During social isolation, we have all turned to project cooking. A big roast, a complicated pastry dish, or just a beautiful roast chicken. Then, it’s dinner time and a big project doesn’t seem that fun while you and your family are hangry. Enter sheet pan meals, thank goodness. We’re highlighting them this second time as a way to cut down on the fuss while still having a gorgeous dinner. Since this isn’t our first time with sheet pans we’re trying to break the mold a bit with a big pancake, a jambalaya-inspired tray bake, and a cheesy, crunchy pasta sheet. Crank your oven up high and get cooking!
Four Flavor Sheet Pan Pancakes, Sheet Pan Jambalaya, and Sheet Pan Pasta Bake with Pasta and Kale
Go all out with four flavors on this giant pancake, or sprinkle with chocolate chips and call it a day. We were pleasantly surprised that filling a half sheet tray with pancake batter and toppings was such a successful experiment. The pancake squares were fluffy and sweet and the toppings were a ton of fun.
- A fun cooking project with kids. Very much had a make-your-own pizza vibe going on.
- Don’t be afraid to substitute toppings. Betsy used cherries instead of bananas but peaches and plums would be amazing. Blueberry pancakes anyone?
- Ignore the quadrants altogether and top with two, one, or no toppings. Making a sheet pancake frees you from the stove.
- Don’t tell the Food Network, but a commenter made this recipe using pancake mix. Hmmmm…
- Kate halved this pretty successfully. Use a quarter sheet pan. Halve all ingredients except for the flour and buttermilk. Each should be 1 ¼ cup. (To avoid trying to measure ⅜ of a cup.)
Making jambalaya from scratch is a labor of love and so worth it. But if you’re craving the flavors and not the work, this sheet pan meal is for you. The peppers, shrimp, and sausage are all coated in Creole seasoning for a punch of flavor and heat, which the rice soaks up in the last couple of minutes in the oven. All without watching a pot.
- Creole seasoning might be hard to find. Kate used this recipe, loosely, and liked it. Bonus, you can control the heat of your seasoning. Just dial up or down the cayenne pepper.
Our Midwestern roots couldn’t deny that this is essentially a casserole, spread out in a sheet pan. Still, that doesn’t make it any less cheesy, crispy, and delicious. Pasta is mixed with mozzarella cheese, mustard (don’t knock it ‘til you try it), kale, tomatoes, and sour cream. Spread it out on the pan for maximum crunchy bits and top with panko parmesan bread crumbs. What’s not to love?
- A full recipe is a lot of pasta. Halve this for smaller households.
- Make sure to save that pasta water. It’s crucial for bringing the sauce together.
From the Smorgasbord:
Betsy is using Epicurious’ guide to grilling chicken without a recipe. Get your proportions set and you’re on your way to some seriously good grilled chicken all summer long.