10 Sheet Pan Dinners For Picky Eaters That Make Everyone Happy
My kids are the pickiest of picky eaters. My son likes everything spicy and crunchy, and my daughter likes all of her food to be the same color and texture — roughly beige-ish. There are precious few meals I can create that both children will eat, and usually, they're pretty elaborate. Since I don't have time to roll out the holiday recipes every day of the week, I've had to get creative. In doing so, I've found sheet pan dinners for picky eaters that satisfy both children, and make my life so much easier.
Sheet pan suppers follow a pretty narrow set of guidelines: everything needs to cook at the same temperature for the same time, they need to be easy, and they usually have a vegetable, a protein, and a starch. There are countless possible iterations, but the best ones tend to be well seasoned, with the meat being marinated. Chicken and sausage tend to do the best with this treatment, but fish and shrimp is surprisingly agile as a sheet pan protein as well.
I am not going to lie. Many of these recipes were chosen because they are dead simple, and taste good slathered in whatever hot sauce my kid is crushing on that day. After writing all day, and then running errands, I don't always have a ton of time to get dinner together. Sheet pan suppers mean fewer dishes get messy, dinner is on the table quickly, and I get to sit back with a cup of tea and forget about my troubles for a minute.
1. Chicken Sausage & Veggies
This is warm, herby goodness. The sausage, sweet potato, and Brussels sprouts get caramelized in the fat that renders from the meat and drizzle of oil. The heat brings out the flavor of the dried herbs without overwhelming the rest of the dish. Kids love this sheet pan chicken sausage and vegetables by Nutmeg Nanny because of the familiar sausage and crispy texture, and parents love it because it is so hearty and filling.
2. Chicken & Veggie Stirfry
I love this one because you can buy almost everything on this recipe list pre-chopped. From the onions to the broccoli, I have seen all of these things in the prepared section of my grocery store. Throw it in a bowl, season it, and then onto the sheet pan, and you're golden. Sure, your kids might pick out the onion, or they might cover it in ketchup, but this sheet pan chicken and veggie stir fry from Gimme Some Oven is a crowd pleaser that couldn't be simpler. Win.
3. Sausage & Summer Vegetables
Just because you want things to be easy doesn't mean that you don't want to take advantage of the delights of the season. This recipe for sheet pan sausage and vegetables from Averie Cooks uses delicious summer squash, tomatoes, and peppers alongside spicy sausage. The seasoning is gentle enough for the squash and tomatoes, and the sausage gets nice and juicy.
4. Bruschetta Chicken
Two words: mozzarella cheese. It's all over this bruschetta chicken sheet pan supper from Damn Delicious. This is basically pizza chicken with potatoes, and kids will love it. I can also see this working with pork chops or beef tenderloin. The seasonings are pretty universal.
5. Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf
I love meatloaf, and to find a recipe for a sheet pan version like this one from Budget Bytes is a real boon. It's a tangy barbeque meatloaf with sweet potatoes and broccoli. Serve it with some fruit salad or corn, and you've got everything you need for a hearty supper.
6. Beef & Broccoli
You guys, this recipe is done in 15 minutes. This is perfect for those nights where you forgot to plan anything. Grab what you need at the grocery store, and this recipe for beef and broccoli from Averie Cooks can be on the table in a matter of moments. I'd pair it with some quick cook white rice and fresh melon.
7. Asian Stir Fry
A sweet soy glaze on snap peas, peppers, broccoli, and chicken make this recipe for an Asian stir fry from Damn Delicious interesting, while still being quick and easy.
8. Lemon Honey Chicken
Look at all of that delicious chicken fat making the lemony potatoes get crispy on the outside while staying fluffy on the inside. Rosemary, honey, and salt make up the majority of the seasoning in this recipe for one pan lemon honey chicken from Averie Cooks. Kids will go wild for these potatoes and the crispy-skinned chicken.
9. Sheet Pan Fajitas
Do you remember the fajitas everyone loved from the Tex Mex restaurants that were popular several years ago? They were amazing, and this recipe for sheet pan chicken fajitas from Damn Delicious tastes just like those.
10. Sweet & Sour Chicken
Kids love sweet and sour chicken, and this recipe for a sheet pan version from Budget Bytes makes it easier to make at home than the fried version. Sweet and tangy, everyone in the house will love it.