6 tips to make sheet pan dinners easy

  • 4 Minutes Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Are you beating the average American with your daily vegetable intake? If not, increase your dose of vegetables with one of these quick and easy sheet pan dinner recipes.

6 tips to make sheet pan dinners easy

Are you getting enough vegetables?

How does your daily intake of vegetables compare to the average American? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people consume three servings of vegetables per day. However, according to the USDA Food Consumption Survey the average Americans eats merely 1.4 servings per day of vegetables . This is less than half of what is recommended.

Fun Fact:

A vegetable serving is 1 cup raw or cooked vegetable or 2 cups of leafy greens.

One way to increase your daily dose of vegetables is with one of these quick and easy sheet pan dinners. Instead of using a single pot on the stovetop, you use one sheet pan to roast vegetables in the oven. Add a protein for a complete meal.

Benefits of Sheet Pan Dinners

Consuming enough vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet can decrease your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.

6 Simple steps to make a sheet pan dinner

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

The delicious savory flavor from roasting vegetables compared to baking vegetables is due to the high heat which caramelizes the vegetables through the Maillard reaction (yes, I gave a presentation on this in graduate school!) and also provides a new texture with crispy edges. My children think that brussel sprouts are candy when I roast them - much better received than a mushy brussel sprout boiled in a pot of water.

2. Cut parchment paper to fit your sheet pan (a pan about 12" by 16" with a one-inch rim)

Who doesn't like easy clean up? After roasting, roll up your parchment paper and throw it away.

3. In a large bowl, mix together vegetables along with herbs and olive oil.

Create a colorful sheet pan with vegetables such as:

Mix with herbs and spices, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Sounds like a song!

4. Choose your protein and mix with vegetables

Choose poultry, pork, beef, fish, tofu, or maybe a can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained). Cut protein into 1/2 inch cubes.
Optional: let marinate for 20-30 minutes in your favorite marinade

5. Ready to Roast

Place mixture of vegetables and protein onto sheet pan prepared with parchment paper.
Roast at a high heat in the oven until golden brown.
Cooking times can vary depending on the density of the food (generally about 20-40 minutes)
Half-way through the cooking process, flip vegetables over for even browning.

6. Enjoy!

Liven up your meal even more with salsa or a can of green chili drizzled over the top or sprinkle with finely chopped fresh herbs.

Where can you find sheet pan recipes?

You can find two of our favorite family sheet pan recipes at end of this blog and they are already analyzed for you in MyNetDiary. Please see instructions at end of blog on how to copy.

If you have a favorite sheet pan dinner, we would love to hear from you.

Martha's Zesty Lemon Shrimp and Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner

Servings: 4 servings


5 cups of raw vegetables

I like to create this meal at the end of the week when I have bits and pieces of vegetables in my refrigerator. I simply cut up a variety of vegetables. Our family favorites are broccoli, carrots, onions (thinly sliced), celery, red bell peppers, scallions and baby potatoes.

Time saving tip: Buy a package of raw pre-cut vegetables, such as stir fry type. Enhance it with your favorite vegetables to make 5 cups of raw vegetables total.

2 fresh lemons. Wash rind and cut entire lemon into thin wheels (about 1/4 inch thick). Remove seeds.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic powder or mixed spices (your preference). Make it your own!
1 pound thawed, large peeled shrimp plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. For easy clean up, place a piece of parchment paper in a sheet pan, which is a 12" by 16" pan with a one-inch rim.
  3. In large bowl, mix 5 cups of vegetables, one thinly sliced lemon, 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and spices.
  4. Pour onto prepared sheet pan with parchment paper.
  5. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender and have brown edges. Stir half-way through, after about 15 minutes.
  6. Toss shrimp with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and layer on top of vegetables.
  7. Return to the oven. Roast until the shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes.

Optional: Serve over quinoa or brown rice with lemon wedges. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro!

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1.25 cups (312 grams): 283 calories, 15 g total fat, 20 g total carb, 3.9 g dietary fiber,18 g protein, 677 mg sodium

Martha's Fall Kielbasa Sausage with Red Cabbage and Potatoes Sheet Pan Dinner

Servings: 6 servings


3 cups or about 1-pound potatoes, cut into 2" by 2" cubes or baby potatoes cut in 1/2
1 small head of red cabbage, cut into 2" by 2" wedges
2 large onions thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick), try one white and one red onion for color
Herbs of choice: Caraway seed, rosemary sprigs, coriander seeds, thyme
12 oz. smoked low fat turkey Kielbasa sausage
4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons honey or a mixture of 2 T. honey and 2 T. mango or peach jam
1 lemon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For easy clean up, place a piece of parchment paper in a sheet pan, which is a 12" by 16" pan with a one-inch rim.
  3. Scrub potatoes (leave the peels on) and cut into 2" by 2" cubes
  4. Wash cabbage and cut into wedges 2" by 2"
  5. Thinly slice 2 onions (slice about 1/4 inch thick)
  6. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with olive oil and herbs.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the vegetables after 20 minutes.
  8. While roasting, in a small bowl mix sauce of mustard and honey/mango jam.
  9. Cut kielbasa into thin slices, stopping short of cutting all the way through the meat. It will look like an accordion. Using a pastry brush or small knife, spread sauce in the cuts of the meat.
  10. Remove vegetables from oven. Place Kielbasa on top.
  11. Bake 15 - 20 minutes more until Kielbasa is no longer pink inside and browned on top.
  12. Serve immediately with extra sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size = 1.25 cups (222 grams): 232 calories, 8 g total fat, 29 g total carb, 3.1 g dietary fiber,10 g protein, 743 mg sodium

How to Copy This Recipe from MyNetDiary

I entered and analyzed both of these recipes in MyNetDiary so you don't need to enter the above recipe from scratch. Instead, you can copy and edit the recipe easily by logging into MyNetDiary via web program. Next, go to Community, and then search "Dietician" with "People" chosen in the drop down box. Click on "Dietician" link. Scroll down Dietician Personal Page and find Custom Catalog. Find "Martha's Zesty Lemon Shrimp and Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner" and "Martha's Fall Kielbasa Sausage with Red Cabbage and Potatoes Sheet Pan Dinner."Copy recipe by clicking "copy" link on the right side of the screen. Once you do that, you can use that recipe in your own food log without having to enter it yourself.

If you have a Premium membership, you can copy and customize recipes or foods. In web program, go to Food tab, tap "Log" in any meal row, then tap MyFoods, find the food or recipe and then choose "copy & customize" option. You can modify any field to customize the recipe (ingredients, yield, name, etc.).

Click on some of these websites for more sheet pan dinner ideas.


Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables Meal Planning & Diets->Dinner
Oct 15, 2019

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