One Pan Balsamic Chicken is an easy, simple and delicious weeknight meal that you can throw together in less than an hour and the best part? Barely ANY dishes to clean up! Your family will be begging you to make this One Pan Balsamic Chicken every night and you’ll be happy to oblige! One Pan Balsamic Chicken is also super versatile — replace any shredded chicken with this One Pan Balsamic Chicken to amp up your basic chicken dishes. Believe me, your tastebuds will thank you!
GOING DAIRY FREE || Do your research
I ventured into the world of dairy free this last month to see if it would help my little one’s reflux (verdict: I didn’t really notice a big difference.. So many variables!) and as simple as it was, it took a lot of time and energy which I so desperately need right now (umm who puts dairy in french fries? McDonald’s does. That’s who!) I give a giant shout out to mummas and pappas who have a babe or anyone in their family with an allergy or intolerance, you guys are the real MVPs!
So here’s how it went down:
First, I picked my sister in law’s brain. She has recently made the change to dairy free for her family. So I’d suggest doing a bit of research before you go shopping. We already drink milk alternatives (we’ve been drinking almond milk ever since I can remember but have recently changed to cashew milk — the taste and texture is wayyyyy better!) Next up, I tried to cut out the main sources of dairy like cheese, butter, cream and sour cream. Unfortunately quesadillas just aren’t the same without hot, melted cheese holding it together but I survived…
SAVE SOME TIME & FIND NEW RECIPES
My sister in law also suggested to find new recipes rather than alter my existing recipes (non-dairy cheese just isn’t the same) so I scoured the internet for dairy free recipes and there is a ton out there! Sifting through the (what seemed to be endless) dairy free, paleo, vegan, raw, whole 20 and other diet recipes, I couldn’t find many that weren’t ‘complicated’ recipes ie: recipes that call for a bunch of ingredients that I just don’t have on hand. If you’re into clean eating, then you probably have them but I like good old home cooking! Not to mention there are two of us who eat in this house and whatever I make must be pleasing to Nate — not because he demands it, but I want him to really enjoy his food after a long day and night of work!
FINALLY, SOME REAL FOOD!
I searched and searched and came across The Real Food Dietitians blog and holy cow, I finally found some real food that I would enjoy and could whip up from my kitchen in a flash! This recipe is adapted from their One Pan Balsamic Chicken Veggie Bake and is now one of my all time favourite recipes to cook and eat — One Pan Balsamic Chicken may be the easiest, most delicious and versatile meal I’ve ever made. On one hand, you get a sheet pan roast chicken and veggies, then you have deliciously flavoured leftover chicken that you can use for all sorts of things, not to mention barely any dishes to clean at the end!
I’ve been able to create so many different dishes this week just by substituting this One Pan Balsamic Chicken for anything that calls for chicken, all the while not missing cheese one bit. I’ve made salads, quesadillas, pizza and pasta. In fact, I cooked up more balsamic chicken just so I could make more of these yummy meals for lunch–they’re really simple to throw together and guarantee that I’ll feel like eating something!
Since this is definitely my new go to marinade for chicken, when I find chicken for a good price, I’ll freeze it with the marinade inside the ziploc which makes this meal even easier when it comes time to cook! Just empty it onto the sheet pan, add your veggies and bake!
So without further ado, I give you, One Pan Balsamic Chicken!
- 3-4 breasts of chicken (I prefer to use thicker breasts so they stay nice and juicy but if you only have small ones, reduce the cooking time and check them periodically for doneness)
- ⅔ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Thyme leaves (dried or fresh)
- ½ cup Basil, chopped (fresh), reserve some for serving
- ½ teaspoon Salt + seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- Approximately 2-3 cups of chopped vegetables:
- 2 medium heads of brocolli *
- 2 carrots *
- 6-8 mushrooms*
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a ziploc bag, place chicken and pour in the marinade ingredients. If you’ll be cooking in more than half an hour’s time, place back in the fridge otherwise, it’s best to let chicken get towards room temperature before cooking.
