How to Make a Chicken Sheet Pan Meal

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Sheet pan meals are my absolute favorite quick weeknight meal because you can prep them entirely ahead of time. While they’re baking, your hands are free to do other tasks, like empty the dishwasher or prep for the next day’s meal. This Sheet Pan Pomegranate Orange Chicken recipe from manitobachicken.ca looks festive and contains warm spices like cinnamon and cumin as well as fresh orange and pomegranate.

Sheet pans are versatile

The great thing about this cooking method is that you can use any vegetable, and seasoning that you like. For example, this recipe contains squash, which we’re all not crazy about in our house so I’m swapping it for sweet potato. There are a few other substitutions you could make in this recipe if you don’t have the ingredients, for example, you can use carrots instead of parsnips, or cranberry juice instead of pomegranate juice.

This sheet pan builder shows you how to use any cut of fresh Manitoba chicken to make endless sheet pan combinations.

Choosing chicken

Depending on the cut of chicken you decide to use, your cooking time will vary. This is something to consider when you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal and want to keep the cook time within 30 minutes. Bone-in pieces such as breasts, thighs and drumsticks, wings and drumettes will take the longest to cook. Whole chicken breasts and ground chicken meatballs will cook within the 30 minute time-frame and you can even shave that down to 20-25 minutes by thinly slicing boneless skinless chicken breasts, for example for fajitas.

Prepping components

When prepping components for your meal, you can chop all of the veggies, and marinate the chicken. Combine your ingredients, marinate and store in a freezer bag or container overnight to let the marinade work its magic.

For the Sheet Pan Pomegranate Orange Chicken recipe, you will need to chop the vegetables and make the sauce, which is tossed with the vegetables and chicken prior to baking.

Alternatively, you can also use dry seasonings and spices that don’t require marinating. When I use this method, I like to drizzle a sauce on top when the pan comes out of the oven, like balsamic reduction, pesto, or a squeeze of roasted or fresh citrus like lemon, lime, or orange.

Cooking sheet pan meals

I have learned that the perfect temperature for these meals is 425°F for 25 minutes. It’s important to note that oven temperatures can vary and some cuts of chicken take longer to cook than others, depending on the size of the pieces and if they are bone-in pieces. Even if you are following a recipe, always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. You know that chicken pieces are fully cooked when the thermometer reads 165°F or 74°C.

When cooking at this temperature, I like to cut veggies in approximately 1-inch pieces. This ensures that they don’t overcook and burn or get too mushy.

Space your ingredients out on your tray if you like crispier vegetables. If you crowd them on the pan, as shown in the image above, it will create a lot of steam, giving the vegetables a softer texture. Consider using two sheet pans if you like crispy veggies.

Different combinations

There are many great chicken sheet pan combinations on manitobachicken.ca like this Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken that we shared last week on the Cooking Comfort Facebook Live Event. You can watch it here if you missed it and would like some meal prep tips for making sheet pans.

Here are a few more of my favorite combinations:

Sheet Pan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with Warm Spice
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Teriyaki w/pineapple (chicken breasts, mushrooms, pineapple, bell peppers)
Lemon Basil Chicken meatballs w/tomatoes and pesto

Try one of these done-for-you ideas or use this sheet pan builder to create your own!

Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Earlier this week on Instagram, I polled to see if you actually read blog posts these days. An overwhelming amount of people said “Skip to the recipe”. I don’t like to talk for nothing, so usually if there is a detailed post for a recipe on my site, it’s to help you execute the recipe efficiently and in the best way possible.

I don’t have an inspiring family story to go with this recipe today. It’s pretty straight forward but I will still provide you with some tips to execute it right.

These Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes are the perfect side dish for any protein. They take a little bit more time and effort than a typically side dish, but trust me, it is worth it!

Jump to Recipe

Boil the potatoes

First, you have to boil the potatoes. Cover them completely with water, then boil for about 20 minutes. They are ready to be smashed when you can insert a fork in them and the fork easily slides out. Make sure to test this because you will not be able to smash potatoes that aren’t fully cooked.

If you want to save time, you can boil your potatoes the day before you want to smash them.

Infuse the butter

Melt some butter in a frying pan and add two sprigs of rosemary and five smashed garlic cloves. Turn the heat down to low and let the flavors infuse. You can use a spoon to smash the garlic and rosemary into the butter to release the flavors. Infusing the butter also give that amazing rosemary flavor, without the green bits of rosemary that makes my kids freak out. They love these potatoes and it’s because there are no green things on them.

Smash the potatoes

On a parchment covered baking sheet, smash the potatoes. I like to use a stainless steel measuring cup for a highball glass. The flatter and more “jagged” they are, the crispier they will be. You also want to make sure that you leave some space between each potato on the baking sheet, so that they crisp up. If the potatoes are touching, they will steam and will not get crispy.

These potatoes are not spaced out enough to ensure a crispy texture. Removing one potato from each row and spacing them out will achieve a crispier texture.

Season the potatoes

Brush each potato with the butter, saving some butter to brush on when they come out of the oven. You don’t need to salt the potatoes at this point, but a sprinkling of salt and fresh cracked pepper when the potatoes come out of the oven is a nice touch.

Bake the potatoes

Bake the potatoes at 425 for about 30 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved. Remember they are fully cooked when you put them in the oven, so the cooking time will depend on how crispy you want them. If you want to speed up the process, you can also broil them, but watch them closely so they don’t burn.

Finishing touches

To garnish the cooked potatoes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, fresh parmesan and finely chopped parsley and rosemary. I leave the fresh herbs off for the kids, but they really add some freshness so I always sprinkle some herbs on my share.

