Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake

Get ready for a flavor fiesta with my Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake! 🎉 Tender chicken thighs cozy up with a rainbow of veggies, all jazzed up with zesty spices like harissa and za'atar. Pop it all in the oven for a hassle-free dinner that's bursting with Middle Eastern flair! Let's spice up your kitchen adventure together! 🔥
Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake pinit

Hey folks! Ready to join me in the kitchen for a flavor-packed adventure? Today, I’m excited to share one of my favorite recipes: Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake! 🎉 It’s super easy and bursting with deliciousness. Imagine juicy chicken, colorful veggies, and aromatic spices all baked together in one pan. Trust me, it’s a winner!

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What you’ll need

Serves: 6 Recipe keys: Gluten free, Low carb, Meal prep, High protein

For the marinade:

1| 2.2 lb. (1kg) boneless skinless chicken thighs

2| 1 tsp. ground cumin

3| 1 tbsp. za’atar spice

4| 1 tbsp. harissa paste 1 tsp. olive oil

For the tray:

1| 2 large carrots, sliced in lengthwise

2| 1 large zucchini, chopped

3| 2 red onions, quartered

4| 4-5 cloves garlic, skin on & crushed

5| 14 oz. (400g) can chickpeas, drained

6| 1 heaped tbsp. harissa paste

7| 1 heaped tbsp. za’atar spice

8| 1 tbsp. ground cumin

9| 1 tsp. olive oil

10| sea salt & black pepper

11| 1.7 fl oz. (50ml) water

12| large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

13| 6 tbsp. mint yogurt, for serving (or sub Greek yogurt)

Now let’s talk about the stars of the show: our key ingredients that make this Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake truly shine! First up, we have the succulent boneless skinless chicken thighs, the heart of this dish, which soak up all the flavors of our vibrant marinade. Speaking of flavor, let’s not forget the dynamic duo of za’atar spice and harissa paste, bringing that quintessential Middle Eastern zing to every bite. And what’s a traybake without its veggies? Our colorful cast includes sweet carrots, tender zucchini, and hearty red onions, adding both texture and nutrients to the mix. And let’s not overlook our trusty sidekick, the humble chickpea, bringing a satisfying protein punch to the party. With each ingredient playing its part in perfect harmony, this traybake is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more!

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What you’ll need to do

1| Alright, let’s get cookin’! First things first, preheat your oven to 355°F (180°C) to get it nice and toasty.

2| Now, grab a bowl and toss in those chicken thighs along with all the marinade goodies. Give it a good stir and let it hang out for a bit while we prep the veggies.

3| In a big ol’ baking tray, throw in your carrots, zucchini, red onions, garlic, and chickpeas. Now, spice things up by adding in the harissa paste, za’atar, cumin, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix it all up real good so those veggies get coated in all that deliciousness.

4| Next up, lay those marinated chicken thighs right on top of the veggie party. Give ’em a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and pour some water into the tray to keep everything nice and moist.

5| Pop that tray into the oven and let it do its magic for about 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the chicken’s cooked through and the veggies are nice and tender.

6| Once it’s all done, sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top for a burst of flavor, and don’t forget to drizzle on some mint yogurt for that cool kick. Serve it up with some warm couscous or rice if you fancy it!

7| Oh, and if you’re wondering how to whip up that mint yogurt, just mix together some Greek yogurt, chopped mint leaves, a pinch of salt, and a bit of garlic powder. Easy peasy!

8| Enjoy your Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake feast!

Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake 1

Some substitution/improvisation ideas

Here are some substitution/improvisation ideas for the Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake recipe:

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1| Protein Variations: If you prefer a different protein or have dietary restrictions, you can swap the chicken thighs for chicken breast, bone-in chicken pieces, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.

2| Vegetable Substitutions: Feel free to mix and match the veggies based on what’s in season or what you have on hand. Bell peppers, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, or potatoes would all be delicious additions or substitutions.

3| Spice Alterations: Adjust the spice levels to suit your taste preferences. If you like it spicier, add more harissa paste or sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. For a milder flavor, reduce the amount of harissa or omit it altogether.

