I have a treat for you today! One of those incredibly simple ideas that tastes way more complex than you would expect.
The idea is to roast veggies, chicken and sliced lemon all at once so you get the most amazing moist golden chicken with lemony juices.
Especially the roast lemon slices with caramelized edges. I could eat them all day.
Please excuse the photo for this dish. It totally doesn’t do it justice.
Lemon & Basil Roast Chicken
- 4 medium zucchini 800g / 28oz sliced
- 4 chicken thighs or breast fillets
- 2 lemons sliced into 5mm (1/4 inch) rings
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
- Turn your oven on to 250C (480F). Slice zucchini into rounds about 1cm (1/2in) thick and place in a baking tray. Slice lemon into rings about 5mm (1/4in) thick and add to the zucchini.
- Place chicken pieces on top of the zucchini and lemon. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Pop in the oven for 20 minutes. When the timer goes, check the chicken. If using breast or thighs without the bones it might be done. Stir and if chicken is still pink in the middle return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, mix mayo and yoghurt in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the chicken is golden and cooked through. Divide chicken, zucchini and pan juices between two plates or shallow bowls. Top with basil leaves and serve sauce on the side.
net carbs: 13g / serve
Substitutions Lemon Basil Roast Chicken
pantry-friendly – basil = pesto. zucchini = frozen cauliflower or broccoli.
keto / ultra low carb – halve the zucchini and serve with baby spinach. Halve the lemon too and use all mayo instead of the yoghurt combo.
vegetarian – eggplant, chickpeas or tofu.
dairy-free – replace yoghurt with extra mayo.
more substantial (carb lovers) – serve over cooked pasta or rice. Or serve with potato or sweet potato.
more substantial (low carb) – roast almonds, walnuts or macadamias. Extra mayo. Avocado.
Low FODMAP – skip zucchini and serve lemony chicken with salad leaves.
no lemon – lime will work. Or skip roasting the lemon and serving the pan juices with a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
different vegetables – eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers (capsicum), green beans, sweet potato. If the veg aren’t cooked when the chicken is done, remove chicken and keep roasting the veg until you’re happy.
different herbs – parsley, mint or coriander (cilantro) are all good (but I do have a preference for basil)
different protein – amazing with fish fillets (will only need 10 minutes to cook so put the zucchini in for 10 minutes then add the fish and keep cooking), pork sausages, meatballs + see vegetarian ideas.
more fancy / for entertaining – serve with toasted almonds or pine nuts on top.
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 thighs or breast – freeze them.
lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.
basil – make basil oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil. Or you can freeze the leaves, they’ll wilt but will still be delicious.
mayonnaise – unopened in pantry or once opened will keep for months in the fridge.
yoghurt – usually has a shelf life of a month or so. Otherwise, have it for another meal like breakfast! Don’t freeze.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – add a little more salt. Next time try a different chicken supplier – a good quality chicken should have loads of flavour.
chicken dry – sounds like you’ve overcooked your chicken. Next time check earlier. For now serve with more mayo.
no oven – pan fry zucchini on a medium high heat until soft. Remove zucchini from the pan and keep warm. Add a little oil to the pan and pan fry chicken until golden brown on both sides and no longer pink in the middle. About 5 minutes each side but will depend on how thick your chicken is. Instead of slicing and cooking the lemons just squeeze lemon juice over the cooked chicken.
too watery – the zucchini does give off a lot of liquid so expect to have a lot of pan juices. If it’s too much you can reduce the sauce down by simmering in a frying pan for a few minutes. Or just serve with soup spoons – the juices are delicious!
You can but I prefer my chicken freshly cooked. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week or can be frozen.
More Recipes Similar to Lemon Basil Roast Chicken
- Amrita’s Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Salsa
- Green Chicken Bowls with Pine Nut Mayo
- Cheesy Chicken
- Minute Chicken with Green Olive Chimmichurri
- Broccoli & Basil ‘Meatzza’
- Kale & Goats Cheese Bowls
Have fun in the kitchen!