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Editors’ Note: Knitters, we bring help. In the quest to increase time for knitting, we proudly present a new series devoted to cooking. Simple cooking. Beautiful cooking. Cooking that you can pull together faster than you can drive through the Burger Weenie. Cooking that cleverly requires a one-hour oven time so that you have a built-in hour to knit while your delicious dinner is roasting away.

Who is our guide to this life-altering way to cook? Our adored gardener, food blogger, and maker: Judy Wright.

—Kay and Ann

I am new to the idea of sheet pan cooking, but after a few weeks of playing around with the concept, I am ALL IN.

I love the ease of chopping vegetables and adding them directly to a roasting pan along with the seasonings and olive oil. I love mixing the ingredients together inside the pan with my hands, I love the way the flavors meld together as they cook, and I love the easy cleanup, made easier when you line the pan with parchment paper.

The biggest challenge to this cooking method is figuring out the timing so all the ingredients finish at the same time. Fortunately, I am a vegetable roaster at heart; I learned at my mother’s side to roast almost every vegetable I encountered. If you are a follower of my blog, Judy’s Chickens, you may have already learned to oven cook eggplantcauliflowerbeetstomatoeszucchini, and butternutpatty panpumpkin, and spaghetti squash. If so, you are already on the way to becoming a sheet pan dinner-making maven. If you have never roasted vegetables, that’s OK, too. I will show you how.

Tools of the Trade

There are a few basic supplies to have on hand to make sheet pan cooking easy: rimmed baking sheets, parchment paper, olive oil, salt, and pepper. These will be the basics for every sheet pan recipe I write. I personally do not use butter for roasting foods, and I use very little salt. Feel free to add these to suit your personal tastes. The rest of the groceries we’ll pick up as we go.

Rimmed Sheet Pans

I use Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baker’s Half Sheets. These rimmed sheet pans come in many sizes, but the most common are: full sheets: 18″ x 26″, half sheets: 18″ x 13″, and quarter sheets: 13″ x 9″. All my recipes will be written to serve four people and will fit in a half sheet. The good news is the recipe will be easily doubled or halved to fit into the larger or smaller pans. I would caution about buying full sheet pans because many ovens will not accommodate their size. Better to use two half sheets for a doubled recipe. I own four half sheets and two quarter sheets, and they are the workhorses of my kitchen. I’ve used them to bake in and to sort vegetables harvested from my garden.

Parchment Paper

I use parchment paper to aid in cleanup. I keep a box of 200 pre-cut 16 3/8″ x 12 3/16″ parchment paper in my pantry. They are not a necessity, but sheet pan meals are all about ease, and nothing says easy clean up like parchment paper.

Olive Oil

I use extra-virgin olive oil for roasting vegetables, and for making salad dressings and marinades.

Salt and Pepper

Many chefs like to use kosher salt for cooking, but I prefer sea salt. Know that they are not equal in terms of volume. Kosher salt has larger crystals than regular salt, so a teaspoon of kosher salt will provide fewer salt grains than regular salt. I’ve noticed many recipes have switched to writing “fine salt” in place of just “salt.” Also, I am not a heavy salter. Please adjust the salt and pepper to suit your taste.

And Off We Go

The first recipe we’re going to try is an earthy medley of Italian sausages, potatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic. I chose these ingredients because they all take about the same amount of time to cook.

Italian Sausage with Vegetables

Yield: Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes   Roasting time: 1 hour


3-4 sweet bell peppers (1 pound)
4-6 potatoes, a combination of sweet and white (2 pounds)
1 sweet onion (½ pound)
1 medium head of garlic (1-1½ ounces)
4 or 5 whole fresh Italian sweet sausages (a 1¼ pound package). Do not pierce sausages. (Precooked sausages are likely to become too dry during the cook time.)
1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prep peppers: Remove pepper cores and seeds. Cut into 1-2″ chunks. Add to sheet pan.

Prep onions: Remove the outer layers of skin. Trim off root. Slice thickly. Add to sheet pan.

Prep potatoes: Scrub potatoes. Do not peel. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Add to sheet pan.

Prep garlic. Smash the whole head with a meat mallet, hammer, brick, anvil, or whatever weapon you have handy. Remove the outer layers of skin. Then smush each clove with the flat edge of a knife and peel off the loosened skin. Add to pan.

