This maple glazed chicken and sweet potatoes recipe is super easy to throw together on a busy weeknight!
Recently I discovered the simplicity of sheet pan dinners. Right now I am all about easy, healthy dinners for my family. With multiple activities going on for my older kids most nights a week, trying to squeeze in time to make dinner has definitely been a challenge.
Yet it is a challenge that I am meeting head on, since one of my passions is creating healthy, real food dinners for my family. It is also extremely important to me that we sit down as a family to eat together most nights. Even if that means we don’t eat dinner until sometime between 7-8pm. I’d rather eat late and have us all together than eating at two or three different times. Luckily we are able to make this happen the majority of the time right now.
One trick to this recipe is remembering to toss the chicken in marinade the night before. I’ve tried marinating it the morning of or the day of, which you can do, but I’ve found it just isn’t as flavorful. The beauty of marinating it the night before is that you don’t really have to do much to it the next day!
The night before, whisk together the marinade for the maple glazed chicken. All you need is maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and salt and pepper.
Set the marinade aside and slice three boneless skinless chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you’ll now have six. The chicken breasts I buy are usually pretty big, so this number works for us. Salt and pepper both sides of each chicken breast to your liking, then add the chicken to a gallon sized zip lock bag.
Reserve 5-6 tablespoons of the marinade and save for cooking. Pour the remainder of the marinade in the zip lock bag over the chicken. Seal and give the bag a good shake to coat all of the chicken breasts. Set on a plate in the refrigerator and forget about until the next morning!
The only other thing I do to the chicken is swish it around in the the bag/marinade a couple times the next day prior to cooking. This way I can make sure the marinade is distributed more evenly over the chicken. Easier to do if you are home during the day, but if you are not, a swish in the morning and one when you get home should be fine.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a 21×15 rimmed sheet pan into the oven while heating. There are a few reasons I like to preheat my baking sheet when roasting veggies in the oven:
- Even browning – The surface of the pan gets good and hot so the food sizzles and starts to brown quickly.
- Less sticking
- Shorter cooking time
Scrub and dry 2 large sweet potatoes. Which in my grocery store are labeled as garnet or jewel yams, but apparently aren’t really yams. If you’d like to clear up any confusion about this little tidbit, you can read more about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes here. I cut my sweet potatoes into bite size chunks, trying to get them all as even as I can. I also keep the skin on as a personal preference. Throw the sweet potato chunks into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Honestly, I don’t really measure during this step. I just make sure that all of the pieces are lightly coated with oil, and then season with salt and pepper to our liking. With the olive oil, you want enough to coat the veggies, but not so much that it is pooling in the bottom of the bowl. If you really want to measure, start out with 2-3T of olive oil and add more if necessary.
Baking Maple Glazed Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
By now your oven should be heated up, so you can pull out the sheet pan and evenly distribute the sweet potato pieces in a single layer around the perimeter of the pan. Leave space in the middle for the chicken. Pull the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and place the six pieces on the open space of your baking sheet. Take a tablespoon or two of the reserved glaze and spoon or brush over the chicken prior to popping the baking sheet in the oven.
Rotate the pan halfway through baking and gently toss the sweet potatoes to ensure they are not sticking. Spoon the remainder of the maple/balsamic glaze over the chicken and continue baking.
Usually it takes 20-25 minutes for the chicken to cook in my oven. As ovens tend to run differently, make sure to check your chicken so it cooks completely through or doesn’t overcook.
If you are looking for more simple weeknight dinners, take a look at a few of my other quick family friendly meals:
Healthy meals can be quick and easy my friends! What are some of your favorite healthy and simple weeknight meals?
Save on time but not on flavor with this delicious, healthy, and simple sheet pan maple chicken and sweet potatoes dinner.
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut lengthwise into 6 total pieces
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and dried thyme. Reserve 5-6T of the marinade, cover, and place in the refrigerator.
Slice boneless skinless chicken breasts in half lengthwise, creating 6 pieces of chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Place chicken breasts in a gallon sized zip lock bag and pour the remainder of the marinade into the bag with the chicken. Swish the chicken around in the bag until all pieces are evenly coated. Place the bag on a plate and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning give the bag of chicken a good swish to redistribute the marinade. Repeat one or two more times during the day if time allows.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a 21x15 empty baking sheet into the oven while it is pre-heating.
Meanwhile, scrub and dry sweet potatoes. Chop into small, even chunks. Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add just enough olive oil so pieces are lightly coated, but not dripping with oil.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and evenly distribute the sweet potatoes around the perimeter of the pan, leaving space in the middle for the chicken. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and place pieces in the center of the baking sheet. Discard used marinade.
Spoon or brush half of the 5-6T of reserved marinade over the chicken. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
Halfway through baking, remove the pan and give the sweet potatoes a gentle toss to ensure even roasting. Add the remainder of the reserved marinade to the chicken and finish baking until chicken is cooked completely through.