How to serve smashed potatoes

These smashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment for grilled meat or poultry. Try them with these Lemon Basil Chicken Burgers or with a pork tenderloin marinated with one of these three marinades. If you’re looking for a quicker weeknight side dish, my Lemon Basil Orzo and Rice Pilaf recipes are perfect for that.

Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Course Potato, Side Dish
Keyword garlic, potato, rosemary, smashed potatoes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 30 Baby potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary save one for garnish
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425.

  3. While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter and add the rosemary and garlic.

  4. Use a spoon to bruise the rosemary and smash the garlic to release the flavors.

  5. Turn the butter to low heat and let the flavors infuse until you are ready to use it.

  6. Drain the boiled potatoes.

  7. On a parchment lined baking sheet, smash each potato, using a cup or glass.

  8. Ensure the potatoes are spaced out on the baking sheet and are not touching.

  9. Brush each potato with half of the infused butter, reserving the rest for later.

  10. Bake at 425 for approximately 30 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved.

  11. Remove potatoes from oven and brush with remaining butter.

  12. Garnish with fresh parmesan, finely chopped fresh parsley and rosemary and salt & pepper.

Do you need a meal plan?

You might be wondering if you really NEED a meal plan. There are a few questions you can ask yourself (see the image below) to see if you might need a meal plan, but it really boils down to whether you WANT a meal plan or not.

We are often our own worst enemy when it comes to meal planning and feeding our families. That is why I created the Feeding Busy Families Masterclass, a four-week group accountability program to help busy families like mine, tune in to their current habits and make them work for their family. If you’re wondering if this masterclass is a good fit for you, I’m breaking it down for you in this post.

Are you busy?

The word “busy” can have different meanings for everyone, so in your opinion, do you feel busy? Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish the things you want? If you answered yes, then you are busy.

In week 1 of the masterclass we talk about your meal planning goals and how your busyness hinders you from feeding your family on your terms. Are you working late? Is your spouse working out of town? Do your kids have a lot of after-school activities? Most of these events have a huge impact on feeding our families, but can’t be adjusted. You CAN adjust your meal plan to work with your schedule, and that’s what we cover in weeks 1 and 2 of the Feeding Busy Families Masterclass.

Are you scrambling to make dinner?

This question plays into your busyness but can also be affected by kitchen organization and general time management skills. In week 2, we discuss how to organize your kitchen for efficiency so that you can get meals on the table quickly on busy nights. In week 4, we create a routine that works for YOUR family and YOUR schedule and explore strategies to make changes to it as your family’s needs change.

Do you have a hard time deciding what to make?

In week 1 of the masterclass we talk about family favorites, likes and dislikes so that in week 2, you can create a Meal Planning Bank to eliminate decision-fatigue and have ideas ready at your fingertips, every time you sit down to make your meal plan. We also talk about how to strategically choose meals to work with your family’s schedule. The 100 page workbook also comes with over 50 meal ideas to help you if you feel uninspired.

Often, having a hard time deciding what to make boils down to trying to please everyone in the family. In week 2, we look at creating a meal plan that works for your family and that includes planning with picky eaters in mind. My Feeding Picky Eaters E-Book is included in the resource package you will receive for this masterclass.

Do you want more time to yourself?

My goal as a parent is always to squeeze in as much time for myself as I possibly can. If you have this goal too, we cover time-management strategies in weeks 3 and 4, to ensure that you are maximizing your time in the kitchen, to get that much needed rest and relaxation when your kids go to sleep. In week 3, we focus on meal prep strategies and techniques that will save you time while prepping and cooking. In week 4, we look at time-management as a whole, and focus on ways to carve out time to do the activities you love.

Do you want to save money?

For two years, we were living on one income with four kids because we couldn’t find daycare for four kids under four. This made us get creative with our spending and find ways to save money. It’s actually very easy to save money in the kitchen, and in week 3 we talk about grocery budgeting and foods that you can make at home that will reduce your grocery spending.

Do you waste food?

Wasting food can be frustrating. Preparing too much, buying the wrong ingredients for the week, not having a plan and feeding picky eaters can all play into this. In week 2, we discuss how to plan and prep for meals to avoid food waste, as well as what to do with ingredients that tend to spoil quickly or tend to be wasted often.

Do you want to eat healthy?

This is often one of the reasons why people want to create a meal plan and have prep strategies to help them achieve this goal. “Eating healthy” can look different for all families. It’s important to consider food availability, accessibility and budget when making a meal plan that works for your family. In the week 1 one-on-one call, we discuss your meal planning goals, which could include eating healthy. In week 2, we take it one step further and look at ways to create your meal plan with your goals and priorities in mind.

Focus on your goals

Whether you answered yes to all of these questions, or just one, the Feeding Busy Families Masterclass focuses on all of these topics. The small group (5 people) encourages interaction with other parents who are in the same boat and allows for individualized meal planning strategies. The initial one-on-one call in week 1 helps me learn more about your family’s needs and goals so that I can highlight strategies that will work specifically for YOU during our group sessions.

What else is included?

The Feeding Busy Families Masterclass includes the following:

  • One 1:1 Zoom call
  • Three one-hour group Zoom calls
  • Access to the Facebook accountability group with past and present masterclass students
  • Detailed 100-page printable workbook

Register before September 30th and receive the following additional bonuses:

  • Extra one-on-one follow up call one month after the masterclass to check on your progress and fine-tune your routine
  • 52-page planner with a detachable grocery list to write out your meal plans and save them for the future.

Still have questions?

Send me an email if you have any questions about this masterclass or other ways that I can help you achieve your meal planning goals.