During the week, we’re stretched for time, so a sheet dinner is the perfect no-fuss meal for the job. But we don’t always feel like making the effort of working through a recipe. So, memorize the following steps and you won’t need a recipe for it again!
The right baking sheet
Look for a decent-sized, rimmed aluminum baking sheet (about 13 x 18 inches). The sheet is able to heat up quickly, which speeds up the browning process. To ensure even browning, preheat the baking sheet in the oven at 425°F (220°C). This will create a delicious browned crust on your food.
Work in stages
Your proteins and vegetables won’t all cook at the same time. Thus, start with your proteins (placing them in the middle of the baking sheet), then the dense veggies around them (like potatoes and carrots), and finally lighter vegetables like green beans on the edge.
Butternut squash, potatoes, red onions, carrots, and turnips are all suitable for roasting in the oven. This method of cooking brings out their natural sweetness, and also offers some texture to the dish. Make sure to chop them into equal pieces to ensure even cooking.
Because roasting causes caramelization, you don’t need a lot of seasoning to create flavor. Olive oil, salt, and a crack of fresh black pepper is all you need!
The whole idea behind roasting is that caramelization creates a delicious flavor. If you have too much moisture in your pan, the food will end up steaming instead of roasting. To prevent this, make sure your proteins and vegetables are completely dry, and don’t overcrowd the pan.
Get the ratios right
For every 1 pound of protein (like chicken thighs), you can use 1 to 2 cups of dense vegetables (sweet potato, butternut squash, potatoes, and carrots). Roast these for 20 min before adding 1 to 2 cups bite-size pieces of delicate vegetables (bell peppers, mushrooms, green peppers, and cherry tomatoes).