Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables
Calling all the colors! Empty your refrigerator of vegetables and juice some lemons, because this rainbow-bright healthy Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables is here to be this week’s easy dinner winner.
I should let you know that it’s here to be next week’s easy dinner too. The thing is, once you realize that you can cook a recipe this tasty and fresh that also happens to leave you with only one pan to wash at the end, you’ll find yourself wanting to cook that recipe with startling frequency.
We are due for a sheet pan chicken recipe. It’s been four years since I posted this Maple Dijon Chicken and Vegetables (and oldie but a goodie!), three since this Baked Lemon Chicken with Asparagus received roaring applause, and this Sheet Pan Italian Chicken recently called to request some additional company in the one-pan meal recipe archives.
Call it hopeless indecision or a craving for variety, but when I was dreaming up the latest, greatest member of our sheet pan chicken family, my brain (and stomach) refused to settle on a single vegetable. Or even two vegetables.
A healthy sheet pan chicken and vegetable dinner with an array of colors that’s fit to make a crayon box tickled pink with envy!
(BTW, was Tickle Me Pink anyone else’s favorite Crayola crayon name? I’d say it was a toss up between it and Macaroni and Cheese. I digress. Back to the sheet pan chicken!)
Sheet Pan Rainbow Chicken and Vegetables—Healthy Color on Your Plate!
The healthy lifestyle adage “eat the rainbow” stems from the idea that foods of different colors offer different assortments of important vitamins and nutrients.
The lesson goes that the wider variety you eat, the more well-rounded your diet will be.
“Eat the rainbow” is an easy-to-follow principle I think of often when I’m planning our meals.
In addition to being good for you, a wide assortment of vegetables offers scrumptious variety, both in flavor and in texture. Here are the ones I included in today’s rainbow sheet pan dinner recipe:
- Sweet Potatoes. Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and SO MANY MORE. That lovely orange? It’s from beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant.
I also love sweet potatoes because they are naturally sweet and creamy when roasted. If you have picky eaters, sweet potatoes can be a gateway veggie.
- Broccoli. Say hello to fiber and a wallop of vitamins K and C and folic acid.
I understand that broccoli has its skeptics (so green!), but roasted broccoli is an entirely different game than raw. In the oven, the broccoli transforms to become crispy at the tips and tender on the inside. You’ll catch yourself munching it right off the pan. (For a shortcut way to cook it on its own, try this Roasted Frozen Broccoli.)
- Red Bell Pepper. These pretty, sweet vegetables are vitamin C powerhouses and include folate and antioxidants too!
Bonus: bell peppers are delicious and a really nice combo with the sweet potato and broccoli.
- Zucchini and/or Yellow Squash. To complete the rainbow. These simple, affordable, and humble summer squash are high in water and fiber and low carb. You’ll find lots of B6 vitamins (among many others) too.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. This gives them a head start.
- While the sweet potatoes bake, toss the chicken and remaining vegetables with oil, lemon zest and juice, and seasonings.
- Add the chicken and vegetables to the pan with the sweet potatoes.
- Roast for 15 to 20 more minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Top with Parmesan, and DIG IN!
Choosing Your Chicken and Vegetables
The beauty five-star sheet pan dinners like this one is their flexibility. Open your fridge, think about the ingredients you and your family love, then make this recipe you own.
- If the assortment of vegetables I included in this recipe isn’t your jam, feel free to swap them for similar amounts of vegetables that you prefer.
- If the vegetables you are using are harder like sweet potatoes, be sure to give them a head start so that all of the vegetables finish roasting in the same amount of time.
- You can also change up the kind of chicken you use. I opted for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you are a fan of sheet pan dinners chicken thighs-style, you can use boneless, skinless thighs instead; simply cut them into similar, bite-size pieces.
For fans of sheet pan dinners with sausage, you’ll love this easy Sausage and Peppers.
Flavor It Up—A Simple but Super Tasty Way to Flavor Any Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables
Since we’re using a wide array of vegetables, I wanted to roast the chicken and veggies with a combination of spices and ingredients that would complement them without fighting for attention.
For inspiration, I turned the master cuisine of delicious simplicity: Italian.
- A combination of Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and garlic, all finished off with a generous handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese, nails it.
I know I should vary my sheet pan chicken seasonings, but this lemon/herb/Parm situation is so enduringly tasty, it might be a challenge for me to make anything else for a good while.
In fact, I adore it so much that I’ve since applied it to other recipes, like these Roasted Broccoli and Carrots.
Rainbow Chicken and Vegetables Storage Tips
- To Store. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm chicken and vegetables on a lightly greased baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave or on the stovetop in a skillet.
- To Freeze. Store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The zucchini and squash may become somewhat mushy and watery once thawed, but the flavors will still be delicious.
Serving Rainbow Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables
Once the sheet pan chicken and vegetables are roasted, you can use them in a variety of ways to stretch the meal even further. Here are a few ideas:
- Rice or Quinoa. Mix with brown rice or quinoa; top with an extra squeeze of lemon and handful of Parmesan.
- Pasta. Mix with whole wheat pasta noodles and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Both red sauce and pesto would be scrumptious! For a lighter twist, try it with Pasta al Limone.
- Salad. Toss with arugula for a bright green salad. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil and lemon juice to make a quick dressing.
- Keep it simple. this recipe works well as a standalone one-pan meat + vegetable dinner.
More Popular One Pan Meals
- Zucchini Stir Fry
- Chicken Enchilada Skillet
- Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts
- Lemon Butter Chicken
- French Onion Chicken
Recommended Tools to Make Rainbow Chicken
- Baking Sheets. The MVP of sheet pan dinners!
- Fish Spatula. Great for flipping or stirring chicken and veggies.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. With this large cutting board, there’s room for all your ingredients.
Welcome to the sheet pan fam, Mr. Rainbow Chicken and Vegetables!
Sheet Pan Chicken and Rainbow Vegetables
- 1 medium sweet potato - scrubbed and diced into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt - divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 medium breasts)
- 1 small head broccoli - cut into florets (about 2 cups florets)
- 1 red bell pepper - cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 zucchini - halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
- 1 yellow squash - halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
- Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy cleanup, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick spray.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat and then spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. Keep the bowl handy. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are just beginning to soften on the outsides but are still too firm to eat.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl that you used previously for the sweet potatoes, place the chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the lemon zest and juice, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.
- Transfer the chicken and vegetable mixture to the sheet pan with the sweet potatoes, using a spatula to spread everything into an fairly even layer and stirring it a bit if needed.
- Return to the sheet pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 additional minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle and the vegetables are tender but not mushy. (They won’t be browned and caramelized but will be delicious to eat.) Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve hot.
- TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chicken and vegetables on a lightly greased baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Store leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The zucchini and squash may become somewhat mushy and watery once thawed, but the flavors will still be delicious.
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