Flavorful cook-it-together meal options

If you feel like your schedule is often running you during the week, the last thing you want to do is prepare a multicourse meal when you get home from work. And if you hate washing pots and pans, give sheet pan dinners a try. You can prep for many sheet pan meals in advance, making the one-pan event a family favorite. So grab your favorite meat and veggies and dice up a meal that’s sure to please.

Tips for adding flavor to sheet pan meals:

Once you decide what to prepare, make sure to lightly toss the vegetables and meats in a bit of extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil. This allows everything to stay moist while cooking. And don’t be afraid to experiment — spices, citrus, seasoning mixes and fresh herbs will only enhance your sheet pan meal.


Pork Chops & Roasted Veggies

(as seen in the photo at the beginning of this post)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 small cloves garlic, grated
2 pork chops, thick cut
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into spears
1/2 pound potatoes, quartered

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine oil, maple syrup, mustards, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic; toss pork in mixture to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet. Prepare carrots and potatoes the same way, then arrange around the pork chops in a single layer.
Bake at 400 degrees or on grill mode, until pork is cooked and lightly golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Turn veggies halfway through cooking time. A few minutes before the end of cooking time, drizzle the remaining glaze and finish cooking.

Ancho Chile-spiced Turkey Breast

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped oregano, plus 6    oregano sprigs
3 3/4-pound, skin-on, boneless  turkey breast
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 large baking potatoes, cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
3 poblano chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded
3 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
8 cloves garlic, minced

In a small bowl, whisk the chile powder with the coriander, onion powder, sugar and chopped oregano. Set the turkey breast skin side down on a work surface. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper, then rub with half of the spice mixture. Fold in the sides and tie the turkey breast with twine to make a neat roast. Season the outside of the turkey breast with salt and pepper, then rub with the remaining spice mix. Drizzle with another tablespoon of the olive oil and chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes, poblanos, onions, oregano sprigs and minced garlic with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer. Set the turkey breast skin side up on the vegetables. Roast for about 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey registers 160 degrees; tent turkey with foil if it browns too quickly.
Transfer the turkey to a carving platter and let stand for 10 minutes. Untie the turkey breast and thinly slice crosswise. Serve with the roasted vegetables.

Eggplant Parmesan

4 small to medium eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 to 4 cups milk
3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, fresh
1 teaspoon pepper
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
24-ounce jar marinara
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

Soak eggplant slices in a bowl of milk in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before preparing.
When ready to cook, sprinkle 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt on both sides of eggplant rounds and place on a wire rack lined with paper towels. Let liquid drain from eggplant 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat broiler to high with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add minced garlic, lemon zest and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set breadcrumb mixture aside.
Pat eggplant dry. Drizzle both sides of eggplant rounds with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Place in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
Broil in oven until lightly golden, about 5 minutes per side. Let cool 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees. Layer tomatoes and mozzarella slices between eggplant rounds, slightly overlapping. Spoon desired amount of marinara sauce over top layer.
Sprinkle with Parmesan, top with breadcrumbs and bake at 425 degrees until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve while hot.

Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese

Two 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
1 cup cubed processed cheese, such as Velveeta
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
2 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated and divided
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a half sheet pan in the oven to heat.
Place a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the evaporated milk, processed cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar, 1 cup of the gruyere, dry mustard, hot sauce and salt, then whisk until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat and combine.
In a small bowl, toss together the Parmesan cheese with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheeses. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and carefully spray with the cooking spray. Pour the mac and cheese from the saucepan into the sheet pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the top. Bake until the cheese topping is fully melted and the mixture is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

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