4| Yogurt Sauce Varieties: While mint yogurt is a classic accompaniment, you can get creative with different yogurt sauces. Try a tzatziki sauce with cucumber and dill, a tahini-based sauce with lemon and garlic, or a simple yogurt drizzle with lemon zest and parsley.

5| Grain Options: Instead of serving with couscous or rice, you can pair the traybake with quinoa, bulgur wheat, or even crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices.

6| Fresh Herb Substitutions: If you’re not a fan of cilantro or mint, feel free to substitute with parsley, basil, or dill for a fresh burst of flavor.

7| Addition of Nuts: For extra crunch and texture, consider sprinkling some toasted pine nuts, almonds, or sesame seeds over the finished dish before serving.

8| Customized Marinades: Get creative with your marinade by adding additional spices like turmeric, coriander, or sumac for an extra layer of flavor.

Remember, cooking is all about experimentation and making the recipe your own, so don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor it to your preferences!

Some useful tips for the recipe

Here are some useful tips to help you make the most out of your Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake:

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1| Marinate Ahead: For maximum flavor, marinate the chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes, or even better, overnight in the fridge. This allows the spices to penetrate the meat for a more delicious result.

2| Even Veggie Slices: Try to slice your vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure they cook evenly. This way, you’ll avoid having some veggies undercooked while others are overdone.

3| Drizzle with Olive Oil: Before popping the tray into the oven, give everything a final drizzle of olive oil. This helps to keep the chicken moist and the veggies nicely roasted.

4| Use Parchment Paper: To make cleanup a breeze, line your baking tray with parchment paper before adding the ingredients. This prevents sticking and makes for easy cleanup afterward.

5| Keep an Eye on Cooking Time: Oven temperatures can vary, so keep an eye on your traybake towards the end of the cooking time to prevent overcooking. You want the chicken to be cooked through but still juicy, and the veggies to be tender with a slight caramelization.

6| Garnish Just Before Serving: Sprinkle the fresh cilantro over the traybake just before serving. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

7| Rest Before Serving: Allow the traybake to rest for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier chicken and more flavorful veggies.

8| Customize to Taste: Feel free to adjust the spices and seasoning to suit your taste preferences. If you like it spicy, add more harissa paste. If you prefer it milder, go easy on the spices.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a delicious and satisfying Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake every time!

Some serving suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions to complement your Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake:

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1| Couscous or Rice: Serve the traybake with a side of fluffy couscous or fragrant basmati rice. The grains soak up the delicious juices from the traybake, making for a hearty and satisfying meal.

2| Flatbread or Pita: Warm up some flatbread or pita bread to serve alongside the traybake. Use it to scoop up the chicken, veggies, and sauce for a tasty and convenient handheld meal.

3| Salad: Balance out the richness of the traybake with a crisp and refreshing salad. A simple green salad with a lemony vinaigrette or a Mediterranean chopped salad with cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese would be perfect.

4| Yogurt Sauce: Drizzle some mint yogurt sauce or tzatziki over the traybake for an extra burst of flavor and creaminess. The cool yogurt sauce complements the spicy and savory flavors of the dish beautifully.

5| Pickles and Olives: Add some tangy pickles and briny olives to your meal for an extra layer of flavor and texture. They provide a delicious contrast to the rich and savory flavors of the traybake.

6| Grilled Vegetables: If you’re firing up the grill, consider serving some grilled vegetables alongside the traybake for an extra dose of smoky flavor. Grilled eggplant, bell peppers, and zucchini would be delicious options.

7| Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle some additional fresh herbs over the traybake just before serving for a pop of color and freshness. Chopped parsley, cilantro, or mint would all work well.

8| Lemon Wedges: Serve the traybake with some lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the chicken and veggies. The bright acidity of the lemon helps to cut through the richness of the dish and enhances the flavors.

