Using a tried-and-tested sheet pan formula is like finding gold in the hills; it accelerates your chances of success.
But it’s not always so easy to just throw a bunch of random ingredients on a pan and hope for the best.
You gotta follow a few rules to get your meals coming out just right.
And that’s where sheet pan formulas come in.
With the right sheet pan formula, you can open up your fridge door, scan the contents, and instantly envision what kind of sheet pan recipe you can throw together.
You’ll remember which ingredients go well with others, and make something that everyone will love. With only one pan to clean at the end of it all!
Real quick, though: did you know I literally wrote the book on sheet pan recipes?
It’s true! My book is called The Healthy Sheet Pan Cookbook, by Rockridge Press, and it’s available on the
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So let’s get into these tried-and-tested sheet pan formulas, sound good?
I’ve got three guaranteed sheet pan formulas that will work like gangbusters. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you have at least ONE of these combos in your fridge as we speak- meaning dinner is only a few steps away!
The first up:
Lean protein + sliced starch + olive oil and kosher salt
Example: flank steak and sliced sweet potatoes, tossed in olive oil and kosher salt.
Why Kosher salt? The big flakes mean you taste the ingredient AND salt, which highlights the flavors that salt brings out.
Protein + cruciferous vegetables + acidic seasoning
Seared tofu + broccoli + orange and sesame dressing
Why this works: that acidity from the dressing brings out the nutty flavors you get from roasting cruciferous veggies. It’s all a bab=lance.
What if I don’t like tofu? This also works great with seafood, especially salmon.
What if I hate broccoli? Brussels sprouts are a great sub!
Last but not least:
Fat-rendering protein + non-starchy root vegetable + fruit
Like: chicken thighs, parsnips, cherries
Instead of mixing a seasoning, let roasting fruit bring the flavor to the pan as everything cooks. It’s easier (throw it on the pan and BOOM), you can often throw frozen fruit on without having to thaw it first, and it’s fun to play around with the acidity and sugars different fruits can offer.
This works best with stone fruits, I’ve found, but peeled oranges, apples, pears- all amazing fruits to roast alongside protein.
And by using a fat-rendering protein, you can cut down on any oils used in the meal, so everything winds up juicy and flavorful and each of the flavors play off the other.
Think of how the fat-rending thighs will cook and brown the parsnips, while the cherries almost melt in the hot oven, creating a sauce of perfect mouthwatering flavors.
There you go! Three rock solid sheet pan formulas that are practically guaranteed to make your dinnertime easier this week. Which one will you try first?
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