Tired of cooking that same old chicken recipe? I hear ya! Chicken is one of our go-to healthy dinner recipes so I am always looking for ways to mix-it up to avoid the inevitable “chicken again!?” eye roll. We’ve all seen it. Thankfully, this naturally gluten free recipe is going to save you from despair. The whole family will love it. Mine does! As you know, quick and easy recipes are a must in our house and this one-pan Lemon Za’atar Roasted Chicken is exactly that. Don’t freak out over the idea of Za’atar. It’s just a fancy name for a blend of spices you can put together in minutes. No Za’atar, no problem. I’ll give you an alternative blend of herbs that you probably have hanging out in your spice cabinet. This easy to make, easy to clean up chicken recipe is going to be on rotation in your house as early as tonight!
Healthy Chicken Recipe Basics
Say good-bye to dry, flavorless chicken! The key to making a tasty chicken recipe is using bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks. Trust me. Make sure you rub the seasonings on and under the skin so the meat is seasoned as well. This is particularly important if you plan on removing the skin prior to eating.
Quality Counts: Should you buy organic?
When I can, I spend my organic dollars on my animal proteins. When compared to vegetables and fruits, animal proteins are more inflammatory to our system plus there are more variables to consider: the diet of the animal, antibiotics, the quality of life the animal lives, etc. Remember, perfection doesn’t exist and any whole food, like chicken is a more nourishing alternative to highly processed foods.
look for hormone and antibiotic free poultry, organic or even pastured varieties.
Here are the basic cook times. Once you commit these to memory you can mix and match your flavorings and have a new chicken dish every night of the week.
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts: cook for 45 minutes at 425
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks: cook for 30 minutes at 425
- Broil for 1-2 minutes to crisp up the skin
What is Za’atar?
It is a middle eastern spice blend of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds (awesome, right?). While it sounds fancy it is really quite simple to make and now that I have it in my spice cabinet, I use it ALL THE TIME!
I love adding it to eggs and hummus or a fresh tomato and cucumber salad with olive oil. I also love to season salmon with a blend of Za’atar, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Heck, you can skip the salmon and just dunk a crusty piece of bread into this blend — swoon.
Make Your Own Za’atar
Combine 2 tablespoons dried thyme with 2 tablespoon sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons of sumac and I occasionally add some dried oregano because I love it.
You can purchase pre-made za’atar at your grocer or online, here.
How to make this one pan Lemon Za’atar Chicken with Cauliflower
I am obsessed with this variation of a one-pan dinner. The chicken and the cauliflower cook in the same pan which means easy clean up. Plus, the hands on cooking time is less than 10 minutes. The oven does the rest of the work which means you get to do something else.
If you use chicken breasts bake them in the oven for 15 minutes prior to adding the cauliflower. If you use chicken thighs or drumsticks, you can cook the chicken and the cauliflower all at once.
Meal Prep Tips
- Season the chicken ahead of time and simply store it in a glass container or ziplock bag in the fridge up to three days prior to cooking it
- Pre-cut your cauliflower so it is ready to go come meal time
Obsessing over Za’atar like I am? Try one of my other easy recipes using this delicious spice blend and grab this Lemony Za’atar Chicken Recipe below.
- Smoked Cauliflower, Chickpea and Kale Shakshuka with Za’atar
- Freezer Friendly Braised Za’atar Beef and Root Vegetables
- 4 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons za'atar seasoning (or use a mixture of thyme and oregano)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- fresh parsley to garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 425.
- Arrange chicken in a baking dish.
- Season the chicken (get under the skin too) with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, za'atar, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and the lemon juice.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, toss the cauliflower with the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest.
- When the oven timer goes off, add the cauliflower and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley.
- Broil the chicken and cauliflower for 1-2 minutes at the end of the cooking time to crisp up the skin.