One-Pot Wonders

Sheet-Pan Chicken With Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Parmesan

by:
April  3, 2021
47 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Many sheet pan chicken recipes are deceptively alluring. They breezily suggest you fill your trusty sheet pan full of chicken and assorted ingredients, put it in the oven, go do whatever you need to do (laundry, exercise, you name it!), and come back later to a perfectly cooked, wholesome dinner. But when drawn in by this promise, I’m usually let down. Sometimes the chicken is done way before the vegetables (or vice versa), the ingredients steam instead of brown, or the whole deal takes a lot more time in the oven than advertised. This set-it-and-forget-about-it approach works well for slow cookers, but not for one-pan chicken dinners, which need more care and attention to coax out the best flavors of very different ingredients.

So I did what I do whenever I want a better approach: I set out on a little research project, gathering tips and tricks for better sheet pan chicken from smart people across the food world. I combined the best strategies into one recipe—this roasted sheet pan chicken with broccoli, chickpeas, and parmesan. It’s speedier, crispier sheet pan chicken, with lots of boldly-flavored ingredients to keep the meal square and interesting. The tips and tricks behind this dinner’s deliciousness are listed below, in the order that they’re used in the recipe.

1. Add baking powder for better browning. Dry the chicken well (I like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs) and rub a mixture of baking powder, salt, and other seasonings all over the chicken to promote browning and crispier skin. It’s a trick often used for chicken wings. Baking powder raises the chicken’s pH level so the proteins break down more efficiently, leading to better browning (via Serious Eats).

2. Sear the chicken in the oven. Place an empty sheet pan in the oven while it heats to 500° F. Start the chicken skin-side down on the hot sheet pan (it’ll sizzle and start to sear when it hits the pan), then lower the heat to 425° F. Wait about 15 minutes before flipping the chicken, or until the fat from the skin has rendered (via Simply Recipes Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes).

3. Add big, bold flavors. Add diced preserved lemon peel to the pan drippings to up the boldness, brightness, and complexity of the whole dish (via Canal House’s Chicken Thighs with Lemon).

4. Stagger entry of ingredients. Nestle the broccoli, chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes amongst the chicken thighs after they’ve been flipped. For best results, cut the broccoli into really small pieces to create more surface area for browning and ensure a quick roast (via Melissa Clark and many others).

5. Boost browning (again!). Sprinkle parmesan over the entire dish for its final roasting time to enhance browning and flavor (via Diana Henry’s One Pot Parmesan Roast Chicken and Cauliflower).

6. Crisp vegetables while the chicken rests. Spread the broccoli, chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes evenly across the sheet pan (tossing them a few times in the pan drippings) and return them to the oven for a few extra minutes; they’ll get browner, crispier, and more delicious.

Thanks to the rocket-hot sheet pan, this is one of the speediest sheet pan chicken dinners I’ve made. The high heat not only benefits the chicken but the broccoli, chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes, too (the little bits of crispy-chewy, almost burnt sun-dried tomatoes are absolutely addictive). Set a timer twice when making this dinner—the first time to remind yourself to flip the chicken, and the second time to check its doneness—so there are no surprises, or burnt dinner!

This may not be a set-it-and-forget-about type of dinner, but it’s simple to make and can be on the table in less than an hour. With a little attention to detail (and a few smart tricks), all of us can consistently prepare a better sheet pan chicken dinner. And with results this good, the laundry can always wait until tomorrow. —EmilyC

Watch This Recipe
Sheet-Pan Chicken With Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Parmesan
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • For chicken and spice rub:
  • 6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 2.5 pounds total)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (not baking soda!!)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (smoked or regular)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For rest of sheet pan:
  • 2 medium crowns of broccoli (about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds in total), thinly sliced into small florets
  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil from sun-dried tomato container
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced preserved lemon peel (from one-half preserved lemon)
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • A few wedges of lemon, if desired
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 500° F. Place empty sheet pan in the oven while it heats (no parchment or oil needed).
  2. Dry chicken well with paper towels. Mix together salt, black pepper, baking powder, paprika, and cumin in a small bowl.
  3. Season chicken thighs evenly with the spice rub (on both sides and under the skin). Let it rest uncovered (skin-side up) at room temperature while the oven heats up. Drizzle olive oil evenly across the skin.
  4. Carefully transfer the chicken thighs, skin-side down, to the preheated sheet pan. You’ll hear the chicken sizzle as it hits the pan. Immediately lower heat to 425° F and continue roasting for 15 minutes (set a timer).
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss broccoli, chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil (from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes) until evenly coated.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven when the timer goes off. Flip the chicken so it’s skin-side up (the skin should be starting to crisp and brown in spots), and evenly scatter the preserved lemon peel in the pan drippings. Add broccoli mixture, distributing it as evenly as possible amongst the chicken thighs (it’ll be a full pan but everything should fit). Continue roasting for another 10 minutes (set the timer again!).
  7. When the timer goes off, scatter the parmesan evenly over the dish, and check the chicken for doneness (target temperature is 165° F in the thickest parts). Continue roasting for another 5 to 10 minutes, if needed, or until the chicken is done.
  8. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Taste a piece of the broccoli; if it’s not yet tender, remove the chicken to a plate and return the sheet pan to the oven while the chicken rests, stirring the broccoli, chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes well. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve warm with lemon wedges on the side (if using).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Whitney Frost-Ruhl
    Whitney Frost-Ruhl
  • CWA22
    CWA22
  • Young Mimi Lee
    Young Mimi Lee
  • La Dolce Vita
    La Dolce Vita
  • Shannon Enix
    Shannon Enix
EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

79 Reviews

Whitney F. April 3, 2021
I love this recipe so much, it's so adaptable and forgiving. The first time I made it exactly to spec and it was brilliant, second time I eased up on the cheese and threw in other veggies, third time I played around with the spices and ditched the sun dried tomatoes - it's fantastic no matter what. I love it warm straight out of the oven and cold the next day as a salad - shred the chicken, add in a bunch of baby spinach, some red onion and a good squeeze of lemon - perfection. Definitely a staple recipe these days.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC April 5, 2021
What a lovely note to receive -- thanks Whitney! So glad you're enjoying the recipe.
 
