This post was inspired by one of the chats we had the other day in our ever-growing Feeding Bytes group on Facebook. What? You are still not a member? Please join here, it is absolutely free and you will love it, I promise. We talk all day about feeding kids and easy meal hacks. And I am proud to say that our community is 100% judgment-free and one of the warmest and most supportive I know.
So the other day, when one of the moms asked to help her out with easy meal ideas she can put together with her 16-month-old in tow, a lot of people responded. And among dozens of helpful tips and tricks, sheet pan meals were brought up.
Here is why sheet pan meals work great for family dinners:
1/ They can be set up in the morning and sit in the fridge till you are ready to put them in the oven.
2/ They minimize clean-up. You use just one sheet pan and there are no serving dishes to wash!
3/ They are easily deconstructed, so they are perfect for kids/adults who do not like mixed dishes or even food touching. Deconstructed meals make it so much easier to feed a family, cutting complaints and eliminating food battles.
I have been using sheet pans to put food on the table for years but did not know this trick had a name! If you follow my adventures on my Facebook page, you know that I regularly feed my whole family out of a sheet pan served right in the middle of the table, as I did here and here.
I must admit that at some point I thought that this presentation was a little too lazy even for a laid-back cook like myself, but after writing this post, I am not taking my serving dishes out of the cupboard anytime soon.
So here is my list of 10 best family-friendly sheet pan meals that help to streamline your dinner prep and make everyone in the family happy.
Just a few tips before you are off exploring and experimenting:
- Feel free to substitute one or more of the meal components for something that your child likes or serve a safe side dish.
- I would also serve an additional starch option like bread, noodles or rice since most of these recipes contain only protein and veggies.
- Make sure all sheet pan meal components are cut in shapes of a similar size, for even cooking. Or start with only bigger pieces on the tray, like chicken thighs or large pieces of meat and add small or faster cooking ingredients, like broccoli florets, later. Fish cooks very fast so it often has to be added to the sheet pan once the veggies are almost done.
- Glazed Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Dinner by Food Network
Photo credit: Food Network
2. Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Sheet Pan Dinner by Food Network
Photo credit: Food Network
3. Smoked Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Chickpeas from Taste Food
Photo credit: Taste Food
4. 30 Minute Sheet Pan Potatoes and Chicken Sausage by The Kitchn
Photo credit: The Kitchn
5. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas by Cooking Classy
Photo credit: Cooking Classy
6. Sheet Pan Salmon Teriyaki by Skinny Taste
Photo Credit: Skinny Taste
7. Kielbasa and Pierogies Sheet Pan Meal by Foodie with Family
Photo credit: Foodie with Family
8. Sheet Pan Turkey Dinner by Simple Bites
Photo credit: Simple Bites
9. Pork “Saltimbocca” with Roasted Onions and Potatoes by Bon Appetit
Photo Credit: Bon Appetit
10. Chinese 5 Spice Pork Chops with Broccoli by Aggie’s Kitchen
Photo credit: Aggie’s Kitchen
Here you go – 10 super simple deconstructed family meals that require almost no washing up, no serving dishes and almost no time at the stove. Enjoy!
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