This garlic and lemon chicken tray bake is the perfect weeknight meal with just 10 minutes hands on prep time – it couldn’t be easier to make! Made with just a few everyday ingredients, everyone is going to love this recipe.
When it comes to weeknight dinners, I am looking for three criteria. First, it has to be easy. I’m talking minimal effort in the kitchen, can do it without thinking, easy. It also has to use ingredients that I usually buy – I don’t want to have to do a special shop or buy something I may never use again. And finally, it has to taste good. Like really delicious.
This recipe ticks ALL of these boxes.
One of the most stress-free types of meals to get on the table at the end of a big day is a classic tray bake. Simply throw everything on a single pan and let it roast away in the oven. The result is a delicious dinner where the flavours have merged together in the pan, all while you’ve been relaxing on the couch instead of standing over a hot stove.
Tray bakes are the ultimate in easy weeknight cooking and this version is particularly simple using everyday ingredients, but together they make something truly delicious. This is the kind of actually easy recipe that is going to end up on repeat.
You can serve this tray bake on it’s own, or serve it with a side to stretch it out a bit further. You can also change it up and adjust the vegetables based on what you have left over. That’s the beauty of a tray bake!
This lemon garlic chicken is also naturally dairy free and gluten free.
You only need a few ingredients for this chicken tray bake, but it’s also pretty forgiving, so experiment and adjust as you need to based on what you have available.
- Chicken thighs – thighs contain more fat than breast and are therefore much better for baking as they won’t dry out as easily and the extra fat helps to flavour the potatoes. I just use regular skin off, bone out, but you can use skin on, bone in as well with similar results. You could also substitute with marylands or drumsticks – just adjust the cooking time as needed.
- Lemon – gives flavour to the whole dish with both lemon juice and zest in the marinade.
- Garlic – used both in the chicken marinade and roasted whole in the pan. The roasted garlic is my favourite part!
- Potatoes – Use small white or red potatoes, skin on for the best flavour. Just make sure to cut them into the same size pieces for even cooking. You could also add any other vegetables you like such as sweet potato or pumpkin.
- Salt & pepper – never underestimate the power of seasoning your dish well. The humble salt and pepper give so much flavour to this dish.
- Oregano – the perfect flavour accompaniment to lemon and garlic, the oregano helps to add extra flavour to the chicken.
I’m not joking when I say just how easy this recipe is to make – there are just a few steps and then the oven does the rest.
Start by making your marinade which is the most involved step in the process. Add all of the marinade ingredients into a large bowl and mix together.
To the marinade, add the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate for about 10 minutes although you can pop it into the fridge for up to an hour if you want to make this in stages.
Next, chop up the potatoes and add them to a baking tray with a few slices of lemon and 4-6 whole cloves of garlic. I like to smash the garlic just a bit to release the flavour but leave it unpeeled.
Finally, add the chicken pieces to the tray with the potatoes.
Place the tray into a preheated oven for about an hour or until the potatoes are golden and the chicken is cooked through. About half way through I like to use a spoon to baste the chicken with the pan juices and give the potatoes a bit of a toss to make sure they’re cooking evenly.
And that’s it!
Once the chicken is cooked, make sure you squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and serve with the potatoes and chicken as this truly is the best bit and adds so much extra flavour. You can throw a bit of fresh parsley on top as a garnish if you’re feeling fancy, or simply devour it straight from the tray if you’re not (guilty).
I find this recipe makes about 2-3 servings on it’s own (depending on how hungry you are) but could be stretched to 4 if you served it with a salad or vegetable side.
I highly recommend serving with this roasted broccoli salad and if you need a sauce, try this lemon garlic sauce.
I recommend enjoying this recipe straight away, not making ahead for the best taste, but if you need to reheat leftovers, you can place aluminium foil over the tray and place back in the oven until heated through. This dish can only be reheated once.
More chicken recipes:
Lemon and Garlic Chicken Tray Bake
For the marinade:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the tray bake:
- 600 grams chicken thigh approx 3-4
- 500 grams small white potatoes
- 4-6 whole cloves garlic
- ½ lemon sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Start by making the marinade. Mix together the olive oil, crushed garlic, the juice and zest of 1 lemon, oregano, salt and pepper. Add in the chicken thighs and turn to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes and up to an hour to marinade.
- Chop up the potatoes into halves or quarters depending on how small the potatoes are and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Place the garlic cloves whole (not peeled) and lemon slices around the tray.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and nestle them onto the pan among the potatoes, making sure they are evenly placed on the tray.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, checking halfway through to turn the potatoes and baste the chicken with pan juices. The dish is done when the potatoes are golden and the chicken has reached 75C (165F) internal temperature.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.