How to Make Your Own Sheet Pan Meal {In Just 4 Easy Steps}

Sheet pan meals are a combination of protein and vegetables roasted together in the oven to make a quick and easy meal.

While there are hundreds of delicious sheet pan recipes to choose from, creating your own is simple and a great way to use up leftover ingredients.

Here are some tips to help you create your own sheet pan meal.

Create your own sheet pan meal pinterest graphic

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What makes a great sheet pan meal?

A great sheet pan meal is quick, family-friendly, and easy to prepare. And because the entire meal is cooked on one sheet pan clean up is a breeze! Just pick your favorite protein, add a couple of vegetables, and a pop of flavor, then toss it all together on a sheet pan for a complete dinner.

1. Choose a protein

Most meals start by choosing a protein. Plan to cook 1/4 to 3/4 pounds per person. Here are suggested cooking times for some of the most popular proteins. Remember that all ovens and therefore cook times will vary. It is best to check your food’s temperature using an probe thermometer.

An instant read probe thermometer is an essential kitchen tool. Its not only great for testing the doness of meat it can also tell you when baked goods are fully cooked too. This one from ThermoWorks is my favorite. It is recommended by America’s Test Kitchen and is super fast and accurate.

Chicken and Vegetable Sheet Pan Meal


Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure all of the juices that come from the chicken run clear and not pink.

Cut of ChickenCooking Time at 400 degrees
Chicken Breast Bone-In30 to 40 Minutes
Chicken Breast Boneless20 to 30 Minutes
Chicken Thigh Bone-In30 to 45 Minutes
Chicken Thigh Boneless25 to 40 Minutes
Chicken Drumstick30 to 40 Minutes
Turkey Breast Bone-In 40 to 50 Minutes
Turkey Breast Boneless 25 to 35 Minutes

Need some inspiration

Pork and Rosemary Sheet Pan


Whole cuts of pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Followed by a three minute rest time. Ground pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut of PorkCooking Time at 400 degrees
Pork Chop Bone-In 1-inch Thick 25 to 35 Minutes
Pork Chop Boneless 1-inch Thick 20 to 30 Minutes
Pork Tenderloin45 to 60 Minutes
Pork Sausage Links20 – 35 Minutes

Need some inspiration

Beef and Rosemary Sheet Pan


Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Not all cuts of beef are well suited to sheet pan meals.

Cut of BeefCooking Time at 400 degrees
Flank Steak Seared on Both Sides8 to 12 Minutes

Need some inspiration

  • Sheet Pan Steak Fajita WrapsCook at Home Mom Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas made with bell peppers, red onions, and homemade fajita seasoning. Serve them with lettuce wraps and some avocado and you’ve got yourself a healthy, low carb dinner in under 20 minutes!
Baked Fish and Vegetables


Seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, fish should be opaque and flake easily with a fork.

SeafoodCooking Time at 400 degrees
Shrimp5 to 8 Minutes
Salmon Fillet 1-inch Thick 8 to 12 Minutes
White Fish (Cod, Tilapia, Hake, or Halibut) 1-inch Thick8 to 12 Minutes
Tuna Steak 1-inch Thick 8 to 12 Minutes

Need some inspiration

Cubed Tofu


Before cooking tofu should be dried to make sure it becomes crispy. Lay pieces out on a kitchen towel for 10 to 30 minutes.

Vegetable ProteinCooking Time at 400 degrees
Tofu 1/2-inch Rectangles or 1-inch Cubes30 to 45 Minutes
Assortment of Vegetables

2. Choose your vegetables

Once you have selected a protein it is time to choose the vegetables. The easiest way to choose the vegetables is to look for ones with similar cooking times as your protein choice. Make sure to cut the vegetables down to a consistent size to ensure even cooking. Coat your vegetables with oil and seasoning and do not crowd the sheet pan to ensure even browning. To make vegetable selection easy refer to the list below of vegetables and their cooking times.

