woman in white kitchen cooking healthy one-pan dinner

It’s been a long productive day and your last meeting on the calendar is wrapping up. Suddenly, the glow from your laptop screen has changed color, you glance around to see how many empty mugs have collected on your desk all day, and just like that, your stomach is growling like a beast… is it really dinnertime already?

YASS, Kween. It really is! 

The hangry panic sets in because you were too busy crushing it to meal prep… Haven’t we all been there? 

healthy one-pan dinner with chicken and vegetables
photo via Foodbymars.com

No more! Because you remember you have this awesome, healthy one-pan dinner template so you can make use of whatever is in your fridge and have something delicious in front of you, fast.

Healthy weeknight meals do not need to be yet another boring salad or sketchy takeout. You need balanced nutrition to fuel your energy and nourish your body! Switching up your ingredients using a tried and true recipe template is an easy way to get that real food in easily with minimal worry or effort. 

The Healthy One-Pan Dinner Template 

(Tip: scale up for more servings and you can always use 2 pans to make more food for others or leftovers!)

Step 1: Pick Your Quick Protein

(Tip: use a meat thermometer to know when it’s done)

  • Organic, free-range Chicken Cutlet (Breast, halved or butterflied) | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Grass-fed Ground meat formed into meatballs | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Pasture-raised Thin, bone-in Pork Chops | approx. 30-35 mins cook time
  • Wild Salmon Fillets | approx. 15-20 mins cook time
  • Wild Sole Fillets (or similar) | approx. 15 min cook time
  • Nitrite-, Nitrate-free Sausage | approx. 20 min cook time
  • Grass-fed Steak (Beef or Bison) | approx. 15 min cook time
  • Vegetarian: Canned Beans/Chickpeas | approx. 18-20 mins cook time

Step 2: Pick 2-3 Veggies (extra credit for different color veggies that are in-season)

  • Asparagus | approx. 12-15 mins cook time
  • Broccoli Florets | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Cauliflower Florets | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Brussels Sprouts, cut into thirds | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Carrots, scrubbed and cut into ½” rounds | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Green Beans, whole | approx. 15 min cook time
  • Mushrooms, halved or whole | approx. 15-25 mins cook time
  • Parsnips, scrubbed and chopped into 2” pieces | approx. 25-28 mins cook time
  • Potatoes, cubed into 1” pieces | approx. 30-35 mins cook time
  • Sweet Potatoes, cubed into 2” pieces | approx. 30-35 mins cook time
  • Zucchini, chopped into 1-2” rounds | approx. 15-20 mins cook time
  • Radishes, halved | approx. 20-25 mins cook time
  • Bell Peppers, seeds removed and chopped | approx. 15-20 mins cook time

    healthy one-pan dinner with chicken and vegetables
    photo via Foodbymars.com

Step 3: Pick Your Flavors (dried seasonings)

  • Spice Flavor Combos besides salt and pepper (use some or all!)
    • Indian: turmeric + cumin + coriander + mustard + chili powder
    • Vietnamese: star anise + cinnamon + garlic + ginger + lime + mint
    • Italian: oregano + thyme + garlic powder + basil
    • Greek: oregano + dill + onion + parsley + lemon pepper
    • Mexican: chili powder + cumin + oregano + cayenne + lime
    • Cajun: cayenne + paprika + oregano + thyme + mustard
  • More flavors: fresh lemon, lime, herbs (these are great to finish off with!)
  • You can also add a favorite sauce at the end like pesto, chimichurri, or marinara

Step 4: Put it all together + cook

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400f degrees (if you have a convection setting, that will cook your food even quicker!) 
  2. Line a sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. Lightly brush your protein with extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil. Season protein to taste with your favorite seasonings or try a spice flavor combo and add the protein to one side of your pan.
  4. Toss your veggies with oil until well-coated and sprinkle on similar or different seasonings to taste. Add your seasoned veggies to the other side of your sheet pan.
  5. Use the time estimates above to determine if you need to start an ingredient cooking for a few minutes before adding the rest to the sheet pan (alternatively, you can remove things when cooked off the pan, too!) For more even browning, use tongs to flip your food mid-way during cooking.

Healthy One-Pan Dinner Examples

Greek Chicken Breast with Lemon Potatoes and Broccoli: 

  • Chicken Seasoning: oregano + dill + onion + parsley + lemon pepper with olive oil and sea salt
  • Lemon Potatoes + Broccoli: lemon pepper + sea salt with olive oil
  • Started cooking diced potatoes for 10 minutes, then added the butterflied chicken breast and broccoli to cook for 20-25 minutes. Finished off with fresh lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley!

Indian-spiced Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini:

  • Salmon Seasoning: turmeric + cumin + coriander + mustard + chili powder and olive oil
  • Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini tossed with salt and pepper and olive oil
  • Started sweet potatoes for 10 minutes, then added zucchini and salmon (skin-side down). Hot tip: for crispy salmon, you can broil for the last few minutes of cooking. Finished off with some cilantro and coconut yogurt.

More helpful resources:

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