If you'd like to shake up your lunch routine a bit, then bring out the sheet pan. Sheet pan lunches kids will love just might revolutionize your second meal of the day. After all, there's nothing quite like a hot lunch fresh from the oven to help you power through the rest of the afternoon.
Although sheet pan dinners have long been a weeknight hero, these simple dishes are also worth considering for the lunch rush as well. For one, they're super versatile, as it's possible to make everything from paninis to meatballs to tempeh dishes in a sheet pan. Next, there's the time factor. For the most part, a sheet pan recipe can be ready to go in less than an hour (sometimes even a half an hour), so you don't have to spend hours prepping food for hungry kiddos. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is the cleanup factor. As the name implies, sheet pan recipes generally only require one pan's worth of cleanup afterward. You and your kid can enjoy a nice, hot lunch without worrying about the mess too much. If you're ready to try out some new and different approaches to lunch, then consider these kid-friendly sheet pan recipes that adults will love, too.
1. Sheet Pan Chicken Schwarma
Creating a lunch that's richly flavored and healthy is simple with this recipe. The Sheet Pan Chicken Schwarma recipe from Half Baked Harvest features sesame sweet potatoes and hummus as well. It makes an appealing, beautiful dish your kids will want to eat right up.
2. Sheet Pan Panini
You don't even need a dedicated panini press to make this tasty lunch. The easy Sheet Pan Panini recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe is one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-that? masterpieces. Kids will adore the toasty bread and melty cheese in this sandwich.
3. Sheet Pan Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Take a food that's adored by nearly all kids and make it the star of the show. That's what the Sheet Pan Sweet & Sour Meatballs dish from Mel's Kitchen Cafe does best. Mel even mentions how much kids love this particular recipe in the intro, so it's already kid-approved.
4. Balsamic Glazed Tempeh Sheet Pan Dinner
This dish shows off just how tasty tempeh can be. The Balsamic Glazed Tempeh Sheet Pan Dinner from Making Thyme for Health is loaded with seasonal veggies and a yummy tahini paste. It's a lovely plant-based lunch for any kiddo (or adult).
5. Easy Sheet Pan Lasagna
Make this classic dish the simple way. Simply Scratch's Easy Sheet Pan Lasagna recipe only takes about an hour from prep to presentation. Plus, you get the excuse to use ricotta cheese, AKA one of the best foods ever created.
6. Sheet Pan Unstuffed Chicken Breasts With Broccoli
Chicken and broccoli is a classic dish, but this recipe adds a fun (and super cheesy) twist your kids will love. The Sheet Pan Unstuffed Chicken Breasts with Broccoli from No. 2 Pencil adds in a layer of melted Provolone cheese and some other extra ingredients. When combined, it's a wow-worthy meal that can be ready in about a half-hour.
7. Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables
Eating the rainbow is easy with this colorful dish. Courtesy of Well Plated, the Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables recipe makes for a bright and eye-catching meal. It's fresh, delicious, and only requires one pan to clean up afterward. In other words? It's perfect.
8. Sheet Pan Pasta Bake with Chicken and Kale
Even leafy green veggies find their way into these handy dishes. The Sheet Pan Pasta Bake with Chicken and Kale from Two Peas & Their Pod features everything from crispy breadcrumbs to fresh cherry tomatoes. It's a veggie-packed, comforting meal.
9. Sheet Pan Fajitas
Even fajitas can be cooked up on a baking sheet. The Sheet Pan Fajitas recipe from Cookies and Cups is super-simple and packed with flavor. (Feel free to tone down some of the spice and pepper ingredients if your kid isn't used to the hot stuff yet.)
10. Crispy Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan
Now it's easier than ever to whip up this comforting and delicious dish. Created by Cooking for Keeps, the Crispy Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan recipe is filled with flavor. Best of all, it only takes about 20 minutes to cook up, which is great news for those super-busy days.
11. Farmers’ Market Sheet Pan Frittata
Why not offer up something from the brunchy side of things? The Farmer's Market sheet pan frittata recipe from Climbing Grier Mountain is a fast and fresh take on the typical sheet pan meal. Loaded with veggies and sausage, it's also a filling and hearty meal on its own. As this goes to show, there's almost no limit to the tasty, quick meals you can whip up in a sheet pan.