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When someone is just starting their meal prep journey, meal prepping with sheet pan cooking, also known as oven roasting, is the start line. Here are five things you should know about meal prepping, using the sheet plan method. It’s perfect for the novice all the way up to the meal prep pro and the food just tastes SOOOO good with minimal effort and minimal ways to mess it up.

1. This is what a sheet pan looks like.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I first started meal prepping, my knowledge of cookware and kitchen terminology was lacking. To me, a sheet pan was flat metal sheet that I often cooked cookies on with my girls. And you know what, that’s okay. My goal is to feed my family healthy meals, not graduate from culinary school.

2. Protein Tastes Amazing when cooked in the oven.

Even if you regularly burn things and you have a reputation for messing up meals in the kitchen, sheet pan cooking can really help you step your cooking game up. The food looks good AND it tastes good, with MINIMAL effort.

3. If You Don’t Use a Timer, your sheet pan meal will overcook.

Listen, the first rule of sheet pan cooking is- USE a TIMER. That’s the ONLY thing you need to remember when it comes to sheet pan cooking- Girl, use a timer! Even if you pride yourself on being old school and being able to wing it like grandma, I’m telling you right now…. you are not your grandma. Use a TIMER!

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a mom and you have a lot going on in your life. Remember, Meal Prep Love is all about Optimizing your time in the kitchen and one way we do that is removing all potential hurdles for wasted effort. If you burn your food, that is time and food wasted. So, do yourself a favor and use a timer!

Don’t have a kitchen timer? Just use your smart phone or the timer on your oven. A cute kitchen timer isn’t necessary especially when just starting off.

4. The Best Time to Sheet Pan Cook is, Anytime 🙂

I’m often asked, “When’s the best time to meal prep?” My answer, is anytime. I’ve learned that one of the biggest hurdles to meal prepping is the mental hurdle ‘it looks complicated’. Meal prep looks so complicated that most moms rule it out as an option or solution before they even start.

Sunday Meal Prep or batchcooking 20+ meals within a 3-4 hour period is an advanced meal prep strategy. It’s highly effective in optimizing your time in the kitchen, but you have to build up your muscles and kitchen organization before implementing that strategy.

In fact, I only recommend that strategy for a small percentage of my readers because it has the highest burnout potential of all of the strategies. I liken it to bulk writing multiple college papers over a weekend.

With sheet pan cooking, the ideal time is when your groceries are fresh from the grocery store. You don’t have to wait on anything to thaw. Everything is ready to go. I call this my ‘From the Grocery Bag to the Oven Meal Prep Strategy’ and it’s awesome.

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