Easy Sheet Pan Chicken with Spring Vegetables
Photo: Liz Rueven

Easy Sheet Pan Chicken with Spring Vegetables

Oh sheet pan chicken, how much do I love thee?

Sheet pan chicken is the perfect quick and easy solution for those rushed dinners, especially now that the weather has improved and you’d rather be outside than prepping another roast chicken.

First, a few tricks: my gals Whitney and Sarah showed me the beauty of pre-heating the pan as my oven comes up to a sizzling hot temp. Be sure to use a sheet pan without any coating (avoid non-stick) so your chicken and veggies will brown and crisp like you mean it. Sheet pans have a 1″ lip, allowing plenty of air circulation, which leads to that crispy texture you love.

I turned to spring veggies like asparagus and leeks and will throw in spring onions as soon as I can score them at my farmers’ market. Lemon slices and La Boite‘s “BERNISE” blend, a tarragon and vinegar wonder, kept it all light and bright.

As spring arrives I steer clear of the warming spices like curry blends, ras al hanout and anything too complex since I really want local veggies to shine. But feel free to turn to these one jar blends to keep it simple.

I serve spicier chicken dishes over brown rice so if you’re willing to wash one more pan, consider that. For more on warming spices and their health benefits click here.

spring vegetables kosher sheet pan chicken dinner
photo: Liz Rueven

Allow your preferences and the season’s veggies to guide you to great combinations as you experiment with sheet pan dinners. I like to shop my farmers’ market and pick up locally grown  produce and herbs, allowing the freshest ingredients to point me towards success.

Remember that what grows together goes together. 

If you’re not sure what to pair with say, those gorgeous (but slightly enigmatic?) artichokes or ramps, ask your farmer. If she’s growing them, she’s eating them and will have plenty of ideas for you.

sheet pan roast chicken spring vegetables
Photo: Liz Rueven

For those of you who want to dig in more deeply to ingredients and flavors and why certain matches taste like they were heaven-made, check out The Flavor Bible. You’ll find some of America’s greatest chefs making flavor pairings arranged in user friendly lists and charts with tons of cross-referencing. For my vegetarian and vegan readers, check out The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for more targeted references sure to inspire new creative energy in your kitchens.

Once I crack this guide open I’m lost for at least an hour.

My other go-to resource and inspiration is Lior Lev Sercarz’s The Spice Companion, a deep dive into the world of spices. It’s an approachable and beautiful exploration for anyone looking to elevate their flavors to new heights. Want to know more about why we love this volume? See what we wrote about it here.

The Spice Companion, spices, herbs

For other ingredients that play nicely (and maybe unexpectedly) with spring asparagus The Flavor Bible mentions: beets, basil, capers, cayenne, fava beans, peas, dill, pistachios, tomatoes and ramps (among others and certainly not all together).

Effortlessly crispy capers, favas, tomatoes and dill for my next sheet pan adventure? You can see how these resources on spices and flavor pairings will inspire endlessly.

I’d love to know what flavors you’re playing with on your sheet pans this spring. Do tell!

sheet pan oven roasted potatoes
Photo: Liz Rueven

Just a bit more:

See TIPS in recipe below, about how to roast sheet pan potatoes. Yes, they are irresistible when roasted with the rendered chicken fat right on the same pan. But I often roast them separately to keep them pareve (neither meat or dairy). That way I can use leftovers in a frittata or a veggie laden omelette with a bit of cheese the next day.

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