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 under an hour.
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.
It’s also why I’ve written now two cookbooks entirely made of sheet pan meals. I love them so much, and I know you’re gonna find recipes in these books you’ll want to make over and over.
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 or seasoning (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 or parchment paper, 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 10 minutes to prep and a little less than 40 in the oven, keeping the whole operatioGreek chicken sheet pan meal with spice-rubbed chicken, buttery green olives, roasted eggplant, finished with a sprinkle of feta.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:
✅Use a heavy bottom sheet pan.
That is- not a jelly roll pan, not a cookie sheet. A strong, durable, rimmed sheet pan. I got these Analon-brand pans in my wedding registry over 10 years ago and they are still holding up like champs. In fact, they’ve gotten better with time.
✅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 took one of those gargantuan chicken breasts from Costco 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.
You can always just throw a frozen garlic bread in the oven while the chicken cooks and call it a day.
✅ Line the pan.
I was talking with a friend the other day regarding reusable silicone sheet pan liners: are they worth it?
While I personally don’t own any, I think they’re pretty cool to have and they definitely are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying tin foil all the time.
Regardless of whether you use reusable liners or tin foil, line your sheet pan for super easy cleanup.
The best part? They’re just $1.99 each!
Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Meal
- 1 cup pitted black or green olives
- 1 eggplant
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- Prepare olives and eggplant according to the instructions, then transfer to a large resealable bag or container.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the feta and toss or shake until coated evenly.
- These items, including the feta, will last for up to 2 months in the freezer. The chicken and eggplant mixture will last for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Prepare From Prepped:
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Spread the contents of the bag or container on a sheet pan in an even layer.
- Place pan in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the eggplant has thoroughly softened and cooked through and is beginning to brown.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with crumbled feta.
- Serve hot.
Make From Fresh:
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Chop the pitted olives roughly and transfer to a large bowl.
- Trim the ends off the eggplant, and dice into pieces about 1” square.
- Add the seasonings, chicken, and olive oil to the bowl and toss everything until well coated.
- Spread the contents of the bowl onto a sheet pan.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the eggplant is thoroughly soft and cooked through, and beginning to brown.
- Remove and sprinkle evenly with crumbled feta, then serve.
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