Sheet pan dinners, this one featuring chicken thighs and a mix of vegetables, are an easy weeknight dinner option. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Sheet pan dinners — a whole meal baked or roasted on a single flat pan — probably has more of us fixing dinner at home in preference to takeout, or using premade frozen dinners.

Assembly time is minimal, baking takes 30 to 45 minutes, then it is time to serve. One pan to clean up, and if you plan for it, you might have some toothsome leftovers.

Most of the time, the dinner needs no extra folderol. The meat and vegetables can be enhanced by various favorite seasonings, sauces, salsas or special items such as olives, capers or roasted peppers.

Honey mustard is my favorite form of mustard; I never use it straight from the jar though I use it for salad dressing or blended with mayonnaise as a dip for vegetables or to spread on fish that I bake. If I put mustard on a sandwich, though, I always blend it with honey to soften its impact. So homemade honey mustard lives in the pantry. When I saw the suggestion of using it as a glaze for a sheet pan chicken dinner, I perked right up. All you do is add some balsamic vinegar to the honey mustard until you can brush it on or smear it with the back of a spoon.

How to make honey mustard? First, decide if you want grainy or smooth mustard, then spoon a couple tablespoons out of the jar into a small bowl. Add honey a spoonful at a time, until it tastes good to you. Or do it honey first, then mustard is added. That’s it. Don’t worry about specific quantities because different mustards vary in their intensity.

To make a glaze out of your honey mustard, drip balsamic vinegar into a couple of tablespoons of the mustard, stirring until it is pourable.

I chose sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots and quartered onions to accompany the chicken thighs and legs.

Sweet potatoes roast a little more quickly than carrots and white potatoes, so cut the sweets into larger chunks. As far as quantities, merely be guided by the number of people you cook for. An older person might prefer half a potato and one thigh. A teen might like a thigh and a couple legs, a whole potato or more. If someone doesn’t want white potato, add carrots or sweet potato. You know what to do.

Arrange everything on a lipped and lightly oiled baking pan. Set the chicken on, skin side up (if you don’t want to eat the skin, take it off after roasting in order to keep the chicken moist). Arrange the vegetables in a single layer, and then spread the honey mustard sauce liberally over everything.

The honey mustard is so easy and economical to make, that I can’t think of any reason not to make it yourself as long as you normally have mustard and honey in your pantry anyway and you have room for one more jar. What a good addition to a ham and cheese sandwich, or a plain (maybe) grilled cheese sandwich.

We ended up with really delicious leftover vegetables that I sliced into a cold salad the next day.

Chicken and vegetables sheet pan dinner

Makes a variable number of servings.

Chicken pieces, preferably bone in and skin on

White potato, peeled and cut into chunks

Sweet potato, cut into chunks

Carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices

Onions, peeled and halved or quartered if large

Dijon style mustard, grainy or smooth


Balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly oil a baking pan or sheet pan. Arrange the chicken pieces on the pan, skin side up.

Toss the vegetable chunks in a bowl with a little oil until they glisten. Add them to the baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Mix together the honey and the mustard, sampling until it tastes good to you, then drip in some balsamic mixture to achieve a thin sauce.

Smear all the ingredients in the pan with honey mustard and balsamic sauce.

Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, turning the vegetables at least once and checking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit on the thighs. Serve.

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...