Garlic Lemon Chicken Tray Bake is an easy and convenient midweek meal. Simply arrange the marinated chicken and vegetables on a baking sheet and let the oven do the work. The chicken thighs will be tender and juicy and infused with garlic and the bright, zesty flavors of lemon. It’s a dish the whole family will enjoy!
If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that’s also delicious and healthy, this chicken lemon tray bake recipe is ideal. It’s a one-pan dish that’s loaded with flavor and nutrients, requires minimal hands-on prep time, and is ready to eat in under an hour.
If you’re looking for more delicious chicken dinners, check out my Chicken Peri Peri Shawarma with Mint Yogurt Sauce, Baked Sticky Chicken Drumsticks, One-Pot Chicken and Chorizo Savory Rice, or my Chicken Chasseur!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy weeknight dinner. This delicious meal only requires 10 minutes of prep, making it a winner if you don’t have much time to cook but want a flavorful and comforting meal, especially on busy weeknights.
- Minimal effort and minimal washing up! What’s not to love about easy clean-up?! With just one sheet pan to wash, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing.
- Naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free – making this a great recipe if you have dietary restrictions.
Health Benefits: Chicken is rich in essential B vitamins like niacin and vitamins B6 and B12, which play an important role in energy production and metabolism. And as chicken is a protein-rich food, it can help you feel full and satisfied after eating. [Source]
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious one-pan garlic chicken tray bake dinner.
- Chicken Thighs: I’m using skinless and boneless juicy chicken thighs. They’re flavorful, lean, and require hardly any prep. Just trim off any excess fat, and they’re ready to go. If you love crispy chicken skin, go ahead and use skin-on thighs. Bone-in chicken thighs are also great, but you’ll need to cook them for an extra 5-10 minutes.
- Baby Potatoes: Baby potatoes can be baked without parboiling. I cook them in a hot oven for a short time to get some crisp on the outside and start to soften the inside, creating the best flavor and texture in the final dish.
- Zucchini (Courgette): My choice of green vegetable for this recipe. As well as being rich in vitamins and minerals and a great source of fiber, it’s also really easy to cook.
- Kalamata Olives: These salty, briny olives add a fantastic texture and balance out the acidity of the lemon juice.
- Garlic Cloves: Fresh cloves of garlic add a bold, savory flavor to the marinade in the very best way.
- Whole Lemons: Fresh lemon juice helps tenderize the meat, adds a bright, citrusy flavor, and helps keep the chicken moist as it bakes.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A flavorful, healthy fat that helps prevent the chicken from drying out. This is especially important as we don’t have the skin to help keep moisture in.
- Gluten-Free Chicken Stock: For even more moisture and flavor.
- Dried Herbs: Adds depth of flavor.
- Sea Salt Flakes and Black Pepper: Helps make all the flavors pop!
These visual step-by-step instructions provide a quick overview of the recipe. You can find the recipe card with the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions at the bottom of this post. ⇩
1: In a large bowl, mix together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, oregano, thyme, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. This is your delicious marinade.
2: Place the chicken pieces in the garlic marinade, ensuring the chicken is well coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
3: Place the baby potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet (lined with baking parchment), drizzle with a little olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes.
4: Now, remove the baking tray from the oven. Toss the potatoes, then add the olives, zucchini, and lemon slices.
5: Place the marinated chicken thighs on top of the potatoes and vegetables, and pour the zesty lemon marinade over everything.
6: Place the tray back in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the thighs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Marinate. So the chicken thighs can be infused with the garlicky, lemony, and herby flavors, let them marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Uniform Potato Size: Cut the baby potatoes into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
Adjust Cooking Time: Cooking times will likely vary depending on your oven, so keep an eye on the dish to prevent overcooking. Chicken is cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165°F or 74°C.
This is one of those recipes where it’s really easy to make swaps to suit your tastes. Here are some examples:
- Chicken Thighs: If you prefer, you can replace chicken thighs with skinless and boneless chicken breasts or chicken legs. Keep in mind different chicken cuts will require different cooking times.
- Lemons: For the best results, use fresh lemon juice and zest. Meyer lemons are a good alternative to regular lemons, and preserved lemons can add a unique twist and even more intense zesty flavor. You can use bottled lemon juice if absolutely necessary, but it’s not as flavorful.
- Dried Oregano and Thyme: For convenience, use Italian seasoning or a Mediterranean herbs seasoning mix. Fresh herbs, such as freshly picked thyme or fresh oregano, are also a great option. Adding fresh rosemary sprigs over the chicken before baking is also delicious!
