Springtime brings forth a fresh new crop of vegetables to brighten up plates and palates. I'm especially excited about adding tender asparagus, baby potatoes, first-crop artichokes, eensy carrots, baby beets, spring radishes, and crisp snap peas to favorite sheet pan dinners for one-pan meals that are easy to make and clean up.
Here are five of the season's best sheet pan dinners just in time for spring, complete with helpful prep and cooking tips.
Salmon is so simple to prepare, and this recipe is no exception. To add both color and flavor, toss tender spring asparagus and cherry tomatoes in a bit of oil, salt, and pepper and bake right alongside the salmon. During the last ten minutes of baking, toss a few sugar snap peas onto the pan, as well.
Cook's tip: Don't forget to snap off the tough, fiberous ends of the asparagus before baking. (You can save them to make stock or soup.) After this dish comes out of the oven, finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs.
More: Learn how to buy and prep asparagus, plus 6 ways to cook it.
This oven-roasted sheet pan dinner combines the main and side dish all in one pan. Chicken breasts are stuffed with cheese, olives, and breadcrumbs and roasted alongside new red potatoes and carrots. You might think of them as winter root vegetables, but they're at their sweetest in early spring.
Cook's tip: When you're roasting stuffed chicken, use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the meat is cooked to a perfect 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Cabbage planted in the fall and winter is ready to harvest in early spring, and it's naturally sweet from having a few winter frosts. Apples pair perfectly with pork and cabbage, and the whole lot is roasted to perfection on one pan for a meal that's sweet enough for the kids but sophisticated enough for the adults.
Cook's tip: Red cabbage, though it has a lot more vitamin C, tends to have an earthier flavor, while green cabbage is sweeter after being cooked. Choose your favorite flavor, or whatever you happen to have on hand or in the garden.
More: Get 10 recipes for quick main dish recipes with cabbage.
Nothing says spring like lamb and new potatoes. Whether you're cooking this sheet pan dinner for a special holiday gathering or a nice weeknight meal, you'll be wowed by the amazing flavor the veggies get from roasting in the pan juices and beer. Don't forget to save a pint (or two) of beer for serving.
Cook's tip: Cut the potatoes and carrots the same size, so they cook at the same rate.
More: Get tips for roasting tender, juicy lamb.
Chicken breast is wrapped in prosciutto di Parma ham for an easy, elegant dinner. Bring a bit more spring to this dish by replacing the zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes with artichoke hearts and baby golden beets. Cut the veggies the same size as the potatoes, so everything cooks at the same rate, then follow the recipe as written.
Cook's tip: For nice crisp-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside vegetables, roast on a rimmed baking sheet instead of a baking dish. You can use baby red beets in this dish too, but the colors may bleed a bit while roasting, for a distinctly pink meal. Just so you know.
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