Sheet pan meals don’t usually catch my attention, but when I saw this Sheet-Pan Chicken with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Parmesan on food52 I knew I had to try it. After making it a couple times and adding a few tweaks and changes, this has become one of my favorite dinners. I love the perfectly timed and yet straightforward approach that combines the best strategies and methods to make a sheet pan chicken that is speedy, crispy and has great flavors.
This is not exactly just putting it all in the oven and go do whatever you need to do kind of dinner, but it requires minimal effort. The recipe is very versatile and forgiving, but following all the tips and tricks will get you super crispy chickpeas and chicken, and perfectly cooked broccoli.
So here are some important tips:
- Add baking powder for better browning (such a great tip!): dry the chicken well (I like using chicken wings but the original calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs) and rub a mixture of baking powder, salt, and other seasonings all over the chicken to promote browning and crispier skin. Baking powder raises the chicken’s pH level so the proteins break down more efficiently, leading to better browning (via Serious Eats).
- Sear the chicken in the oven: place an empty sheet pan in the oven while it heats to 500° F. Start the chicken skin-side down on the hot sheet pan (it’ll sizzle and start to sear when it hits the pan), then lower the heat to 425° F. Wait about 15 minutes before flipping the chicken, or until the fat from the skin has rendered (via Simply Recipes Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes).
- Add big, bold flavors. Add diced preserved lemon peel to the pan drippings to up the boldness, brightness, and complexity of the whole dish (via Canal House’s Chicken Thighs with Lemon). This is a very interesting addition but not crucial, I usually skip it entirely and instead I like adding a generous squeeze of lemon before serving. It tastes amazing and it’s one less step to worry about!
- Stagger entry of ingredients. Nestle the broccoli and chickpeas (I’ve never tried the sun-dried tomatoes version, but the addition of an acidic element sounds amazing. Cherry tomatoes would also work great here, but again, I just skip it entirely and just stick with broccoli and chickpeas – lots of protein and fiber!) amongst the chicken thighs after they’ve been flipped. For best results, cut the broccoli into really small pieces to create more surface area for browning and ensure a quick roast (via Melissa Clark and many others).
- Boost browning (again!). Sprinkle parmesan over the entire dish for its final roasting time to enhance browning and flavor (via Diana Henry’s One Pot Parmesan Roast Chicken and Cauliflower).
- Crisp vegetables while the chicken rests. Spread the broccoli and chickpeas evenly across the sheet pan (tossing them a few times in the pan drippings) and return them to the oven for a few extra minutes; they’ll get browner, crispier, and more delicious.
The smoking hot sheet pan is truly a genius move – the reason why this is such a speedy, crispy dish. The high heat not only benefits the chicken but the broccoli and chickpeas. Setting a timer is a good idea when making this dinner—the first time to remind yourself to flip the chicken, and the second time to check its doneness—so there are no surprises, or burnt dinner!
It usually takes less than 45 minutes to make, and even though it takes a little bit of effort, it’s the attention to detail and all those great tricks that make this Sheet-Pan Chicken with Broccoli Chickpeas and Parmesan such a great weeknight dinner.
Sheet-Pan Chicken with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Parmesan
For chicken and Spice Rub:
- 6 chicken wings
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large broccoli head, cut into small florets
- 1 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- lemon wedges, to serve
For Chickpeas and Broccoli:
- Heat oven to 500° F. Place empty sheet pan in the oven while it heats (no parchment or oil needed, but I like using aluminum foil – easy cleanup!).
- Dry chicken well with paper towels. Mix together salt, black pepper, baking powder, paprika, coriander and cumin in a small bowl. Season chicken wings evenly with the spice rub (on both sides and under the skin). Let it rest uncovered at room temperature while the oven heats up. Drizzle olive oil evenly across the skin.
- Carefully transfer the chicken wings, skin-side down, to the preheated sheet pan. You’ll hear the chicken sizzle as it hits the pan. Immediately lower heat to 425° F and continue roasting for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss broccoli and chickpeas with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tbsp olive oil until evenly coated.
- Remove the pan from the oven after 15 minutes. Flip the chicken so it’s skin-side up (the skin should be starting to crisp and brown in spots). Add broccoli and chickpea mixture, distributing it as evenly as possible amongst the chicken wings (it’ll be a full pan but everything should fit). Continue roasting for another 10 minutes.
- Scatter the parmesan evenly over the dish, and check the chicken for doneness (target temperature is 165° F in the thickest parts). Continue roasting for another 5 to 10 minutes, if needed, or until the chicken is done.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. If the broccoli is not yet tender, remove the chicken to a plate and return the sheet pan to the oven while the chicken rests, stirring the broccoli and chickpeas well. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve warm with lemon wedges on the side (if using).
If you make this Sheet-Pan Chicken with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Parmesan dish please be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to every comment. And don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photos!