Our Best Sheet Pan Chicken Dinners, for the Win!
With boneless or bone-in breasts or thighs in the fridge, and these Yummly original recipes in hand, your weeknight dinner problems are solved
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Photo by Olga Ivanova
I can’t tell you how many times a sheet pan and some chicken have saved my sanity. After a busy day of working, supervising Zoom school, and avoiding current events, a one-pan dinner with chicken and veggies is just what I need. Outside of takeout, a sheet pan chicken dinner has to be the quickest, easiest way to get a weeknight meal on the table.
So let’s get to it! Following are a few tips for perfecting your sheet pan chicken dinners, plus 13 easy, flavor-packed sheet pan chicken recipes from Yummly. Which one will you try for dinner tonight?
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Sheet pan chicken dinners: the basics
On the off-chance that you’ve just discovered the beauty of sheet pan dinners or could use some pointers, read on.
What is a sheet pan dinner?
At the most basic level, a sheet pan dinner is a meal cooked on a rimmed baking sheet. It includes everything you need — protein, veggies, and seasoning. Often, you’ll add ingredients to the pan in stages. This gives longer-cooking items like potatoes or bone-in chicken a head start, so everything is fully cooked at the same time. Pull that one pan from the oven, drizzle on a finishing touch to boost the flavor, and serve. Cooking time is usually well under an hour, and often less than 30 minutes.
How to cook a chicken dinner on a sheet pan
With a mild-flavored protein like chicken, your options are endless. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs cook the fastest (even faster when cut into chunks), but if you’ve only got bone-in chicken parts, that’s fine. Just expect it to take a little longer in the oven.
What temperature should you use for a sheet pan chicken dinner?
The oven temperature and timing of your sheet pan chicken dinner depend on your goal. Want crispy edges, like on Sheet Pan Pizza Chicken’s pepperoni slices? Go for 425°. For a boneless chicken breast that’s easy to shred but still juicy, like for Sheet Pan Barbecue Chicken Tacos, cook it at 350°. Most often, when you’re just trying to cook some chicken and veggies so they come out together, go for hot-but-not-too-hot 400°. That will cook the chicken beautifully and give the vegetables some nicely caramelized edges. Keep in mind that white meat chicken cooks faster than dark, and boneless cooks faster than bone-in.
3 tips for sheet pan meals
When you're cooking a weeknight sheet pan dinner, a few easy tricks will help you get better results:
Use the right pan. Reach for a half-sheet pan, which measures 13 x 18 inches. Its sturdy structure won’t buckle in the oven. Plus it can take whatever heat your recipe calls for — even a trip under the broiler. And it’s large enough to hold the food in a single layer, which helps it cook evenly.
Plan for easy cleanup. The whole point of a sheet pan dinner is how simple it is. Ten minutes of scrubbing off the browned bits? No thanks. To prevent that, line your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Move things around. Even the fanciest oven has areas that cook faster than others. This can lead to some foods getting too crispy while others aren’t fully cooked. If you want to make sure it's all done at the same time, plan to move things around. That means either rotating the pan in the oven or stirring the food partway through.
Sheet pan Italian chicken dinners
Bellissimo! If I had to choose a favorite cuisine for easy weeknight dinners, it would be Italian. Who’d have thought there’d be something easier than cooking up some pasta? A one-pan chicken dinner with an Italian accent pleases the whole family.
Around here, chicken Parmesan is a regular dinner as well as a special-occasion favorite. My husband’s birthday, Christmas, or, y’know, Wednesday: All a perfect excuse to make it. But frying breaded chicken cutlets takes a long time. It also leaves a big mess. This sheet pan version solves both problems. You bake crispy cutlets in the oven, and when you’re done there are no oil spatters, no greasy stovetop.
Think of this as a lighter, even-easier chicken Parm. Instead of breading boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you brush them with garlic-herb butter. They roast on a sheet pan along with olive oil-tossed asparagus. When they’re about halfway done, top each piece with juicy tomato slices and fresh mozzarella. At the very end, drizzle balsamic over the chicken and sprinkle some chopped basil on top.
Sometimes I'm looking for a low-carb way to get my pizza fix. I also know that kids will eat almost anything if it’s labeled “pizza.” Which means this quick sheet pan supper is a winner. Essentially, boneless, skinless chicken breasts take the place of the crust. You roast them until they’re nearly done, then top with sauce, mozz, and pepperoni. Pop the sheet pan back into the oven, and dinner’s on the table in half an hour!
Roasting cherry tomatoes makes them burst in the oven, which forms a juicy sauce. This recipe takes advantage by roasting them alongside boneless, skinless chicken breasts and topping the whole thing with a quick balsamic dressing. When it comes out of the oven, stir in some fresh mozzarella and chopped fresh basil.
Easier than stir-fry Asian sheet pan meals
I love a good stir-fry, but I don’t love the dirty dishes from prepping each vegetable. And I sure don’t enjoy how I often wind up with one mushy veggie while others are crunchy. These sheet pan chicken dinners erase all those concerns. Don't forget the rice!
Simple and flexible: two words I love come dinnertime. The recipe calls for broccoli but you can use cauliflower, zucchini, or almost any other veggie. Even frozen! And the bone-in thighs get a sweet-salty-zingy teriyaki glaze that’ll please picky kids.
Got boneless, skinless chicken breasts but not much time? Go with this version of the classic dish, ready in 45 minutes. The chicken chunks and broccoli florets go into the oven together, making this super-easy.
Bone-in chicken thighs star in a sheet pan dinner that brings the heat. You’ll roast them on the sheet pan, glazing several times with a sriracha-soy sauce. Vegetables go in for just the last few minutes.
More sheet pan chicken from around the world
Whatever cuisine you crave, you can find a sheet pan dinner recipe for it. These three have minimal prep time while delivering oodles of flavor.
Sheet pan fajitas are my go-to. It's one easy dinner I know my picky eater will gobble up. You just season bell peppers and red onions with spiced olive oil, then roast for a few minutes. Toss strips of chicken thighs with more of that oil and add them to the sheet pan. Roast a little more, and serve with tortillas.
This Americanized version of Mexican tacos might be the easiest recipe of all: You season boneless, skinless chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and roast them on a sheet pan. While they’re in the oven, make a quick slaw. Shred the chicken, toss with BBQ sauce, and start filling your tacos.
One great thing about chicken: It adapts to so many flavor approaches. Here, we’re taking it to Greece via canned artichoke hearts, plenty of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and dill. A final sprinkle of chopped kalamata olives and feta crumbles will make you think you're in Athens.
Simple but not boring sheet pan chicken dinners
A sheet pan chicken dinner doesn’t have to use global flavors to be delicious. Each of these falls squarely under “American” food, the better to work with what you’ve got on-hand.
I love a recipe that adapts to almost anything. That’s the case here — you just need some potatoes and a pound or two of mixed vegetables. This time of year I love using sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and green beans. Everything gets seasoned with a mixture of olive oil, garlic powder, and paprika, then roasted on a single sheet pan.
Here’s another one that lets you use the vegetables you have, no shopping required. Marinate the chicken in a honey-balsamic-Dijon mustard combo. While it’s cooking, simmer the leftover marinade into a sweet, lively sauce.
Why should chicken breasts and thighs have all the fun? If you’ve got chicken sausage in the fridge, you’ve got a no-brainer weeknight dinner. Sliced sausage and yellow squash get the sheet-pan treatment, with minced garlic and shredded Parmesan cheese adding twin punches of flavor.
Try some other sheet pan suppers
Still exploring chicken?
At Yummly we have thousands more chicken recipes to explore, including the ones in these special collections.