Sheet Pan Success

This guest blog post is written by OnPoint Nutrition, a team of Registered Dietitians and Nutritionist who specialize in one-on-one virtual nutrition counseling.

Have no fear, sheet pan meals are here to save your week nights! This cooking method can be a major time saver, and with the ability to mix and match so many different food items, the possibilities are endless. The best part about sheet pan meals you ask? Even the most novice of cooks can pass for a master chef.  You’re probably thinking “okay, so what can I make into a sheet pan meal?”  Keep reading for everything you need to know!

Pick a Protein

Whether it’s chicken, beef, fish, shellfish, or tofu; be sure you cook this item ahead of time. The total cooking time needed for protein foods is longer when compared to your starch and vegetable components. We recommend pan frying your protein before combining with other ingredients on your sheet pan. Simply spray or add a dash of oil, salt and pepper the pan, add your protein and cook away!  

Select your Starch

Like protein options, starch options are pretty vast. Lucky for you, all of our recommended starches complement every protein option.  Stick to complex carbohydrates like beans, brown rice, and quinoa.  Complex carbohydrates contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep you full.  Don’t be afraid to use potatoes and sweet potatoes as your starch too!  Like your protein, cook your starch option ahead of time-you can even prepare these together.  If you’re looking for a starch free meal, simply skip this step.

Variety of Vegetables

In our opinion, vegetables are always the star of the show.  Your vegetable choices determine the flavor palate of your dish. Pair zucchini and summer squash with salmon and quinoa.  Or go for a stir-fry fare with snap peas, onion, and water chestnut, brown rice, and chicken.  An OnPoint Nutrition team favorite is a Mexican-inspired sheet pan dish.  This popular cuisine can be a total gut-buster if you’re not careful.  Check out our list below for choosing the healthiest options for your dinner!


Look for chicken breast or shrimp.

Limit sausage! Most sausage is heavily processed and high in saturated fat. Stick with a lean protein option. 


Look for guacamole.

Limit sour cream! Guacamole is an excellent source of unsaturated heart healthy fat! Full fat dairy products like sour cream are concentrated sources of saturated fat. 


Look for corn tortillas.

Limit tortilla chips! Corn tortillas are usually lower in calories and less processed than flour tortillas. Did you know tortilla chips are often deep fried!?

Look for ceviche or grilled fish.

Limit fried fish or “crispy fish!” Ask how item is prepared and steer clear of deep fried items!

Look for salsa or pico de gallo.

Limit queso! Queso may be delicious, but this beloved cheese dip is high in calories and fat without being very filling. Instead, get a veggie serving from pico and salsa. 

Put your Skills to Practice

Spice up your week with these easy fajitas. We also love roasting potatoes with mushrooms and onions topped off with salmon this way. Mix and match any of your favorite proteins, starches, and veggies. 

Sheet pan Shrimp Fajitas

Makes 4 servings, 1 serving = 1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 fat 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin

  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin

  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Several turns of freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika

  • Fresh lime or lime juice 

  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

  • Corn tortillas, warmed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

  2. Chop peppers and onions into thin slices, add to a large bowl

  3. Preheat sheet pan for 5-10 minutes

  4. Add all spices and oil to bowl and toss veggies well until coated with spices 

  5. Pour all veggies on sheet pan and bake in oven for 15 minutes

  6. Remove pan and add raw shrimp

  7. Let bake for 10 minutes, ensure shrimp is bright pink and cooked through

  8. With 3 minutes left on timer, place corn tortillas on oven racks to warm

  9. Remove sheet pan, garnish shrimp and veggies with cilantro, and enjoy!

  10. Serve with salsa, beans, and guacamole as desired


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