Easy Weeknight Dinner: One Pot Chicken and Vegetables

Picture this. So it’s 1700 on a random Tuesday and I’m staring at the contents of my refrigerator without a plan, praying for some divine intervention on the dinner front. Somebody please tell me I’m not alone in this.

Fortunately – I have the solution!

one pan roast chicken and vegetables 2

One pot dinners – where have you been all my life? I’m a huge fan of my crockpot; but I only just realized I have not been utilizing my sheet pans enough. True, I roast things all the time – but I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner to roast EVERYTHING. TOGETHER. ON THE SAME PAN.

Game changer.

one pan chicken and vegetables

As with pretty much every meal I make, the beauty of this is that you can basically use whatever vegetables and whatever seasonings you have on hand. And speaking of spices – can we talk about this original camp mix seasoning? It’s a super simple yet fabulous blend of garlic, onion, black pepper, white pepper, salt, and celery salt. You pretty much can’t go wrong. Not only do we keep a bottle of it in our camping supplies, but we use it approximately 5 out of 7 days a week.

Anyway. You can’t go wrong with good old bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – and the broccoli and sweet potato needed to get used up, but it was a beautiful marriage of classic flavors. (Also – roasted broccoli? Is my son’s new favorite vegetable. I literally caught him SNEAKING BROCCOLI off the roaster pan. Is that a bad thing? Never.)

 

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So basically once you toss everything onto your sheet pan, you bake it at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Similar to the crock pot, it’s a set it and forget it kind of meal – feel free to have a glass of wine on the balcony do some laundry while you wait for it to finish cooking.

One Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

serves: 4

prep time: 10-15 minutes

cook time: 45 minutes

What you need:

4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced

2-3 broccoli crowns, chopped

olive oil

your favorite seasoning blend

fresh rosemary, thyme, sage (I used a fresh poultry seasoning pack from my local grocery store)

What you do:

Preheat oven to 450. Toss sweet potatoes and broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper and layer onto your sheet pan. Toss the chicken thighs with olive oil and seasoning (save the fresh herbs for later) and lay on top of vegetables. Dice your fresh herbs and sprinkle over everything. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

one pan chicken and vegetables 3

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Chicken Zucchini Bites

Every time my husband searches for a recipe online he gets frustrated by blog posts that lead off with a three thousand word story that usually has nothing (or little) to do with the actual recipe being posted. He then is forced to scroll and scroll and scroll – through text and pictures – to the very bottom of the blog post where the actual recipe resides.

In deference to my husband, please see up front the super simple recipe for these super simple (and delicious!) chicken zucchini bites. You’re welcome.

(For those of you still looking for a story, keep reading!)

chicken zucchini bites | bearfamilystrong.com

Chicken Zucchini Bites

makes 12-15 bites

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb ground chicken

2 medium zucchini, grated

1/2 onion, grated

1 tbsp cumin (optional)

1-2 tsp garlic salt (to taste – I used Trader Joe’s garlic salt grinder)

black pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 375. Grate your zucchini and onion – I used a food processor and did both together. Once the vegetables are grated, wring out the excess moisture. I did this by dumping the veggies into a clean dishtowel and then squeezing all the extra water out. Trust me – this step is important if you want your zucchini bites to hold together!* In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Form 12-15 balls and place on a baking sheet – don’t beat yourself up too much if they look more like odd lumps, this is because of the stickiness of the dough. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

*NOTE: You don’t necessarily have to wring out the excess water from your zucchini/onion mixture, but if you don’t the meat “dough” will be super sticky and it will be much harder to form meatballs. When I first started playing around with these I did NOT wring them out and had to use muffin tins for the meatballs because I couldn’t get the mixture off my hands. That said, they still tasted delicious!

chicken zucchini bites | bearfamilystrong.com

There’s not much of a story to these cute little chicken zucchini bites really. Each week I like to have a few easy to grab, pre-cooked proteins on hand for work lunches or snacks, and some sort of meatball or patty usually makes an appearance. I had seem some version of chicken-zucchini meatballs on Pinterest and as it just so happened, I had ground chicken and zucchini in my fridge this week. Thus, these babies were born.

Because zucchini holds a lot of water (even after wringing most of it out), these meatballs stay moist, even after a couple of days in the fridge. They were delicious straight out of the oven (served with a side salad and topped with guacamole, as it happened), but they tasted just as good – if not better – served cold. Many times I find my turkey or beef meatballs can dry out pretty quickly but these retained the moisture from the zucchini, keeping them juicy and delicious. I packed two of them as a snack for my husband the other day and he liked them so much he turned around and finished off the rest with lunch.

Enjoy!

chicken zucchini bites | bearfamilystrong.com

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

I love roast chicken.

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Not only is roasting a chicken pretty much the easiest thing in the world, but one chicken usually serves our family three meals at least. The week I made this bad boy, my husband and son were out of town and one four pound bird lasted me three full days for lunch and dinner. Basically I ended up eating leftover chicken over salad vegetables for lunch, and then for dinner I would heat up some of the chicken and serve it with a different vegetable each night (steamed snap peas on Monday, pan fried okra on Tuesday, and roasted green beans on Wednesday). Admittedly, if you are a person who enjoys variety in your meals and doesn’t like leftovers, this will definitely not work for you. But for me, it not only eliminated the need to plan additionally dinners, but it also saved me a ton of time in the kitchen!

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

The other nice thing about roast chicken is that you can experiment with flavors. (See here and here). I usually throw a chicken in the crockpot which really saves time, but the chicken tends to fall apart and you don’t get the crispy brown skin that results in roasting a chicken in the oven. Just remember that if you are going to roast our chicken in the oven, it’s going to take about 90 minutes – so plan accordingly.

My personal favorite flavor combination of late has been super simple lemon and thyme, with a salt crust made with an herbs de provence salt blend I purchased while in Paris this summer. To recreate this salt at home, simply mix some coarse salt with herbs de provence – it’s as easy as that!

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

one whole roaster chicken (organic free range if possible)

fresh thyme

butter, melted

salt

herbs de provence

2 lemons

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and pat your bird dry. Give your bird a healthy melted butter bath, then cover liberally with the herbs de provence salt blend, making sure the chicken is evenly coated. Sprinkle a handful of chopped thyme over everything. Inside the cavity of your chicken, add two lemon halves, a handful of fresh time, and more salt if desired. Cut the second lemon into 4-6 wedges and tuck them into the roasting pan with the chicken. Bake at 400 for about 80 minutes, then remove from oven and rest an additional 10 minutes. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165F.

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken