Who doesn’t love a good Sheet Pan Dinner? It’s the one-pan meal you might even get away with not cleaning up after, as long as you park that empty baking sheet in the oven till morning. (Raises hand: Guilty.) Well, maybe you don’t always love an SPD, if your efforts to combo-cook protein, carb and vegetable fall short now and then. And by that I mean potatoes that are underdone, meat that is unevenly done and greens whose moisture has left the building.

Doneness has to do with timing, of course, and SPD experts will point out that cooking those food groups in stages is key. Same single pan, but give some ingredients more time in the oven.

Here are the three top reasons to love this particular Sheet Pan Dinner: minimal prep and cleanup (see above); the sweet-and-spicy rub for the fish; the potatoes will be cooked through by the time the fish is done. And a close fourth reason: The spring onions, or scallions, roast to a melting tenderness. A final spritz of lime juice is your citrus “sauce” that ties it all together.

TIP: Sometimes, a center-cut piece of salmon will have an inch or two of thin belly on one side. For even cooking, we like to tuck that flap under the fillet, or cut it and save it for a very deserving cat.

Brown Sugar and Chili-Rubbed Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner

Servings: 4


  • 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces young/thin spring onions or fat scallions
  • 1 lime
  • Four 6-ounce skin-on salmon fillets, center-cut
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse the potatoes; if they are 2 inches or more across, cut them in half. Place them on the baking sheet; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season lightly with salt. Toss to coat, then spread out evenly, with cut sides facing down. Roast (upper rack) for 10 minutes; they will not be cooked through.