Sheet-pan Tarragon Chicken (or Tofu!) with Asparagus, Lemon and Leeks – all roasted on a sheet pan for a fast and healthy dinner with minimal cleanup! Feel free to serve this with a side of smashed potatoes, black rice or everyday quinoa, cauliflower rice!
Whether we are happy or not depends on our awareness. ~Thich That Hanh
Here’s another Make life Simple recipe featuring fresh spring asparagus. This healthy sheet-pan dinner can be made with chicken or tofu – or both (for mixed households where both vegans and meat lovers cohabitate). When cooking for two, load up on the veggies and decrease the protein, like we do at home.
You’ve been telling me a lot of things. Mainly that you really want to cook “healthy” meals, fast! Healthy means so many different things to so many different people. And of course, it should, because our bodies are all different and we have different needs. To some, healthy means vegan. To others, healthy means low-fat, low cholesterol, or means low carbs and paleo. You’re a tough crowd!
But one thing we all seem to have in common is we all believe fresh seasonal produce is healthy. Which I just happen to love and why you see so many veggie-based recipes on the blog. In fact, when I make recipes, I make them around the produce. Always. That’s why if you follow on instagram, you’ll see I go to a lot of farmers markets….the number one place for me to get inspiration.
This recipe can be made vegan with the tofu option, or with chicken, or both, for mixed households.
And here it is with the chicken.
One meal two ways.
That’s what I love about sheet pan dinners….they are so adaptable.
Plus, the clean-up is super easy, especially when using parchment paper!!! If you’ve not adopted this habit, you must give it a try. It makes life so much easier!
So many of you have told me how much you dislike clean up and doing dishes….and I hear you. 🙂
This will help.
Parchment paper… the best investment ever!!!
It starts with a simple lemon tarragon marinade.
And one bowl.
Notice the order of things here….this way you don’t need to use more than one bowl. 🙂
Start with tossing the veggies in the bowl with just a little of the marinade.
Then next tofu, if using.
Then lastly chicken.
This way you don’t get chicken all over your veggies and tofu. Get it? 😉
Create a little barricade with the asparagus between the tofu and chicken. 🙂
Or if you need total separation, of course, baking on a separate little pan is just fine. But then you’ll have two pans to clean up – so I just do the one, because it’s just Brian and I.
Give the chicken a little color by broiling for just a couple of minutes after it cooks through.
Sprinkle with fresh tarragon …..and devour!
Here are a few more Make Life Simple, Sheet-Pan Dinners for minimal cleanup….. many are vegan adaptable!
A healthy delicious sheet-pan dinner, that features the best of spring produce! Make it in 30 minutes with minimal clean up. Vegan adaptable, GF and paleo!
- 2 lemons
- 1/ 4 cup olive oil
- 4–6 garlic cloves, finely minced ( or use a garlic press)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1-ounce package of fresh tarragon leaves, rough chopped, about ¼–⅓ cup
- 1 extra-large bunch asparagus, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1–2 large leeks, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds ( if dirty, rinse, see notes)
- 4–5 medium chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) about 1- 1 1/2 lbs or sub tofu, see notes
Preheat oven to 450F
In a small bowl make the marinade. Place the zest of one lemon, and its juice ( about 3 tablespoons) in a small bowl. Add oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and mix well until salt dissolves. Add ½ of the fresh tarragon, saving the rest for garnish.
Place trimmed asparagus in a bowl and spoon some of the marinade over top. Toss to combine and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Add leeks to the same bowl, toss with a little marinade, and spread out on the sheet pan. If using tofu, place in the bowl adding a little more marinade, toss to coat, add to sheet pan. Lastly add the chicken breasts, with the remaining marinade, coating well. Nestle the chicken amongst the asparagus.
Zest the second lemon over the whole sheet pan and slice the lemons into rounds, layering them over the asparagus. Place in the hot oven. If using tofu, either nestle it into one side of the pan or place it on a separate sheet pan – up to you.
Bake 20 minutes and check chicken- internal temp should read 160-165 F – thicker pieces will take longer. To get a more golden color broil for just a couple of minutes.
Remove from the oven. Give everything a little toss, turning chicken over to coat the top with the flavorful juices. Sprinkle with remaining fresh tarragon and serve.
If using tofu, use extra firm. Slice into ¾ inch thick slabs and coat on all sides with marinade. For mixed households, serve both tofu and chicken! (Marinade is enough for 1.5 lbs chicken + 8 ounces tofu and the veggies.)
KEEP IN MIND: The thickness of the asparagus and the thickness of the chicken may affect cooking time. Here I’m using pencil-thick asparagus and 6-ounce chicken breasts (relatively small). If your sizing differs greatly you could use two separate baking sheets.
If cooking for two – you could easily half the chicken and double/ triple the asparagus. ( We do this a lot at home.) You could also marinate the chicken/tofu ahead, overnight if you like.
You could also use skin on bone in thighs, but this will require a longer cooking time and asparagus would need to come of the oven out earlier – so either place to one side or on a separate pan.
If the leeks are dirty when you slice them into rounds, not to worry. Just place the cut rounds into a bowl of water, gently swish and soak them for a few minutes. The dirt will fall to the bottom. Fish them out, pat dry. (They don’t need to be perfectly dry.)
Keywords: chicken and asparagus, asparagus chicken, baked chicken with asparagus, spring chicken recipes, asparagus recipes, tarragon chicken