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I love the idea of meals that use one pot (less washing up) so today I decided to make a traybake for dinner. So easy, everything gets chopped up and layered in one dish and then put in the oven to bake.
Loving my mediterranean flavours, I decided on peppers, onions, olives, oregano, all the flavours that I love, but of course you could use your favourite vegetables and herbs in place of any of the ones I chose. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Roasted Vegetables for cooking times if you decide to switch up the ingredients.
I preheated the oven to 180C and started by slicing up the onions, peppers and courgettes – I cut them into thin strips and slices as I wanted them to cook all the way through in the time that everything else would take to cook. I sliced up the garlic cloves and layered everything in an ovenproof dish and drizzled half of the olive oil over the top, sprinkled half of the oregano over and seasoned well with salt and pepper. I popped the dish into the oven to begin cooking while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.
I halved the cherry tomatoes and quartered the larger ones and halved the olives. I had thought about making this dish with chilli to spice things up but then I remembered that I had some chorizo in the fridge. I thought it would go really well with all the different flavours and add a bit of spice to the dish. I diced the chorizo into fairly large chunks, ready to go in the dish with all the other ingredients.
I sprinkled some paprika over the chicken breasts to complement the paprika flavour in the chorizo, and rubbed it all over them to add a bit of spice and smokiness. I then pulled the dish out of the oven and added the chicken breasts to it. I added the tomatoes, olives and chorizo on the top and drizzled the rest of the olive oil over everything. I sprinkled over the remainder of the oregano and seasoned well with salt and pepper again. Then I placed the lemon slices on top of the chicken breasts and it was ready to go back into the oven.
I baked the dish for 30 mins but it will depend on the size of your chicken breasts as to how long it needs. When you think it’s ready you can make a small incision in the largest chicken breast just to check that it’s cooked all the way through. After removing it from the oven I tore up some basil leaves to sprinkle over the whole thing and the dish was ready.
It was plenty for me with just the chicken and the vegetables but you could serve it with potatoes (or garlic bread like I cooked for Dan). I only had 3 chicken breasts but this recipe (as long as you add another chicken breast) is plenty for 4 people.
The dish was delicious – I couldn’t believe how something so easy to prepare could taste so delicious. The chicken was juicy and moist – helped in part by the fact that it was baked on top of the vegetables so that it didn’t dry out. I loved the spiciness of the chorizo and the saltiness of the olives – they really took a standard chicken and roasted vegetable dish up another notch. And the fresh basil was delicious and really freshened up the whole dish as did the roasted lemon slices.
Definitely a dish to remember when you’re short on time but still want something really tasty. It could also make a perfect dish for entertaining as you can prepare everything before the guests arrive and then just put it in the oven and forget about it until it’s ready leaving you plenty of time to socialise with friends – and it seems much more impressive than the effort required to actually make it!