Some people are just not emotionally equipped to handle kitchen cleanup with any level of chill.
Take my mother, for example. Every time I cook dinner at her house, she trails inches behind me with a kitchen towel, crouching on the floor and obsessively buffing the “oil slick” that has radiated from the electric stovetop and landed on the hardwood floors in a thin mist. If left unattended, some sock-footed member of my family will undoubtedly slip, banana-peel style, and I’ll be blamed. I can’t handle this pressure anymore, so I’m only making sheet pan dinners for my parents from this point forward.
When you make a sheet pan dinner, you toss all the ingredients on a sheet pan (you might also call it a cookie sheet or a baking tray) and then you whack it in the oven, as Jamie Oliver would say. All the sizzling, popping, spraying and mess-making splatters happen behind the closed doors of the oven, where they can harm no one.
And since the entire recipe is cooked in one pan, you inevitably have fewer dishes, mixing bowls and pans to clean up afterward. (Caveat: This isn’t always true, but it mostly is. Some recipes call for marinades or sauces that need to be made in a separate bowl before being incorporated with the sheet pan ingredients.)
Because the average American eats around 92 pounds of chicken per year, we rounded up 12 of the simplest, most satisfying sheet pan chicken recipes for you. Get cooking, and enjoy the laziness of an easy cleanup.