Sprinkle mixed vegetables with salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss together in the lined sheet pan. Add sausages and toss again. Spread ingredients uniformly in the pan. Place roasting pan in oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove pan and turn ingredients, including the sausages, for even browning. Roast for 30 minutes more.

Since there are only two of us in the house, I sometimes scramble the leftovers with eggs and have them for breakfast. Yum!

It’s nice living next to my number one taste-tester!

About The Author

The author of one of the most delicious food and garden blogs, Judy Wright has boundless curiosity about just about anything having to do with nurturing food, family, friends—and the chickens in her backyard. Follow her adventures at Judy’s Chickens.


  • Started making sheet pan dinners this summer! While there are a few veggies I add to all (peppers and onions) it’s a great way to use up whatever non cooked vegetables you have on hand.

  • Yummy!

  • Hi Judy! This is such a coincidence as I just made a shopping list to purchase ingredients for my favorite Italian sausage/butternut squash sheet pan supper. I make it pretty much the same way you outlined your recipe here, except I also drizzle balsamic vinegar over all. Yum!

    • Great idea! I will try that. How’s my favorite Euroflax kimono sweater that I still dream about?

      • The kimono says it misses you!

        • Sigh.

  • Hey, Ann! The cat is sitting on the table. (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    • I was going to say that too!

  • Will definitely try this recipe! Thank you for such clear and easy directions.

    • Thank you, Bethany. I write up recipes with my three sons in mind as my audience.

  • I’m a big fan of sheet pan dinners. And of Judy!

    • Thank you. So nice to hear!

  • Sounds so delicious and easy-peasy!! I will definitely make this!!

    • Thank you, Leah!

  • Looks like a great combo. Have been doing sheet pan dinners since Rosetto-Kasper’s “How to Eat Supper” and Jimmy Oliver’s Tray Baked Salmon. Great when you have guests and really want to hang out more with them. Or you don’t have guests and you want to knit AND eat a good dinner.

    Great pic with Kermit, sitting there in his tuxedo, waiting for dinner. 😉

  • Will sub vegan field roast sausage and try it this week. The timing is perfect because we are finally having temps below 90 next week so I can turn on the oven!

  • The dinner above looks delicious! It reminds me that there was something that my father used to make that I wish I knew how to make. All kinds of vegetables, but always with some white potatoes and some eggplant or zucchini, with tomato sauce olive oil mixed together with the hands and baked in the oven. It was always so good, and it always seemed to have some peas or corn in it, too.

    In the category of what to wear when preparing a sheet pan supper, I would like to say that Ann, your shawl looks lovely on you!

  • I love Kermit on the table. Our boy does that as well. Naught kitties!

  • Sounds fabulous!
    Any chance additional postings include an easy-print option? Thank you1

    • That’s a little tricky because your website platform has to support that function. I usually snap a photo of the ingredients list to bring with me to the grocery store.

  • What a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Ann!

  • This looks amazing! I love roasting veggies. I just learned that roasting veggies before putting them in soups releases the flavors! So good!

    • There’s a recipe on my blog called “Roasted Butternut Squash Soup” where I do just that. I was also thinking you could take the roasted tomatoes from my recipe for “Roasted Roma Tomatoes, ” puree them and make a delicious tomato soup. Thanks for writing!

  • Judy, this looks delicious, as expected! And I do love a one-pan recipe.
    I have a question for you about oil/s: after a couple of less than stellar results lately, I think I need to either find subs for olive oil and/or find better olive oil than the ones I’ve been using. I’ll bet you know all about this topic, so I look forward to your reply – or perhaps an entire future post “All About Oils” with your customary high quality of research and field notes!
    p.s. I’ll be roasting my first (of 2018) homegrown Candy Roaster squash later today, in what will be the opening ceremony of my Festival of Puree. I’m starting with the massive 11+-pounder, and I am with you 100% on the benefits of parchment paper 🙂

    • Hey there! An 11# Candy Roaster?! That will go far. I always buy extra virgin, first cold-pressed olive oil. I like the Spanish variety simply because my mother always bought it. I get the big bottles at Costco. I usually buy extra bottles and give them to my sons as a treat when I visit them. We’re all about EVOO in this house. We fry our eggs in it for breakfast! Thanks for the kind words.

