Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken and Polenta Dinner

This Chicken Dinner with Polenta is a Mediterranean-inspired weeknight meal that’s all cooked on one pan and is ready in under 45 minutes, mostly hands-free!

Chicken, vegetables, and polenta on a sheet pan with cups and plates in background.

This sheet pan dinner with lemony chicken, colorful vegetables, and polenta has become one of our favorites. It comes together in under 15 minutes, cooks in about 30 minutes, and is as colorful as it is delicious. Much like my recipe for Sheet Pan Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Asparagus Dinner, everything goes onto the pan at the same time, making prep easy and clean up a cinch.

The Ingredients for Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

One of the things that I love about this recipe is that it really is an entire meal on one pan.

Chicken: I use thighs for this recipe because I’m a big fan of how juicy roasted chicken thighs are. I think that they have a lot of flavor and tend to be a little more forgiving when it comes to cooking time. If you prefer breasts, you can substitute them without needing to change anything about the recipe.

Polenta: The beauty of this recipe is that it uses pre-packaged polenta that’s easily found in most grocery stores. In my usual shop, it’s in the produce department, but I recently spotted it in another store near the pasta.

You simply remove the packaging, slice the polenta into rounds and it’s ready to eat. In this recipe it is getting warmed up and browned on the sheet pan with the rest of the meal.

Vegetables: The bright green of the fresh beans and the red of the tomatoes is so pretty. It’s also a really tasty combination!

Spices: You can use a pre-packaged Italian seasoning or mix up your own.

Feta Cheese: This briny cheese adds a nice bite to this recipe. If you don’t like feta, you can grate some Parmesan over the dish and eliminate the broiler step.

Lemon: The lemon is halved and then added to the pan to go under the broiler at the end. This warms up the lemon juice inside the lemon, which deepens the flavor. Squeeze the lemon halves over the dinner, or serve them alongside for people to do at the table.

Parsley: The parsley is really just a garnish. It adds a little bit of extra green color and some bright flavor. You can totally skip it though, or use some minced chives, green onion, or fresh basil instead.

How to Make Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner with Polenta

This dish relies on two cooking methods. The first is roasting and the second is broiling. In order to make this as simple as possible, get your oven ready before you turn it on. It’s simple, don’t worry.

To set up the oven, place one rack in the center of the oven and the second rack 4-inches from the broiler element. Once that’s done, preheat the oven to 425˚F.

While the oven is heating, spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil. This will help to brown the polenta slices and reduce the risk of them sticking. Arrange the slices on the sheet pan and then drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Both the vegetables and the chicken are coated with a seasoned olive oil mixture. Mix up your olive oil mixture. Then, put the tomatoes and green beans in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the oil mixture. Toss to coat. Transfer them to the baking sheet arranging them around the polenta.

Next, add the chicken thighs to the bowl and drizzle with the remaining olive oil mixture. Make sure that you get the thighs nicely coated. Arrange the thighs around the polenta.

Place the sheet pan on the rack that has been positioned in the center of the oven and roast until the thighs reach an internal temperature of 165˚F (an instant read thermometer is perfect for this task), about 25-30 minutes.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle the feta cheese over the chicken, polenta, and vegetables. Put the lemon halves onto the pan, cut-side-up.

Transfer the baking sheet the oven rack placed 4” from the broiler and broil until the cheese gets slightly brown. My cheese browns in about 3 minutes, but make sure to watch yours as all ovens cook differently, and broilers can be fast.

Squeeze the warmed lemons over everything, or serve them alongside for people to use at the table. Sprinkle everything with the parsley, if desired, and serve.

Enjoy!

Christine xo

 

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Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken and Polenta Dinner


  • Author: Leigh Olson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Description

This Chicken Dinner with Polenta is a Mediterranean-inspired weeknight meal that’s all cooked on one pan and is ready in under 45 minutes, mostly hands-free!

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (24-ounce) tube polenta, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F, positioning one rack about 4 inches from the broiler and another in the center of the oven.
  2. Spritz the baking sheet with the cooking spray.
  3. Arrange the polenta rounds on the sheet pan, spacing them evenly. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. In a small-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  5. In a large-sized mixing bowl, place the tomatoes and green beans. Drizzle with 1/2 of the olive oil mixture and toss to coat.
  6. Arrange the tomatoes and green beans around the polenta slices.
  7. Place the chicken thighs into the same mixing bowl used for the vegetables, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil mixture and toss to coat.
  8. Arrange the thighs around the polenta slices.
  9. Roast until the thighs register 165˚F on an instant read thermometer and the vegetables are slightly charred, about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Place the lemon halves cut-side-up on the pan. Broil until the feta is slightly browned, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven. Squeeze the lemon halves over everything. Sprinkle with parsley, if using.
Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken and Polenta Dinner

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