Sheet Pan Dinners Make Weeknight Meals a Snap

When you are at a loss about what to make for your weeknight meal, throwing a few ingredients on a cookie sheet takes the stress away. With so many possible combinations, you are guaranteed a healthy, flavorful meal.

Recently I made a roasted chicken sheet pan dinner with spicy cauliflower florets that went over really well with my family. Since we are currently on a ketogenic diet, we try to make sure our meals are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Roasted chicken is always a safe bet, but there are nights when I don’t want to spend an hour or more waiting for the clucker to cook.

The solution: butterflied chicken!


Once the chicken was butterflied, the whole thing took only 35 min to roast at 400ºf. Then, to keep it keto, I slathered it with a combination of bacon fat, herbs and spices. The whole thing turned out beautifully crispy and super tasty. The cauliflower wasn’t too bad, either.

Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower                             Serves 4-6

1 whole organic chicken, butterflied

1/2 cup cold bacon fat or butter

1 tsp lemon juice

A selection of your favorite herbs and spices

1 head of cauliflower cut into large florets

2-3 tbsp avocado or refined coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

4 cloves of garlic, diced

1 tbsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

salt and pepper

To Prepare the Chicken:

Preheat the oven to 400º f and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I generally prefer my reusable silicone baking mats.

Clean and butterfly your whole chicken and save the neck, back, and liver for later cooking projects like stocks and more. If you need directions for how to butterfly a chicken, wikihow has a good step-by-step.

Place the chicken on a large cutting board and set aside.

Mix the cold bacon fat (or butter), lemon juice, herbs and spices together in a small bowl. I used a combination of chopped parsley, fresh rosemary, thyme, paprika, turmeric, onion powder, and garlic. This spice and fat blend should be a nice paste.

With your finger tips, gently lift the breast skin slightly, creating an opening between the breast meat and the skin. Then, rub some of the bacon fat mixture under the skin. This will flavor the meat and give the skin an extra crispiness. Coat the rest of the chicken with the mixture–both sides and then place on the cookie sheet.

Salt and pepper the whole thing.

To Prepare the Cauliflower:

Cut the head of cauliflower into large florets and put them in a mixing bowl. Coat them evenly with oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and toss so each floret is coated.

Surround the chicken with the cauliflower florets and put the whole thing in the preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the chicken reads 165° F. If you choose, you can turn the cauliflower halfway through, but I’m usually too lazy to do that!



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