I have been wanting to create simple, yet delicious sheet pan meals since I got my Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven. It's simply the PERFECT size for making these kinds of meals!
This recipe for Lemon & Rosemary Chicken is so easy, requires minimal prep, and it's ready in about 30-35 minutes! Every component is cooked to perfection and ready at the same time, so you will be serving a complete dinner that is hot!
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I found out pretty quickly that there are some adjustments that need to be made in these types of sheet pan meals because this little oven cooks fast and hot! I completely burned some sweet potatoes (different recipe) in less time than it takes to tie your shoes!
Through trial and error, I have come up with the perfect timing and functions to have your Lemon & Rosemary Chicken sheet pan meal turn out fantastic the first time!
Frequently Asked Questions
I really recommend using thawed chicken breasts for the best outcome. If you have to use frozen breasts, I would bake them at a low temp, covered until they are at least ¼ of the way done. Food cooks from the outside in in the oven and cooking from frozen requires a longer cook time and a lower temp so you don't dry out the outside before the inside is fully cooked.
I have reheated it plenty of times and I make sure the chicken is covered or wrapped in foil and I bake it at 275℉/135℃ for 15 minutes or until the chicken is warmed through. The potatoes and veggies are reheated at the same time, but uncovered. If you want to crisp up the potatoes, I would try AC'ing after the chicken and veggies are reheated.
Yes. You can cut the recipe ingredients in half for 2 servings and you don't have to make any changes. You can even do 1 portion of each component and use the same cook times. If you want to increase the ingredient amounts, you just have to make sure it fits on the tray.
What is a Sheet Pan Meal?
Just in case you are not familiar with the concept, a sheet pan meal is when you cook the components of your meal on a tray and they are ready to serve.
Most of the time, you put all the food on the tray, throw it in the oven to bake or roast and when the time is up, you serve and eat. Easy breezy, right? Maybe not.
The problem I have found over and over and over, is that one part of the meal is either overcooked and dry or isn't in its best form in one way or another.
Take potatoes for example. It is very difficult to achieve a potato with soft middle and a crunchy outside in the same time it takes a chicken breast or a pork chop to cook. If your heat is high enough to achieve the right cook on the potato, it's too high for the meat and you will end up with a dry, tough piece of meat. That's why I never made too many sheet pan meals, the timing is hard to get right!
It's also why I've had the oven for quite some time and this is my first (but not last) recipe for a sheet pan meal. It took me forever to get this one perfected!
So, it may not be quite as easy as dumping food on a tray and baking, it's still pretty easy and the results will blow you away!
Can I Use Different Ingredients and Get the Same Results?
The truth is, it's not that easy to make a bunch of changes to a sheet pan meal because they are put together with cooking times of each component in mind.
Chicken breasts cook differently from pork chops, string beans cook differently from squash, and even sweet potatoes cook differently than regular potatoes.
I don't say this to discourage you from making your own changes, because you absolutely can. You just have to make modifications in the recipe based on the ingredients you choose.
There are some simple modifications you can make to this recipe and not have to make any changes in the temps or time. You can omit the rosemary. No problems there. You can use a different oil. No problem. You can even omit the lemon, but it does help to keep the chicken moist because it protects the top from the direct heat, so you might have a little tougher piece of chicken, but probably not enough to worry about.
You can use all squash or all zucchini, no changes needed. You can add any type of dried spices you like, no changes needed. You can omit the garlic or the onions, no changes needed.
If you wanted to cut out the potatoes, no problem. Simply omit that first step of the recipe and follow the rest of it. If you wanted to double the potatoes and chicken, but skip the veggie. No problems and no changes needed.
However, if you want to start switching veggies or meat, that might take some planning and require some changes to the temps and times.
So, when making changes, think about the usual cook time of the ingredient you want to use and plan accordingly. For some veggies, that might mean starting them with the potatoes before the chicken goes on the tray. For other types of veggies, it might mean that you add them later because they cook so fast.
What Cut of Chicken Can I Use?
I used chicken breast in this recipe, but you can use any cut of chicken you like. Keep in mind that you may need to make a few adjustments based on the cook time of the chicken you choose.
