The first time I made this CHeesy Chicken I just piled everything into a baking dish. Popped it in the oven and set the timer so dinner cooked itself while the boys and I went for a walk to the dam.
The only trick was I didn’t take the timer with me so we had to guess when we needed to be home. Luckily we made it!
But next time I’ll use the timer on my phone :)
As always just use the recipe as a starting place. Make it your own with inspiration from the variations below.
- 4 medium zucchini (800g / 28oz)
- 4 chicken thigh fillets (450g /1lb)
- 1/2 cup tomato passata or puree
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
- 150 g (5oz) grated cheese
- 1 bunch coriander cilantro or parsley
- Turn your oven on to 250C (480F). Slice zucchini into rounds about 1cm (1/2in) thick and place in a baking tray.
- Chop chicken thighs into 2 pieces and place on top of the zucchini. Mix tomato and paprika (if using) and pour sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pop in the oven for 15 minutes.
- When the timer goes, scatter the cheese over the top of the chicken and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve with coriander / parsley leaves sprinkled over.
WINE MATCH: A big buttery Chardonnay.
Variations & Substitutions for Cheesy Chicken
no smoked paprika – it’s lovely without. Or you can replace with ground cumin or coriander.
hot! – add a little dried chilli powder or fresh chopped chilli to the tomato. If you have some chipotle chilli in adobo sauce, definitely use them! Or serve with your fave hot sauce.
keto / ultra low carb – skip the tomato. replace 1/2 the zucchini with baby spinach leaves added at the end. Reduce the cheese. Serve with mayo or aioli.
vegetarian – replace chicken with cooked chickpeas, black beans or lentils. Tempeh or tofu is another option.
dairy-free – skip the cheese and serve roast chicken and veg with a tasty sauce like mayo or smashed avocado & lime. Or cashew sour cream.
more substantial (carb lovers) – roast sweet potato or other root veg separately. Or serve with corn chips, warm tortillas, rice or pita.
more substantial (low carb) – serve with sour cream or avocado smashed with lime and salt. Or these zucchini tortillas. Or roast nuts.
different vegetables – bell peppers (capsicum), eggplant, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli or finely sliced onion are all great! If you want to use root veg, cook them separately or add them to the pan and roast for 15-20 minutes to give them a head start before adding the zucchini. Leafy greens (cooked separately) or salad leaves can give a nice boost. I usually add a big scoop of home made sauerkraut for a little probiotic crunch.
different protein – sausages, chicken breast fillets, ham, cooked chickpeas, cooked black beans, lentils, tofu or tempeh.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
chicken thigh fillets – freeze them.
tomato passata or puree / smoked paprika – keep them in the pantry.
cheese – most hard and melting cheeses will keep for weeks wrapped in waxed paper or baking paper and stored in an airtight container (or sealed ziplock bag) in the fridge. If you need to store for longer cheese can be frozen.
coriander – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.
You can but I prefer the chicken freshly cooked. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a week or can be frozen. To serve, warm in the oven or in a frying pan with a little oil – will look messy but still delicious!
More Simple Low Carb Chicken Dinner Ideas Similar to Cheesy Chicken
- Minute Chicken with Green Olive Chimmichurri
- One Pot Chicken & Broccoli with Peanut & Lime Sauce
- Pesto Chicken Burgers
- Spiced Roast Chicken & Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing
- Roast Chicken, Walnut & Feta Bowls
- One Tray Chicken & Broccoli with Blue Cheese Dressing
- One Pot Cauliflower, Chicken & Peanut Curry
- 19 Delicious Ideas for Chicken
- The chicken archives.
Have fun in the kitchen!