How Sheet Pan Meals Saved Our Weeknights

Week nights are busy for most families. At our house, it is a chaotic crunch time of dad getting home from work, 3 kids in full witching hour mode, hungry tummies, and tired bodies. To maximize our short time together and minimize prep time and clean-up of supper, we’ve fully embraced sheet pan meals during the week. 

Rather than starting dinner at 6, once my husband gets home or exhausting myself all day creating a complex meal, I prep whenever I have a free 15 minutes during the day and pull supper out of the oven when my husband walks in. Everyone is happier, we enjoyed a healthy meal together as a family, and we have some time to spare to play before bedtime!

You’ve probably spotted sheet pan meals on Pinterest or in your Whole30 Facebook groups, but in case you haven’t: Sheet pan meals are easy dinners using only one pan to roast (usually) meat and veggies all at once.

Here are some of our family’s tips and favorites when it comes to quick sheet pan dinners:

Tips & Tricks:

  • Cover your pan in tin foil beforehand. Clean up is literally folding up the foil and throwing it away. THE BEST!
  • Oil and season your foods on the pan itself to eliminate a dirty mixing bowl. 
  • You can mix & match any proteins & veggies that are already in your fridge or pantry (there are endless combinations)!
  • They’re healthy and can be easily made to be compliant with any diet or cleanse.
  • Think about the baking times for your proteins and veggies. For example, you might want to wait until your chicken breasts are half-way done cooking before throwing on the asparagus. 

Recipe Inspiration:

1. Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes

Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic over the chicken and potatoes. Once everything is roasted, squeeze some more fresh lemon when serving!

2. Sausage & Veggies

Slice up a package of chicken sausage (Trader Joe’s has an organic sugar free brand!) and place on one side of the pan. Cut up your veggies and place on the other side. Since the sausage doesn’t take too long to cook through, everything should easily be done at the same time!

3. Fajitas

One of our favorites! Slice up onions, peppers, and chicken. Cover everything in olive oil and taco seasoning (all on the foiled pan, to minimize the mess!). Once the chicken is cooked through, serve on taco shells with any toppings you usually like: cheese, salsa, avocado, etc.

4. Fish & Sweet Potatoes

Place fish fillets and diced sweet potatoes on the sheet pan. Season as you like (coconut oil on sweet potatoes is amazing!) and bake until cooked through. Does it get any easier?!

The secret formula: ANY MEAT (porkchop, chicken thigh/breast/leg, fish fillet, etc.) + POTATOES and/or VEGGIES + olive oil & salt = A Mom Win!

Please share what your favorites are! I’d love to add to my list!

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Kaitlin was born and raised in small-town Center Point, Iowa and grew up across town from her high school sweetheart, Jordan. They didn’t go far as they both attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, getting married just a month after graduating. They now live in Marion with their 1 year old daughter, Ella, and Golden Retriever, Millie. With a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a passion to teach and help others, Kaitlin is studying at the University of Iowa in the Masters of Teaching Science program. When she’s not in class or teaching piano lessons from her home, her favorite thing in life is staying home with her daughter. If she can ever find a spare minute, she also enjoys the outdoors, scrapbooking, cooking, party planning and German chocolate cake. Though life is jam-packed right now, she wouldn’t have it any other way!