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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.
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 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.
Greek Chicken Sheet Pan
Dry Goodsblack or green olives1 cup, pitted
Kosher salt1/4 teaspoon
freshly cracked pepper1/4 teaspoon
extra-virgin olive oil3 tablespoon
fresh oregano1 tablespoon
ground garlic1 teaspoon
Proteinboneless, skinless chicken thigh2 pounds
Dairycrumbled feta1 cup
After 4 years, this is one of my more enduring, popular recipes- and for good reason! It packs a ton of flavor into a super quick recipe. Sometimes I’ll add in chopped red onion or roasted cherry tomatoes for a little sweetness, too, so feel free to do that as well. I love serving this chicken dish over a bowl of greens, or with a starchy salad on the side like tabbouleh or seasoned farro grains. Make it from fresh: Instructions:
- 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.
Prep it for later:
1. Prepare olives and eggplant according to the instructions, then transfer to a large resealable bag or container.
2. 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.
1 bag or container with all prepared ingredients except for the crumbled feta.
Prepare from prepped:.
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
2. Spread the contents of the bag or container on a sheet pan in an even layer.
3. 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.
4. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with crumbled feta.
5. Serve hot.