It’s hard to find a dish that requires little effort with ingredients and cleanup afterwards, but this recipe does just this.
Between work, class, organizations and hours of assignments and studying, finding the time to make nourishing meals at the end of the day can seem impossible and is often the last priority on the list of things to do. Unfortunately, food preparation requires a prior trip to the grocery store as well as additional time to do dishes. At the end of a long day, the last thing we want to do is worry about cooking.
It is at this point that fast food or a frozen meal become beyond tempting. However, by doing this, we have little control over the nutritional content of our food, not to mention the additional expense associated with takeout food. Learning to prepare meals that contain minimal ingredients, with little preparation time and that use few dishes is an excellent way to set the stage for smarter choices as we enter the rest of adulthood.
That is where this sheet pan supper comes in to play. It only requires three dishes to assemble, including a cutting board. To reduce the dishes needed further, it would be possible to simply toss the ingredients on the pan, eliminating the need for a mixing bowl. Lining the sheet pan with aluminum foil reduces the time it takes to wash the dish later. The idea behind a sheet pan supper is all about ease: the protein and side components of a meal are all tossed together and cooked on a single sheet pan. The result is a colorful and flavorful combination of ingredients, great when eaten together.
An additional beauty of this dish is that once assembled, no other work, aside from occasionally stirring the ingredients as they bake, is needed. This allows for time to relax or study as the meal roasts.
While this recipe calls for sweet potatoes, virtually any type will work. As they roast, bell peppers become tender and sweet, providing a tangy complement to the smoky sausage. The sausage lends flavor to the dish, eliminating the need for additional seasonings. The exception to this is paprika. Found in any store’s spice section, paprika is a red spice made of ground, dried pods of mild pepper varieties. Traditionally used in Hungarian cooking, the flavorful paprika combines well with the onions, garlic and potatoes in this dish, and dresses the ingredients in its red color. Depending on your appetite, this dish can serve three to four people.
Smoked Sausage and Potato Sheet Pan Supper Ingredients:
1 stick smoked sausage, sliced into 3-inch segments
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch segments
½ yellow onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of olive or canola oil
2 teaspoons of paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the sausage and vegetable pieces. Drizzle them with oil and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Be careful to use the salt sparingly, as the sausage tends to be salty already.
Spread the mixture evenly onto a large sheet pan, lined with aluminum foil to assist with cleanup.
Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the potatoes and peppers are tender and the sausage has a dark crust and is cooked through.