The mighty sheet pan could be the most versatile item in your kitchen. It's big enough to hold an entire meal, and its low, inch-high sides makes it perfect for roasting foods without steaming them.
By Lynn Andriani
There's no need to reserve pork tenderloin for dinner parties or holidays when it's such a breeze to make. Just remember to turn on the oven before you begin any of the prep, so by the time you're ready to slide the seasoned pork and a dozen or so whole cloves of peeled garlic into the oven, it's superhot. The metal pan will give the meat a golden and lightly crisped edge, and within about 20 minutes you'll have a tray full of juicy, tender pork and spreadable garlic that's perfect with the meat or on bread.
Get the recipe: Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Garlic
The low edge on a baking sheet isn't just terrific for meats; it also helps small vegetables, such as peas, blister and brown to the perfect state of doneness. On a pan along with links of Italian sausage (sweet or hot), potato wedges and sliced onions, they'll pick up deep flavor, and you'll be fighting for the ones that get wedged into the corner with the darkened, crisp onions.
Get the recipe: Sausage, Peas and Potatoes
We hear so much about pizza stones, but a baking sheet can also turn out crisp crust -- the trick is to preheat the sheet in the oven, and then dust it with cornmeal before laying the dough on top, so the finished pie slides off easily. You can use homemade or store-bought pizza dough; they'll both taste outrageously good with this recipe from Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite
by Sarah Copeland. You top the pie with a few thin slices of creamy robiola cheese, shaved Brussels sprouts, salty ricotta salata, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and savory supper.
Get the recipe: Robiola, Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Walnut Pizza
When you're wondering what the quickest way to turn a package of chicken drumsticks and thighs into a moist and rich-tasting dinner is, reach for your trusty baking sheet. Laying the meat out in a single layer will help it roast in 40 minutes, or even less, and the pan's low sides will ensure the chicken browns nicely all over. Intersperse a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes onto the pan for the last few minutes of cooking, and you'll end up with a sweet, chunky sauce, too.
Get the recipe: Roasted Chicken (the Speedy Way)
Chef and O
food columnist Curtis Stone's brilliant reinvention of the quintessential French meal of quiche and a salad involves a pan instead of a pie dish. He makes mini tarts out of caramelized shallots -- but instead of bothering with a crust and a pie pan, he places the little onions on a baking sheet, covers each with a round of store-bought dough and bakes them. When the pastry is puffed, he removes the pan from the oven, lifts each tart with a spatula and flips it onto a plate. Along with a salad, the tartlets make a fabulous dinner that's familiar but just a little unexpected too.
Get the recipe: Caramelized Shallot Tartes Tatin
It can be tricky to make tofu that's flavorful and
lightly crisped -- but a sheet pan gets the job done. In a hot oven, a tangy marinade of rice vinegar, minced fresh ginger, orange juice, soy sauce and sesame oil permeates the tofu completely, while the metal pan helps the protein brown. You can add asparagus spears, trimmed green beans or sliced carrots to the pan and toss them with the sauce (before roasting) to make this a truly one-dish meal.
Get the recipe: Double-Soy Ginger Tofu
Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost OWN on Facebook and Twitter .