Chicken tray bake, an all-in-one dish combining chicken and vegetables with cajun spicing and a fresh hit of lemon. A quick midweek dinner in one.
Chicken tray bake is one of those quick dinner dishes that I cook regularly. In short, those quick mid week dinners we all rely on, but not one I had planned to write down. It’s one of those dishes I pull together without much thought, and it changes depending on what I have in the fridge and freezer!
However, after posting a photo of my Cajun chicken tray bake dinner on Instagram, I had a few friends asking me to share the recipe. So I thought why not? It’s super simple to make, more assembly than actual cooking. Allowing you time to get on with other things.
I often prepare this dish earlier in the day, cover it and place it in the fridge until later. Then when I’m ready to cook it’s just a case of popping it into the oven.
This recipe does change from time to time, depending on what I have in the fridge and my cupboards. Therefore, what I have tried to do here is share the version of Cajun chicken tray bake with vegetables that my family and I like to eat most!
However, being a versatile recipe it’s one that’s easily adapted to your own family’s taste. I have used chicken breasts but this recipe works just as well with chicken legs, thighs or drumsticks.
If you don’t have some chicken, substitute with some sausages, pork or lamb chops, simply use what you have.
Don’t be limited by the vegetables you add either, use what you like to eat. Perhaps adding aubergine or some broccoli. I like to add courgettes from the garden, they’re a great way to use up a glut during the summer months.
Similarly herbs are a great addition. Parsley and thyme both work really well in the dish, alongside the lemon and garlic. In other words make the dish your own!
Can I make chicken tray bake in advance?
Quick to prepare, really more of an assembly job, this cajun chicken & vegetable tray bake is a great dish for busy dinner times through the week.
However, I also like to serve it on busy day’s spent outdoors during the Summer months. When the sun in shining I don’t want to be stuck indoors cooking. I therefore make this recipe up ahead of time, placing the vegetables into the tray and the chicken in a separate bowl ready for adding later. Cover both and pop in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
I often bringing the dish straight to the picnic table in my back garden so that everyone can help themselves.
I don’t recommend cooking this Cajun chicken tray bake in advance and heating it up later. You would loose a lot of the freshness from the vegetables and the whole dish would feel a bit soggy. The joy of this dish is eating it straight from the oven or pan!
Cooking chicken tray bake outdoors!
Finally as it’s all cooked in one dish this recipe is ideal for cooking outdoors. Consequently I cook it a lot on family camping trips. My favourite pan is actually a large paella pan, it allows me to cook an entire meal for the whole family in one dish.
I love camping and one of the things I truly enjoy is cooking outdoors. This Cajun chicken tray bake is easily cooked in a large pan over a camping stove. Firstly, I brown off the spiced chicken first, before adding the rest of the ingredients to the pan. One pan, hence less washing up which as anyone who camps can agree is an added bonus!
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then try our Lemon & Paprika Chicken Kebabs, our Sticky Sausage Tray Bake, Easy Chicken Tacos, our Tandoori Prawns & Flatbreads, Cheesy One Pan Vegetables or our Simple Devilled Mackerel. These are all great dishes that can be cooked indoors or outdoors over a camping stove or barbecue.
Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.
Cajun chicken & roasted vegetable tray bake
- 130 g cooking chorizo (skin removed and cut into chunks)
- 8-10 baby potatoes (leave skin on and cut in half)
- 1 red pepper (cut into chunks)
- 1 yellow pepper (cut into chunks)
- 2 courgettes (sliced)
- 2 red onions (peeled and cut into wedges)
- 1/2 bulb garlic (break into cloves but leave skin on)
- 2 lemons (quartered)
- 200 g baby plum tomatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt & pepper
- 4 chicken breasts (cut into chunks)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Place the chicken into a bowl along with the marinade ingredients. Stir well to combine and thoroughly coat the chicken pieces, adding a little more oil if required. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge to marinade, ideally overnight but an hour will work fine if you are short of time. Do not add salt to the marinade as this will only draw the moisture from the chicken.
- When ready to cook take a large non-stick oven tray, ideally one with high sides. Place the chorizo, lemon and all the vegetables (but NOT the tomatoes) into the tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and add the paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at 200CFan and bake for 40 minutes, stirring the mix half way through.
- After 40 minutes remove the tray from the oven, give the vegetables one final stir and then place the pieces of chicken on top. Drizzle any excess marinade over the chicken pieces, and season the chicken with a little salt. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
- Again remove the tray from the oven but this time do not stir anything, simply add the baby plum tomatoes to the tray and return to the oven for a final 5-10 minutes.
- The dish is ready to serve straight from the oven once the chicken is cooked through.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only •