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Want Easy Cooking And Clean Up? Chef Kathy Gunst Suggests 3 Delicious Sheet Pan Dinners

Soy-Honey-Ginger Salmon Sheet Pan With Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes And Mushrooms. (Kathy Gunst)
Soy-Honey-Ginger Salmon Sheet Pan With Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes And Mushrooms. (Kathy Gunst)

Based on what I’ve heard from listeners during the pandemic, there seem to be two common threads when it comes to our changing relationship to cooking and being home in our kitchens so much more than “normal.”

The first common cry is the search for inspiration for quick, simple, healthy meals. And the second most common complaint is all those dishes. It seems that for so many what keeps them from cooking more are the dishes that need to be washed not once but three times a day!

With those thoughts in mind, I wanted to create recipes simple, healthy recipes that are interesting and require very little cleanup.

Say hello to sheet pan dinners. What's a sheet pan dinner you ask? Well, it's pretty straight forward: you cook all the elements of your dinner in one sheet pan (a sheet pan is like a cookie sheet with raised edges).

In recent years, sheet pan dinners have become wildly popular in food magazines and food blogs. And although they are quite easy, there are several elements to consider. When you cook everything on one sheet pan and you want every ingredient to cook in the same amount of time, you have to plan your dinner carefully. The key is to chop and cut everything to roughly the same size so cooking time will be uniform. For instance, in the Roasted Vegetable Dish with Brothy Israeli Couscous, everything is cut so that it all cooks in the same amount of time. But in the salmon dish, the sweet potatoes and broccoli need a longer cooking time, so they are roasted and then the salmon and mushrooms are added so they don't overcook.

Here are three simple sheet pan combinations: one using Greek flavors with chicken, one with salmon and vegetables with a soy-ginger-honey marinade, and finally a vegetarian sheet pan dinner that is served on top of a brothy Israeli spiced couscous. Have fun with these recipes! Feel free to experiment and make substitutions depending on what's in your refrigerator and what's available at your grocery store this time of year.

These recipes all serve two hearty portions. There are directions in the headnote of each recipe explaining how to double the recipe for four or more.

And here's one trick: If you lay a sheet of parchment paper down on the sheet tray pan your clean-up will be even quicker and easier. But whether you do that or not, you'll only have one dish (maybe two) to clean at the end of the night. That should be an inspiration to get cooking and try some new flavors and combinations.

Sheet Pan Greek-Style Chicken, Lemon Potatoes, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes And Onions With Feta Cheese

Fresh lemon zest and juice, rosemary and oregano flavor this one-dish dinner of chicken, vegetables and potatoes. You can scatter crumbled feta cheese over the onions and tomatoes during the last few minutes of cooking time for an extra blast of flavor. The dish can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead of time and baked about 30 minutes before serving.

This recipe serves 2 very hearty portions. If you want to serve 4, simply add 2 to 4 more pieces of chicken and 1 ½ pound of potatoes and follow the recipe as it is written.


  • 1 large lemon
  • 4 chicken thighs* (bone in)
  • 1 pound potatoes, 3 medium, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise in quarters and then into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions or red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup pitted black or green olives, optional
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • *You can use bone-in chicken thighs (my preference) or boneless chicken thighs or breasts but the chicken will cook a bit faster.


  • Using a microplane or the tiny knobs on a cheese grater, grate the zest off the lemon. Then thinly slice half the lemon and juice the remaining half and set aside.
  • Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of a large sheet pan tray (18 x 13 inches) or rimmed baking sheet for easier clean up. (This is optional but does really help at the end of the night when it's time to wash your one dish!) Arrange rows of the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions and tomatoes. Drizzle the oil over all the ingredients and season liberally with salt and pepper, rosemary and oregano. Sprinkle all the ingredients with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Scatter the lemon slices around the chicken and potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for up to six hours if not roasting immediately.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you prepared the dish ahead of time, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature while the oven preheats. Roast on the middle shelf for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender when tested with a small, sharp knife. Remove and preheat the broiler. Scatter the feta over the onions and tomatoes. If you’re using olives, sprinkle them on top. Place the sheet pan on the top shelf and broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the chicken skin is golden brown.
  • Soy-Honey-Ginger Salmon Sheet Pan With Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes And Mushrooms

    A simple marinade of grated fresh ginger, soy sauce and honey is drizzled over a salmon filet surrounded by shiitake mushrooms, slices of broccoli and cubes of sweet potato. The dish offers a great contrast of color, textures and flavors.

    This recipe serves 2 but there's plenty of room on the sheet tray pan to increase the size of the salmon to 2 pounds and add an extra sweet potato. Follow the directions as written.


    The Marinade:

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