Summertime is a different kind of busy, at least at our house.
Maybe yours is like that too? Our summer life is punctuated by ballgames and lots and lots of yard work on our acreage. We’re often out there until the sun goes down. When we can’t see what we’re doing, we have to stop and eat. It’s often so late I’m ashamed to tell you.
We love following our grandsons’ baseball teams and wouldn’t trade it for the world! Our family has loved ballgames since my young husband played fast pitch softball at least twice a week and I toted our little girls along from the time they were tiny babies. It’s part of our summer rhythm. You too?
We eat differently in the summer.
Do you? We enjoy lighter meals, salads and burgers on the grill for sure. But for us, vegetables take center stage this time of year! Meat is cast in a supporting role. And I am a true farmer’s market junkie! I bow down to the hardworking people who grow beautiful vegetables in the heat, with the bugs and the backaches! So I shop my favorites about three times a week.
That’s what makes sheet pan dinners so stinkin’ much fun to do this time of year! Not only is dinner made on one pan, it only takes about 20 minutes in the oven. Bonus: it’s the ultimate palette for mix and match seasonal veggies! And, you can use sausage, fish or chicken (or no meat at all) along with the garden bounty!
Hello? Who really needs a recipe?
This is freestyle cooking, baby! Start with a good heavy rimmed sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Cut up any combination of potatoes, carrots, peppers, zucchini, sweet onion, asparagus, beets, green beans, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or cabbage. Have I missed anything? Use whatever you love! Just make sure they’re cut up in fairly uniform pieces. Drizzle on a little more olive oil and season with garlic powder, pepper, and a little kosher salt.
When using fish, you may want to season it with lemon pepper or dill. Sausage works great and as it cooks, the flavor enhances everything around it! Choose boneless, skinless chicken fillets or tenders so they cook quickly. Hint: You can sprinkle on any seasoning you like! Like maybe a packet of dry Italian or Ranch dressing mix! Ooh yeah!
This was tonight’s combo before it went in the oven.
Smoked turkey sausage, carrot chips, red peppers, Brussels sprouts, sweet onion, asparagus and small red potatoes cut in quarters. Cherry tomatoes would have been great but I was out. (I snacked them all up!) I threw on some fresh parsley and chives from my washtub herb garden and popped it all in a 375 degree oven.
Halfway through I stirred things up a little to make sure that everything got coated with olive oil. Twenty minutes later, we were eating. All we added was some mustard on the sausage!
Part of the magic is how the oven roasting brings out the natural sweetness in carrots, tomatoes and peppers! Love it!! It’s a feast fit for a king and with just one pan to wash it’s a treat for the cleanup crew!
I’m excited to hear what combos you come up with! Please share! I have a feeling there are gonna to be some great ides bubbling up when you give it a try! In just a few days our long summer evenings will slowly get shorter. Darn if it doesn’t all go too fast!! Enjoy these beautiful sunny days and happy sheet panning everyone!
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