Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables, Lemon and Parmesan – Healthy Recipes – For Food Lovers!
Calling all the colors! Empty your refrigerator of vegetables and juice some lemons, because this rainbow-bright healthy sheet pan chicken and vegetables is here to be this week’s easy dinner winner.
I should let you know that it’s here to be next week’s easy dinner too. The thing is, once you realize that you can cook a recipe this tasty and fresh that also happens to leave you with only one pan to wash at the end, you’ll find yourself wanting to cook that recipe with startling frequency.
We are due for a sheet pan chicken recipe. It’s been three years since I posted this Maple Dijon Chicken (and oldie but a goodie!), two since this Baked Lemon Chicken received roaring applause, and last summer’s Sheet Pan Italian Chicken recently called to request some additional company in the one-pan meal recipe archives.
Call it hopeless indecision or a craving for variety, but when I was dreaming up the latest, greatest member of our sheet pan chicken family, my brain (and stomach) refused to settle on a single vegetable. Or even two vegetables.
A healthy sheet pan chicken and vegetable dinner with an array of colors that’s fit to make a crayon box tickled pink with envy!
(BTW, was Tickle Me Pink anyone else’s favorite Crayola crayon name? I’d say it was a toss up between it and Macaroni and Cheese. I digress. Back to the sheet pan chicken!)
Sheet Pan Rainbow Chicken and Vegetables—Healthy Color on Your Plate!
The healthy lifestyle adage “eat the rainbow” stems from the idea that foods of different colors offer different assortments of important vitamins and nutrients. The wider variety you eat, the more well-rounded your diet will be. It’s an easy-to-follow principle I think of often when I’m planning our meals.
In addition to being good for you, a wide assortment of vegetables offers scrumptious variety, both in flavor and in texture! Here are the ones I included in today’s rainbow sheet pan chicken recipe:
- Sweet Potatoes. Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and SO MANY MORE. That lovely orange? It’s from beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant.
I also love sweet potatoes because they are naturally sweet and creamy when roasted. If you have picky eaters, sweet potatoes can be a gateway veggie.
- Broccoli. Say hello to fiber and a wallop of vitamins K and C and folic acid.
I understand that broccoli has its skeptics (so green!), but roasted broccoli is an entirely different game than raw. In the oven, the broccoli transforms to become crispy at the tips and tender on the inside. You’ll catch yourself munching it right off the pan.
- Red Bell Pepper. These pretty, sweet vegetables are vitamin C powerhouses and include folate and antioxidants too!
Also: bell peppers are delicious and a really nice combo with the sweet potato and broccoli.
- Zucchini and/or Yellow Squash. To complete the rainbow. These simple, affordable, and humble squash are high in water and fiber and low carb. You’ll find lots of B6 vitamins (among many others) too.
Choosing Your Chicken and Vegetables
The beauty of a sheet pan recipe is its flexibility. Open your fridge, think about the ingredients you and your family love, then make this recipe you own.
- If the assortment of vegetables I included in this recipe isn’t your jam, feel free to swap them for similar amounts of vegetables that you prefer.
- If the vegetables you are using are harder like sweet potatoes, be sure to give them a head start so that all of the vegetables finish roasting in the same amount of time.
- You can also change up the kind of chicken you use. I opted for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you are a dark meat fan, you can use boneless, skinless thighs instead; simply cut them into similar, bite-size pieces.
Flavor It Up—A Simple but Super Tasty Way to Flavor Any Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables
Since we’re using a wide array of vegetables, I wanted to roast the chicken and veggies with a combination of spices and ingredients that would complement them without fighting for attention.
For inspiration, I turned the master cuisine of delicious simplicity: Italian.
- A combination of Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and garlic, all finished off with a generous handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese, nails it.
I know I should vary my sheet pan chicken seasonings, but this lemon/herb/Parm situation is so enduringly tasty, it might be a challenge for me to make anything else for a good while.
Serving Rainbow Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables
Once the sheet pan chicken and vegetables are roasted, you can use them in a variety of ways to stretch the meal even further:
- Mix with brown rice or quinoa; top with an extra squeeze of lemon and handful of Parmesan.
- Mix with whole wheat pasta noodles and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Both red sauce and pesto would be scrumptious!
- Toss with arugula for a bright green salad. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil and lemon juice to make a quick dressing.
- Keep it simple: this recipe works well as a standalone meat + vegetable dinner.
Welcome to the sheet pan fam, Mr. Rainbow Chicken and Vegetables!
: 4 servings, about 8 cups
Sheet Pan Chicken and Rainbow Veggies. Healthy one-pan meal with broccoli, sweet potatoes and zucchini, baked with lemon and Parmesan. Quick and delicious!
medium sweet potato
— scrubbed and diced into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
extra-virgin olive oil
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
— cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 medium breasts)
small head broccoli
— cut into florets (about 2 cups florets)
red bell pepper
— cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
— halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
— halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
- Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy cleanup, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick spray.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat and then spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. Keep the bowl handy. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are just beginning to soften on the outsides but are still too firm to eat.
Meanwhile, in the bowl that you used previously for the sweet potatoes, place the chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the lemon zest and juice, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.
Transfer the chicken and vegetable mixture to the sheet pan with the sweet potatoes, using a spatula to spread everything into an fairly even layer and stirring it a bit if needed.
Return to the sheet pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 additional minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle and the vegetables are tender but not mushy. (They won’t be browned and caramelized but will be delicious to eat.) Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve hot.
broccoli, chicken breast, sheet pan chicken, sheet pan chicken and vegetables, sweet potatoes
Amount per serving (1 of 4, about 2 cups) — Calories: 394, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Carbohydrates: 23g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 39g
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