Because everyone loves a sheet pan dinner, this Sheet Pan Pesto Roasted Vegetables and Chicken is full of flavor and nutrition and most importantly, is ridiculously easy to make. With a range of different veggies as well chicken thigh tossed through pesto sauce and baked to perfection, you're going to love this dish.
For this recipe I've used my Cilantro Walnut Pesto, but you could also use my Dairy Free Pesto, Pesto Salad Dressing. For an even bigger time saver you can scrap the homemade pesto and use store-bought instead.
What's to Love About This Recipe
- Great for meal prep - prep this dish on a Sunday night and divide between individual airtight containers for easy and delicious grab and go lunches throughout the week.
- Healthy - this simple baked vegetables and chicken dish is loaded with nutrients including healthy fats from the olive oil, complex carbohydrates from the vegetables, plant based protein from the nuts and extra protein from the chicken.
- Quick & easy recipe - with only ten minutes of hands on prep time, this is one of those meals that is great for evening meals when you have minimal time to spend in the kitchen.
Ingredients Notes & Substitutions
One of the best things about this recipe is just how easy it is to swap out ingredients if you either don't have them on hand or have a preference for something different. Read on to see any ingredients notes and possible substitutions. The ingredient quantities are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- cilantro walnut pesto - I totally get that cilantro is a love or hate kind of herb so feel free to use a basil pesto if you prefer. As I mentioned before, you can also use a store bought pesto if you prefer, just buy a good quality pesto. For the pesto I have used you will need cilantro, walnuts, parmesan, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and garlic. If you need to make this dairy free simply leave out the parmesan. To make a traditional pesto you will need fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and parmesan. You could even use sun-dried tomato pesto!
- red onion - there's something so delicious about red onions roasted. You can use brown onions if you don't have any red onions on hand.
- pumpkin - I've used kent pumpkin for this recipe. You could also use sweet potatoes or other root vegetables like parsnip or carrot.
- beetroot - I absolutely love roasted beetroot, however if you're not a fan or if it's not available, again, you can swap it for your personal favorite vegetables. Beetroot would swap well for carrots, parsnips or sweet potato.
- zucchini - because you've got to have your green vegetables right? You can swap zucchini for another low starch vegetable like Brussels sprouts, yellow squash, red peppers or cherry tomatoes. See what I mean, this recipe is so flexible!
- olive oil - I always opt for extra virgin olive oil because it is the least processed, which means it contains the maximum amount of nutrients.
- chicken thigh - I've preferred to use chicken thigh with the skin on to get that real golden top on it. You can use chicken thigh without the skin if preferred.
- sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper - season both the vegetables and the chicken with salt and pepper for maximum flavor.
- baby spinach - you can swap for roughly chopped kale.
How to Make Sheet Pan Pesto Roasted Vegetables and Chicken
To make this quick and easy dinner, follow these simple steps.
First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 F). Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper. I've used two because mine were a bit too small but if you have a large sheet pan, you may only need one.
To make the pesto recipe, add the fresh herbs (either basil or coriander) to a food processor along with the garlic clove, olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend on high until you reach a sauce consistency. You will need to scrap down the sides once as well to make sure you get an even blend.
Marinate Vegetables & Chicken
Next, add half of the pesto sauce to a large mixing bowl along with half of the olive oil. Stir to combine. This is to thin out the pesto a little. Add the vegetables into the bowl and toss to evenly coat the vegetables in pesto.
Tip the vegetables out over the sheet pan/s and spread out into an even layer.
Add the remaining pesto sauce into the large bowl along with the remaining olive oil. Stir to combine again. Add the chicken thigh fillets into the bowl and toss to coat the chicken evenly in pesto sauce. Place each chicken thigh fillet between the vegetables on the tray. Again, we want a single layer so don't place the chicken thigh fillets on top of the vegetables. Season liberally with sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper.
Place the sheet pan/s into the oven to bake for 45 minutes. To get the skin to go golden, you will need to have the pan on the middle or top shelf of the oven. Once baked, remove from the oven. Immediately add the baby spinach to the pan and stir through. The baby spinach will wilt and reduce in size. Serve warm.
- Grain bowls - to make grain bowls, cook your choice of brown rice, white rice or quinoa to packet instructions, while the chicken is baking. Serve the chicken and vegetables over the top of the rice or quinoa.
- Side dish - pesto roasted vegetables make for the perfect side dish. To make as a side dish, simple leave out the chicken and follow the steps to make the pesto roasted veggies.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container. I recommend reheating just what you plan to eat. If you are meal prepping, divide the chicken and vegetables between four airtight containers. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat before eating
- Large sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Sharp knife
- Chopping Board
- Food Processor
- 1 kg chicken thigh fillets skin on
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup pesto
- 500 grams beetroot peeled and cut into wedges
- 500 grams pumpkin skin removed and diced
- 2 red onions skin removed, cut into wedges
- 2 zucchini ends removed, cut into half moons
- 100 grams baby spinach
- sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 F). Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
- If making homemade pesto, add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blend on high until smooth. Remove ½ cup of pesto for this recipe.
- Add half of the pesto to a large mixing bowl along with half of the olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl and toss to coat evenly in pesto. Tip vegetables out onto sheet pan and spread out in a single layer.
- Add the remaining pesto to the bowl along with the remaining olive oil. Stir to combine. Add the chicken thigh fillets to the large bowl and toss to marinate the chicken thigh evenly. Place the chicken thighs between the vegetables on the tray so that the vegetables and chicken are still in a single layer. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place the tray into the oven on the middle shelf to bake for 45 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven. Immediately add the baby spinach leaves to the pan and stir through until the baby spinach is wilted. Serve warm.