Vegetable 1/2-inch pieces unless specifiedCooking Time at 400 degrees
Asparagus, whole8 to 15 Minutes
Beets25 to 40 Minutes
Broccoli10 to 15 Minutes
Brussels Sprouts20 to 30 Minutes
Butternut Squash25 to 40 Minutes
Cauliflower25 to 45 Minutes
Carrots30 to 45 Minutes
Cherry tomatoes, whole 25 to 50 Minutes
Chickpeas, canned40 to 55 Minutes
Eggplant25 to 45 Minutes 
Leeks20 to 35 Minutes
Peppers (red, green, orange)30 to 45 Minutes
Potatoes25 to 35 Minutes
Sweet Potatoes30 to 40 Minutes
Zucchini40 to 55 Minutes 

Need some inspiration

3. Add some seasoning

For simplicity’s sake, I will use the same seasoning on every ingredient. I simply add all of my ingredients to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and my seasonings. But you could also season each ingredient separately to create different flavor combinations.

Add additional raw ingredients or sauces after cooking. Give your meal a flavor boost by adding fresh herbs, sliced radishes, baby arugula, or a quick sauce after cooking.

Seasoning combinations to try

Take your sheet pan meal to the next level by adding some different herbs and spices. Most cuisines identify with a certain combination of flavors. Try some of these flavor profile suggestions below:

  • Mexican: chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper
  • Italian: oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper
  • Greek: oregano, basil, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper
  • Asian: basil, cinnamon, cilantro, coriander, chiles, cloves, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, lemongrass, spearmint, star anise, and turmeric
  • Indian: garam masala, turmeric, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, clove, black pepper, salt, and fennel seed
Shrimp and Asparagus Sheet Pan Meal
Fresh asparagus with shrimp on a baking sheet with coarse salt, olive oil and black pepper

4. Cook your sheet pan meal

  1. Use a Commercial-Grade Half Sheet Pan: When roasting your dinner you don’t want to crowd your ingredients. The standard size for a half sheet pan is 13″ X 18″ which will allow the heat to circulate around all of the ingredients creating a delicious caramelization rather than steaming the ingredients into a soggy mess. Look for a heavy pan that is at least 18 gauge. Remember the higher the gauge the thinner the pan so a 13 gauge pan would be even better.
  2. Line Your Sheet Pan for Easy Clean-Up: I love to cook but I hate cleaning up. Which is why I typically line my sheet pans with foil or parchment paper. That way nothing sticks to the pan requiring me to scrub it later.
  3. Choose Proteins and Vegetables with Similar Cooking Times: Different proteins and vegetables have different cooking times. Nothing is worse than burning green beans while you wait for chicken thighs to cook or drying out fish while you wait for sweet potatoes to become tender. To create the simplest and easiest sheet pan meal choose ingredients with the same cooking time.
  4. Add Ingredients in Stages: Ok, so you really want to eat green beans and chicken thighs for dinner. There is a way to work around the differences in cooking times. Add the ingredients to the sheet pan in stages. Start by adding ingredients with longer cooking times first, then as they are nearing completion add your additional ingredients. For our chicken and green bean example, roast the chicken thighs at 400 degrees for 15 minutes then add the green beans and roast for an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Use a Wire Rack: Earlier I mentioned that you want to maximize airflow especially when you want your ingredients to become crispy. Try adding a wire rack to your sheet pan. This is especially great for cooking breaded chicken or fish. To ensure a crispy coating, scatter your vegetables on the sheet pan and then place a wire rack on top where you will place your protein keeping it away from the moisture below.
  6. Know When to Keep Ingredients Separate: If you are cooking items like roasted vegetables that should be tossed halfway through cooking along with fish fillets for example. Keep the items separate. This way you can easily flip your vegetables without disturbing the fish. You can either use to opposite ends of on sheet pan or just use two smaller sheet pans.
  7. Use the Broiler: If you want a little extra crispiness to your sheet pan meal turn the broiler on for the last couple of minutes. But pay close attention broilers can take food from crispy deliciousness to a burnt mess quickly.

Looking for some more great sheet pan recipes? Check out this post: Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Meals

Thanks for Reading!

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Beef and Shrimp sheet pan meals

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Amy

    I love this so much! Super simple and very healthy! Thanks for sharing!

  2. liz

    So many amazing possibilities! Thanks for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop!

  3. Cedar

    Ooooh yum! This looks delicious. I love a good sheet pan meal but sometimes run out of new ideas. This was exactly what I needed to get reinspired!

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