For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is September 23, 2021

Featured Cookbook

Plated with Rebecca Turner: Spring into sheet pan dinners

By Rebecca Turner

Plated with Rebecca Turner: Spring into sheet pan dinners

What if I told you that cooking dinner could be low-key and fuss-free? It’s possible when you utilize a sheet-pan for supper. All you do is throw everything on one sheet pan, bake it in the oven, and voila! A homemade meal gets served.

Sheet-pan suppers mean less prep and cleanup, so you can get back to helping with homework or enjoying an evening with the family. The best part, the recipe ideas for sheet pan meals are endless. You can customize the ingredients to fi t your family’s taste and food preferences.

The typical formula to a fabulous sheet pan meal is picking a protein, adding vegetables, fat, and flavorings, then roasting at high heat until everything is golden brown. Some pro-tips can help keep your protein choices juicy and flavorful. Cut boneless poultry, beef, and pork into equal pieces, allowing for more even cooking. Also, select similar-sized chicken strips, pork chops, shrimp, and fish fillets. When you oven-fry bone-in chicken or pork, make sure to pat dry the meat with a paper towel before adding the fl our seasonings. Remove as much dampness as possible to give you more of the crunch you crave with fried-like foods.

Some vegetables shine more than others when cooked in the oven. Root vegetables like baby potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash are their best roasted. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, summer squash, onions, cauliflower, and all pepper varieties also hold up well to the high heat. The same pro-tips apply to your vegetables. Prepare your produce into even halves or cubes for more even cooking times. You don’t need protein at all to enjoy a medley of vegetables on a sheet pan. Toss your favorite vegetables with oil and spices then use your hands to mix well. Spread the vegetables onto your sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring around halfway through so they can get crispy on both sides.

Since sheet pan recipes call for high heat cooking, the best oils for flavoring are avocado, canola, olive oil and sesame oil. You can prevent warping of your baking sheet by uniformly covering the pan’s surface with food and heat the pan gradually. Add extra protection to the pan’s surface with a layer of parchment paper.

 

SHEET PAN NACHOS

You can use leftover pork roast, roast beef, pulled pork, or meat from a rotisserie chicken. Or go meat-free and add fajita vegetables.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups pulled pork (or desired meat)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups shredded Colby and Monterey jack cheese

1/2 cup can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup onions, diced

Sturdy corn tortilla chips

 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Season leftover pork with cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder and pepper and heat in a microwave or stovetop until warm.

3. Spread tortilla chips evenly over a small to medium-sized baking sheet.

4. Add a thin layer of cheese, next layer on the pork, and sprinkle the onions and black beans around the chips. Finish building the nachos with a layer of cheese.

5. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese completely melts (but not to bubbling!).

6. Remove from the oven, and add additional toppings, such as diced tomatoes, sliced avocados, guacamole, sour cream, olives and cilantro, etc.

 

SHEET PAN VEGETABLE MEDLEY

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato

1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets

1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

2 cups purple or Yukon potatoes, halved or quartered

 

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, mustard, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, rosemary and basil, and whisk. Add chopped cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and potatoes, stirring with clean hands to coat.

3. Spread vegetable mixture in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stir gently, then bake for another 15 minutes.

4. Ready when potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.

 

OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN, POTATOES & CARROTS

INGREDIENTS

3 to 4 chicken leg quarters

1/3cup self-rising fl our

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt (halved)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups baby carrots

2 cups baby potatoes, halved or quartered

 

1. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle position – Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.

3. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. (Don’t skimp on patting the chicken dry!)

4. Combine the pepper, garlic powder, paprika, half the salt, and fl our in a bowl. Whisk.

5. Add in the chicken and coat evenly. Arrange chicken, skin side up on the pan.

6. Bake just the chicken for 20 minutes.

7. While the chicken bakes, prepare the potatoes and carrots.

8. Add cut potatoes and carrots to a bowl and toss with the olive oil and the remaining salt.

9. After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and turn, adding the seasoned vegetables to the sheet pan.

10. Bake for another 20 minutes, remove the pan, turn the chicken, and stir the vegetables. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165F, and potatoes slide off a fork.

 

The total cook time will depend on the chicken’s size and may take up to 1 hour. If the chicken or the vegetables get done first, remove them from the pan and continue to cook the items left.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Turner is an author, registered dietitian, radio host, television presenter and a certified specialist in sports dietetics with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A lifelong Mississippian, she lives in Brandon and has spent the last decade offering no-nonsense nutrition guidance that allows you to enjoy good health and good food. Her book, “Mind Over Fork,” challenges the way you think, not the way you eat. Find her on social media @RebeccaTurnerNutrition and online at www.RebeccaTurnerNutrition.com.

Site designed by Marketing Alliance, Inc.