Easy meals are just the thing for busy weeknights. This recipe for Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes roasts to perfection in just one pan. You’ll love the addition of a homemade dressing and a drizzle of honey that elevates this simple dish to something special.
We all have those nights when we don’t have the time or energy to make dinner, yet still want to put something healthy on the table. That’s when this one-pan meal really shines. It’s perfect for hectic days since it has minimal prep time and only a few ingredients and it’s one the whole family will love.
Even though baked chicken and sweet potatoes is a breeze to make, it’s anything but boring. Sweet potatoes are diced and tossed with a fresh cilantro-garlic-lime dressing that adds a bright burst of flavor.
Chili powder, oregano and cumin get sprinkled onto bone-in chicken breasts that are roasted until the skin is crispy. After they come out of the oven they’re brushed with honey for a sweet-spicy flavor.
Better yet, this chicken and sweet potato recipe is one of those healthy recipes that still tastes amazing. You’ll get protein and vitamin B12 from the chicken, while sweet potatoes are high in fiber and vitamins A and C. Everything is cooked with olive oil, which is high in healthy fats and antioxidants.
Sheet pan dinners are perfect for those nights, and while this recipe for chicken and sweet potatoes is an easy one to throw together, the flavors are phenomenal.
This sweet potato recipe is a little spicy, but not from red pepper flakes, it’s the chili powder that makes it spicy. You can reduce the heat by using less or just rubbing it on the chicken and not sprinkling it over the potatoes.
Why you’ll love it
- Quick prep time means dinner is on the table in under an hour.
- Herbs and seasonings pack lots of flavor.
- Make everything in one pan for easy clean-up.
- This dish is healthy and filling.
- The honey glaze makes the tender chicken even better.
- This is a spicy chicken dish, but you can tone down the spice if needed.
Wondering what goes with this easy sheet pan dinner?
If you have a little extra time and want to add in a side dish or two, here are some good options:
If I serve chicken and sweet potatoes in the fall, I like to add Cranberry Sauce on the side.
What you’ll need
Sweet potatoes – chopped into bite-size pieces, no need to peel them.
Chicken breasts – use bone-in with the skin on for the best flavor. You could use skinless chicken breasts but you won’t have the crispy topping. The skin also helps keeps the chicken juicy.
Olive oil – It has a high enough smoke point for roasting and it adds a fresh taste to the salad dressing.
Dried herbs and spices – chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper, if you don’t want it spicy, cut back on the chili powder.
Honey – for brushing over the cooked chicken.
Cilantro – if cilantro isn’t your favorite you can use parsley instead.
Garlic – fresh garlic is needed to give the dressing a burst of flavor, garlic powder will not add that fresh vibrant taste.
Limes – you’ll use the zest and juice. If you don’t have limes, substitute lemon juice and zest.
Buttermilk – soaking the chicken in buttermilk will give you tender chicken breasts. roasting the chicken with the skin on will give you tender juicy chicken but a little buttermilk will make it even better. This is optional but worth it if you can remember.
Pro Tip: You can substitute chicken thighs, or drumsticks, just adjust the baking time accordingly, as smaller cuts of meat will take less time to cook.
How to make sheet pan chicken and potatoes
You’ll need a hot oven, so preheat it to 475°. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by spraying with cooking oil or covering with foil.
Chop the sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces. Place them in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Then place them evenly in a single layer across the baking sheet.
Mix the seasonings in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts on top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the chicken and potatoes with the spice mix.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 160°. If you don’t want the chicken skin to be dark, you can cover the chicken with foil about halfway through baking.
Remove the chicken to a platter and brush with honey.
For the dressing, place the cilantro, olive oil, garlic, lime zest, juice, salt and pepper in a jar with a lid. Shake to combine. Or you can put the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk everything together. Pour it over the tender sweet potatoes.
By cooking the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes, the chicken juices soak into the potatoes as they cook which gives them a great flavor. This easy dinner is one of our favorites, I love having an easy recipe that my entire family asks for over an over again. The fact that it’s a healthy dinner recipe is even better.
If you want more mild flavors, you could try using Italian seasoning instead or try a ranch sheet pan dinner.
What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?
Despite their similarities, yams and sweet potatoes come from two different backgrounds. Sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family and come from South or Central America. They have orange-colored skin with bright orange or pale yellow flesh. Sweet potatoes are sold year-round and are usually prepared by baking, mashing or frying.
Yams come from the lily family and are popular in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. They have brown skin like tree bark and off-white, purple or red flesh. They are usually boiled, roasted or fried.
Things get confusing because in many grocery stores sweet potatoes are labeled as yams. This happens because in the 1930s Louisiana sweet potato growers began calling their produce “yams” as a marketing tactic to make them stand out from other states. The name stuck, and continues to confuse us today!
FAQs and tips
You won’t need to boil the sweet potatoes at all. Since they are cut into bite-sized pieces, they will only take about 30 minutes to bake in the oven.
Yes. The great thing about this recipe is that everything bakes in one pan, which makes for quick and easy clean-up!
I love how versatile sweet potatoes are and they go well with so many things. Here are a few ideas:
Seasonings: chili pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, coconut, ginger, rosemary, thyme, parsley and cilantro
Produce: onions, garlic, lemons, limes, oranges, carrots, pineapple and apples
Sweet: maple syrup, brown sugar, honey and cream
Savory: chorizo sausage, bacon, ham, pecans and walnuts
You can easily freeze any leftovers. To rewarm, place in a 350º oven and let it warm for 10 to 15 minutes.
Still craving sweet potatoes?
Fruity, cheesy Crostini is a fun party appetizer.
This sweet and spicy Chili comes together in 30 minutes.
Apple Cobbler with Sweet Potato Biscuits is perfect for a crowd.
Other popular chicken recipes
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Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk optional
- 4-6 chicken breasts bone in with skin,
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper
- Place chicken breasts in a ziplock and cover with buttermilk overnight or at least 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. (This step is optional)
- Preheat oven to 475º. Spray a rimmed baking sheet or cover with foil.
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bit size chunks and place in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt, toss and place on rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, oregano, cumin, a teaspoon of pepper and a teaspoon of salt. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place on top of sweet potatoes skin side up. Sprinkle chicken and sweet potatoes with seasoning.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 160º. You can cover the chicken about half way through to keep it from getting too brown. Remove to a platter and brush the chicken with warmed honey.
- 5.Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl and pour over sweet potatoes.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- To make it less spicy, reduce the chili powder or just sprinkle it on the chicken.
- If the skin is getting too dark, cover it with aluminum foil half way through.
- For juicier chicken, soak it in buttermilk overnight.