For example. If you wanted to use chicken thighs, I might leave them in for a few minutes during the final broil because they may not be done as fast as the chicken breast.
The best way to determine what changes you need to make is by having a thermometer to check the temperature. I have used several thermometers (the cheap ones) over the years and never have I been so impressed with a thermometer as I am with the Thermapen MK4! It is simply the top of the line.
The Thermapen MK4 is pricey though. I had a hard time justifying the cost of it, honestly. So, I stuck with my $20 thermometers that lasted a year at most. Then, my husband gave me a Thermapen MK4 as a Christmas gift and it's unreal how awesome it works. It's the fastest reading thermometer I've ever owned. It's durable and doesn't short out if it gets damp (I'm famous for dropping it in liquid), it's easy to use and the readout changes with the placement of the thermometer so you can always see it.
If you are interested in getting one, here is my link: ThermaPen MK4
The other thermometer I use, although to a lesser degree, is the one from Pampered Chef. It's half the price of the ThermaPen MK4 and has a dual purpose. It is an instant read thermometer and a probe thermometer.
This means you can insert the probe into the food you are cooking while it is being cooked and monitor the internal temp. It is accurate, but it's my second choice because of the on/off switch is cumbersome to use.
If you are interested in the dual purpose thermometer, here is my link: Pampered Chef Thermometer
Can I Use a Different Type of Meat?
Yes, but you may need to make adjustments to the times/temps or when you add the meat.
A 1" thick pork chop cooks quicker than a 1-1½" thick chicken breast. In fact, it is about ½ the time. I recently cooked a 1" pork chop in the oven in 8 minutes. They cook fast! So, if you wanted to use pork chops instead of chicken, you would add them 8-10 minutes before the end of the baking time.
Fish would also take less time and would need to be added later in the cooking time.
Bone-in chicken will take a little longer, so I would probably add it 5 minutes sooner.
The same would be true for thicker chicken breasts. Mine were about 1-1¼" thick and they were uniform in size. If you have varied thickness, they will cook at different times.
The bottom line is, you can create any type of sheet pan meal with the ingredients you like as long as you pay attention to cook times, size of the ingredients, and make modifications as needed.
Can I Make Just the Chicken and not the Sides?
Of course! This would work great if you were having company and needed more servings. Simply do the chicken in the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven and the sides another way.
You would not need to change any of the directions for baking the chicken.
This chicken would go so well with these Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes!
Or, these delicious Candied Brussels Sprouts!
In fact, the lemon & rosemary chicken will go great with just about anything!
Make a salad to keep it light and fresh. Or go all in with this recipe for Bacon Mac & Cheese!
Can I Make this Lemon & Rosemary Chicken in a Regular Oven?
Absolutely! There would be a few differences though. Definitely preheat the oven first and increase the temperature to 350℉/175℃.
The times might be a little longer, so use a thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way. Keep in mind that the internal temp will rise another 5 degrees or so, so I try to take it out at around 160℉/71℃
All of the ingredients would remain the same.
You can also make this recipe in any type of stand alone oven, just make adjustments in time and temp as indicated by your oven.
How to make Lemon & Rosemary Chicken Sheet Pan Meal in the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
The secret to having all of the components of this meal perfectly cooked is staggering the cook times of them. I know this sounds like more work than you expect with a sheet pan meal, but it really isn't.
The potatoes start cooking while you prep the other ingredients, so from start to finish, your dinner is done in less than an hour. 25 minutes of that is inactive time, so it's a perfect time to pour that glass of wine or walk the dogs.
Start by combining 1 tsp of fine grind sea salt and ½ tsp of pepper into a small bowl and mix to combine. This will be the seasoning we use for all the components of the sheet pan meal.
Next, cut your red potatoes (or any type of potatoes) into small chunks. I used the small red potatoes and cut them into quarters. If you are using the really small potatoes, just cut them in half. If your potatoes are larger, you might need to cut them in ⅛ths. They should be about 1½-2" chunks.
Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl, drizzle about 1 Tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with about ¼ of the salt and pepper mixture on top, and stir to combine.
Place the potatoes on the tray that comes with the Ninja Foodi Oven and select the Air Roast Function. Roast for 10 minutes at. 450℉/230℃. .
While the potatoes are roasting, prep the vegetables and the chicken.
Cut the zucchini and squash into pieces about as big as the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Slice the onion into ¼" slices, place about ¾ of the onions into the bowl and reserver the other ¼ for placing under the chicken.
Cut the top off of the bulb of garlic and remove the individual cloves. Smash the cloves with the back of your knife and remove the paper. Add to the bowl.
Drizzle the vegetables with about 1-1½ Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ of the salt and pepper mixture. Mix to combine.
Slice the lemons and set aside. Trim the chicken as needed. Drizzle about 1-2 tsp of olive oil on the chicken and sprinkle ¼ of the salt and pepper mixture over both sides and rub it in.
When the 10 minutes of air roast is up, remove the tray with the potatoes and flip them so they evenly brown.
Now, let's pull it all together and finish up our delicious sheet pan meal.
Dump the veggies right next to the chicken. Place the remaining red onions down in the third empty area of the tray. Place a few rosemary sprigs on top of the onions, then lemon slices. Place the chicken breasts on top of the lemon and place a rosemary sprig on top of each piece of chicken. Cover the chicken with lemon slices.
Nestle the remaining rosemary sprigs into the potatoes and vegetables.
If you want to watch it come together, here is a short video.
No need to preheat the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven. Simply place the tray on the rack and select the bake function on 325℉/160℃ and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Take a temp after 20 minutes to get an idea for how much longer the chicken needs to bake. Most of the time, it has taken 25 minutes, but when I filmed the video, it took 30 minutes. Your chicken is done when it has reached 160-162℉/71-72℃. It will continue to increase to 165℉/74℃ as it rests.
When it is done, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to rest. Spread the vegetables into a single layer on the tray and broil the potatoes and the vegetables for 5-10 minutes or until desired browning has occurred.
Plate and serve! I hope you enjoy this lemon & rosemary chicken sheet pan meal as much as Jeff and I do! Happy Cooking!
Lemon & Rosemary Chicken Sheet Pan Meal
- Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
- Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cut the potatoes into quarters. Make sure they are similar in size, so if some are larger, cut them in 8ths. Drizzle them with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp) and sprinkle with the salt and pepper mixture, you will only use a small amount so you have enough for the rest of the recipe.
- Place the potatoes on the tray in the oven. Select the Air Roast function on 450℉/230℃ for 10 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prep your veggies. Slice the squash and zucchini into chunks about the size of the potatoes and place in a bowl. Peel and smash the garlic cloves and place in the bowl. Slice the onion into thin strips and place 3/4 in the bowl and reserve 1/4 of the slices for under the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1-1½ Tbsps) and sprinkle with the salt and pepper mixture. Mix to combine the veggies and oil/salt & pepper. Slice the lemons into ¼" slices and set aside.
- Drizzle the chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper mixture. Rub the mixture into the meat on both sides.
- When the air roast is done, remove the pan with the potatoes and flip the potatoes. Divide the pan into 3rds, ⅓ for the potatoes, ⅓ for the veggies, and ⅓ for the chicken. Nestle a few sprigs of rosemary into the potatoes. Add the cut up vegetables next to the potatoes on the sheet pan and nestle a few sprigs of rosemary into the vegetables.
- Place the remaining onion slices, lemon slices and a few sprigs of rosemary on the empty third of the pan. Lay the chicken on top and place the remaining rosemary springs on top of the chicken breasts. Cover with lemon slices. Drizzle any remaining olive oil over the top of the sheet pan meal and sprinkle with any remaining salt and pepper. Bake at 325℉/160℃ for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken. 25 minutes is the average time it took during my testing.
- Remove the chicken when the internal temp is at least 160°F/71°C and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Spread the veggies out into a single layer and broil the veggies and the potatoes for 5-10 minutes or until desired browning is achieved.
- Serve & Enjoy
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.