simple and healthy meal options.
Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables
Now that Autumn is around the corner and grocery stores are starting to put out the beautiful varieties of squashes and other root vegetables, they are practically begging to be cooked. The potatoes suggested in this recipe provide the starch so there is no need to add rice or noodles! The balsamic vinegar adds a subtle tartness to the chicken that will get your palette revving. Chicken thighs are always juicy. This recipe will make the meat fall off of the bones.
Chicken Parmesan with Broccoli
Just by mentioning “chicken nuggets”, kids begin to salivate. The frozen ones from the grocery stores or the ones manufactured by the golden arches are high in sodium and contain all kinds of chemicals used to amplify their shelf life. This recipe gives kids a healthy “chicken nugget” base and an expansion of their palette. Created a baked chicken parmesan eliminates the need for frying thus only using a minimal about of saturated fats. The green broccoli adjacent to the red marinara sauce is as appealing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.
This is a good addendum for “taco tuesdays”. The spicy chicken breasts with red and yellow peppers and onions are a healthier option than the cheese laden ground beef stuffed tortillas. Fresh cilantro, lime and cotija cheese are the perfect pairings for this family-friendly meal!
Orange-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potatoes
The aroma of apples and cinnamon emitting from the oven embodies autumn just as much as the gold and red foliage of New England. This recipe stands out because the sweetness from the apples, yams, and orange juice balance the savoriness of the pork tenderloin. The citric acids from the fruits also help to tenderize the meat as it bakes.
Chili Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes and Green Beans
Mustard and pork are a classic savory pairing. The chili spice rub adds the right amount of heat to elevate the simplicity of this recipe. Baking the green beans and potatoes with the pork and it’s rub allow the juices to tenderize and flavor the hearty vegetables. When plated, the complexities of colors, aromas, and flavors will fool anyone that this was prepared on a sheet pan.
Bratwurst with Peppers and Onions
Who doesn’t love a good brat? This classic will have the family requesting it again and again. Unlike grilling bratwurst, these sausages won’t go up in flames. The peppers and onions enhance the spiced ground pork casings by giving them a different texture. You can eat this with a bun or, for a low-carb option, skip it. This is one meal that doesn’t need anything else!
Steak with Potatoes and Broccoli
A well-cooked steak needs very little seasonings for it to melt in your mouth. Garlic, salt and pepper is all you need to make your whole family be amazed by your culinary skills. The potatoes and broccoli add nutrients that will help digest the red meat and make you feel full. With any red meat option, a glass of wine goes a long way.
Mongolian Beef with Green Beans
Asian dishes are a must for any weekly menu. However, some recipes call for complicated methods and esoteric ingredients that will make you place a call for take out instead of cooking it yourself. This recipe, however, is fantastically simple and even better than the local restaurant. The sticky sweet ginger and soy sauce evenly coats the thin and moist slices of beef. The crisp green beans mirror the crusted edges of the beef whose middle is completely juicy and delectable.
Greek Bifteki with Potatoes
Just because you are using a simple cooking method doesn’t mean your dinner has to be boring. Greek Bifteki (beef burgers) stuffed with feta cheese sound exotic. The fragrances of the fresh herbs mixed with the marbleized beef literally melts onto the pan. Unlike traditional burgers, bifteki are not served with buns. Instead, they are served with roasted potato wedges and tomatoes. The deliciously distinct feta cheese competes with, but also balances, the sharpness of the fresh parsley. It may be a new dish for your family, now, but will have them asking for it every week!
Sourdough Tuna Melts
Having a proper balance of sides with your main dish is a great meal construct. But a sandwich….t’s chameleon like transformation can indulge anyone’s flavor palette. It is by far the greatest meal concept. This tuna melt is a superb variation of those greasy diner ones. In this recipe, you have a balance of textures – the crispness of the artisan bread and crusty exterior of the tuna cake blend seamlessly with the creamy interior of the tuna cake, molten cheese, and softened tomato. You will definitely need a napkin for this one…and probably seconds.
Fish and Chips
A classic on both sides of the pond, recipes for fish and chips vary but they are usually all deep fried. This greasy combo is fine if you’re ordering it after a late night in the pub, but proves to be super messy when prepared at home. It’s also way better than the frozen fish sticks Mom used to “make” back in the 80’s. This recipe is so much healthier but equally as delicious. The panko covered cod is flaky and moist – exactly how you want your fish to be. The chips, cut from russet potatoes, are so crispy you won’t even notice they haven’t been deep fried. The optional homemade tartar sauce provided is equally as simple to make and a must.
Salmon with Dill Sauce and Roasted Baby Potatoes
Baking salmon is not a new concept. But being able to bake it with sides and a sauce – to get an entire meal of fish with one pan, is something extraordinary. Because you are using baby potatoes, they can cook alongside the salmon and be perfectly cooked. The pairing of dill and lemon is timeless because it is absolutely delicious. The homemade Greek yogurt dill dip offers a cool and creamy balance for the distinct fish.
Hearty Ratatouille with Goat Cheese
This meal only sounds and looks complicated. It’s robust vegetables and tomato sauce served with french bread provide a healthy version of comfort food for the cool autumn nights. The smooth and rich goat cheese adds a sophisticated touch to the brightly colored vegetables.
Roasted Vegetable Polenta Stacks with Balsamic Glaze
This hearty meal gives you plenty of rib-sticking goodness. Between the saltiness of the feta cheese, the tanginess of the balsamic glaze, and the creaminess of the polenta, you create unexpected symbiotic relationships with the vegetables. This will wow your family for sure on a regular old school night.
Pizza with Olives and Sundried Tomatoes
You can not NOT have pizza as part of your weekly menu. This vegetarian pizza is packed with flavor which will have you making it over and over. The olives and tomatoes elevates your regular pepperoni pizza game. Combining mozzarella, provolone and parmesan cheeses will have your eaters ask why this pizza is so delicious. So skip the delivery guy or close your freezer door and have your kids help spread the dough!