Mediterranean Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
In any discussion on healthy eating, the subject of the Mediterranean diet will inevitably arise.
And for good reason! People in the Mediterranean enjoy a diet filled with healthy fats and plenty of whole grains and vegetables. Seafood and poultry are included in moderation.
When you combine chicken and vegetables with olive oil and Mediterranean flavors, the result is incredibly delicious. Cooking this delight on a sheet pan makes it super convenient for all those busy-day meals.
(so basically, every day)
When easy meets healthy and delicious, it’s a match made in heaven!
I love easy and healthy, and this meal emphasizes fresh, whole ingredients prepared simply to bring out their flavors. Roasting on a sheet pan caramelizes the red onion and peppers, bringing out their natural sweetness.
And once everything is cooked, the addition of feta cheese and kalamata olives provide a highlight of sharp and salty in every bite, with a little burst of freshness from the parsley.
Truly a fantastic flavor combination!
To prep, line a large (15x10) rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat your oven to 425F. Cut a lemon in half and juice one of the halves. If the lemon is large, the juice from half will be close to ¼ cup, which is what you want. For a smaller lemon, you might need to juice it all to get enough lemon juice.
Get a large bowl and whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and spices. This is the mixture that will coat and flavor the veggies and chicken.
I like to coat the veggies separately from the chicken, which is easy to do. Simply add the veggies to the bowl, toss to coat, then remove them to the lined pan, leaving the olive oil mixture behind.
Spread the vegetables in an even layer, leaving 4 open spaces for the chicken thighs so they can cook without overlapping.
Then add the chicken to the bowl, tossing to coat before transferring to the lined pan.
Slice the remaining lemon half and scatter the slices evenly over the vegetables. Do not place on the chicken, as it will prevent the skin from turning brown and crispy.
Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The vegetables will be caramelized, and the chicken will be brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and top with feta cheese, some kalamata olives and chopped parsley.
Why do you separately coat the meat and veggies?
As much as possible, I prefer to separate raw meat from my other ingredients. Even though in this case everything is going in the oven and cooking for the same amount of time, I still feel better if I toss them separately before adding to the pan.Can other vegetables be substituted or added to this sheet pan dinner?
Definitely! I have used a yellow onion in place of the red and sometimes add wedges of roma tomato with great results. I’m going to add some zucchini next time, I think that will be a marvelous addition. Just keep in mind the cooking time. 40 minutes might not be long enough for some root vegetables (carrots, etc) to cook, unless you cut them very small.
More healthy ideas with Mediterranean flavors
Mediterranean Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- 4 chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
- 1 small onion red or yellow, cut into thin wedges
- 8 mini bell peppers halved lengthwise and seeded (or 1-2 large bell peppers, cut in strips)
- 1 pound baby potatoes halved
- 1 lemon large
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tarragon dried
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 8 Kalamata olives pitted
- Line a 15x10 rimmed baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Juice half the lemon. You should have about ¼ cup of juice. Cut the other half of the lemon into slices.
- In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice with balsamic vinegar, tarragon, oregano, paprika and salt and pepper. Add the onion, peppers and potatoes and toss to coat.
- Carefully spoon the vegetables out of the bowl, leaving the olive oil mixture behind. Spread the vegetables onto the foil-lined pan. Leave 4 open areas for the chicken thighs.
- Now add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat. Transfer to the sheet pan, trying not to overlap the vegetables.
- Scatter the lemon slices over the vegetables, leaving the chicken exposed to promote browning.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and scatter feta cheese, olives and fresh parsley over the whole pan.