      • I use the same type, but various organic brands. Maybe I’ve just got a bad bottle or something, as the flavor is so strong and dense, for lack of a better word. Or maybe my taste is changing – seems to be happening quite often lately. I’ll tell you one thing, though – no olive oil has ever tasted as good to me as the one/s I had in Portugal. Maybe it loses or gains something in transit!

        • I feel that way about an unfiltered bottle of EVOO my brother brought me from his friend’s vineyard in Spain. It had a tremendous and memorable flavor; probably similar to what you experienced in Portugal. When I wrote my post on making popcorn in a paper bag, I tried using my regular EVOO on it and it was overpowering (which at the time I didn’t know was possible). I went to the store and bought “California Ranch Olive Oil.” It was perfect. Now I keep both varieties of EVOO in my kitchen.

      • Judy, Samin Nostrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat says Kirkland extra virgin olive oil is a great product! That’s what we buy too. Amazing post! Congrats.

        • Thanks, Tallu, sweet friend! Yes, Kirkland made the REAL extra virgin olive oil list in a study that was done last year.

  • I have been roasting vegetables for awhile adding meat is a fantastic idea.
    I use my silpat (silicon baking sheet) the bottom of a half sheet pan instead of parchment.
    A little clean-up but it washes very easily, less material going into the garbage.

    • I inherited a bunch of new silpats, but I have yet to try them. I’ll give them a try. Thanks!

  • I am a long time fan of sheet pan dinners – I think we do this at least 1-2 times a week when temps get to where it’s reasonable to start turning on the oven. We do this dinner with absolutely ANY veggies and herbs we have on hand (you do it enough and learn which veggies need more/less time in the oven – but we even like them if they get a little crisp (ok, burnt) so generally we throw everything in at once. A little balsamic drizzled over the top after pulled from the oven is nice too. We’ve done it with almost any kind of thinner cuts of meat/fish, or just veggies. It ALWAYS works. Leftovers are great for omelets, scrambles, frittata. Sometimes I put the cold leftover veggies on a salad the next day. My 11 yr old stepdau, who hates almost all foods, happens to love sheet pan kale and sheet pan broccoli. Go figure. This dinner is a winner!

    • Thank you! I’m a believer!

  • Yum.

  • I make sheet pans all the time in nice weather. Go sheet pan dinner! For your vegetarian readers, you can add psuedosausage or even tofu. I am dying to know, though – what is the pattern for that shawl Ann is wearing? Looks dy-no-mite! Love the one red stripe. PS my cat is on the dining table as I type this.

    • I believe that is Ann’s Sail-Away Shawl, from the ‘Ease’ field guide. Do you happen to know how I would go about using pseudosauage in this? Would it go in at the same time as the veggies, like the meat does?

      • Thanks so much for the pattern ID. Don’t really know about psuedosausage but did make a sheet pan dinner yesterday starring butternut squash, broccoli, potatoes, and tofu, all cooked at the same time. The tofu came out great. It actually does brown, you just have to allow enough time. It just tastes likes the herbs and the garlic you also roast. It gets quite a nice texture baked this way.

  • This looks so easy and yummy, I like the mix of potatoes. I’m also going to try this and sub in veggie sausage.

  • I agree with everyone. Ann, remind me about your shawl, please

  • Heh heh heh. I just sent the following text home to husband and children:

    Need the following for dinner. Choose your task.
    1. Take potatoes out of fridge. Wash well. do not peel. Cut into approx 1.5 inch chunks.
    2. Same as above but for peppers.
    3. Get Italian sausages out of freezer…

    You get the idea.

    • Brilliant! Kristen, I just read this to my husband. We’re both laughing. He said, Good job! Thanks for making me smile.

      • Oh, and it was so seasonal and quite delicious.

      • 🙂 I have 4 teenagers and I am trying to delegate/teach them life lessons. When I realized I had most of the ingredients, I seized my chance.

  • Vegetarian readers: you can add beans!
    Example: I made a good recipe last week from the New York Times. Their technique involved two separate sheet pans, which was NOT necessary. It was spiced chickpeas with tomatoes, potatoes and cauliflower, with lemon slices and Indian kind of spices.
    I’m not even a vegetarian, but I love beans.

