You might not always think of sheet pan meals as the way we welcome the warmer weather. Usually that’s left to cookouts and Mother’s Day brunch. But hear me out!

I want to spend less time in the kitchen these days. That’s where easy sheet pan dinners come in handy.

Dare I say out loud that if feels like things are beginning to return to a little more pre-pandemic normal? The weather is getting warmer, kids are starting back into those after-school activities where I live, and as more and more people are getting vaccinated (yay science!), I’m getting back to me too. I am actually starting to spend more time outside of my home — meaning I have less time for prepping dinners in the afternoon. And honestly, I’m not sad about it.

So this coming week, I am going to lean on my favorite sheet pan to give me less time in the kitchen (including clean-up) and more time enjoying the world. That includes those Mother’s Day gifts, I hope!

Top Image: Mediterranean sheet pan dinner from Crowded Kitchen and Sheet pan quesadillas from Princess Pinky Girl 

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5 easy Sheetpan dinners I love

You can plan your entire week with these ideas, or just incorporate a few in your own weekly meal plan. It’s so easy to change up the flavors and cuisine once you get get going.

And don’t forget to bookmark our weekly meal plan ideas for more quick and easy meal planning ideas for spring and summer, coming your way! You can even subscribe to our weekly newsletter and have them pop right in to your inbox each week. It’s a reader favorite. And I don’t blame them!


My favorite sheet pan - Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet

First…the pan.

If you don’t have a good sheet pan, you really should grab a couple; you won’t regret that purchase. My favorite is the Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet. It’s sturdy and made of pure aluminum so it conducts heat well and won’t warp.

If you already have a few work-horse sheet pans in your kitchen that just need a good cleaning, be sure to check out our easy homemade solution for cleaning burnt sheet pans, to get them looking GHOR-geous.

Related: 7 more easy sheet pan dinners for quick weeknight meals


Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner from Crowded Kitchen

Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner

This recipe for vegan Mediterranean sheet pan dinner from Crowded Kitchen is so full of color and texture – and it tastes amazing. I like to serve with rice and pita chips, but can stand on it’s own just fine. To save yourself some time, prep the veggies and marinade earlier in the day.

When you head to the store this week, consider checking out our Facebook Recipe Rescue group’s suggestions for the very best supermarket splurges that are worth the money. One of the top five products was premium olive oil, which is a base for most sheet pan meals and really does make a difference in the ultimate flavor and quality of the dish.


Sheet Pan Quesadillas

Sheet pan quesadillas are pure genius, and have been shared by our team in plenty of past meal plan roundups. This recipe I found from Princess Pinky Girl has become my family’s favorite twist on Taco Tuesday, and I love how I can sneak a variety of veggies in here and no one complains. I have subbed the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey, and it is still fantastic.

Of course a hefty dollop of guacamole is a must on any quesadilla, and if you don’t have a perfectly ripe one on hand, check out this smart packaged avocado hack that Christina recently shared. Yes, it works and it’s good!


Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaf with Vegetables from ReatFoodRDs

Sheetpan Mini Meatloaf

In a December meal plan, I shared this recipe for Sheetpan Mini Meatloaf with Vegetables from The Real Food Rds as one of the recipes that helped me get my cooking mojo back. I’m sharing it again this week because it is just that good and still on heavy rotation in my kitchen. It’s lighter than you think — don’t be scared of this for an easy sheetpan meal that feels right for spring!

Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake from SImply Lakita

Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake

BFD (breakfast for dinner, ha) is always a crowd pleaser. This Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake from SImply Lakita combines all of my family’s favorite things, all one one glorious pan. Grab some juicy, fresh fruit to serve alongside, and maybe a mid-week mimosa. (That’s where my head is at these days.)

Related: 5 easy sheet pan breakfast recipes to cook for a crowd



Photo: From Modern Comfort Food, via the Barefoot Contessa website

Fresh Crab Sheetpan Nachos

A few weeks ago, I shared recipes from my favorite cookbooks and cookbook authors and one came from the pages of Ina Garten’s most recent cookbook, Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  I mentioned that I would be trying one new recipe from this book a week, and…I have results! My new favorite is this easy sheetpan meal for Fresh Crab Nachos. Really, no explanation is needed: crab + nachos = dinner bliss. Fresh crab can be a bit spendy if it’s out of season where you live, so subbing canned has worked just fine for me.

Follow our Weekly Meal Plan Ideas for Families board on Pinterest @CoolMomEats for even more ideas!

I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind.  If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook.  – Lisa


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