Sheet-Pan Szechuan Chicken (or Tofu) with Brussel Sprouts takes only 15-20 minutes of hands on time before baking in the oven. A full-flavored weeknight dinner your whole family will love!
- 2 lbs chicken thighs ( bone-in, skin on) or tofu – see notes for more options!
- 1 – 1 ½ lbs medium brussel sprouts, halved ( see notes)
- ¼ cup honey or agave or maple syrup ( honey tastes best)
- ¼ cup soy sauce (or use GF soy sauce like Braggs)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or use black vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2–3 teaspoons Garlic Chili Paste (more for more spicy, or sub sriracha)
- 4 fat garlic cloves, finely minced ( use a garlic press)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced or ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon salt, more for sprinkling
- ½ –1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted, crushed (or substitute black pepper, see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon five-spice (optional, but elevates)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional, but thickens the sauce)
- a few dried red chilies- just for “looks” – optional
Garnish with scallions, serve on its own, over rice, cauliflower rice, or with a whole grain.
Preheat oven to 425F
Make the Szechuan marinade by stirring all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour half of the marinade over the chicken, either in a bowl or zip lock bag. Let chicken marinate while you prep the brussel sprouts, or marinate overnight (for even more flavor!)
Cut the brussels sprouts in half. The brussels sprouts pictured here are ping-pong ball sized, so depending on size, you may need to quarter, or leave them whole. If using very very small brussel sprouts, leave them whole. If extra- large, like a golf ball, then quarter.
Place brussel sprouts in a bowl and pour the remaining marinade over brussel sprouts and toss. Add a few dried chilies if you like ( just for looks) and spread them out on a large, parchment or foil-lined sheet pan. Nestle the chicken thighs (or tofu) in between, and spoon any remaining marinade over the chicken. ***Season the chicken or tofu with a little salt (especially if not marinating overnight!).
Bake it in the hot oven, for 30 minutes, checking at 20 minutes, rotating if need be, and spooning a little of the pan juices over the chicken or tofu. After 30 minutes, double-check for doneness ( either use a thermometer, should read 170 F) or cut into one. Feel free to broil for a few minutes to get the chicken skin deeply golden if need be.
If using a different cut of chicken see notes.
Serve by dividing the brussel sprouts and top with the chicken. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with more chili paste for extra spicy.
If using tofu, either cut into “filets” ( a square or rectangular slab) about a ¾ inch thick, strips or cubes. Marinate the tofu, in a bowl for 10 minutes, or in a bag if overnight.
You can use skinless boneless thighs, or even chicken breast ( reducing calories significantly) but cooking times will shorten. Check after 15- 20 minutes, and if chicken is done but brussels sprouts need longer, just remove the chicken (and foil) letting brussels sprouts cook until tender, probably the full 30 mins.
I also really like this recipe with Black Cod, baking the cod for only 10-15 minutes, letting the brussel sprouts continue cooking until done.
You can cook both chicken and tofu for mixed households, keeping the chicken on one side of the pan and the tofu on the other side of the pan.
****To ensure good flavor -it is important to give the chicken an extra sprinkling of salt.
Szechuan Peppercorns add a unique flavor, but using to much will overpower. If unfamiliar, start with ½ teaspoon. If you’ve never tired one, just plop one in in your mouth and taste it. It has a very perfumy flavor and numbing effect on the tongue, adding interesting complexity! This may be very pleasant, or very unpleasant to you. This, for me was an acquired taste. You can absolutely leave these out and sub black peppercorns.
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