“Sheet Pan Magic: One Pan, One Meal, No Fuss!” By Sue Quinn. Quadrille Publishing. $19.99

My fiancé knows a pile of clean plates is as romantic to me as a bouquet of flowers.

I’m a neat freak who loves dusting, mopping and vacuuming. But there is one chore I hate: washing the dishes.

Our apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher, and some nights I feel like I spend hours standing in front of the sink. So when I picked up “Sheet Pan Magic” by Sue Quinn, I hoped it would live up to the tag line: “One pan, one meal, no fuss!”

“Such a surprisingly wide range of dishes emphasizes just how underrated this humble piece of kitchen equipment is,” Quinn writes in the introduction. “But sheet pan cooking does more than just smooth the culinary path when your cooking mojo is low and demand for a tasty meal is high; it also delivers food that is especially delicious.”

The most essential ingredient in the book is the pan itself. Quinn developed and tested her recipes in an 8-by-12-by-2-inch sheet pan. A heavier pan will distribute heat more evenly, so she recommends materials like steel or stainless steel, anodized aluminum, cast iron and copper. I love my cast iron skillet, but I wasn’t sure the round shape was best for these recipes. So I opted for the stainless steel pan that honestly doesn’t get used much except for brownies.

Before opening the book, I imagined it would be mostly different combinations of hearty meats and vegetables, like beef and Brussels sprouts on repeat. But Quinn offers a range of recipes for roasting – 158 pages of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners and desserts. She included a helpful notation about cooking times on every recipes, which run between 30 and 90 minutes for most entrées.

While the cooking method is convenient, the grocery trip might not be. My fiancé was drooling at the picture of a Dutch baby pancake, but I nixed that one when I saw it called for “orange blossom water.” I also passed over recipes that called for more expensive ingredients like duck breasts, smoked salmon, pistachios and halloumi cheese.

Still, I found a number of options that fit my weeknight dinner budget and timeline. I’ll definitely be making some of the fish recipes – like roast hake with Parmesan crust, chorizo and sweet potatoes – and I think the warm salad of roast tomatoes, figs and feta sounds like a perfect meal for early spring.

I was skeptical of Quinn’s chicken fajitas, which I always make in a skillet on the stovetop. But the recipe directed me to put the sheet pan in the oven while it preheated, which gave that same telltale sizzle when I tipped the chicken into it. I had a couple extra bowls to wash from marinating the chicken and making the salsa, but the flavors of the final product were worth five minutes with a sponge.

When I tried the recipe for shakshuka, however, I really got Quinn’s motto. My pan doubled as a mixing bowl. I dumped in all the ingredients – including chorizo sausage, bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, garlic, hot paprika and other spices – and mixed them together. I popped the pan in the oven. Forty-five minutes later, I cracked the eggs on top and returned the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes. I’ve made shakshuka before in a cast iron skillet, but this was an even easier option for days when I don’t feel like cleaning my heavy pan.

The end result was a plate of perfectly runny yolk and smoky sauce – and my fiancé generously washed the single pan I used to cook it. Be still, my heart.


My note: I accidentally bought a too-large package of fresh Mexican ground chorizo, so I used about double the recommended amount below. I ended up writing a note in the cookbook to make the same mistake again. The meat really gave the sauce body and flavor.

Serves 4 to 6

1 large red onion, halved and thickly sliced, layers separated

2 large red bell peppers, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

7 ounces chorizo, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

2 (14-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons hot paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 heaping tablespoon harissa paste

4 to 6 large eggs

1 1/3 cups crumbled feta cheese

Handful of cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place all the ingredients, except the eggs, feta and cilantro, in a 8 x 12 x 2-inch sheet pan. Add 2/3 cup water and stir well so all the ingredients are combined. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash more water towards the end of cooking if needed to prevent the sauce from becoming too thick.

Make indentations in the sauce with a spoon and crack in the eggs. Bake for about 10 minutes more, but watch the eggs carefully so the yolks don’t overcook: the yolks need to be gooey. Sprinkle over the feta and cilantro and serve immediately.

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