A sheet pan supper suggests a lot: dinner on a single pan, vegetables cooked with proteins, side dishes with entrées, a complete meal requiring minimal fuss and clean-up. It’s the convenience of a crock pot in a fraction of the time.
If you’ve made a sheet pan supper, however, you likely know the salient difference: You can’t, or rarely can you, simply “set it and forget it.” The art of a sheet pan supper lies in assessing your ingredients, then employing tricks to ensure the cooking does right by each. You may need to stagger the entrance and exit of the various elements or cover the pan with foil to create steam or adjust the oven rack to achieve more or less browning.
In this chicken and cabbage sheet pan supper, however, the tricks are minimal. First, chicken thighs, tossed in a sesame-soy dressing, roast alone, which allows the hot air, unimpeded by vegetables, to circulate freely and encourages the browning process to being. After 10 minutes, on goes the cabbage, tossed in the same dressing. It’s nestled around and underneath the chicken to fit. About 20 minutes later, when the chicken finishes cooking, off it goes to rest, while the cabbage continues on alone. With its surfaces fully exposed to the heat, the cabbage’s edges crisp and caramelize while any juices pooling nearby reduce and concentrate.
In about 40 minutes, dinner is ready. The result: juicy, crispy-skinned chicken and sweet, tender cabbage, flavored by not only the spicy dressing, but also the flavorful drippings of the chicken. It’s an unexpected and unsung boon of this one-pan wonder of a supper.
Now, here are a few tips for sheet pan supper success:
A quick online search will show that classics likes paella, saltimbocca, and chicken parmesan can all become sheet pan meals. Which is to say, you can create your own mash-ups, too! The dressing for this one—coconut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha—was borrowed from this Baked Tofu with Coconut Kale and could work with other vegetables (sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash) and proteins (steak, fish, pork, tempeh). When considering dressings, use a flavorful oil such as olive or coconut and something sharp to balance it, like soy sauce, vinegar, lemon, lime, or orange juice. Countless spices could be added to the dressing, but be careful of sweeteners—even a small amount of honey or brown sugar will encourage browning and may even burn before everything finishes cooking.
Before beginning, assess the ingredients and consider how long it will take to cook each. Use these times to plan which will enter and exit the sheet pan first. Cut vegetables into similarly sized pieces to help them all cook at the same rate.
For easy clean-up, you could line your pan with parchment or foil. Rubbing the pan with a 1/2 teaspoon of neutral oil works nearly as well.
Use your broiler. If, at the end, everything is cooked through but not browned to your liking, set the sheet pan under the broiler briefly, watching closely to prevent burning. —Alexandra Stafford
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 45 minutes
- Serves 6 to 8
neutral oil, for greasing
melted coconut oil or olive oil
rice vinegar (or other)
pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
kosher salt and pepper to taste
head cabbage, 2 to 3 lbs.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Pour a teaspoon of neutral oil over a rimmed sheet pan. Rub to coat.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sesame oil, coconut oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha, if using. Place chicken in a large bowl. Season all over with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the prepared mixture over the chicken and let marinate while the oven preheats. (Chicken can marinate longer, too, but try, if time permits, to bring it to room temperature before cooking—the coconut oil will solidify in the fridge and look clumpy, which is fine.)
- Cut the cabbage in half through the core. Cut again through each core and repeat this process until you are left with many wedges, no greater than 1-inch wide. Place the wedges in a large bowl, season all over with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining dressing.
- Place chicken on prepared sheet pan spreading it out evenly. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and nestle cabbage wedges all around the pieces, tucking it under if necessary—it will feel like a lot of cabbage. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Remove pan from oven, transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Return cabbage to the oven to roast for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until juices have reduced and edges of cabbage wedges are caramelized.