ChristieH September 1, 2020
We loved this recipe. I didn't have sundried tomatoes so added some cherry tomatoes to give it more acid. I also threw in some brussel sprouts to the mix as well. Easy with a ton of flavor. Thank you!
 
LULULAND June 4, 2020
I made this last night and wasn't impressed with the rub. The dish turned out fine, so next time I will use my own spices to jazz this up.
 
KimConcha April 7, 2020
SO great! You can play with different spices.. We added chunky red onions and three garlic cloves roughly chopped up...
 
Author Comment
EmilyC April 8, 2020
So glad you liked this! Thanks for your note, KimConcha.
 
Emma B. April 6, 2020
Has become one of my favourites!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC April 6, 2020
Wonderful to hear -- thanks Emma!
 
CWA22 March 22, 2020
Excellent and easy. Great comfort food. Used chicken tenders instead, which worked fine, as did doubling.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC March 23, 2020
Glad you enjoyed this dish -- thanks for commenting!
 
julia January 5, 2020
Delicious and so juicy! Perfect instructions. (You can always play around with the measurements and spices yourself.)
 
Magda December 8, 2019
It was way too salty- definitely too much cumin in the recipes - won’t be making it again
 
AraceliAdams November 22, 2019
I started making this dish about 4 months ago and it's already a family staple! We don't add lemon peel or parmesan and use normal olive oil. Because our kids are small, we also reduced the salt. It's such a hit at home that whenever we have people over, it's on rotation as well - everybody loves it. Thank you!!
 
Young M. November 21, 2019
Great ingredients but when put together it was so lacking in flavour. Sure it was disappointing to have put all the effort for a meh dinner on a busy weeknight.
 
Christie October 28, 2019
This is truly one of my ALL. TIME. FAVORITE. recipes. I've used it several times when guests have come to dinner, and it is always well-received. There is no need at all to tinker with the ingredients. Please try it as it is written. The preserved lemon and the sun-dried tomatoes add so much. Please don't omit them when you try the recipe. I use the oil packed sun-dried tomatoes from Trader Joe's. This recipe even pushed me to making my own preserved lemons.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC October 30, 2019
Aw, thanks so much Christie! So glad this recipe has found its way into your home. And I need to follow your lead on making my own preserved lemons -- I buy them when I could so easily make them! : )
 
[email protected] October 12, 2019
What does the baking powder do?
 
Pat H. October 12, 2019
Baking soda helps to keep the skin crispy.
 
Pat H. October 12, 2019
Skin on the chicken, but I’m sure you realized that. 😊
 
Diane October 10, 2019
I'd like to make this, but would not be able to include the Parmesan cheese. How big a difference would that make?
 
Dunnkit October 10, 2019
The parm adds a certain savoriness to the dish. It will still be very tasty because of the spices, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon. (My recommendation is to zest the lemon and squeeze a bit of juice over the pan for the final touch.)
 
La D. September 17, 2019
Tried it as written....not a fan. The chicken was okay but the chick peas didn’t do it for me.
 
mbzr September 17, 2019
For positive results with the recipe, the only brand of canned chickpeas that works for me is Goya. If I hadn't used that brand the first time I would have never tried the recipe again. I used another brand once, the chickpeas were way too dry, so back to Goya I went. They are larger than usual chickpeas and stay creamy through roasting. Perhaps this recipe just isn't for you but thought I would pass along my brand preference.
 
La D. September 17, 2019
Thank you for the suggestion. If I do try any recipes in the future calling for chick peas, I will make sure to use that brand. :)
 
[email protected] June 13, 2019
we used hot paprika! - awesome!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC June 14, 2019
Yum!
 
Sasha February 10, 2019
I'm utterly baffled by the positive reciews. I followed this recipe to the letter, and it was flavorless.
 
Sal M. January 25, 2019
Absolutely delicious!! Loved this recipe, huge hit in our household, especially with my picky 6 y/o. I added a mix of red, white and purple potatoes along with some chicken breast pieces to the dish. Yumm, so good!! I will certainly make this again!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC January 25, 2019
Wonderful!! I also have a 6 y/o, so I know and understand the small victory of finding dishes that please everyone! : ) Thanks so much for your feedback!
 
Shannon E. January 22, 2019
This is so good! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and cubed sweet potatoes instead of broccoli. My boyfriend had thirds, he kept asking what spices were on the chicken. He loved it! I just added red chili flakes for a little spice.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC January 22, 2019
Wonderful! Thirds are always a good sign! : ) Thanks so much for making this and leaving a note.
 
Chicgail January 20, 2019
This was wonderful. Next time I wouldn't bother with the sundried tomatoes. They really don't add anything. More chickpeas and broccoli, please!
 
Author Comment
EmilyC January 21, 2019
So glad you liked it! And as much as I love those little umami-packed roasted sun-dried tomatoes, by all means, leave them out!! : ) You can never go wrong with more chickpeas and broccoli.
 
Chicgail January 20, 2019
This was wonderful. Next time I wouldn't bother with the sundried tomatoes. They really don't add anything. More chickpeas and broccoli, please!