Most people have a few recipes they rely on when they’re too tired to think of something creative to cook, much less execute. One pot meals are great for those occasions. They’re flavorful, pretty quick, and keep the dishes to a minimum. The only downside is those meals are always some sort of stew or soup, which can leave you longing for a meal with a little more texture. The solution could be as simple as switching your cooking method.
By looking to the oven instead of the stove, you can use the same approach to turn out an entire meal. The method works for everything from salmon to chicken, offering plenty of room to play with different cuisines. These five recipes show you how to turn out an impressive spread using nothing more than your oven and one baking tray. Who says cooking is hard?
1. Apricot-Stuffed Pork with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
Though apples are the classic pairing with pork, we think the slightly tangy taste of apricots might be even better. Give it a try with this roasted pork dinner from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. The potatoes and Brussels sprouts get a head start while you fill a pork tenderloin with a sweet and savory stuffing made with apricots and shallots. This lean cut of protein can be a little bland, so the filling ensures your end product will be super flavorful.
- 1 pound red new potatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 pints Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 (1- to 1½-pound) pork tenderloin
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together potatoes, sprouts, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes, tossing once.
Meanwhile, combine apricots, shallot, and jam in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Place pork on a cutting board. Holding knife parallel to work surface, create a pocket by cutting down center of pork tenderloin stopping ½ inch from each end. Unfold, and fill with apricot mixture. Evenly space 3 to 4 pieces of kitchen twine tied around tenderloin to close. Season outside with salt and pepper.
Remove baking sheet from oven after the 15 minutes. Toss, and push veggies to sides of baking sheet. Set pork in the center. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the pork, avoiding filling, registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice, and serve.
2. Roast Salmon and Broccoli with Chile Caper Vinaigrette
This salmon supper from Bon Appétit is one of those great dishes that sounds fancy, but is shockingly easy. It comes together with just eight ingredients, and that’s including salt, pepper, and olive oil. While the fish and broccoli cook, you mix together a simple sauce of capers, jalapeños, vinegar, and oil. It’s a great way to brighten up the rich taste of the roasted fish and veggies.
Guys who don’t tend to like broccoli will be surprised what a trip to the oven can do. Roasting develops a rich, slightly sweet taste, which is much more exciting than steamed florets. It’s a great trick for cabbage as well.
- 1 (1½-pound) bunch broccoli, cut into florets
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
- 1 Fresno or jalapeño chile, thinly sliced, seeded, if desired
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from oven. Rub salmon with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Push broccoli to edges of baking sheet and put salmon in the center. Roast until salmon is opaque, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix chile, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let sit until chiles just begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in capers, remaining oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve salmon and broccoli drizzled with dressing.
3. Broiled Steak and Asparagus with Feta Cream Sauce
Instead of babysitting a steak on the grill or stove, try taking a hands-off approach. This beef and asparagus combo from Sheet Pan Suppers, featured on The Kitchn, is just as tasty as anything you make in your backyard, but you won’t break a sweat. The high heat of the broiler is perfect for developing a nice crust on the meat while perfectly cooking the veggies below. As for the sauce, it’s sort of like blue cheese dressing redone with feta. That couldn’t possibly be a bad thing.
- Cooking spray
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 (1⅛-pound, 1- to 1½-inch-thick) sirloin tip steaks
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
Directions: Preheat broiler with rack placed 4 inches from the heating element. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Grease with cooking spray. Grease a wire rack that will fit inside sheet pan with cooking spray.
Snap tough end off one asparagus spear. Line up remaining asparagus, and cut ends at the same point Place asparagus on prepared pan and drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and toss to combine. Arrange in a single layer around perimeter of pan, and place wire rack on top, nudging asparagus as needed to keep rack flat.
Pat steaks dry using paper towels. Season each side with remaining salt and pepper. Set steaks on rack and transfer to oven. Broil, flipping once, until browned and cooked to medium rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, mix feta, sour cream, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and cider vinegar in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour sauce into a small bowl, then stir in chives.
Remove steak and asparagus from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer steak to a cutting board, and slice thinly against the grain. Serve steak with asparagus and sauce.
4. Kielbasa and Pierogies Sheet Pan Meal
If you like ravioli and potstickers, you’ll love the Polish version of dumplings. These little pockets can be filled with tons of different ingredients, but you’ll usually find ones made with potatoes, cheese, and onion in the grocery store. Foodie with Family combines pierogies with savory sausage and some colorful peppers for a meal that’s delicious, satisfying, and sure to become one of your regulars.
- 2 (14-ounce) packages kielbasa sausage
- 2 medium onions, peeled, halved, and cut into ½-inch-thick strips
- 12 baby or 2 regular bell peppers, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-thick strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 24 frozen pierogies
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- Dijon or spicy brown mustard
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut kielbasa into 4- to 6-inch lengths, then place around perimeter of a sheet pan. Toss onions, peppers olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl until coated. Transfer to same pan, arranging just inside the kielbasa.
Using same mixing bowl, toss pierogies with remaining ingredients until thoroughly coated. Arrange pierogies in center of sheet pan, working to get as many as pierogies in direct contact with the pan as possible. Transfer to oven and bake until pierogies are puffed and golden, sausages are plumped, and onions are slightly tender, flipping pierogies once halfway through, about 30 minutes total.
Serve with mustard.
5. Sheet Pan Roast Chicken Dinner
Roast chicken is usually saved for lazy Sunday evenings, but you can turn it into a weeknight meal by using chicken pieces and some chopped veggies. We like this version from Some the Wiser, which was adapted from a Cook’s Country recipe. It gets a serious flavor boost from garlic, thyme, and some rosemary butter. Because the veggies are cut into fairly small pieces, they’ll cook just as fast as the chicken, so you can toss everything into the oven at once.
Though this dish calls for sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and red potatoes, it’s easy to adapt with other hearty vegetables. Parsnips, turnips, and carrots all make good choices. If you simply can’t have chicken without some sort of sauce to spoon over the top, you can whip up a quick gravy on the stove while the meal roasts. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a pan, then stir in an equal amount of flour. Stir and cook for a minute or so to cook out the floury taste, then gradually whisk in a few cups of chicken stock and season it with salt and pepper.
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, and cut into chunks
- ¾ pound red potatoes, cut into chunks
- ¾ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and halved
- ½ pound shallots, peeled, and halved
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, plus more
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3½ pounds bone-in chicken pieces, trimmed of excess fat
Directions: Arrange oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, toss both potatoes, sprouts, shallots, thyme, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper to combine. Spread into an even layer over a large sheet tray.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt and pepper. Place chicken atop vegetables on pan, skin-side up. In a small bowl, mix melted butter and rosemary to combine. Brush herb butter over chicken, then transfer tray to the oven. Bake until veggies have roasted and chicken is golden and just cooked through, about 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
Remove from oven, and tent pan with foil. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.