One of my favorite things to do for dinner is throw a bunch of ingredients on a sheet pan and pop it in the oven. It is so hands-off. I can clean up the prep dishes while everything cooks in the oven and have the table set by the time it’s ready.
This easy sheet pan chicken dinner uses a Greek-inspired marinade for the chicken. Sliced carrots and chickpeas are cooked alongside the chicken, giving you a good ratio of protein, fat and carbs. To bulk up the meal, serve over lemon-dressed lettuce and/or nutty brown rice.Jump to Recipe
I absolutely love bone-in, skin-on pastured chicken thighs. Forget calorie counting; focus on pure nutrition instead. I love this post outlining the benefits of eating bone-in meat. Among the benefits are more micro-nutrients, better gut health, more flavor, cheaper, and more sustainable.
What do I mean that using bone-in meat is more sustainable? The answer is that instead of chicken producers wasting the bones or selling them off to make sub-par industrial chicken broth, we can buy the meat with the bones, enjoy the meat, and save the bones to make our own broth. (Stay tuned — next week I will show you how! [here is the recipe]). Not only do we get to enjoy the delicious meat and the benefits that go along with cooking it on the bone, we then get to make a very nourishing and delicious bone broth that can be the base of stews, soups, sautés and even a beverage. Try it, it is so rewarding to cook this way.
Ok, back to the chicken. I mentioned bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Oh, but the fat! you may say. Fear not. I love this article detailing that chicken skin is not all bad. It talks about the benefits of the oleic acid in the chicken skin, the dryness of skinless chicken (which prompts us to add a different fat or coat it with breadcrumbs), and the reality that a skinless piece of chicken is just 50 calories less. But forget calories, let’s just move beyond them and focus on nourishing our bodies instead.
For me, personally, eating chicken with the skin on helps me feel truly full and satisfied. This is important. Whereas previously, if I didn’t feel full and satisfied, I would go rummaging in the cabinet for a sugary after dinner snack. Instead of sugar, I’m all about pasture-raised animal fats and proteins, along with vegetarian sources such as avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and olive oil.
I have always loved chickpeas, especially in the form of hummus. Hummus with carrots, with celery, with bread, on a salad…I just love hummus. Here, instead of hummus, the chickpeas are mixed with cumin and olive oil to form a side dish to the chicken.
Chickpeas have many benefits, including various important nutrients, protein, fiber, improved digestion and protection against heart disease. They help control blood sugar and weight management by helping you feel full longer.
Have you caught the connection yet between dipping carrot sticks into hummus and roasting carrots and chickpeas? They go well together for a reason. This post on complementary food pairings states that the healthy carbohydrates in carrots and the protein in chickpeas work together to help you feel satiated as well as give you extra energy.
In this recipe the carrots are peeled, then sliced on a diagonal for a pretty presentation. The bright orange color shows that they contain Vitamin A, but don’t be fooled. The form of plant-based Vitamin A needs to be converted into a usable form by the body. Animal foods help with that.
Vegetables are important, and animal foods are important. They work together.
How to Make It
You’ll start by making a simple marinade and pouring it over the chicken thighs, letting them marinate for at least eight hours or overnight.
If you like to make your chickpeas from scratch, get those soaking too.
When you are ready to cook your sheet pan chicken, remove the chicken from the fridge to let it come to room temperature. Cook your chickpeas if you haven’t already. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, prepare the carrots, add everything to a large sheet pan and pop it into the oven for 45-50 minutes.
When it is finished, serve with salad, rice or both, and enjoy!
Sheet Pan Chicken, Chickpeas and Carrots
- Sheet Pan
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for marinade
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for chickpeas
- 1/4 cup lemon juice about 1.5 lemons
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon basil dried
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
- small onion sliced
- 2 pounds chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- 15 oz cooked chickpeas about 3 cups
- 1 pound carrots washed, peeled and sliced diagonally
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil with lemon juice, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic and salt. Thinly slice onion. Place chicken thighs in a large casserole dish. Pour marinade over chicken and place sliced onion on top. Marinate at least 8 hours.
- Combine chickpeas, sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and cumin in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Pour out onto large sheet pan. Place chicken thighs on top or in between.
- Bake chicken, chickpeas and carrots in a preheated 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, turning once halfway through. If you are serving with rice, prepare rice while chicken cooks.
- Serve sheet pan chicken, chickpeas and carrots on it's on or with rice and/or salad greens tossed with lemon juice.