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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:
✅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 almost 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’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.
✅ Line it up.
We had a big discussion in my Busy Mamas Cooking Facebook group 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 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.Print
This simple chicken sheet pan meal comes together easily, making it a great weeknight dinner! Serve with a side of rice pilaf or a big leafy salad.
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 pound boneless (skinless chicken (thighs or breast))
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup pitted black or green olives
- 1 large eggplant (ends trimmed and cut into big dice)
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- Heat the oven to 450*F.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with tin foil.
- In a small bowl, add the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix with a fork to combine.
- Rub the chicken thighs with olive oil, then place on the sheet pan, leaving an inch or so of space between each thigh. Sprinkle evenly with the spice mix, and rub the spice mix evenly into the thighs.
- Scatter the eggplant and olives around the chicken, and use tongs to toss and combine. Spread all ingredients in the pan in one even layer.
- Place the pan(s) in the oven and roast, 12-15 minutes, until eggplant has browned and the chicken is cooked completely through (juices from the chicken will run clear when sliced with a sharp knife)
- Sprinkle the entire pan with the crumbled feta, transfer to a serving platter, and serve.