Easy Mid-Week Meal – Gluten-free | Dairy-free | Nut-free | Tomato-free
This easy chicken tray-bake is a fabulous midweek meal to throw together quickly, pop in the oven and have a family-friendly meal ready to go less than half an hour later! Full of sweet flavour, it’s a crowd pleaser. A great source of fibre, carbs, protein and healthy fats, plus you can switch up the veg options for whatever is in season. AND 2-3 serves of your daily veg!
As we begin to settle into some kind of ‘routine’ (well, some days we do) in the UK, one of my biggest challenges is getting a meal ready whilst my two girls desperately want me to play tea parties/Elsa and Anna/hide and seek. In our last house, we had an open-plan kitchen-diner with a door straight into the lounge. This made it easy for the girls to play in and out of the kitchen and be near me whilst I prepped dinner. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a challenege, but I could find something to distract them long enough to get dinner ready.
In our current (short-term!) home, the kitchen is much smaller, and the lounge is along the hallway, so the girls evidently don’t feel close enough to me when I’m cooking and they’re playing! And there’s not enough room in the kitchen for them to play, without me tripping over them (trust me, they try…the kitchen usually ends up as some kind of temporary storage room for the toy pram, giant bunny, and what ever big toy they can find!).
I’ll get to the point. Sometimes (or often) we need a meal that is either
super fast to cook up, easy to throw together and chuck in the oven to do its thing, or both! This meal is the latter really. Especially if you cut the chicken breast horizontally to create two thinner pieces. Give it a go and see what you think!
Sweet Paprika Chicken Tray-Bake
Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 35 minutes | Serves: 4
What you need:
- 300g butternut squash/pumpkin, cut into thin wedges or slices, skin on
- 3-4 chicken breasts (depending on size), sliced horizontally
- 1 onion (brown or red), cut into wedges
- 3-4 cups of green vegetables – I used brussel sprouts and asparagus
- 1/2 lemon, cut in half
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp honey/fruit syrup/maple syrup/other syrup alternative
- A few sprigs of thyme (or 1 tsp of dried thyme)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper
- 4 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (more if you like more of a kick)
- 2 tsp honey/syrup (as above)
- 1/4 lemon, squeezed
What you do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180oC fan/200oC/gas 6
- Place the squash or pumpkin slices into a large roasting tin, drizzle with a little oil and rub in so they are coated, and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes whilst you prep everything else.
- Prep the other ingredients whilst the squash is cooking – slicing the chicken, lemon and other vegetables.
- After 10 minutes, remove the roasting tin from the oven and add the chicken, onion, and green vegetables. Squeeze the two lemon slices over the chicken and add the slices into the tray.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken and vegetables. Drizzle the honey/syrup and sprinkle the paprika over the chicken. Add the thyme and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Return the roasting tin to the oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken, until cooked through.
- When ready, remove the roasting tin and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. During this time, combine the mustard mayo ingredients together in a bowl and serve with the chicken and veggies!