The idea behind sheet pan dinners is simple: one dish = a complete meal. While you could just toss your ingredients into a pan, pop it in the oven and hope for the best, doing so would result in an unevenly cooked dinner. Here are the best tools and tips for perfecting your sheet pan recipe.
Timing is of the Essence
Online research and real-life experience confirm it: timing is everything. Since different ingredients cook at different rates, experts, including food columnist and cookbook writer, Melissa Clark recommend starting with your slowest cooking ingredient(Opens in a new window), like chicken thighs, pork chops or even whole sweet potatoes and moving onto the next, in timed stages. Make sure to follow our meat temperature guide.
Tools for Success
Make sure your vegetables and protein are as uniform as possible so everything cooks evenly. Here are our favorite tools for consistent slicing, dicing, chopping and scooping your sheet pan dinners:
Sheet Pan(Opens in a new window): Depending on your oven size and plan of attack, we recommend using our half sheet pan for most meals, or, if you want to give your protein and vegetables more breathing room, use two quarter sheet pans side by side.
Vegetable Chopper with Easy-Pour Opening(Opens in a new window): Chops in one fell swoop, pours right onto your sheet pan.
Adjustable Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer: Want slices instead of dices? No problem. Use this mandoline to make short work of fennel for this Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Shallots(Opens in a new window) recipe or these other mandoline tips and tricks.
Mini Vegetable Slicer(Opens in a new window): For even smaller slicing jobs, think Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and shallots, reach for this tiny (but mighty) slicer.
Pro 8″ Chef’s Knife(Opens in a new window): Sometimes, all you need is a good sharp knife. This one was inspired by professional chefs, and designed to give you confidence any way you slice it.
Cookie Scoop(Opens in a new window): Slightly-out-of-the-ordinary, but 100% helpful; our cookie scoop is just the thing for a perfectly portioned meatball sheet pan supper, like this one(Opens in a new window). Plus, here are five ways to use a cookie scoop.
Tongs(Opens in a new window): The unsung hero of any kitchen, we use ours for tossing and turning ingredients, and, in a pinch, for rotating the sheet pan itself.
Mixing Bowl(Opens in a new window): You can certainly season directly on the pan itself, however, if you want each bite to burst with flavor, use an extra-large mixing bowl and your trusty tongs to mix things up.