Apr 5, 2018

Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables with Carrot Top and Walnut Pesto

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
In this recipe a whole chicken is broken down and arranged on a sheet pan with an assortment of spring vegetables and lemon.

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This post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts.

In this recipe a whole chicken is broken down and arranged on a sheet pan with an assortment of spring vegetables and lemon. The chicken is then roasted until golden brown and crispy for an easy weeknight dinner. The best part about this dish is that it’s all made on one sheet pan, making for extremely easy cleanup. The chicken and vegetables are topped with a carrot top and walnut pesto, utilizing the entirety of the carrots and leaving minimal waste.

Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables with Carrot Top and Walnut Pesto

fresh spring vegetables cooking with cocktail rings diamond nuts of california

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Carrot tops – I feel good about this recipe because it makes the most of every part of the carrot. I always think the tops look so pretty at the grocery store or farmers market but hate throwing them away. This gives them another use in addition to roasting the carrots.
  • Walnuts – I use Diamond of California walnuts for the walnut pesto — the toasted walnuts add an earthiness to the sauce and the carrot tops have a subtle carrot taste as well.
  • Whole chicken – I love cooking a chicken whole because it’s significantly less expensive than buying multiple of one cut. There are so many opportunities to use the leftover meat from the chicken and it makes for an impressive entrée when hosting. Cooking a whole chicken allows guests to choose the type of meat they want.

How to Make Sheet Pan Roast Chicken with Carrot Top Pesto

For the sheet pan roast chicken and spring vegetables:

  1. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Break down the chicken. Remove backbone from chicken and discard. Break the chicken down into 10 parts by separating the wings, the thighs, the legs and the breasts (each halved).
  3. Add to a baking sheet. Arrange the chicken, carrots, potatoes, radishes, asparagus and lemon slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Slide your fingers under the skin of the chicken and push the butter under the skin. Drizzle the olive oil over and season the vegetables and chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast chicken and veggies. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes.

For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

  1. Toast the walnuts. Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the walnuts and toast until they are fragrant and just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Make the pesto. Add the walnuts, carrot tops, parsley, shallot, garlic and olive oil to a blender and pulse until combined. Remove to a small-mixing bowl and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and Pecorino Romano. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

For serving:

  1. Assemble and serve. Divide the vegetables and chicken among plates and top with carrot top walnut pesto.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Substitutions

  • While this recipe uses a whole chicken broken down boneless, skinless chicken breasts or skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs can also be used in this recipe.
  • Substitute the spring vegetables in this recipe for your favorite seasonal vegetables.

How to Make in a Cast Iron Pan

While I love making this as a one pan meal, if using just skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs it can easily be in a cast iron pan and the vegetables can be made separately in the oven. The bonus of making chicken in cast iron is extra crispy skin.

Season chicken and pat dry. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Place the chicken skin side down and sear until the chicken is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Bake the chicken at 400ºF (200ºC) until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper then bake until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this chicken recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

roast chicken and spring vegetables with carrot top and walnut pesto recipe from cooking with cocktail rings
roast chicken and spring vegetables with carrot top and walnut pesto recipe from cooking with cocktail rings on sheetpan

Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables with Carrot Top and Walnut Pesto

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the roast chicken and spring vegetables:

  • 1 (4½ -pound) whole chicken
  • 12 ounces baby carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound peewee potatoes
  • 1 bunch medium radishes, halved
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

  • ¼ cup diced walnuts
  • ½ packed cup carrot tops, roughly chopped
  • ½ packed cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ medium shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Kosher salt, as needed

Instructions:

For the sheet pan roast chicken and spring vegetables:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • Remove backbone from chicken and discard. Break the chicken down into 10 parts by separating the wings, the thighs, the legs and the breasts (each halved).
  • Arrange the chicken, carrots, potatoes, radishes, asparagus and lemon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Slide your fingers under the skin of the chicken and push the butter under the skin. Drizzle the olive oil over and season the vegetables and chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes.

For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

  • Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the walnuts and toast until they are fragrant and just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the walnuts, carrot tops, parsley, shallot, garlic and olive oil to a blender and pulse until combined. Remove to a small-mixing bowl and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and Pecorino Romano. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

For serving:

  • Divide the vegetables and chicken among plates and top with carrot top walnut pesto.

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This post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts. – all opinions expressed are my own. 

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