Hallelujah! Another sheet pan dinner recipe for Rosemary Balsamic Chicken. It’s looks so good. I think I might be obsessed with these one sheet recipes. I know they still require a small amount of chopping and prep and attention, but there’s something about dealing with one baking sheet that makes these meals seem so simple and doable, even when I’m worn out at the end of the day.
I’ll hand it over to Lindsey for the recipe, but first, a question: What sheet pan dinner would you like her to perfect and share with us next?
Remember how I said a few weeks ago that I’m giving some of my family’s favorite recipes a little makeover? This is another meal from my list. I think I made Rosemary Balsamic Chicken every week for during the first 3-4 years of my marriage. We especially loved it because if I made a big batch, the leftovers would last us several days to use in our take-to-work lunch salads and sandwiches.
It was my “fancy meal” that I could make when we had another couple over for dinner, or to take to a friend who had a new baby. My mom became a huge fan also and would ask me to make it whenever I came home for a visit. I always served it with the same spinach salad (baby spinach, dried cranberries, shaved parmesan, and candied pecans) and a side of roasted herbed potatoes.
And then I sort of grew tired of making it and found new go-to recipes. My beloved rosemary balsamic chicken recipe fell to the pile of forgotten recipes. That sounds more dramatic than it actually is! Sometimes recipes just fall out of favor so it’s like finding a new recipe when you make it again.
In any case, I decided it was time to bring this gem back into rotation. I converted it to a super easy sheet pan dinner with all of the same components the original recipe had, but I think it may be even better! Instead of a spinach salad, I’ve upgraded to roasted asparagus.
It’s really simple to whisk up the balsamic marinade, but if you’re short on time, or just want a shortcut, a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette is a great substitution here.
The vinegar helps tenderize the chicken as it marinates. The honey and vinegar combo also work as a sort of brine to keep the chicken extra juicy. (You can read about brining here.)
I discovered that if I reserved the marinade, I could turn it into a delicious, warm sauce to serve over the chicken and potatoes. And it is perfection, I promise you. Think of all of these flavors as a sticky bbq sauce of sorts, only without the tomato sauce base.
The more I’m making sheet pans dinners, the more I’m realizing it’s all about the timing. Sometimes you need to cook the meat longer than the veggies, so you roast that first, then add everything else later. It may not be as simple as putting everything into the oven at once, but I find it really does make a difference.
In this recipe, the chicken thighs go in first for a few minutes, then the potatoes are added, and last the asparagus. I hate, hate, hate overcooked asparagus. The quick 10 minutes is perfect to tender-crisp asparagus to accompany the soft, butter potatoes and tender chicken.
One more thing: this recipe really benefits from the use of parchment or foil to line the baking sheet. It makes clean-up a snap, as it always does, but especially with this particular marinade where it will burn onto the baking sheet.
The potatoes get an extra hit of rosemary and garlic. Is there anything better than herby roasted potatoes?! No, there isn’t. If I’m honest, I’d take a whole tray of just those. They do soak up the marinade a little, too, and develop a sort of glaze. Just make this. You probably don’t need any more convincing from me. ;)
See that dark, caramelized glaze down there on the chicken and potatoes? So good. The chicken is so tender. That’s why I recommend skin-on, bone-in thighs. Way more flavor and they tolerate a longer cooking time without becoming dry. But if you prefer chicken breasts, I’ve included some tips in the notes below the recipe. (And I won’t hold it again you if you go that route. It’s still delicious. You just have the tweak the timing a bit.)
Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional, but recommended)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely minced, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 pound baby golden or red potatoes, halved
1 pound asparagus
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 8 small cubes
Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner Instructions
1. Place chicken thighs in a shallow dish or resealable gallon size plastic bag.
2. In a glass measuring cup, combine balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, half of the rosemary and minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pour the balsamic marinade into the dish or bag. Cover dish or seal bag. Place in fridge and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours, or even overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. If using foil, lightly oil to prevent sticking.
4. Remove the chicken from the marinade allowing any excess to drip back into the bag or dish. Reserve marinade. Place chicken thighs on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil plus the remaining minced rosemary and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper. After the first 15 minutes of roasting, remove pan from oven and arrange the potatoes around the chicken. Place back in oven and roast for 20 minutes.
6. While chicken and potatoes are roasting, prepare the sauce and asparagus.
7. Place the reserved marinade into a saucepan or skillet. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken broth and bring back to a simmer. Continue simmering until the liquid is reduced by about half. Keep warm until ready to serve.
8. To prepare asparagus, snap off the tough ends and cut the spears into 2-inch pieces. Season well with salt and pepper.
9. After the first 20 minutes of roasting time are up, scoot the potatoes over to the side and place the asparagus on the baking sheet. Gently toss a bit to coat the asparagus with the oil on the baking sheet. Place back in oven and roast for about 10 minutes longer, or until the asparagus are just tender-crisp.
10. Just before serving, bring the balsamic sauce back to a simmer. Whisk in the small butter cubes, one at a a time, whisking well after each addition. Remove from heat and keep warm.
11. Serve chicken with potatoes and asparagus on the side and a good drizzle of the balsamic sauce.
Yield: 4-6 servings
– Chicken breasts can be substituted for the chicken thighs, but will cook more quickly especially if they are boneless and skinless, as will boneless, skinless thighs. The marinade will help to keep them juicy, but be careful not to overcook of they run the risk of becoming dry. Roast the boneless, skinless chicken at the same time as the potatoes. A whole, cut-up chicken can also be used; use the same directions for the bone-in, skin-on thighs in the original recipe.
– To make this recipe even easier and quicker, store-bought balsamic vinaigrette can be used in place of the vinegar, oil, honey, and mustard.
– Green beans or broccoli florets can be substituted for the asparagus.
Oh my word. Thank you, Lindsey. I am so hungry just looking at these photos. I know we have asparagus and chicken thighs in the fridge right this minute, so I just need to pick up some potatoes and rosemary. I can’t wait to make and eat this!
Dear Friends, there are more easy one-sheet dinners here. And please chime in if there’s a one sheet recipe you’d like Lindsey to work on!
Credits: Recipes and photos by Lindsey Rose Johnson for Design Mom.