Some storage suggestion

Here are some storage suggestions to help you keep your Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake fresh:

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1| Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, allow the traybake to cool completely at room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

2| Individual Portions: Consider dividing the leftover traybake into individual portions before storing them. This makes it easier to reheat only what you need without reheating the entire batch.

3| Freezing: You can also freeze the traybake for longer-term storage. Place cooled portions in freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

4| Labeling: Don’t forget to label your containers with the date so you can keep track of when the traybake was made. This helps you identify how long it has been stored and ensures you use it within the recommended timeframe.

5| Reheating: When ready to enjoy your leftover traybake, you can reheat it in the microwave or oven until heated through. If the traybake seems dry after reheating, you can add a splash of chicken broth or water to help moisten it.

6| Storage of Accompaniments: If you have any accompanying sides such as couscous, rice, or yogurt sauce, store them separately from the traybake to maintain their texture and flavor.

7| Thawing Frozen Traybake: When ready to enjoy frozen traybake, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat it following the same instructions as for refrigerated leftovers.

By following these storage suggestions, you can ensure that your Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible, allowing you to enjoy it whenever you like!

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And there you have it! Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake is a go-to in my kitchen, and I’m sure it’ll be a hit in yours too. Whether you’re cooking for the family or hosting a dinner party, this dish always steals the show. So, roll up your sleeves, get cooking, and enjoy every tasty bite! Until next time, happy cooking, friends! 🍽️

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Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake

With tender chicken thighs mingling with vibrant veggies and a symphony of spices like harissa and cumin, every bite is a flavor explosion!

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 45 mins Total Time 1 hr Difficulty: Intermediate Cooking Temp: 355  °F Servings: 6 Calories: 313

Ingredients

For the marinade

For the tray

Instructions

  1. Step 1:

    Preheat your oven to 355°F (180°C).

  2. Step 2:

    In a bowl, combine the chicken thighs with the marinade ingredients, stir well to combine and set aside to marinate.

  3. Step 3:

    In a large baking tray with sides, combine the carrots, zucchini, red onions, crushed garlic and chickpeas. Now add the harissa paste, za'atar, cumin and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well to ensure the vegetables are evenly coated in the spice mixture.

  4. Step 4:

    Place the marinated chicken thighs on top of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and add the water to the tray.

  5. Step 5:

    Bake in the hot oven for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the vegetables are tender.

  6. Step 6:

    Once cooked, garnish with fresh cilantro and a drizzle with mint yogurt. Serve with warm couscous or rice (not included in nutritional breakdown).

  7. Step 7:

    Serving suggestion: Serve with warm couscous or rice (not included in nutritional breakdown). To make mint yogurt mix together 4.4 oz. (125g) Greek yogurt, 4 tbsp. chopped mint leaves, pinch of salt and 3⁄4 tsp. garlic powder.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 313kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g14%
Total Carbohydrate 19g7%
Dietary Fiber 5g20%
Protein 39g78%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?

Yes, you can definitely use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs in this recipe. Just keep in mind that chicken breasts tend to cook faster, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent them from drying out.

I don't have harissa paste. Can I substitute it with something else?

If you don't have harissa paste on hand, you can try substituting it with a combination of tomato paste and your favorite hot sauce or chili powder. The flavor won't be exactly the same, but it will still add a nice kick to the dish.

I'm following a gluten-free diet. Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free as long as you ensure that the spices and other ingredients you use are certified gluten-free. Double-check labels to make sure there are no hidden sources of gluten.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the marinade and chop the vegetables ahead of time to save time on the day of cooking. You can also marinate the chicken overnight in the fridge for maximum flavor. Just assemble everything in the baking tray when you're ready to cook.

How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?

The chicken is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). You can use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Alternatively, you can make a small slit in the thickest part of the chicken to check if the juices run clear and there is no pinkness remaining.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze any leftover traybake for future meals. Just make sure to store it in airtight containers or freezer-safe bags to prevent freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What can I serve with this Middle Eastern Chicken Traybake?

This traybake pairs well with a variety of sides such as couscous, rice, quinoa, or flatbread. You can also serve it with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

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