Cooking confessions

I consider myself an experienced, adventurous, and up-to-date home cook. I've embraced new appliances and gadgets that promise to improve and streamline my cooking - I have an Instant Pot, a Thermpen, a spiralizer and a sous vide circulator. Although I enjoy trying all manner of new dishes and flavors, I have a confession to make. There is one trend I have not yet attempted, even though it doesn't require any special equipment and promises to be both easy and delicious. Yes, that's right, I have never made a sheet pan supper. 

sheet pan dinner

I'm not opposed to the idea, but for some reason I have never warmed to it. The most perplexing aspect of my avoidance of this trend is that I've happily made other one-pot dishes, mainly soups and braises that involve only a Dutch oven. There seems to be no reason for me not to have made one of the thousands of sheet pan supper recipes that have crossed my social media feeds over the last few years. 

Trying to determine why I am so uninspired by sheet pan recipes has been an interesting exercise. I've browsed the EYB Library attempting to put my finger on the reason. Part of it could be because I don't eat a lot of meat and most recipes have an animal protein as a component, but there are many vegetarian and vegan options so that can't be it. What I've finally decided upon is that I think that the various components of the recipe won't be evenly cooked when piled together in one pan. Since I have not tried any of the dishes I have no justification for this impression, yet I remain indifferent to the entire sheet pan dinner phenomenon. If you have a recipe that will convert me, please let me know in the comments - I might give it a try. Then again I might not.  

Photo of Sheet pan pork chops & vegetables with parsley vinaigrette from Food52 by Editors at America's Test Kitchen

4 Comments

  • Jane  on  1/28/2019 at 10:49 AM

    Oh Darcie, you must! I'm a big fan of these recipes. Here are some of my favorites (and some are vegetarian) - they all have Recipe Online links: Harissa chicken with leeks, potatoes, and yogurt from Dinner by Melissa Clark - Dorie Greenspan's sheet pan chicken with apples and kale from The Washington Post - Crispy and sticky chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes and tomatoes from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver - Sheet pan chicken and cauliflower "shawarma" from Food52 by Alexandra Stafford - Chicken baked with sweet potato, smoked paprika, olives and pickled lemons from Cook Simple by Diana Henry - Parmesan roast chicken with cauliflower & thyme from Simple by Diana Henry - Tray-baked salmon with pancetta, potatoes, tomatoes and asparagus from Home at 7, Dinner at 8 by Sophie Wright - Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za'atar from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi & Tamimi (I use whatever vegetables I have for this - it's the topping that makes the dish special) - Baked cauliflower with spices, spinach and tomato from The Guardian by Yotam Ottolenghi - Iranian vegetable stew with dried lime from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

  • mduncan  on  1/28/2019 at 1:30 PM

    I'm a vegetarian who, until last year, never saw the appeal in sheet pan suppers... then I made this recipe which changed everything: sausage, potato, pepper & onion bake with yogurt & chilli sauce from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour. I use Beyond Meat vegan sausage, and squeeze some lemon juice over individual portions before serving.

  • TippyCanoe  on  1/29/2019 at 9:05 AM

    I have been trying a vegan January and it has been so successful with my family that I am thinking of continuing through February. I am also late to the whole sheet pan party, but this month I have loved adding sauces and raw veggies to already cooked roasted vegetables. Can't figure out how to upload photo, so here is a link to a photo of a recent sheet pan veggie bake I made riffing off of one that I saw from Green Kitchen Stories. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs84eLqgWWa/

  • mjes  on  1/30/2019 at 4:08 PM

    I'm not sure that I've ever made a sheet pan recipe that included the protein but I love them as a way to finish up odds and ends. I've always thought of the cooking in the same amount of time as being a knife skills issue - that and roasting is a very forgiving form of cooking when it comes to time. There's done - caramelized - blackened :)

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