Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potato & Red Onion

By Lilian Dikmans

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I eat this Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Red Onion for dinner weekly. It has become one of my go-to meals since it’s easy to prepare but super tasty. The sweet potatoes and red onion cook in the chicken juices, giving maximum flavour for very little effort.

I make it with skinless chicken thighs, which I personally prefer to chicken breast. The thighs are skinless to keep the cooking process simple. No need to worry about crisping up skin.

There’s usually still a little bit of fat left on skinless chicken thighs that cooks down into the potatoes and onion. This makes them taste so delicious. If you wanted to use skinless chicken breast instead of thighs, I would add some more oil to the potatoes to compensate.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Red Onion
The sweet potato and red onion cook in the chicken juices

The whole meal bakes in the oven on a large sheet pan or baking tray. Make sure you use a tray that has rimmed edges so the cooking juices can’t escape. The juices are key to flavouring the potatoes and onion!

Ingredients for Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Red Onion

Sweet potato: The sweetness of the sweet potato works so well with the mustard-infused chicken. But you could use white potato if you prefer.

Red onion: The combination of sweet potato and red onion is one of my favourites. But brown onion, white onion or shallots would also work.

Free-range chicken thighs: Boneless and skinless chicken thighs work best in this recipe. Skinless chicken breast can dry out when using the tray bake method. If you’re after a recipe using skinless chicken breast, you might like my 20 Minute Chicken with Tomato Caper Sauce.

Dijon mustard: Used to flavour the chicken. Wholegrain mustard would also work well. Or you can leave the mustard out and just stick to salt and pepper to season the chicken.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Red Onion
Adding the chicken and red onion to the sweet potatoes

Extra virgin olive oil: Just a small amount is used to coat the potatoes before going into the oven.

Sea salt and black pepper: Essential for seasoning. Be generous!

How to bake sheet pan dinners

The key to a perfect sheet pan dinner is managing the cooking times of each ingredient. You can always throw everything onto the tray and bake it all for the same amount of time. But with this recipe, I like to give the sweet potatoes a head start to make sure they are tender and delicious, whilst not overcooking the chicken and drying it out.

I use a large, non-stick, rimmed baking tray when I make this. You want everything to fit in one layer and a rimmed tray is essential to stop the cooking juices from escaping.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Red Onion
An easy grain-free weeknight dinner

If you want to double the recipe to serve four people, you can use two baking trays, swapping their position in the oven half way to make sure they cook evenly. If your baking tray isn’t non-stick, just add a little extra olive oil to the potatoes before putting them in the oven to prevent sticking.

To round out the vegetable component of the meal, I serve it with some leafy salad greens. The pepperiness of rocket, or arugula, is my favourite here. I just dress the leaves with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt right before serving.

Serves
2

Prep time
5 mins

Cook time
45 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 large (about 450g) sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 – 4 (about 400g) free-range chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Leafy green salad, to serve

Method

  • 1
    Turn your oven on to 180°C fan-forced / 200°C / 400°F.
  • 2
    Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, then cut them into wedges about 1.5cm thick. I cut each sweet potato lengthways into 1.5cm slices, then cut each slice diagonally into wedges.
  • 3
    Place the wedges onto a large rimmed baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil and about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt. Toss to make sure the wedges are evenly coated in the oil and salt, then place the tray in the oven in the middle rack. The potatoes will start to cook as the oven warms up.
  • 4
    Once the oven reaches the set temperature, give the potatoes 15 more minutes. Meanwhile, peel the onion and cut it into thin wedges.
  • 5
    After the potatoes have had 15 minutes, add the onion wedges and chicken to the tray. The chicken should be flat and have full contact with the tray, so push the potatoes and onions around the chicken. Rub the mustard over the top of the chicken and season each thigh with sea salt and black pepper. Return the tray to the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • 6
    To serve, cut into the largest thigh to check it’s cooked through, then place the thighs onto two serving plates. Toss the potatoes and onion in the juices left in the pan. Add half the potatoes and onion to each plate, and serve with leafy green salad.

Notes

I use a non-stick baking tray when I make this. If your baking tray isn’t non-stick, just add a little extra olive oil to the potatoes before putting them in the oven to prevent sticking.

Cooking time after adding the chicken and onion will vary slightly depending on how large the chicken thighs are. I find that smaller thighs take 20 minutes and larger thighs take 30 minutes due to their thickness.

Nutrition

Serving size: 1 serve (excluding leafy green salad)
Energy: 1933kJ (462Cal)
Protein: 42.7g
Total Fat: 10.5g
Saturated Fat: 2.1g
Total Carbohydrate: 48.5g
Sugars: 10.9g
Dietary Fibre: 7.2g
Sodium: 707mg
Potassium: 809mg

Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.

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Author

Lilian Dikmans

Lilian Dikmans is an Australian model, Muay Thai fighter and founder of Real Food Healthy Body

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