The World's Fastest Sheet Pan Supper Shortcut
Sheet pan suppers are one of the easiest styles of dinner to pull together. Usually a mix of proteins and vegetables, seasoned and dressed, they are the roasted version of a one-pot supper, and can be the hero of many a weeknight family supper and an easy way to feed a crowd.
But what if you could make them even easier? Because while the cooking is super simple on these dishes, the prep is often the most time-consuming part. While it is great to not have to fuss over the stovetop, there is still plenty to do—whether it is cleaning, peeling, and chopping a ton of vegetables or making a sauce or marinade—to get this meal on the table.
Is there a way to make the easiest meal even easier… and faster? There is, and here's the secret: Prep those ingredients ahead of time and freeze them in freezer bags. Which means on any weeknight before dinner, all you're doing is dumping your already-prepped items on your sheet pan and cooking straight from frozen. Genius!
How to make sheet pan dinners ahead for the freezer
Most of your favorite sheet pan suppers can easily be converted to this method; the key is to freeze the ingredients in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan until frozen solid before transferring to a freezer bag, otherwise your ingredients will stick together, and you won't be able to easily spread them out on your pan to cook.
If your recipe just calls for oil and seasonings, you can season the ingredients before freezing, and then just drizzle with oil before cooking. If your recipe calls for more of a marinade or sauce, coat everything well with the sauce before freezing, and be sure to give everything plenty of room on the pan while freezing so that they are coated but not stuck together.
When cooking from frozen, transfer your prepped frozen ingredients to an oiled sheet pan and add between 10-20 minutes to your cooking time to account for things being frozen.
Which sheet pan dinners are best for freezing
When choosing recipes to freeze, stay away from any dishes that contain dairy (Parmesan cheese is okay), or eggs. If your recipe calls for potatoes, which can be hard to freeze well, buy already frozen potato wedges or cubes and use those, since they have already been prepped properly to maintain quality.
You can also reserve key additions that you might want to add fresh. For example, if your recipe calls for whole cherry or grape tomatoes, you can add those fresh right before cooking, since they don't require any prep beyond a quick rinse.
Great sheet pan dinner recipes to make ahead and freeze
Here are some of our favorite sheet pan dinner recipes that lend themselves to this style of make-ahead prep:
- Sheet Pan Steak with Blistered Veggies
- Roasted Rosemary Chicken Quarters with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli
- Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges
- Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
- Five Spice Chicken Thighs with Apples and Sweet Potatoes