The confident cook

Recipe: Sheet-pan chicken, tomatoes, and zucchini bake into an easy weeknight meal

Sheet-pan chicken with zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs
Sheet-pan chicken with zucchini, tomatoes, and herbsSally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Think of sheet-pan dinners as modern casseroles. Everything goes onto one pan, you slide it into the oven, and you’ve got a pleasing, easy, weeknight meal. Put those local tomatoes and zucchini still in the markets to good use in this chicken dinner. Slather bone-in breasts and the vegetables — tomatoes cut into halves, zucchini into thick spears — with a mixture of fresh and dried herbs spiked with lemon and mustard. Bake them together for about 40 minutes while you do something else.

Combine concentrated dried herbs, which can be potent, with fresh ones, to add some complexity. The plentiful amount of herbs here gives this dish flavor — and then some — even though they turn olive green in the oven’s heat. If you hold back some of the herbs, you can brighten the finished dish with them before serving. Olives and capers provide an extra punch.


To please the white-meat-only crowd, use chicken breasts (the bones keep them juicy), but you can substitute thighs, or a whole cut-up chicken. Lately, due to poultry breeders’ response to demand, chickens breasts are in the humongous category and one large breast might feed two moderate appetites. After dinner, you can probably expect to tuck at least some chicken into the fridge. One easy supper. Leftovers for lunch. Can’t beat that.

Sheet-pan chicken with zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs

Serves 4

Olive oil (for sprinkling)
½cup finely chopped mixed fresh oregano, thyme, parsley, and rosemary
3tablespoons dried oregano
2tablespoons dried thyme
2tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1clove garlic, finely chopped
2tablespoons olive oil
4bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (3 to 4 pounds total)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2medium zucchini (1¼ pounds total) cut into thirds and quartered lengthwise
4small (2½-inch) tomatoes, halved crosswise
cup pitted Kalamata olives
2tablespoons drained capers

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Oil a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a bowl, combine the chopped fresh herbs, dried oregano, and dried thyme.

3. In another bowl, combine the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Add 6 tablespoons of the herb mixture; reserve the remaining herbs for garnish.

4. Set the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Set the zucchini spears and tomato halves around the chicken. With the back of a spoon, spread the chicken and vegetables with the herb mixture. Sprinkle with olives and capers.


5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the chicken breasts registers 165 degrees and the vegetables are tender when pierced with a skewer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining herbs. Sally Pasley Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at sally.p.vargas@gmail.com.