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This Spanish chicken & chorizo tray bake is packed full of amazing flavours. Perfect for a weeknight meal, the oven does all the work and you only dirty the one tray! With flavourful chorizo, chicken thighs, potato, onion and capsicum, it's a complete meal.

When I first started thinking about doing The Aproneer, I knew I would need a chicken tray bake or two. They're so versatile - just throwing together a bunch of ingredients into a single tray and roasting it. Simple! I spent ages playing around with different cuisines and flavour combinations before landing on the two I wanted to write... this Spanish style tray bake, and a Greek style one.

I like to serve tray bakes with salad leaves, but you could just as easily steam or sauté some greens to go along with it.

What is a tray bake?

A tray bake (also known as a sheet pan) is a cooking method where a variety of ingredients, including vegetables, herbs, spices, and a protein, are assembled on a baking tray and then roasted or baked in the oven. During the cooking process, the oven takes care of all the heavy lifting, making it a convenient and efficient way to prepare a meal. The best part is, you've only got the one tray to clean up!

What you need to make this tray bake?

You need a large tray with sides to make this dish. If what you're using doesn't have high sides, keep an eye on it while it's cooking to make sure the liquid doesn't spill over.

Spanish style chicken & chorizo tray bake ingredients

  • Chicken thighs - ideally skin on and bone in.
  • Chorizo sausage is full of flavour; use whichever you prefer.
  • Cherry tomatoes - ideally use mixed colours. Don't use large tomatoes because they're too watery.
  • Capsicum/bell peppers - mixed colours where possible.
  • Roasting potato - use your favourite roasting potatoes.
  • Red onions
  • Olives use whichever variety you like
  • Juice of a lemon

For the rub

  • EVOO
  • Garlic cloves - always use fresh garlic, never from a tube!
  • Salt
  • Herbs and spices like oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper

How to make Spanish style tray bake

  1. To begin - preheat your oven to 180C. Add the chorizo, cherry tomato, capsicum, potato and onions to a large baking tray.

  2. Add the rub ingredients by adding the extra virgin olive oil, cumin powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and minced garlic on top of the vegetables.

  3. Add chicken and mix - add the chicken to the tray and mix everything well. Everything should be covered with the rub. Make sure the skin side of the chicken thighs are facing upwards.

  4. Bake - place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken and use tongs to turn the vegetables, taking care to not pop the cherry tomatoes. Place the chicken skin side up back on top of the vegetables and place back in the oven for a further 25 minutes.

  5. Serve - place two thighs on each plate and then squeeze the lemon over the vegetables. Give the vegetables a good stir and divide between the plates. Serve with some salad greens, such as rocket/arugula or spinach.

Tips

  • Using bone in, skin on chicken thighs will yield the best results.
  • Mixing the rub all over all the vegetables and chicken is key to getting the best flavour from the tray bake.
  • The wider the tray you use the better. The less crowded your vegetables are the better they will roast up.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, you can return the vegetables to the oven and char them up a bit if you'd like - make sure they don't burn though!

Using chicken breasts

If you'd prefer to use chicken breast, you can - just add them 30 minutes after you start to bake the vegetables. Keep an eye on them though because they will cook more quickly than the thighs and overcooked chicken breast is tough.

When is the chicken cooked?

Using chicken thighs are a lot more forgiving than breast - in fact, they get better when they are bought to a higher internal temperature than the breast.

Always use an instant read thermometer to determine doneness; you can't reliably do this visually or by feel. The thighs are food safe at 74C (165F) and I think they have the best texture when they hit at least 80C (175F). I usually aim for between 80-90C (175-195F).

If you use breast, pull them at 74C.

Plan ahead

Tray bakes are perfect to plan ahead; follow the recipe up to the point you're ready to bake it, then cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for a day or so - taking into account the chicken best before date. Cook it when it suits you!

What to serve with Spanish style chicken & chorizo tray bake

The tray bake is a complete meal in itself, but I do like to serve this with a few simple salad leaves and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Steam or sauté some greens to serve with the tray bake if you'd prefer!

Spanish style chicken & chorizo tray bake

Unrated
Prep Cook Total
10 mins 50 mins 60 mins
Serves 4
Perfect for a quick weeknight meal, this tray bake fuses bold Spanish flavours with versatile chicken thighs and comes together quickly and with the minimum of fuss.
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on around 1kg, see note 1
  • 200g chorizo, halved and sliced approx. 1 thick or 2 thin sausages
  • 250g cherry tomatoes ideally mixed colours, see note 2
  • 3 capsicum, sliced ideally mixed colours
  • 600g roasting potatoes, cut into wedges see note 3
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup olives use whichever olives you like
  • Juice of 1 lemon
For the rub
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper + more to taste, see note 4
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
Steps
  1. To begin - preheat your oven to 180C. Add the chorizo, cherry tomato, capsicum, potato and onions to a large baking tray.
  2. Add the rub ingredients by adding the extra virgin olive oil, cumin powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and minced garlic on top of the vegetables.
  3. Add chicken and mix - add the chicken to the tray and mix everything well. Everything should be covered with the rub. Make sure the skin side of the chicken thighs are facing upwards.
  4. Bake - place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken and use tongs to turn the vegetables, taking care to not pop the cherry tomatoes. Place the chicken skin side up back on top of the vegetables and place back in the oven for a further 25 minutes.
  5. Serve - place two thighs on each plate and then squeeze the lemon over the vegetables. Give the vegetables a good stir and divide between the plates. Serve with some salad greens, such as rocket/arugula or spinach.
Notes
  1. Chicken - getting chicken thighs that are bone in with skin on will yield a better result but you can make it with skinless and boneless thighs if you'd prefer. You can also use chicken breasts, but the breasts will dry out in the time it takes the vegetables to cook. Cook the vegetables for 30 minutes before adding the breasts.
  2. Tomatoes - using tomatoes will inevitably put water into the tray bake. This tastes great but it can stop the vegetables from otherwise browning up. You can leave them out if you'd prefer, or if you put them in towards the end they're less likely to split. Don't use larger tomatoes because they are too watery.
  3. Potatoes - use your favourite roasting variety. If it has a thick skin peel it, otherwise remove any eyes or funky bits and leave the skin on. Cut into thick wedges.
  4. Cayenne pepper - this adds a great bit of background chilli hum to the dish. Feel free to leave it out if you'd rather, or add more if you like it hot.
  5. Serving size - allow 2 bone in thighs per adult for average sized thighs. In my testing for this recipe, I averaged 1.1kg for 8 thighs.
  6. Reheating/make ahead - this reheats well because thighs are so forgiving. Simply return to the oven to reheat, making sure to hit a minimum temperature of 74C in the chicken. You can make ahead and store in the fridge until ready to cook - keeping in mind the date on the chicken - the flavours will improve as it marinates.

Hey, I'm Sam! Welcome to The Aproneer.

I created The Aproneer to share the recipes that my family and friends love to eat.

Here you'll find a mixture of tried and tested family favourites, great entertaining options and a variety of authentic international dishes.