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8 Best Roasting Pan Dinner Ideas

Here are Made In Cookware’s 8 best roasting pan dinner ideas:

Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe - Roasting pans are perfect for cooking an entire 8 serving chicken and vegetable dinner all at once. Estimated prep/cook time: 2 hr 10 min

Roast Potatoes - The perfect side dish, crispy oven roasted potatoes go great with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also reheat incredibly well. Estimated prep/cook time: 30 min

Oven-Roasted Salmon - Salmon is quite possibly the easiest protein to cook in the oven. In under 30 minutes, you can have moist, deliciously flaky salmon from fridge to oven to table. Estimated prep/cook time: 25 min

Roasted Butternut Squash 2 Ways - There's no better way to cook squash than by way of a good roasting. A good roasting pan browns and tenderizes any squash to perfection. Estimated prep/cook time: 1 hr 20 min

Simple Roasted Pork Loin - If you're looking to go the sweet route, roast your pork with apples and onions. If you're thinking savory, opt for garlic and potatoes. Estimated prep/cook time: 1 hr 45 min

Roasting Pan Ratatouille - Everyone's favorite vegetarian dinner was made for the roasting pan. Your delicious medley of vegetables will come out perfectly tender and last you all week. Estimated prep/cook time: 55 min

Thanksgiving Turkey - Craving Thanksgiving in July? There's a roasting pan for that. Don't forget to thicken up your pan drippings afterwards for that gravy topping. Estimated prep/cook time: 7 hr

Breakfast for Dinner - If your roasting pan is stovetop compatible, it can be used as a griddle to make eggs, bacon, pancakes, and more! Estimated prep/cook time: 30 min

Now for some commentary on roasting pans and our best roasting pan dinner ideas:

A high-quality roasting pan is one of the most versatile and user-friendly pieces of cookware you can own. Not only are they capable of cooking enough food at once to feed the entirety of your dinner party, but roasting pans are also great for the holidays as a centerpiece, for meal preppers as their do-everything meal prep secret weapon, for working parents as their one-pan weeknight savior, and much more.

Don’t take my word for it — here’s Top Chef Head Judge Tom Colicchio rattling off 28 things you can make in a roasting pan (specifically our carbon steel roasting pan):

Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

Roasting racks are typically called for in recipes when you’re cooking a whole bird, as they allow for a more even cook. But if you don’t have one, you can simply place your chicken on top of vegetables like the below recipe calls for.

Note: This is not a be-all-end-all hack! It won’t work as well for, say, a large turkey. But in a pinch and for smaller birds, it gets the job done (and bastes your veggies in delicious chicken drippings in the process).

If you elect to use a roasting rack, the two most popular are a flat rack and a V shaped rack, the latter allowing larger/more vegetables to fit inside the pan.

Check out Ina's roast chicken recipe here.

roast chicken and vegetables in a roasting pan

Roast Potatoes

The ability to make crispy oven-roasted potatoes is an awesome benefit of owning a roasting pan. They’re all the exterior texture of fried potatoes with a creamier center and far fewer calories. Make a large batch and use them as a side dish all week long.

Ready to roast those potatoes?

Oven-Roasted Salmon

Salmon is arguably the easiest protein to cook in a roasting pan. All it takes is seasoning of the salmon, placement of the seasoned salmon in said pan, placement of said pan into the oven, and voilà!

It’s important to note that you’ll want to either place aluminum foil under the salmon or use a roasting pan with a nonstick coating to ensure you don’t burn any scales to the bottom of your pan. If the salmon skin sticks to your roasting pan, it will make it very difficult to remove the salmon from the pan in one piece.

For more salmon roasting info, click here.

Roasted Butternut Squash 2 Ways

Roasting squash in a good roasting pan is, in my opinion, the best way to release its natural nutty undertones. A perfectly soft and browned piece of oven-roasted squash is Fall on a fork and so good you’ll be counting down the days until the harvest season every year. The below recipe contains two ways to go about roasting butternut squash (my personal favorite) in your roasting pan — half-gourd and cubed.

Check it out.

Simple Roasted Pork Loin

For roasting pork loin, I recommend a heavy duty carbon steel roasting pan. This choice will allow you to get a phenomenal sear on the pork loin on the stovetop before you transfer it to the oven to cook all the way through — all without having to change pans.

Click here to pig out on pork.

Roasting Pan Ratatouille

Roasting pans’ ability to cook and brown vegetables without drying them out is unmatched. You need cookware that can evenly distribute heat in order to ensure ratatouille that isn’t too crunchy or too soft, and a roasting pan is up to that task.

Here's a Ratatouille recipe you'll love.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Ah yes, the first thing that comes to mind when most people think “roasting pan.”

In order to cook a turkey in your roasting pan properly, you’ll need a roasting rack (stainless steel racks are the most common version) and a roasting pan that’s at least 13 inches long (anything smaller and your turkey probably won’t have room to cook evenly).

In order to cook an extra large bird — a 20-pound turkey or larger — make sure you have a huuuuge roasting pan! You’ll be surprised at how much room is taken up by a stuffed turkey, roasting rack, and veggies.

If it's turkey time, click here!

Breakfast for Dinner

If your roasting pan is stovetop compatible, it makes an incredible makeshift griddle (especially if it’s carbon steel and thus has nonstick surfaces). The high walls trap in bacon and sausage grease splatter, the flat bottom keeps your eggs from drifting, and the large size means there will be enough food for everyone.

A hidden advantage: because the roasting pan goes across two burners, you can heat each side to different temperatures to cook two different breakfast items at once.

This recipe inclusion was inspired by a college friend of mine, Joe, whose famous “Sunshine Slammers” — breakfast sandwiches with an egg cooked into one or two pieces of the bread — remain a staple of my breakfast diet to this day.

Don’t own a roasting pan? The best roasting pan is one that is easy to clean, has a large basin, distributes heat evenly, can be used on a stovetop as well as in the oven, and is extremely durable. For that reason, rectangular roasters made of carbon steel or clad stainless steel with an aluminum core are what you’re looking for.

Here at Made In Cookware, we’ve made what we believe to be the best roasting pan in the world — our Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan. Along with checking off all the boxes listed in the previous paragraph, our roaster actually gets better with age due to the seasoning qualities afforded to it by its unique carbon steel composition. Being made of French blue carbon steel, it also contains non-stick qualities and conducts heat much faster than stainless steel, meaning you’ll get superior browning on the stovetop and in the oven.

made in carbon steel roasting pan

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