Healthy Cooking

The One Tried-and-Tested Baking Sheet You Need To Cook Your Sheet Pan Dinners to Perfection

Photo: Stocksy/Nadine Greeff
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There's an old saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and that sentiment is never truer than in the kitchen. While it can be tempting to impulse buy the latest gadgets, most home cooks will find that the old standbys will yield the most satisfying, beautifully-cooked meals at the end of the day. Exhibit A: The Nordic Ware Naturals Basic Half Sheet, which has been making sheet pan dinner and cookie dreams come true since 1946.

Measuring exactly half the size of a full sheet pan at 18-by-13 inches, this pan has long been beloved by those who love a set-it-and-forget-it meal. The kitchen tool is made from pure aluminum, which distributes heat perfectly evenly so that all of your veggies get equally browned and crisp on the outside (while staying tender in the middle), and the rims on the side ensure that nothing drips down or teeters off into the base of your oven.

If you didn't think a sheet pan could have a "cult following," I'm here to report that, well, you're just wrong. The Basic Half Sheet has garnered 50,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, where it is ranked the number one seller among sheet pans. Plus, both the New York Times Wirecutter staff and Well+Good's fearless senior food editor and kitchen appliance expert, Betty Gold, count it as a Swiss Army kitchen tool.

Reviewers also stan this pan. Many note that, unlike other sheet pans, you can count on Nordic Ware's creation not to warp, peel, or change color with time. "I just received my half sheet pan a couple weeks ago and already I’ve used it several times," writes one reviewer. "Each time I got a nice even bake. The pan is easy to clean and it has a nice heft to it. It’s not too heavy to handle but it’s far from flimsy. To borrow a phrase from Goldilocks—it’s just right!"

Of course, you won't experience the hype first-hand until you take this baby for a whirl and make your own perfectly baked, sheet pan dinners. Below, check out some of our go-to, one-pan dinner recipes for busy weeknights (or long, languid weeknights where you just don't feel like cooking).

1. Minimalist Baker: Curried sweet potatoes and chickpeas

Photo: Minimalist Baker

Put aside 15 minutes of your day to prep this gorgeous and aromatic sheet pan curry dinner. 30 minutes later, the chickpeas, onions, cabbage, and sweet potatoes will be perfectly cooked—and your whole family will be ready to eat. Minimalist Baker finishes this dish off with a delicious, creamy tahini dressing that will play nicely with your crispy veggies.

2. Gimme Some Oven: Sheet pan chicken and veggie "stir fry"

Photo: Gimme Some Oven

Craving those smoky, spicy stir-fry flavors but don't want to stand in front of the stove? Understandable. Gimme Some Oven created this bake so all you have to do is chop, season, and let your Nordic Ware do the rest. Swap tofu or tempeh for chicken if you're plant-based.

3. Smitten Kitchen: Baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas

Photo: Smitten Kitchen

Try a twist on the TikTok baked feta phenomenon with this simple dinner. The cherry tomatoes will blister and sweeten in the oven, pairing well with the feta's tanginess. To make this dish a bit heartier, you can throw it atop a grain like pasta or rice.

4. Damn Delicious: Sheet pan chicken fajitas

Photo: Damn Delicious

If you want to celebrate taco Tuesday, try cooking all your veggies and proteins on your Half Bake Sheet and serving the final result with tortillas, avocado, salsa, and anything else you like.

5. Okonomi Kitchen: Sheet pan roasted veggies with turmeric tahini

Photo: Okonomi Kitchen

Keep your meal veggie-forward with Okonomi Kitchen's gorgeous veggie sheet pan dinner. This recipe encourages you to choose your own favorite root and cruciferous vegetables so you can truly enjoy every bite. Plus, the turmeric tahini dressing is otherworldly.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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