The sheet pan is a kitchen staple, but most of the time it's stacked and stored away, rarely getting its time to shine as one of the most versatile items we have at our food-prepping disposal. Perhaps you've used yours to bake a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies or panko-crusted cod. But how often does that happen? Your sheet pan has so much more to offer, both culinarily and creatively. Read on for five inventive ways to use a sheet pan.

Frozen Fruit

Frozen fruitwww.thekitchn.com

If you want to keep fresh fruit longer, freezing it will allow you to keep it at its peak. But bag it up and you wind up with a giant icy clump. Next time, space out the pieces on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and your fruit will freeze up beautifully. Each piece will pull right off the pan, so you can take as much as you want each time. Great for smoothies, pies, juices, you name it.

Prepare skewers

Skewers www.southernplate.com

When it's time to barbecue, put together healthy and delicious skewers without the mess. Dinner plates are meant for mealtime, not prep time. As you assemble the chunks of meat, chicken, veggies, etc. on the skewer sticks, place them on a sheet pan so you can slather them with marinade and sauce without the drips landing all over your counter tops. Carry the pan to the sizzling grill and get cooking.

Get Ingredients Ready

Ingredients www.cookingclassy.com

A sheet pan makes for a tidy meal prep station, perfect for the home chef who enjoys organization as much as they appreciate a home cooked meal. You'll never forget to add the cilantro or realize you're out of shredded cheddar if you gather all the meal's ingredients first and arrange them on a sheet pan. Measure everything out, set on the pan, and follow your recipe with ease.

Roll Frozen Treats

Frozen treats 2cookinmamas.com

Frozen desserts made at home always taste better. Make frozen bananas on a stick or homemade pudding pops and give them time to get super solid in the freezer. When it's time to coat them with tasty toppings, the sheet pan will be useful and mess-free. Dip your pops in chocolate sauce and roll in crushed cookies, sprinkles, mini chips, or chopped nuts which will be pre-poured onto the pan. Kids go crazy for this type of frozen fun!

Note: Freeze the banana pops on a sheet pan too. Another use for this handy surface.

Catch Drippings

Spills and drips images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Have you ever cooked something in the oven only to come to realize it bubbled over during the process? The mess is maddening and you'll do more cleaning up than eating up. Next time use a sheet pan to catch the spills and splatters by placing a large one on the bottom rack. Simply slide out the pan once it has cooled down and dispose of the dribbles.

Leave it to the sheet pan to be the kitchen essential you never knew you needed!

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