You know the magic of the slow cooker, the whole “set it and forget it” business? I think I’ve found the busy person’s equivalent, perfect for the type of person who didn’t remember to start dinner 8–10 hours ago. It’s the humble Sheet Pan Supper.
It’s ready in 45 minutes, 30 of which is hands-off. And it uses one large sheet pan, which means that whoever does the dishes gets a lucky break. If you add the corn, you can make it in about 15 minutes while the fajitas cook, and add just one grill pan to the mix. Or if you use the grill, no extra pan necessary!
In your house, does the same person do the cooking and dish washing or do you trade off? I usually cook so my husband Longe is on dish duty. But every once in awhile, we find the dishes in the sink until after we’ve both fallen asleep watching House of Cards (again).
Can someone please invent a device that stops Netflix as soon as you fall asleep? I’ve wasted way too much time trying to figure out where I’ve left off. We’re late to the House of Cards party and we need to catch up!
Back to the fajitas! I grew up eating chicken fajitas from the now-defunct Market Day, and I always loved customizing my own fajita (chicken, salsa, a little cheese, lettuce, hold the sour cream). They resembled chicken tacos more than fajitas, but no one expected authentic Mexican food from Market Day either.
These probably bend the authenticity rules somehow too, but they’re a step closer.
The key to sheet pan cooking is keeping everything in a uniform size so it cooks quickly and evenly. In this case, I chose flank steak and boneless skinless chicken thighs. About halfway through cooking, I pull out the flank steak and let it rest. It’s a pretty lean cut of beef, so it would not only dry out but also be pretty tough if it stayed in the oven for the entire 30 minutes.
The chicken thighs need the full 30 minutes, as do the peppers and onions. They key to cooking the peppers and onions is to slice them super thinly so they get nice and tender.
While you wait for the fajitas to cook, you’ll have some time to make Chile Rubbed Corn on the Cob. You know elotes, the mayo-slathered corn on the cob that everyone seems to love? I am not a fan, which makes a lot of sense considering I don’t like mayonnaise. I wanted to jazz up corn on the cob with some of the same seasonings (chili powder and lime), so I started with those and added a few more. Smoked paprika, if you can find it, adds a great smoky flavor to it. The brown sugar adds a tiny bit of molasses-y sweetness—I couldn’t get enough of it!
For toppings for the fajitas, some salsa and pico de gallo are my go-tos. When tomatoes are in season, I make my own pico de gallo with this recipe:
4 roma tomatoes
½ of a red onion (use the other half for the fajitas)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice from half of a lime
½ teaspoon salt
Chop the tomatoes and red onion into a small dice and then mix everything together. I usually give it a quick drain before serving. But store bought works great, too, especially on busy nights when dinner needs to get on the table quickly.
Would you like to see more Sheet Pan Suppers? Let me know in the comments!
Sheet Pan Steak and Chicken Fajitas
Yield 2 servings plus leftovers
This recipe makes enough for dinner for two, plus leftovers. We take them to work the next day for lunch!
- ¾ lb flank steak
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- ½ red onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- To serve: pico de gallo, flour or corn tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the bell peppers and red onion into very thin strips. Place on a large sheet pan with the flank steak and chicken thighs. Drizzle everything with the olive oil.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, brown sugar, oregano, onion powder, and kosher salt. Sprinkle evenly over the meat, peppers, and onion, flipping the meat so that it gets seasoned on both sides.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the flank steak is done to your liking. I baked it for 17 minutes for medium. Remove the flank steak, place on a cutting board, and cover with foil. Place the sheet pan back into the oven for 10–15 more minutes (total cooking time should be 30 minutes), or until the chicken thighs are cooked through and the peppers are tender.
- Slice the chicken thighs and flank steak. Serve with pico de gallo and tortillas.
Tip: Buy a pre-made fajita seasoning packet instead of using the seasonings listed here. You can usually find them in the spice aisle or in the Mexican foods aisle.
Chile Rubbed Corn on the Cob
Yield 4 ears of corn
The perfect seasoning to jazz up a summertime favorite.
- 4 ears of corn, shucked
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- Zest of one lime
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the corn on a grill heated to medium high. Cover and cook for 7–10 minutes, turning frequently, until the corn is tender. Alternatively, place the corn on an indoor grill pan. Allow the grill pan to get hot and cook until grill marks appear, about 3–4 minutes. Add ¼ cup water to the bottom of the pan and carefully cover the pan, using either a lid or aluminum foil. Allow to steam for another 3–4 minutes or until tender. Be careful when removing the lid or foil, as the steam will be extremely hot.
- Heat the butter in a small bowl in the microwave until melted, about 20–30 seconds. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, lime zest, and salt.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the cooked corn with the butter mixture. Serve immediately.
Tip: Make it dairy-free by subbing olive oil for the butter.