Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon is gluten free and dairy free chicken recipe. Chicken breasts are marinated in the most delicious balsamic sauce that is infused with flavors from thyme, lemon, garlic and paprika!
Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon are cooked for 30 minutes in the oven with all the ingredients being tossed onto one baking sheet. Once this amazing dish goes into the oven – it fills your kitchen with the most incredible aromas!
Perfect sheet pan chicken dinner for busy weeknights and busy weekends too!
Ingredients and Equipment to make Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts
- You will need 1.5 pound of chicken breasts, 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, 1 apple and 5 Bacon strips.
- Relatively large baking sheet, such as this one with rolled edges and stainless steel oven safe cooling rack. It’s large, but not too heavy. The rack that it comes with is really useful – you can use it to roast a whole chicken or duck too!
What kind of chicken breast works best
Make sure you get thick chicken breasts. This is VERY IMPORTANT. If you use thin chicken breasts, it WILL turn out too dry – in that case reduce cooking time.
If your chicken breasts are thin, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to not cut it in quarters it at all – cook thin chicken breasts whole to avoid over-drying.
Nowadays we have so much choice in everything and chicken is no exception. Chicken with no added liquids work best – some chickens out there are sold infused with the chicken broth – all that liquid will get released onto the pan when cooking and we don’t want that to happen.
Use Air-chilled chicken breasts for best results
That’s the kind I used in this recipe. The reason for using air-chilled chicken breasts is to avoid liquids that come with conventional chicken breasts that are always water chilled. Air chilled chickens are not processed through water chilling and will have no added liquids. I switched to air chilled chickens a couple of years ago and notice their availability more and more in the supermarkets.
Until the switch, I didn’t realize that here in America, U.S. poultry industry uses antimicrobial baths that can include chlorine to keep salmonella and other bacteria in check. In Europe, chlorine treatment was banned in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer. Air-chilling chickens has been in use in Europe for decades and we are seeing this trend emerging here too.
How to prepare chicken breasts
Quarter your THICK chicken breasts by cutting each breast into 4 pieces and place the pieces them into a bowl or container with marinade. Marinate for 10-15 minutes while cutting up the veggies.
How to make Balsamic Marinade for Chicken breasts
You will need a medium bowl or container to prepare the balsamic sauce. Blend ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped from the stem and juice of ½ fresh lemon.
Blend with a whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
How long to marinate balsamic chicken
I marinated the chicken breasts only for 5-10 minutes while cutting up Brussels sprouts and apples. You can marinate longer and even prepare them ahead of time by marinating the chicken breasts overnight.
Use fresh thyme for this sheet pan chicken breasts
I used fresh thyme here, which needs to be stripped from the stem before mixing it with chicken or veggies. You can also place whole thyme sprigs on sheet pan chicken breasts to give it a bit of thyme flavor.
What kind of apples to use
Make sure to use the right kind of apples here – those that hold their shape very well when cooking. Look through the comments and you will see that some readers had disappointing results when using wrong kinds of apples. I recommend the following apple choices:
Gala, Granny Smith, Michigan Russet, Golden Delicious, Baldwin, Cortland, and Idareds.
Do not use Red Delicious or Fuji – baking these will result into a mushy, overly-sweet mess.
Another important thing to remember is that apple needs to be cut up in thick slices. Apple slices will cook much faster than other elements of sheet pan chicken breasts and you want them to be sizeable to get a good texture and not fall apart in the oven.
How to prepare veggies
It’s time to preheat oven at 375 F and start veggie prep.
Cut up 1 pound of Brussels sprouts (I quartered bigger ones and halved smaller ones). Peel and core an apple and cut it up in thick slices.
Place Brussels Sprouts and apple slices in a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped from the stem and mix everything well – you want the veggies to be covered in olive oil.
Place “olive oily” Brussels sprouts and apples on the baking sheet. Add marinated chicken and chopped bacon in between the veggies.
Brush any remaining marinade over sheet pan chicken breasts, sprouts, apples and bacon. It will look like A LOT of stuff on the sheet pan, but I promise it will all shrink (especially the apples), while baking.
Bake Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon for 25-30 minutes at 375 F (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through.
Wait, one more thing. Broil the sheet pan chicken breasts at the end of baking time to get a few caramelized edges and brown up the exterior of the chicken. This can add flavor, but is not necessary!
More delicious chicken breast recipes:
- Low Sodium Asian Style Lettuce Chicken Wraps
- Easy Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry
- Chicken and Quinoa Skillet with Garlic and Mushrooms
More delicious Brussels sprouts recipes:
Sheet Pan Chicken with Brussels Sprouts, Apples and Bacon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 lemon (squeezed)
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (stripped from the stem)
For the pan:
- 1.5 lb thick chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
- 1 lb brussels sprouts (halved and quartered)
- 1 Granny Smith apple (peeled, cored and THICKLY sliced)
- 2 tbsp olive oil for the veggies
- two sprigs of fresh thyme (stripped from the stem)
- 5 bacon strips (chopped)
- Preheat oven at 375 F.
- BALSAMIC MARINADE: You will need a medium bowl or container to prepare the balsamic sauce. Blend balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, paprika, garlic, crushed, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped from the stem and juice of ½ fresh lemon. Blend with a whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place into a bowl or container.
- CHICKEN: Quarter your THICK chicken breasts by cutting each breast into 4 pieces and place them into a bowl or container with marinade. Set aside and marinade for at least 5 minutes.
- Halve or quarter Brussels sprouts (I quartered bigger ones and halved smaller ones). Peel and core an apple and cut it up THICKLY. Apple slices will cook much faster than other elements of this dish and you want them to be sizable to get a good texture.
- Add Brussels Sprouts and apples to the 11x17 baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme.
- Add chicken in between the veggies. Brush any remaining marinade over sprouts and apples.
- Add chopped bacon to the baking sheet.
- Bake everything for 25-30 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through.
- Optional: Broil on high for 2 to 5 extra minutes to get everything extra crispy.