A bold, slightly smoky tomato rub with fresh garlic, citrus, and warm spices takes this simple sheet-pan chicken recipe to the next level! This comforting chicken and chickpeas dinner is another easy recipe from my new cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish: 120 Bold and Healthy Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat.
Here is a Mediterranean-style sheet-pan chicken, chickpea, and vegetable dinner you can make any night of the week!
Juicy chicken thighs are coated in a bold tomato rub with lots of fresh garlic and warm, earthy spices including smoked paprika and cumin, and brightened with a hint of lemon juice. The whole thing comes together in a flash — simply chop some veggies and season everything with the tomato rub. Toss it into a sheet pan and roast. I'm telling you, it's incredible and so easy!
I first made this recipe for some friends one Sunday afternoon when I was working on my cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish: 120 Bold and Healthy Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat. I wanted to make easy, flavor-packed recipes the whole family would love and I knew this recipe was a winner when we were all standing over the stove mopping up the juices with torn off pieces of crusty bread.
Sheet-pan chicken dinners are some of my favorite meals to make. This is true whether I’m going Italian-style with plenty of oregano and parsley, loading it up with garlic and rosemary, or tossing everything in a rich tomato rub like in this recipe, sheet pan chicken is always a winner at my house!
This recipe is delicious, comforting, and casual — the kind of chicken dinner to share with an intimate circle of family and friends. (It does feed a little crowd, and leftovers are glorious.)
Table of Contents
Ingredients for smoky sheet-pan chicken
Nothing complicated about this ingredient list! You just need some spices, chickpeas, vegetables, and chicken. Here’s more detail about what you need to make dinner tonight:
- Extra virgin olive oil: You need ½ cup EVOO. You can use a medium-intensity oil like our Arbequina California EVOO, or a more robust oil like our Hojiblanca Spanish EVOO.
- Lemon juice: In total, you need about ½ cup lemon juice, which means you need roughly 2 large lemons.
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste adds acidity and sweetness to the rub, making it more rich and nuanced.
- Garlic: For a slightly spicy kick.
- Spices: Ground cumin for earthiness, smoked paprika for smokiness and a subtle heat, and Aleppo pepper flakes for a slightly tangy, sweet flavor. For more heat, use hot smoked paprika instead!
- Chickpeas: I used a 15-ounce can of chickpeas for a shortcut here, but you can also cook dried chickpeas from scratch. This will add a couple of hours to your cooking time, so you’ll need to budget enough time for that.
This recipe lends itself well to customizations. Feel free to swap out carrots for other root veggies like beets or parsnips, or add potatoes or sweet potatoes for more heft.
I used 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe because they cook quickly, remain juicy and are relatively forgiving — if you overcook them a little bit they will still taste great.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are another delicious option. If that is your preference just plan for an extra 10 minutes of cooking time.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts would also work here, but you’ll have to keep a few things in mind:
- Chicken breasts need to be pounded so they’re equally thick all the way through, to promote even cooking.
- They are notorious for drying out at the drop of a hat.
- Since boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook in about 18 minutes in the oven, you will need to roast your vegetables for about 10 minutes first, then add the breasts. Otherwise, the carrots won't cook in time.
How to make sheet pan chicken and chickpeas
This is an easy chicken dinner — simply make your spice rub, season everything, and pop it into the oven to bake. Dinner is on the table in 40 to 45 minutes, from start to finish! Here’s how to make this sheet-pan chicken recipe:
- Make the tomato rub: In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup lemon juice, 5 tablespoons tomato paste, 5 minced garlic cloves, 1 ½ teaspoons each cumin and smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper.
- Prepare the vegetables: Lightly brush a large sheet pan with some olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the veggies: 6 peeled carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces; 2 medium onions, halved and sliced ½-inch thick; and 15-ounces of canned chickpeas. Season with ½ teaspoon each of kosher salt and black pepper. Add 4 tablespoons of the tomato rub and 1 teaspoon olive oil, and toss well to coat everything in the rub. Transfer to the sheet pan. Set the empty bowl aside for now — you will need it shortly!
- Season the chicken. Pat dry 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Place the chicken in the bowl and add the rest of the tomato and spice mixture. Toss well before adding the chicken to the sheet pan with the other ingredients.
- Bake the chicken and veggies. Place the sheet pan on the center rack of your oven, preheated to 425°F. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, which will take 25 to 30 minutes. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer insert it into the thickest part of the thigh. When cooked through it will read 165° F. If you don't have a thermometer cut into the chicken. If the juices run clear, the thighs are done.
- Broil. Move the sheet pan up to the top rack directly under the heat (about 4 to 5 inches away from the broiler) and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken gains some color and the onions and carrots char a little. Watch carefully so your dish does not burn.
What to serve with sheet-pan chicken
This smoked paprika sheet-pan chicken and chickpeas recipe goes well with loads of different things. Here are some ideas:
- Your favorite crusty bread
- Basmati rice or another grain like bulgur or farro
- Greek potatoes
- Salad, like my orange beet salad, heirloom tomato salad, or cucumber salad
How to store and reheat leftovers
Sheet pan chicken and vegetables will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat it, just pop it into a skillet and set it over medium heat until the chicken is warmed through.
Leftovers make a tasty and convenient work lunch! Serve it over a simple bed of greens or a grain for a filling, nutritious midday meal.
More sheet pan recipes
Sheet Pan Smoked Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas
Chicken and Vegetables
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, halved and cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Position one rack in the center of the oven and another one 4 or 5 inches under the broiler. Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Prepare the tomato rub: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, paprika, and Aleppo pepper. Whisk well to combine.
- Prepare the chicken and vegetables: Lightly brush a large sheet pan with some of the olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onions, and chickpeas. Season well with salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each). Add 4 tablespoons of the tomato rub and a small drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tsp), and mix well to coat. Transfer the mixture to the sheet pan.
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and black pepper on both sides. Place the chicken in the bowl and add the remaining tomato mixture, tossing until the chicken is well coated.
- Transfer the chicken to the sheet pan along with the chickpeas and vegetables. Roast on the center rack until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Then move the sheet pan up to the top rack directly under the heat and broil until the chicken gains some color, 3 to 4 minutes, watching carefully. The onions and carrots may also gain some char.
- Serve with your favorite rustic bread.
- Serving suggestions: Crusty bread, basmati rice or another grain like bulgur or farro, Greek potatoes, heirloom tomato salad, or cucumber salad.
- How to store and reheat leftovers: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it in a skillet on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
- Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices.
- If you're looking for more amazing Mediterranean recipes like this one pick up a copy of my cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish: 120 Bold and Healthy Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat.