Sheet pan dinners are a great way to get in a healthy, nutrient-dense meal on a busy weeknight. You can throw together pretty much any combination or meat and veggies from your fridge and make a complete meal.
This sheet pan recipe includes chicken breast, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes drizzled with a sweet, tangy lemon maple sauce. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, and completely AIP compliant.
I love these types of meals because they are relatively quick and easy to prepare and require minimal advance planning. Plus, clean-up is generally easy.
If you're looking for more recipe ideas, I've got a huge AIP Chicken Recipes post with tons of recipes.
Have You Seen What Brussels Sprouts Look Like on the Stalk?
I don't always give this much thought but when I went grocery shopping a couple days ago, I came across Brussels sprouts that were still on the stalk! I don't know about you, but it's not something I see often in the store, so I felt compelled to take a picture and share. So cool.
How to Make a Great Sheet Pan Dinner:
- Cut Everything Into Similarly Sized Pieces
You'll want to make sure your vegetables and chicken are all about the same size. For this particular dish, that means the chicken and sweet potatoes are cut into 1/2 inch cubes and the brussels sprouts are quartered.
- Use The Right Sheet Pan
Use a big enough sheet pan to accommodate everything you're cooking into one even layer. An 18 x13 inch sheet pan like this one, also called a half sheet pan, is a good size.
This type of pan is made from a heavy gauge metal, has a 1" rim, and is able to withstand high temperatures. This will help to keep the food from getting overcrowded and soggy.
- Line The Pan
This prevents sticking and makes for an easier time cleaning up. I prefer to use parchment paper (not wax paper) but you can also use foil.
- Use Oil
Coating the vegetables evenly with some oil keeps things from drying out.
- Give Denser Vegetables A Little More Time to Cook
While it's tempting to put everything in the oven at the same time, this can lead to issues if you have dense veggies like carrots or potatoes in the mix with faster cooking veggies.
Putting all the vegetables in the oven at the same time will either result in hard carrots and/potatoes or your other vegetables being overcooked. That's why for this recipe, the sweet potatoes get a 10-minute head start.
Cooking Temperature for Chicken
I always like to temp my foods, especially meats, to make sure they get fully cooked. Years of food and nutrition training have drilled food safety into my brain.
Chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit before being taken out of the oven. I use a digital food thermometer similar to this one and it is indestructible. I've had it for 5 years and use it for everything.
The sauce for this dish is a mix of lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. It really makes the flavor pop.
When you cook the sauce, heat it over medium-high heat and stir it continually. It'll come to a boil and you'll want to continue simmering it.
After a few minutes, you'll notice it start to thicken. Add the coconut cream and decrease the heat to medium or medium-low to keep it from burning. Let it continue to simmer a little longer until the sauce thickens again and remove it from heat.
It is fairly sweet, so if you're not big on sweet sauces, I would recommend drizzling it sparingly and tasting it first rather than adding it all at once.
How to Serve a Sheet Pan Meal
Being that sheet pan meals are usually some combination of meat and veggies, they are often served with some sort of starch or grain to round out the meal. With this being a Paleo/AIP meal, I recommend serving it with cauliflower rice if anything though it's a perfectly good meal eaten on its own.
Parsley or cilantro work well as garnishes on this. I didn't add any other toppings although my husband really wanted to put raisins on it. With this having a sweet sauce, I could see raisins (or cranberries or chopped dates) being really good in it. Aside from dried fruit, coconut chips, crushed plantain chips, crushed apple chips, or even nuts would be good (if you're not doing AIP).
Can You Prep This Ahead Of Time?
Yes! You can save some time by cutting everything up ahead of time (the day before, for example) so it's ready to put in the oven when you get home from work.
I would recommend putting the sweet potato, oil, and seasonings in one container (preferably glass like these ones) and put the brussels sprouts, chicken, and oil in a second container and store in the fridge.
I wouldn't prep this more than a day or two in advance unless you're planning to cook it, then store it.
How Long Will This Stay Good in the Fridge?
Once cooked, this will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes! This can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months with little change to texture or flavor. Just make sure you store it in a tightly sealed container, again preferably glass.
Why Glass Containers?
As I dig deeper into the root causes and triggers of autoimmune disorders, I'm becoming increasingly more aware of lurking toxins in everyday products.
This is certainly a work in progress and it's never been a strength for me but I'm trying to transition to "safer" cooking materials, personal care products, cleaning products, etc.
- Plastic storage containers are one thing I'm trying to get away from and instead using mostly glass storage containers. Aside from side-stepping the issue of toxins, glass helps the food to maintain a better flavor because it is nonporous and doesn't absorb germs and flavors from other foods. Glass containers like this or this can be very useful. I love the ones with the lock-on lids.
I hope you love the recipe! If you tried it, please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like:
Sheet Pan Maple Citrus Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts (Paleo, AIP, GF)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure veggies and chicken are cut up.
- Add cubed sweet potatoes and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to medium-sized bowl along with 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning. Mix well.
- Add sweet potato mixture to a parchment paper-covered (or greased) baking sheet. Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While potatoes are baking, using the same bowl from the potatoes, mix together chicken cubes, brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning. Mix well and add to the sheet pan with the sweet potatoes. Make sure everything is well combined and return the pan to the oven.
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender. Chicken should reach and an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir half-way through to avoid burning.
- While chicken and veggies are cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients except coconut cream. Heat in small frying pan over medium-high heat stirring continually. It will boil easily; this is ok. Continue cooking for at least 5 minutes until mixture starts to reduce and get a little syrupy.
- Add coconut cream and continue stiring. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer mixture at least another 5 minutes until the desired thickness is reached. Set asice.
- Remove chicken and veggies from oven and drizzle the sauce over it. *If the sauce has cooled and thickened to the point that it's not easily drizzled, put it in a small dish and microwave for about 10 seconds, then pour.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with fresh parsley to garnish.