    • Thx will try sounds great!

      • Nina and Valerie, thanks for chiming in on vegetarian alternatives. I am not very familiar with vegan substitutions, but I love to learn and I’m happy for the input.

  • I’m going to try this one, Judy. I even bought a quarter sheet pan to fit in my toaster/convection oven for summer time cooking!

    • Bravo! Hope you enjoy the recipe. There will be more to come!

  • I’ve been incorporating more of this style of cooking into my life since I retired. It really is a game changer and I have done more than my fair share of complex and fancy dishes over the years. I love simple now, more knitting time!

  • Amusingly, I was eating a sort of a sheet pan dinner as I read this – butternut squash roasted with leftover onions/carrots/peppers. Towards the end, I added a black bean burger! Not quite the same, but I roast veggies all the time, and never think about adding meat (or meat substitute). I need to do that more!

    • Janna, I was the same way! Now I daydream about how to add protein to roasted veggies. Even my family chimes in on what combinations might be worth a try. Thanks for writing!

  • Yum. This looks great. I love your taste tester’s assistant waiting for his or her taste!

  • I love roasting veggies and have ventured into sheet pan suppers. This one is a keeper! I have two 1/4 sheet pans- perfect for the one-person household- dinner and lunch.

    • Don’t forget breakfast — this combo of leftovers is delicious scrambled with eggs in the morning (or for dinner)! Thanks for writing!

  • I made your Italian Sausage with Vegetables tonight, and it will now be one of my go-to recipes! Delicious! Thanks for sharing. It would be great if you could include a link to print the recipe without all of the pretty photos.

  • Made it. Loved it. Will make it again.

    • Yay, Chloe! Good to hear! Thanks for writing.

  • It’s in the oven right now – my house smells like garlic! I find it easier to put all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss instead of trying to toss on the pan.

    • Agreed, much easier to mix in a bowl. I hope you like roasted garilic! Thanks for writing!

  • This is a fabulous idea and this recipe looks so good! So easy to put together, please send us more sheet pan dinners!

    • Thank you, Mary! I’m having so much fun working up combinations. It’s just like choosing yarn combos and making swatches!

  • Just clicked to take a gander but was so pleasantly surprised to discover Judy is Judy’s Chickens! I follow your blog and love your recipes.

    • Thank you, Christine! Six years ago, when I first got chickens, I went out to lunch with Ann Shayne and another friend, both of whom were on Instagram. I was telling them about my baby chicks and they told me I needed to get on Instagram and post photos of them. Ann came up with the Instaname “JudysChickens” and set up my account right there in the restaurant. The blog came next. Lucky me to have a friend who inspires me like Ann!

  • Thanks to MasonDixon for introducing me to you. I have only recently heard of sheet pan cooking and this recipe not only looks amazing but I love how you spelled out every step necessary for perfect results. BTW – I also have an Orca kitty (aka Tuxedo). Mine is Ayla named for the little orphan girl in Clan of the Cave Bear as our little Ayla was also an orphan.

    • Thank you, Lindy! Ayla was amazing!

  • The result is delicious! I especially like that everything goes in at once; boom.

    • Thank you, Geness! Glad you liked it. It’s become a fun challenge — figuring out which ingredients not only taste good together, but also cook in the same amount of time.

  • I made this tonight and it was delicious, my husband loved it! Next time we are going to put the onions and peppers in for thr last half of cooking as we like ours less cooked. Thank you and we need more of these sheet pan suppers please!

    • Thank you, Mary! We just switched the oven temperature to 400 degrees which is the temp I cook this at for precisely the reason you mentioned—I like the onions and peppers to be tender but not crispy. Missed that. More recipes coming!

  • I made this tonight and it was a hit with everyone in the family (including the little kids!). Thank you for a fantastic recipe! And less dishes does mean more time for knitting. Win win win.

    • So happy to read this, Danielle! I make this recipe the most because I pretty much always have Italian sausages in the freezer, and potatoes, onion, and garlic in the pantry. Even my kids are making it in their homes, now! I appreciate that you took time to write and let me know. Thank You!

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