Sheet pan dinners are such an easy way to get a veg, a protein, and some kind of tasty sauce altogether in one place. Pop it in the oven, turn it up, and boom. You’ve got a dinner with flavors that all meld together.
This one involves ingredients you might find in Asian takeout—except you can do it in your house in about a half an hour. Score!
NEW COOKBOOK! THE SUPER EASY 5-INGREDIENT COOKBOOK
This recipe comes to us from Sarah Caron, author of the recently published The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook. She’s a writer, editor, blogger, and recipe developer who lives in Maine.
She is also a single mom to two busy kids. “We don’t have time for long ingredients lists or complicated instructions. We just want to eat well, together, every night,” she says.
When I heard about this book, I thought it felt similar to what we like to do at Simply Recipes. Sarah Caron’s goals here are to make eating fresh, whole foods “easy, fun and doable, even on busy nights,” she says.
“Quick and easy from-scratch cooking isn’t just what I’ve built my blog, Sarah’s Cucina Bella, around, it’s also how I cook at home,” she says.
THE RECIPES IN SARAH CARON’S BOOK
The recipes are organized into your typical chapters based on course or food type—there’s Breakfast and Smoothies, Appetizers and Sides, and then chapters on various proteins (beef, pork, chicken, seafood, fish, etc.) and, of course, sweets and desserts. There’s even a whole chapter on vegan and vegetarian fare, too.
If the recipes themselves can be made in 30 minutes or less, require one pot, are no-cook, and/or freezer friendly, or gluten-free—it’s indicated. All of these details are helpful organizing principles for busy humans.
There are some others I’m interested in trying as soon as possible, such as the Garlic Parsley Sweet Potato Fries, the Easy Tomato and Black Bean Soup, and maybe even the Easy Meatballs Marinara—mostly because I like to collect and compare meatball recipes and this one promises to be ready in a half an hour!
THE ADVANTAGE OF A 5-INGREDIENT RECIPE
Limiting the recipes to five ingredients makes the cookbook very approachable and the dishes easy to execute. It not only streamlines the cooking process, it saves prep time, too.
Many of the ingredients are pantry staples, so even if you can’t go shopping, chances are you have the ingredients to cook something from this book—especially if you cook regularly.
And even if you’re just getting started, this cookbook contains what every responsible cookbook should—some guidelines on stocking your pantry in order to cook well from this book, or cook dinner well on the fly, in general.
It’s easy to see this cookbook in the hands of parents, sure, but I think college students or recent grads on their own would benefit from it too —or anyone of any age who is new to cooking! I can also see the appeal for those who have spent their lives cooking (such as retirees or grandparents) and want to return to basics by making simple, whole meals that taste good, from real ingredients.
LET’S MAKE SHEET PAN HAWAIIAN CHICKEN!
This recipe for Hawaiian Chicken fits into that easy-prep category. If you’ve got a bell pepper in the fridge, chicken in the freezer, and a can of pineapple, you’re pretty much ready to go. (You might need to hit the store for the fresh ginger in this recipe, depending on if that’s something you normally have in your fridge or not.)
Sheet pan dinners are wonderful because everything cooks together at the same time. Sweet and savory, this dish is perfect served over rice. I used basmati, but feel free to use your favorite. You can also use any kind of bell pepper, and Caron says sliced red onions are also great.
One note! When I made this recipe, I doubled the soy sauce to 1/2 cup because I thought it might be nice to serve it on the side, a la Chinese takeout, as you mix the chicken, pineapple, peppers, and rice together.
MORE FAVORITE COOKBOOK RECIPES!
Sheet Pan Hawaiian Chicken Recipe
Recipe reprinted with permission from the publisher of The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook by Sarah Walker Caron. Available on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold.
This recipe is easily doubled; divide between two sheet pans if necessary and bake in the top third and lower third of the oven.
Note: I doubled the amount of soy sauce to 1/2 cup in order to provide some for tableside use.
- 1 pound thin-cut chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained and juice reserved
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teapsoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari (gluten free, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Cooked rice, to serve
1 Bake the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the chicken on a nonstick rimmed baking sheet (or line a rimmed sheet with aluminum foil).
Place the pineapple chunks and red pepper strips on and around the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes.
2 Make the sauce: In a measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, 5 to 6 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice, and the grated ginger. Set aside.
3 Brush the chicken, pineapple, and peppers with the sauce: At the 20 minute-mark, remove the pan from the oven and generously brush the sauce all over the chicken, pineapple, and peppers.
Bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the peppers start to look lightly browned around the edges and the pineapples have lightly caramelized.
4 Remove and serve. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with rice and the extra sauce. Leftovers can be stored in covered containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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