12 Time-Saving Sheet Pan Dinners Packed With Seasonal Fall Flavors
Sheet pan dinners mean minimal prep and minimal cleanup, which makes them ideal for weeknights (see also: really busy weekends). While they’re no fun to make in the summer, when the idea of turning the oven on and heating our homes up even more sounds like absolute torture, now that cool weather is here, we’re excited to use seasonal ingredients to make super easy, autumnal recipes.
These flavors are just plain fun, too — breakfast for dinner? Try the sheet pan sweet potato hash. Or how about some nachos? While that may not sound terribly healthy, this version is actually loaded with vegetables and pretty good for you. We’ve selected a dozen recipes featuring our favorite fall flavors so you can enjoy the season (without a ton of extra effort).
We love this colorful plate, perfect for fall. These sheet pan pork chops are a great way to use antioxidant-packed, inflammation-fighting purple cabbage, which gets a balancing hit of sweetness from the apples. We typically throw in a couple of big handfuls of green beans, too, which roast perfectly in the same amount of time at this temp, and add a good amount of vitamin K and calcium.
Salmon can seem intimidating to cook, but the truth is, you really can just throw it on a sheet pan, season it, and toss it in the oven. This sheet pan salmon recipe is fantastic as-is, but we sometimes replace the green beans with broccoli chopped into fine florets, just for variety’s sake (and because the flavors go so well together). This recipe works well for other fish, too: dorade, for instance, is a mild, buttery fish that is lower-cost and bakes well.
Nachos for dinner sounds like maybe not the world’s healthiest life choice, but the truth is, they can be pretty good for you — and we can’t think of a recipe that works better for the whole family. These nachos already have plenty of vegetables, but we also love adding sliced red onion and even some ribbons of kale. Although the pinto beans already come with plenty of protein, for an added protein boost, you can add some extra black beans or chopped cooked chicken.
We file this extremely simple chicken thigh recipe under “dishes that look super fancy but take no time and are surprisingly cheap to make.” We typically think of artichokes as a springtime vegetable, but there’s actually a small crop of them in the fall, too (but this recipe calls for canned artichokes, so it really doesn’t matter). Tossed in the quick lemon marinade, they crisp up beautifully in the oven, as do the chicken thighs. This one is great served with orzo or wild rice.
Feeling inspired? Check out more sheet pan dinners you’ll love.
Just 15 minutes of prep time lead to a flavorful, plant-based meal that’s as full of vitamins, proteins, and healthy carbs as it is full of warm spices. This curried sweet potato and chickpea recipe delivers one of those fast, versatile dishes that leaves you feeling light but sated. This would be great with some baby greens quickly wilted in a little avocado oil, or steamed kale, as the author recommends.
We’re at the very tail end of tomato season, but right at the beginning of butternut squash season — and this Whole30- and Paleo-approved sheet pan recipe celebrates both. We tend to end up buying pre-cut butternut squash because carving it up can be a pain on weeknights, but even if you do the whole thing DIY, this recipe requires extremely little prep time. Make this dish kid-friendly by tossing whichever ingredients they’re willing to eat with some pasta.
Sirloin steak tips and a ton of vegetables get mixed with fresh rosemary and avocado oil, then roasted on one sheet pan for a hearty, easy weeknight meal. The gluten-free marinade takes under five minutes to whip together in a blender, and is basically our new favorite balsamic vinaigrette (we drizzled the same one over a romaine lettuce-based side salad).
A giant bag of frozen shrimp perpetually lives in our freezer, and for good reason: it’s super quick to defrost and makes an easy weeknight meal feel kind of special. This sheet pan shrimp recipe feels like takeout, but way less expensive, frankly tastier, and better-for-you: the easy-to-make chili sauce uses honey, rather than the corn syrup a store-bought one would have.
Breakfast for dinner is always a treat, but especially when it’s a one-pan dish — yes, including the eggs. This easy-clean-up sweet potato hash recipe calls for bacon, but feel free to skip it to make it vegetarian. It would also be great with veggie sausage bits, and would definitely take well to any other kinds of added veggies — quartered Brussels sprouts would be great here.
This BBQ tofu recipe has to be the easiest way to convert tofu-antagonists into pro-tofu-believers. The problem with a lot of people’s early exposure to tofu is that it’s pretty flavorless on its own, and is often served under-seasoned. But one thing you can say about BBQ sauce is that it packs a ton of flavor. Pro tip: this recipe’s author recommends hand-tearing the tofu to get more surface area and create a more interesting texture, and we love that (same trick for mushrooms). This is also a fun way to get kids playing in the kitchen, should you have any potential little helpers who want in.
On the weekend, we might be tempted to make our own potato gnocchi, but during the week, we just buy it — the refrigerated section at a lot of grocery stores has fresh gnocchi just waiting for you. While most classic gnocchi recipes call for lightly boiling them, baking them instead is even better: they get crisp on the outside while remaining tender inside. This plant-based dish is excellent all on its own, but if you wanted to sprinkle some grated parm over top, we wouldn’t stop you.
If your household is comprised of both meat-eaters and vegetarians, this baked shawarma recipe is ideal. Choose your protein — both chicken and extra firm tofu work great, and you can choose to do both in separate bowls on different baking sheets. Just add the peppers, cauliflower, and onions, then toss with cumin, coriander, and turmeric. These are great served in a bowl over quinoa, in a wrap, or with a tahini-based sauce.
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