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.)

 

one pan chicken and vegetables 4

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

Foodie Flattery: Whole30 Breakfast Casserole by The Paleo Running Momma

This casserole contains sweet potato, roasted brussels sprouts, and caramelized onions…and my nine year old son inhaled it. Seriously, that’s how good this casserole is.

bearfamilystrong.com | breakfast casserole

In preparing for our latest round of the Whole30, I’ve been spending some time on Pinterest looking for inspiration. I feel like I used to be a lot better at planning, creating, and cooking good meals for our family, but somehow over the past year that changed. We ended up ordering out a lot, and more often than not I end up making quick and easy foods full of quick carbs, added sugar, and unnecessary fat. Don’t get me wrong, all of the aforementioned foods taste extremely good, but judging by the extra weight I’ve been carrying around and my complete lack of energy…I knew it was time for a reset.

Anyway. I need to be honest and say that even if I wasn’t doing a Whole30 I’d still make this casserole again. And again. And although it’s technically labeled a “breakfast” casserole (probably because of the egg), my son ate this for dinner the first night I made it and the husband wanted to do the same. (He would have, except that he had a pot of white chicken chili simmering on the stove at the same time.)

This 9×13 pan of deliciousness consists of a bottom layer of roasted sweet potato, topped with roasted brussels sprouts, caramelized onion, crispy bacon, and covered with an egg-coconut milk-nutritional yeast mix that turns this casserole into a light and fluffy eggy delight. The combination might sound weird but trust me, yum.

The Paleo Running Momma comments that you could absolutely play around with the vegetables in this casserole, and I totally agree. Granted the sweet potato and brussels sprouts combination was to DIE for in my family, but I’m already imagining a version with sausage, red pepper and spinach; or crispy prosciutto, broccoli and onion…the list goes on.

This casserole turned out to be a total win for the Bear Family and this recipe will definitely make an appearance during the Whole30 – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Check out PRM’s post for the original recipe here!

bearfamilystrong.com | breakfast casserole

Foodie Flattery: Tuna “No-Noodle” Casserole

I grew up in a busy family of five where money was pretty tight. As such, dinners in our house were kept on a budget, usually one-pot meals, and needed to be able to feed a family of five pretty easily. This meant we had a handful of standby dinners that usually appeared on a weekly or rotating basis: spaghetti, hamburger helper, meatloaf, stuffed shells, cavatini, and my personal favorite: tuna noodle casserole.

bearfamilystrong.com | tuna casserole

I don’t know what it is about egg noodles, cream of celery soup (my mom tried using cream of mushroom once but my dad wasn’t having any of it – he sniffed that out before he even took a bite), and canned tuna; but tuna noodle casserole night was one of my favorite dinner nights in our house. I haven’t had tuna casserole since moving out of my parent’s house for college in 2000, but for some reason lately I’ve been craving it.

Unfortunately, since I stopped eating grains/gluten after meeting my husband in 2011, tuna casserole is off the menu.

Fortunately, I have a slight pinterest addiction and one day I happened upon this beautiful “Paleo Tuna Casserole” post from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy. Tuna casserole made with spaghetti squash?! How did I not think of this on my own??

Welcome to the latest addition of Foodie Flattery: Paleo Tuna Noodle Casserole from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy. Gaah. So good. So worth it. It was so good in fact, that my eight-year old not only ate his entire portion without complaint, but ALSO told me that I should make it again. MAJOR. WIN.

bearfamilystrong.com | tuna casserole

I was a little skeptical about using coconut milk – not because of the potential taste, but because I was worried it wouldn’t get thick and the casserole would end up too soupy – but as it turns out I had nothing to worry about. Using arrowroot powder as a thickener and adding eggs to the casserole before baking was the perfect way to hold everything together and as I suspected, you couldn’t taste the coconut milk at all.

Bottom line, this casserole was everything I hoped it would be and more. One bite and I was transported back to my parent’s kitchen table, fighting with my sister over the gooey melted cheese my mom used as a topping for her own tuna casserole. In this version we used crushed chips as the topping, which was equally delicious.

bearfamilystrong.com | tuna casserole

Here’s the link again for the recipe I used – I omitted the mushrooms and used a bag of frozen peas and carrots instead (based on the way my mom used to make it – my dad abhors mushrooms). Next time I think we’ll use both – and I highly recommend using these sweet and spicy jalapeno potato chips to top your casserole. Yum.

jalapeno chips

*Note: To make this a Whole30 approved dinner, simply omit the chips. Trust me, it will still be comfort food delicious.