Kidney Diet Tips


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Sheet Pan Smarts for the Kidney Diet

Putting together a tasty meal using only one pan is the ultimate in convenience for the home cook. Not only are sheet pan meals quick to prepare, clean-up is a breeze. With new on-line recipes coming out every day, sheet pan meals have never been so popular. Here’s a breakdown of the basics when it comes to preparing sheet pan meals as well as tips for choosing appropriate food options for your kidney diet.

Tools of the Trade

  • Sheet pan. A standard 13 x 18 inch aluminum sheet pan also knowns as a baking pan. Smaller sheet pans can be used when cooking in small batches.
    • Space matters. The difference between steaming and roasting is how close the vegetables are on the sheet pan. The metal sheet will disperse the heat evenly. Why use a low rimmed sheet pan? Glass baking dishes with higher sides hold in moisture and tend to steam ingredients instead of roasting.
  • Spatula. A thin-metal slotted spatula is useful so you can scrape the vegetables off without leaving the tasty caramelization behind. Avoid plastic and thick metal that can smoosh instead of scrape.
  • Metal tongs. Tongs work well to turn larger items such as cobs of corn or pieces of meat during roasting.

The Right Cut

It is important to cut vegetables into the same size pieces. This insures they will cook evenly. Your recipe may tell you the preferred size and shape to cut the vegetables. For example, the recipe may call for a julienned cut or ½-inch pieces. If you are planning multiple meals, you can prepare vegetables ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to roast.

Lower Potassium Vegetables

Root vegetables are great for roasting because they are typically dense, which will help them maintain their texture and roasting brings out their sweet flavor. However root vegetables such as sweet and regular potatoes can be high in potassium. If your diet includes a potassium restriction, some root vegetables are still a good option for roasting. Root vegetable options with lower potassium contents can be substituted for potatoes. These include carrots, turnips and parsnips (parsnips are 286 mg potassium per ½ cup). If you choose to use potatoes, soak or double boil them to reduce the potassium content. See this article “ Lowering Potassium in Potatoes ” from for directions.

More great lower potassium vegetable options include: eggplant, cabbage “steaks”, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, peppers and onions. These options are under 250 mg Potassium per ½ cup.

Tricks for the Treats

Using just enough oil to coat the food will help prevent it from getting stuck to the sheet pan. Once fully roasted the veggies should flip easily as the edges sear.

Plating Tips

Warm home-cooked meals are best when topped with a fresh garnish. Chives, herbs, lemon or lime wedges and artfully drizzled vinaigrettes are tasty low-sodium choices. Bonus, the right presentation adds taste, texture and will be a feast for your eyes as well.


Serve these one-pan dinners family-style for even easier clean up.

Download the newest Today’s Kidney Diet Roasted Recipes cookbook and enjoy the new sheet pan recipes and photos. Enjoy!

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                      

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Heidi Bennett RD, CBE

Heidi Bennett RD, CBE

Heidi Bennett is a busy mother of two who believes eating well is possible with limited time . She has worked as a clinical dietitian in Wisconsin and now California for over twelve years. Through her experience in a variety of settings , she has found her true calling as a renal dietitian for DaVita. In her free time Heidi loves traveling with her husband and growing fresh ingredients for cooking and preserving.