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Sheet Pan Suppers to Ease You into Fall

Fall flavors will fill your belly—but not your dish rack—with these easy, delicious ideas.

Sheet pan suppers
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I learned to make chicken soup from my Great-Aunt Minnie who called her method simply, “chicken in a pot.” Her secret was parsnips, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Today, I’m thinking about the delicious ease of that one-pot meal and turning my attention to fall flavors that can transform into dinner straight off of a single sheet pan and out of a hot oven.

Roasting foods awakens their deepest flavors, and roasting foods together on a single pan melds all that goodness into one ready-to-serve masterpiece that will break neither the bank nor your back.

Here are some tips that will keep your sheet pan suppers easy and tasty:

Combine These Ingredients
All you need is to combine ingredients from the major healthy food groups, like protein, starch or grain, and vegetables. From there, chop, toss and roast yourself into a state of autumnal bliss. 

Here are some ingredient combinations to get you started:

Apples, cabbage and pork

Brussels sprouts, onions and chicken breasts

Red or yellow bell pepper, small potatoes and salmon

Butternut squash, shallots and chicken thighs

Cauliflower, red onion and green beans (add rinsed, drained canned beans for protein)

Don’t Forget the Herbs
Roast fall vegetables and meats with thyme, sage, rosemary or other hearty herbs and sprinkle finished dishes with fresh herbs like parsley whenever possible. 

Parchment Is Your Friend
Be sure to line the roasting pan with parchment paper so you can avoid any sticky clean-up situations. If you don’t have parchment, stir your ingredients a few times during cooking so they detach from the bottom of the pan.

Practice Healthy (Culinary) Distancing
Don’t crowd your pan, lest your ingredients steam rather than roast into crisp deliciousness. Keep it simple and keep everything spaced out to ensure success.

Toss and Roast
No matter what other flavors you include in your sheet pan supper—and the possibilities are endless, from citrus juices to vinegars—be sure everything is well-seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed with a healthy coating of olive oil or other healthy cooking oil to maximize flavor and uniform cooking. 

Most of the combinations suggested here can roast in a hot oven—450 degrees—for 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the ingredients. Look online or experiment with your timing, making sure that meats are cooked all the way through and that vegetables are brown and tender but not too soft.

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