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I’ve spoken to no less than 5 people in the last week who have never even heard of sheet pan meals. To which I whip out this incredibly easy chicken sheet pan dish, raise my arms to the heavens, and sing the praises of a dish that literally goes from cutting board to tabletop in like, 20 minutes. Tops.
All that to say if you’re not on the sheet pan meal train yet then choo-choo, mama. Because finding a simple chicken sheet pan meal – or any sheet pan meal, really- is gonna suddenly make your weeknight cooking so much easier.
The beauty of a sheet pan meal is threefold:
It has to be simple, or else it won’t cook right
The best sheet pan meals contain a veggie, a protein, and a sauce (that’s it!)
You have one pan to wash at the end of it all. And if you line your sheet pan with tin foil, you have no pans to wash at the end of it all.
Here’s me, after successfully cooking this Greek chicken sheet pan meal the other night, and discovering it only took 20 total minutes from start to finish:
It’s that easy.
Of course, you can’t just throw a bunch of ingredients on a sheet pan and hope for the best. There are a handful of rules that should be followed for maximum quality:
✅Make sure your ingredients are all cut or prepared in a way that makes them cook in the same amount of time.
Case in point: This Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Meal I’m highlighting in the recipe at the bottom of this post. I took one of those gargantuan chicken breasts and sliced it in half, so each piece was about the same size- this ensures even cooking.
Then I paired the chicken with eggplant, a veggie that roasts well but not super quickly. By chopping the eggplant into ½” slices, it ensured they were the right size to roast to a perfect texture alongside the chicken. Bigger, or thinner, or smaller slices would have cooked differently. So until you’re comfortable with cooking times of various ingredients, make sure you find recipes from people you trust and follow their recommendations.
✅ While the pan’s in the oven, make a quick side.
I like serving my sheet pan meals with something starchy on the side, like boiled potatoes, or cheesy grits. While the sheet pan is in the oven, I make the starch quickly on the stovetop.
Or I just, you know, don’t do any extra cooking and use the time to chillax with my family and start unwinding at the end of a long ass day. You totally have permission to do that as well, mama.
Kimchi Fried Rice is super easy to whip up on a weeknight for dinner, and it’s a great way to use up leftover ingredients hanging around in the fridge.
The spicy, umami flavor of kimchi tossed in fried rice elevates the dish and perks it up, while being good for your gut health at the same time!
And using VeeTee Rice is a super easy way to make fried rice, which is always best when made with slightly old, dried out rice. Since VeeTee is a parcooked, microwaveable rice, it’s cooked just enough and dry just enough to toast and caramelize the rice, making this dish a perfect “I’m in the mood for fried rice” option that you don’t have to think ahead for.
I’ll also confess that I have a major soft spot for kimchi, which is a Korean style of spicy pickle.
Koreans add kimchi to tons of different dishes, and it’s so good for you. If you’re thinking about hopping on the fermented foods bandwagon, kimchi is a great place to start.
Where we live in New York City, kimchi is really easy to find. You can even grab a jar in our local bodega/deli!
If you’re used to getting your fermented goodness from things like sauerkraut or kombucha but you haven’t given kimchi a try, I really recommend it. It’s a cool, pickle-y, spicy flavor that adds so much to any recipe. My favorite way is on the side of my scrambled eggs in the morning!
Remember the secret I just told you, about how the perfect fried rice, kimchi fried rice or otherwise, starts with slightly old and dried out rice?
It’s by losing its moisture that puts rice in its best position to be fried, so VeeTee’s pre-cooked Heat and Eat Single Flavor packages are a great pantry option to keep on hand for nights when you’re in the mood to whip up a batch of fried rice.