- Chicken Stock: You can easily swap with chicken broth or vegetable stock.
- Baby Potatoes: Substitute with new potatoes or regular potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces. Red or Yukon Gold potatoes work well. Keep the skins on for extra fiber! Alternatively, diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash are fab!
- Kalamata Olives: If you prefer a different type of olive, you can use green olives or black olives. Make sure to pit them if they have pits.
- Zucchini (Courgette): If you don’t have zucchini or would like to try something different, you can sub with thinly sliced or diced eggplant (aubergine), yellow squash, red onion wedges, cherry tomatoes, or even green beans.
- Spicy Kick: If you like a touch of heat, sprinkle red pepper flakes over the chicken and vegetables before baking for a spicy twist.
- Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken altogether and make it a vegetarian tray bake. Add extra vegetables like mushrooms, eggplant, and bell peppers in place of the chicken, and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
- Sheet Pan Shrimp: For a seafood twist, substitute chicken with large peeled and deveined shrimp. Marinate them briefly, and add them to the tray for the last 10-15 minutes of baking until they turn pink.
This delicious chicken dinner serves four people and contains a hearty balance of carbs, protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That said, sometimes it’s nice to have something a little extra. Here are some ideas:
- Extra Veggies: You can’t go wrong with a side of Pan-Fried Tenderstem Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Sautéed Mushrooms, Honey Glazed Carrots, or a fresh green salad.
- Lemon Wedges: Provide extra lemon wedges at the table for those who want an extra burst of citrusy flavor.
- Fresh Herbs: For extra freshness, sprinkle with some fresh parsley to garnish.
If you’d like to save leftovers for the next day and beyond, here are some tips:
- Fridge: Allow your lemon chicken traybake to cool to room temperature. Place the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezing: For ease, freeze the traybake in individual portions. Place each portion in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Tip: Label your containers with the date to keep track of freshness.
To reheat refrigerated leftovers, you can use a microwave or an oven.
- Microwave: Place the leftovers on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a microwave-safe lid, and heat in 30-second intervals until heated through.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Place the leftovers in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and heat for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
The best way to check that your chicken is cooked perfectly is to insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the flesh, away from the bone (if using bone-in thighs). The internal temperature should reach 165ºF (74ºC). Remember, cooked chicken should only be reheated once.
Tip: When planning to reheat leftovers, avoiding overcooking the chicken during the initial baking process is essential. Overcooked chicken can turn dry and tough when reheated. Aim for just-cooked chicken during the initial bake to maintain tender and juicy chicken when reheating.
No. New potatoes are harvested early in the growing season before they have fully matured. They are typically smaller than regular potatoes and have thin, delicate skin. They have a mild, ever so slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture. Whereas baby potatoes are simply small potatoes, regardless of when they are harvested. They can be any variety of potato, and they can have a variety of flavors and textures, depending on the variety.
More Chicken Recipes
Looking for more chicken recipes? Try these next…
Have you tried this chicken recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating below! It would make my day if you could also leave a comment to help other readers and this blog. Stay in touch by SUBSCRIBING to my newsletter and following along on social media ~ INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and FACEBOOK. I can’t wait to connect!
Garlic Lemon Chicken Tray Bake with Baby Potatoes
If you love this recipe, rate it with 5 stars below!PRINT PIN RATE
- Lemon Zester
- Medium Bowl
- Large Rimmed Sheet Pan (baking sheet), or roasting tin
- Parchment Paper (baking paper), optional
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets, excess fat trimmed
- 1 pound baby potatoes, halved, larger ones quartered
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 zucchini (courgettes), halved lengthwise, sliced into half-moons
- ¾ teaspoon Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 lemon, thickly sliced
- Prep: Gather your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 400ºF/200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Line a rimmed sheet pan with baking parchment.
- Marinade: In a bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, dried oregano, dried thyme, chicken stock, salt, and pepper.
- Marinate: Place the chicken thighs in the bowl of marinade and ensure the chicken is well coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
- Bake: Place the halved baby potatoes on a large-rimmed sheet pan and drizzle with the remaining oil. Toss to coat, and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking tray from the oven. Toss the potatoes, then add the zucchini (courgette), Kalamata olives, and lemon slices. Then, place the marinated chicken thighs on the vegetables and pour the marinade mixture over everything.
- Second Bake: Return the tray to the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked through, with no pink remaining, and the vegetables are tender. See note 1.
- Serve: Serve your lemon chicken thigh traybake hot, along with the flavorful pan juices that have pooled in the bottom of the tray. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.