- Place tin foil or parchment paper on your sheet pan.
- Prepare your vegetables. Cut them all roughly the same size so they’ll cook through at the same rate.
- Place all vegetables on sheet pan. Empty the contents of the ziploc bag (including the marinade) onto the sheet pan.
- Mix the vegetables with the marinade then arrange the chicken so it’s evenly spaced and there are no vegetables underneath.
- Place sheet pan in oven uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan, flip chicken pieces over, mix vegetables around and place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Using a meat thermometer, you’ll know the chicken is cooked if the internal temperature is 165F or 75C.
- You may find that your vegetables need some extra time in the oven. If so, remove the chicken from pan, place on a plate and cover with tin foil to rest. (Always let your chicken rest before serving to keep those juices in!)
- Return the veggies to the oven for a furth 5-10 minutes or until they are at your desired doneness.
- You can replace the chicken breasts whole to the pan or cut up them up before doing so, either way, sprinkle some salt and fresh basil on top, take your One Pan Balsamic Chicken masterpiece to the table and serve with a yummy side salad!
**If using quickly cooked vegetables, ie: cherry tomatoes, be sure to add them in 10 minutes before you take the pan out of the oven to serve since they cook so quickly.
If using harder vegetables ie: brussel sprouts, carrots etc you may need to remove the chicken and return the vegetables to the oven for extra cooking
CHICKEN TIPS & TRICKS
DO YOU LOVE JUICY CHICKEN?
I sure do! If you also love juicy chicken, please please please do not cut open your chicken to see if it’s done — you’ll let the juices escape = dry chicken.
Eventually you’ll be able to poke the chicken with your finger or tongs and know whether it’s done or not based on how springy it is but there’s seriously no shame in using a meat thermometer (I wish I knew about them earlier! I would have made so much less underdone chicken when I was younger..)
The very first time I made this dish, I used unevenly sized chicken breasts and didn’t watch them as closely as I should have. So I ended up with a few small very dry pieces of chicken which my husband graciously ate so I could have the juicy chicken because I was so disappointed. Isn’t he sweet?!
My best advice is to try use similar sized chicken pieces and watch your chicken for doneness because every oven is different! The next few times I made this dish, I was diligent about the size of the chicken breasts and setting a timer to check on them regularly. It really did yield the best results! Once you’ve made this dish a few times, you’ll get the hang of how quickly your oven cooks this dish and you’ll be able to check it less often.
WHAT OTHER WAYS CAN I USE THIS DELICIOUS CHICKEN? (Not necessarily dairy free..)
I thought my new best friend was pesto. I paired it with this balsamic chicken and oh my goodness, it was like tiny bites of heaven in my mouth! I was putting it on and in everything! Finally, after months of no appetite and never eating lunch, I had found the one flavour my heart truly desired! But after a week, it hit me. Pesto is made with parmesan cheese! Major fail Nicole. Major. Fail. So we broke up. But the good news is, that because I was living in ignorant bliss, I have some new, delicious meal ideas that you can now use if you’re not dairy free!
Pesto chicken salad
Pesto chicken & tomato quesadillas (with or without mozzarella cheese)
Pesto chicken pizza with mushrooms (again, with or without mozzarella) + I even added some leftover roasted brocolli — it was incredible (even without cheese!)
Chicken caesar salad
Chicken salad sandwiches
Caprese salad with chicken
I’m glad to say that pesto and I are officially back together and I couldn’t be happier!
I’m not kidding when I say that this chicken is some of the juiciest and tastiest I’ve ever had! The balsamic vinegar really gives a sweet and tangy taste and the vegetables round out the entire dish and all in one pan! If something is this tasty with barely any dishes to clean up, it’s a winner in my book!
Do you make any simple one pan dishes? Did you make this dish? Let me know in the comments or snap an insta pic and tag me @funsizeaussie so I can see your masterpiece!