Healthy chicken tray bake is a super simple recipe. You can put it together in a few minutes, and the oven does the rest of the work. It's got lots of healthy veg including sweet potato to make it filling, so it's a complete all in one dinner.
What you'll love about the recipe
- There'll just be one pan to wash up after you make this healthy chicken tray bake
- Just 10 minutes prep time
- A satisfying, balanced healthy meat recipe
- Plenty of veggies and fibre in the recipe
Chicken. You'll need chicken thighs with the bone in for this recipe. Chicken breasts tend to dry out very quickly if you bake them uncovered in the oven. Chicken thighs, on the other hand, will stay juicy and moist, with a delicious crispy skin. If you are on a low fat diet you might need to remove the skin but otherwise enjoy it! Cooking the chicken on the bone adds more flavour and keeps the meat more moist. Allow either one large or two small chicken thighs per person.
Sweet potatoes add a delicious sweetness to this healthy chicken tray bake, especially when they have started to caramelise in the oven. But you could use white potatoes if you prefer.
Carrots are full of flavour when they are roasted in the oven.
Cauliflower and/or broccoli will add lots of healthy nutrition. They are both members of the brassica family and full of vitamins and minerals.
Herbs and seasoning. I just used mixed dried herbs, but if you have fresh that's even better. A little chopped thyme or rosemary goes particularly well with chicken.
You'll also need a tablespoon of olive oil or another healthy cooking oil. If you prefer, you could use a flavoured oil. I've cooked this healthy chicken tray bake with lemongrass and garlic oil before and it was a great success.
Kale makes a delicious crispy addition to this healthy chicken tray bake, but if you use kale add it only for the final 10 minutes of cooking time so that it does not overcook and burn. When you add the kale to the tray, give it a quick stir so that it gets a thin coating of oil.
In the summer you could make a Mediterranean chicken tray bake with some whole cherry tomatoes, peppers and courgette.
You can also ramp up the flavour with other spices as you like. Sprinkle over some curry powder, or add a mix of turmeric and cardamom.
How to make healthy chicken tray bake
For a perfect healthy chicken tray bake, make sure that the veggies have some space around them on the tray. If they are too close together, they will release too much moisture and end up steaming and soggy. For 4 people, I would recommend using 2 large baking sheets. The vegetables will shrink down quite a lot as they cook.
Try to cut the veggies into relatively even pieces so that they cook through at the same time. I don't peel them, just give them a quick scrub.
Add the veggies to the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and give it a good toss. (If it's easier you can do this in a bowl.)
Add the chicken thighs to the tray and drizzle with a little more oil. Sprinkle on the dried herbs and some seasoning.
Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden.
Frequently asked questions
A tray bake (or traybake) dinner is one where all elements are cooked simultaneously on a baking tray. In the US they are often known as sheet pan dinners. It's an easy and cost effective way to cook a meal. Of course you can also use a baking dish if you prefer.
No, don't cover the chicken when you are cooking this healthy chicken tray bake. A cover will make the chicken steam and you won't get a crisp skin. Without a cover the vegetables will also caramelise better which makes them sweeter and more delicious.
Other healthy dinner recipes
There's lots of other easy healthy recipes in the healthy dinners category. You might enjoy this healthy chicken curry, or slow cooker poached chicken. You could also roast a whole chicken in 45 minutes with this spatchcock chicken recipe. Chicken ramen noodles are delicious and ready in 30 minutes.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Healthy Chicken Tray Bake
- 4 large chicken thighs
- 300 g sweet potatoes cut into 2 cm pieces
- 300 g carrots cut into 2 cm pieces
- 300 g broccoli or cauliflower cut into small florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- handful of kale leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) whilst prepping the veg.
- Divide all of the vegetables between 2 large baking trays. Drizzle over the oil, and add the chicken thighs. Season well and add the herbs.
- Bake for 35 mins until the chicken is cooked through and golden. If using leafy veg such as kale, add to the tray for the final 10 minutes of cooking time.
- In the summer you could make a Mediterranean chicken tray bake with some whole cherry tomatoes, peppers and courgette.
- You can also ramp up the flavour with other spices if you like. Sprinkle over some curry powder, or add a mix of turmeric and cardamom.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.