Making a sheet pan meal is one of the most versatile ways to get dinner on the table quickly, with easy cleanup afterwards.
There are so many options. You can cook poultry, beef, fish, and vegetarian meals in one go, without having to run around checking on one element or another, stirring here and fine-tuning there.
With thousands of combinations of proteins and vegetables to choose from, you could make a new dinner every single night in the same way and never get bored.
These types of recipes are the saving grace of the busy weeknight. It’s such an effortless way to cook, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn out an elegant meal at the same time.
That’s what I love about this particular recipe. The potato and spaghetti squash puree is just a bit fancy, spread on the bottom of the plate for a pretty presentation, then topped with soft and sweetly acidic roasted tomatoes.
Finally, the star of the show is served on top of all that deliciousness. This chicken breast is seriously tasty.
Do you like to buy split chicken breasts? Weird as it may sound, these are one of my favorite things to buy at the grocery store each week.
Chicken is one of those proteins that we seem to rarely tire of eating. It’s healthy, tasty, easily adaptable, and super affordable.
Split chicken breasts are also known as skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. They make for a flavorful and economical meal for everyday dinners, or even for dinner parties – if you know how to cook them, that is.
They really have a lot more flavor than plain breast meat thanks to the skin, which also helps to lock in moisture. The skin will help to lock in any flavors that you add, as well.
For this recipe, you’ll stuff thinly sliced lemon, fresh basil leaves, and freshly minced garlic underneath the skin of each breast. The skin still gets crispy and golden brown, while the lemon and basil flavors seep into the meat.
The vegetable puree is another element of this dish that is insanely simple to prepare. It’s silky and flavorful, and just a bit refined, adding that special restaurant-style touch that the average dinner routine at home is generally lacking.
The golden potatoes and spaghetti squash make for an incredible base, enhanced with a simple handful of flavors. Pesto, herbs, and creme fraiche make the puree rich and creamy, with a burst of freshness.
When paired with the acidic roasted tomatoes, you get the ideal balance of savory, hearty flavors.
I highly recommend crafting the perfect bite as you eat this meal, with every single forkful.
What is the perfect bite, you ask?
Well, it’s a slice of soft and supple roasted tomato, paired with a piece of moist chicken and a little bit of crispy skin. Then you top it all with a dollop of potatoes and spaghetti squash.
Get that forkful of goodness in your mouth and relish all of the different flavors and textures as they mingle on your tongue.
This dinner will help you out if you’re short on time as well. Not only is it easy to prep, you can double it up to serve families larger than two people. And you won’t have to spend those precious minutes washing loads of pots, pans, and utensils either.
Fewer dishes means more time on the couch bingeing your favorite Netflix show, you know? Make this recipe and you’ll be one step closer to sitting back and relaxing.Print
When it comes to getting dinner on the table, nothing is easier than sheet pan roasted chicken and tomatoes with potato spaghetti squash puree.
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 lbs)
- 1 large lemon, sliced very thin (about 12 slices)
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 8–10 golden potatoes, chopped into 1-inch chunks (about 1 lb total)
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes, sliced into rounds (about ½ lb)
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 Tbsp creme fraiche
- 4 Tbsp basil walnut pesto (or your choice of pesto)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place both halves cut-side down on the baking sheet.
- Divide the lemon slices, basil leaves, and garlic between the two chicken breasts, and stuff them under the skin.
- Rub the chicken breasts all over with about half of the cubed butter. Place chicken on the greased baking sheet. Scatter remaining butter pieces on top of the chicken.
- Add potatoes to the rimmed baking sheet in an even layer around the chicken and squash. Be sure to leave a space for the tomatoes. Sprinkle the chicken and potatoes with a little salt.
- Place baking sheet in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, flipping the potatoes halfway through. Add the tomatoes to the pan in a single layer and bake for 30 more minutes.
- At this point, everything should be cooked through. You will know the squash and potatoes are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 165˚F and the skin is crisp and golden. If the potatoes, squash, and chicken aren’t done yet, flip the potatoes and then return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cover chicken with aluminum foil to keep warm while you make the puree.
- Scoop the spaghetti squash out of the skins. Add to a blender with the potatoes, milk, creme fraiche, pesto, oregano, ½ teaspoon parsley, and turmeric. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt to taste.
- Scoop a generous helping of squash and potato puree onto two plates. Add a few roasted tomatoes. Top each plate with a portion of chicken. Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Dinner
Keywords: chicken, roast chicken, spaghetti squash, potato, tomato
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. Set the squash aside.
Chop the golden potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Try to cut uniform pieces of the same size, so they will cook evenly.
Slice the lemon into very thin slices, about 12 slices total. Remove any seeds.
Slice the tomatoes into rounds. Again, try to cut these to the same thickness, so they will cook evenly.
Chop enough oregano leaves until you have 1 teaspoon total. If you don’t have fresh oregano, about 1/2 teaspoon dried will work in a pinch.
Chop enough parsley leaves until you have 1 teaspoon total. Divide in half, and set aside.
Peel a clove of garlic and mince it finely, or use your garlic press.
Chop the butter into small cubes.
Step 2 – Prepare Poultry
For this recipe, you want to use bone-in chicken with the skin on. Try to find pieces of equal size, so they will cook evenly.
Stuff the lemon slices, basil leaves, and minced garlic underneath the skin, flat against the meat. Be sure to divide the ingredients evenly between the two breasts.
Rub them all over with about half of the butter. If you like, you can soften it a little bit on the counter or in the microwave for a few seconds first, to make spreading easier. But be sure to use chilled cubes for the remainder, so they will melt a little more slowly.
Arrange the breasts on the prepared baking sheet and scatter the remaining butter cubes on top.
Step 3 – Arrange Vegetables
Place the squash halves cut-side down on the baking sheet.
Add the potatoes in an even layer around the chicken and squash. Leave enough room for the tomatoes on one side of the pan.
Sprinkle the poultry and potatoes lightly with salt.
Step 4 – Bake
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, flip the potatoes.
Add tomatoes to the pan, avoiding overlap as much as possible, and bake for another 30 minutes. Everything should be cooked through at this time. You can tell the squash and potatoes are done when they may easily be pierced with a fork.
The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 165˚F on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part, without touching the bone.
If the potatoes, squash, and chicken aren’t finished cooking at this point, flip the potatoes and return the pan to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Step 5 – Make Puree
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and cover the chicken with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
To make the puree, scoop the cooked squash out of the skins and add it to a high-speed blender. Add the potatoes, milk, creme fraiche, pesto, oregano, ½ teaspoon parsley, and turmeric.
You can use a premade pesto for this recipe, or whatever homemade variety you like.
Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt to taste.
Step 6 – Plate
Add a generous helping of puree to the center of each of two plates. Any leftovers can be reheated and enjoyed the next day.
Top with roasted tomatoes, then add a chicken breast on top of each.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately.
How Can I Tell When the Chicken Is Done?
This is a question I get all the time. And I’m here to help!
The best way to tell is with your digital kitchen thermometer. I love mine and it has come in handy so many times, for cooking poultry, beef, and more.
The chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165˚F. Make sure that the thermometer is not touching the bone.
If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, you can simply pierce the chicken with a knife and check the color of the juices.
When the juices run clear, this is a pretty good indication that the chicken is cooked through. This is a less reliable way to check for doneness in terms of food safety, but it works in a pinch.
For more delicious chicken recipes, here are a few surefire winners:
What’s your favorite combination of veggies and protein to make a simple sheet pan dinner? Share your recipes in the comments below! And be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you try it.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on September 11, 2013. Last updated: October 24, 2019 at 15:40 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.