This salsa verde chicken sheet pan dinner is a breeze to make and can be used as a taco or burrito filling, or a topping for nachos.
I’ve been making sheet pan dinners more often recently, not only to save time, but because they also taste so good; they’re kind of like the flat version of a casserole.
Mexican and Tex-Mex food is always a winner in our house—street tacos, regular tacos, taco bowls, nachos, burritos, and tostadas, you name it. My Verde Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner can be used for all of those, and more. The “verde,” which means “green” in Spanish, comes from the tomatillos in the recipe.
What Are Tomatillos?
Tomatillos are a round, green fruit, native to Mexico, that look just like a small, unripe tomato. You’ll find tomatillos in the produce section in the grocery store, sometimes with specialty items, and sometimes with tomatoes. You’ll be able to spot them right away from the papery husk on the outside of the fruit.
Look for tomatillos with a bright green skin and husk, avoiding yellow, which can be a sign that they’ve been hanging around past their peak. They should also feel firm to the touch.
Despite being a distant cousin of the tomato, it couldn’t be more different in flavor and texture. Tomatillos are bright, tart, and tangy, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Roasting them brings out their sweetness, which is my favorite way to prepare them, and exactly what we do with them in this sheet pan dinner.
Why Are Tomatillos Sticky?
Before starting this recipe, preheat the oven to 450°F. Then, you’ll need to remove the husks from each of the tomatillos, which can be easily peeled by hand. Once the husks are removed, you’ll notice the tomatillos are incredibly sticky.
This sticky film is part of the plant’s natural defense against insects. It’s harmless to us, and comes right off with a quick rinse under cool water. Dry the tomatillos well, and for this recipe, roughly chop them and add them to a large bowl.
Making Easy Salsa Verde Chicken
Add the chicken, chopped onion, jalapeno, garlic, oil, and salt to the bowl with the tomatillos. Then toss until everything is well coated in the oil and salt. Dump everything onto a sheet pan and spread the ingredients out into a single layer.
Place the pan in the oven, set the timer for 25 minutes, and relax for a bit while the oven does all of the work. After 25 minutes, the chicken will be perfectly cooked, and the vegetables lightly charred and sweet.
Transfer all of the chicken thighs onto a cutting board, and slice or shred into bite-sized pieces. Set these aside and then whirl up the veggies with a little bit of the pan juice in a food processor or blender. Just a couple of pulses will do the trick want to create a chunky salsa verde. Mix together the salsa and the chicken, and you’ve just made one of the most flavorful taco fillings. It’s garlicky, tangy, and slightly sweet from the roasted vegetables. Of course, it can also be a bowl, burrito, nacho, or tostada filling.
The Verde Chicken filling keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to seven days, and can be stored in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to three months. It’s one of my favorite next-day lunches too, served over rice.
Let me know in the comments – would you use this as a taco, nacho, or burrito filling?Print
This sheet pan dinner with chicken thighs and roasted tomatillos is a breeze to make.
Use as a taco or burrito filling, a topping for nachos, or over rice.
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this sheet pan dinner, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 6 medium-large tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large bowl add chicken thighs, tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt, and oil; toss to coat.
- Transfer ingredients to a large sheet pan; arrange vegetables and chicken in a single layer.
- Place pan in oven. Bake 25 minutes, or until chicken registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer, and vegetables are roasted and slightly charred.
- Remove pan from oven. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Chop or shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Transfer vegetables and ¼-cup of the pan juices to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse two or three times to create a chunky-style salsa.
- In a large bowl mix together chicken and salsa. Serve warm.