Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Capers

This sheet pan dinner is a combination of juicy chicken thighs, capers, lemon, cherry tomatoes, and a generous shower of fresh basil. Everything is done at once and can be served straight from the sheet pan.

Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Capers
Sheet pan chicken thighs with tomatoes, potatoes, capers, and basil on a sheet pan.
Alison Bickel

I’m a sucker for a sheet pan supper. The idea that I can pile a bunch of ingredients onto a single baking sheet, pop it in the oven, and have dinner at the ready feels like a culinary magic trick. And when that dinner also happens to be both delicious and nourishing? That borders on the supernatural, too.

This sheet pan chicken checks all the boxes. This dinner is a combination of juicy chicken thighs, capers, lemon, cherry tomatoes, and a generous shower of fresh basil. Everything is done at once and can be served straight from the sheet pan (who needs to dirty a second dish) especially on a weeknight?

A Sheet Pan Supper is a Weeknight Win

The tomatoes roast alongside the chicken until the juices ooze and they begin to caramelize. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to assemble, so you won’t be in the kitchen long. While the chicken roasts, you can hang out on your front stoop with this easy-to-make Bees Knees Cocktail until the timer dings.

Overhead view of sheet pan chicken thighs with tomatoes, potatoes, capers, and basil on a sheet pan.
Alison Bickel

What Size Sheet Pan to Use

It might seem like a simple thing, but when it comes to sheet pan suppers, pan size is important. That’s because if your pan is too small, your ingredients will crowd and everything will cook unevenly and there won’t be any crispy bits (on the chicken or veg) that we all love so much.

It’s ideal to use a sheet pan that’s roughly 11 x 17 inches. That’s a standard jelly roll pan. If your baking sheets are small, consider dividing the ingredients between two pans instead. Lastly, I find food browns better when you use aluminum rather than a non-stick surface, particularly one that has darkened from years of hard work!

Swaps and Substitutions

One of the appealing aspects of this recipe is that it doesn’t have a ton of ingredients. It’s also very adaptable depending on what you happen to have on hand. Here are a handful of ideas for substitutions that might appeal to you:

  • Swap chopped cilantro, parsley, or dill for fresh basil
  • Use chicken legs in place of thighs (a kid favorite) or a combination of legs and thighs.
  • Toss in a thinly sliced red onion or several scallions cut into one-inch pieces with the potatoes.
  • Add a teaspoon of smoked paprika or red pepper flakes to the lemony dressing.
  • Leave out the basil and instead, nestle bitter greens such as kale or chicories amongst the vegetables for the last 10 minutes of roasting.
  • Add a handful of your favorite olives to the sheet pan.
A plate of lemon chicken thighs with potatoes, tomatoes, and capers served with corn.
Alison Bickel

Season the Chicken Ahead

If you have a bit of time, it’s ideal to season your bird a day or two before cooking. I typically salt and pepper the chicken and leave it uncovered in the fridge, making sure it’s not touching any other food.

The dry, chilled environment will help crisp the chicken skin and the salt will infuse the chicken with much needed flavor. If you don’t have time to pre-season, don’t fret. The chicken will still be plenty tasty.

Sheet Pan Supper Sides

This sheet pan supper will suffice as a complete meal, but you can also round it out with an extra vegetable if you like. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pull out a second sheet pan and pile it with practically any vegetable under the sun—broccoli, asparagus, leeks, cauliflower, zucchini, or carrots. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the veggies alongside the chicken until tender.
  • If you’re making this in the summer, steam, grill, or microwave several cobs of corn. If you have extra basil, chop it up and scatter it over the cooked buttered corn.
  • Assemble a simple salad, such as butter lettuce tossed with a tasty vinaigrette, a bright, fresh cucumber salad, or an arugula salad with a splash of balsamic and olive oil.
Sheet pan lemon chicken thighs with potatoes and veggies with a fork next to it on the pan.
Alison Bickel

More Satisfying Sheet Pan Suppers

Preheat the oven:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut the potatoes:

Slice the potatoes into 1/8 to 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

Sheet pan with thinly sliced potatoes to make sheet pan lemon chicken thighs with potatoes and veggies.
Alison Bickel

Assemble veggies on baking sheet:

Pile the potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and capers on a large baking sheet.

Overhead view of a sheet pan with potatoes and cherry tomatoes.
Alison Bickel

Make lemon dressing and coat veggies:

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice into a small bowl. Cut the remaining lemon half into several wedges and reserve for later.

In the small bowl with the lemon, whisk in the olive oil, cumin, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over the potatoes, tomatoes, and capers and use your hands to coat everything.

Spread out the potatoes, tomatoes, and capers into a single layer.

Making a lemon dressing for sheet pan lemon chicken thighs with potatoes and veggies
Alison Bickel

Season the chicken:

Season the chicken thighs on both sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Seasoned chicken thighs on a plate for sheet pan chicken with vegetables.
Alison Bickel

Add chicken thighs to baking sheet:

Nestle the chicken thighs amongst the potatoes, tomatoes, and capers spacing them evenly across the baking sheet. It’s ok if some of the potatoes are beneath the chicken.

Overhead view of a sheet pan with chicken, tomatoes, and potatoes ready to be cooked.
Alison Bickel

Roast the chicken and vegetables:

Roast for about 40 minutes, spooning or brushing the chicken with pan juices and stirring the potatoes about halfway through.

The sheet pan dinner is done when the potatoes are tender and starting to brown and the chicken is tender, the skin is crispy, and the meat registers 165°F with an instant-read thermometer.

Sheet pan chicken thighs with tomatoes, potatoes, capers, and basil on a pan.
Alison Bickel

Garnish, rest the chicken for 10 minutes, and serve:

Add the reserved lemon wedges to the baking sheet. Scatter the basil over everything. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and serve.