Sheet Pan Peruvian Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
with cilantro sauce / cucumber spears
Flavorful marinated chicken and sliced sweet potatoes cook together on a sheet pan for this simple, low-fuss meal to start off the week. We last featured this meal in 2020.
Smarts: The cilantro sauce works best as a topping, so drizzle it over everything right before serving. If you want a creamier sauce for dipping, try whisking in some paleo-friendly mayonnaise.
- Sweet potatoes - 1 1/2 lbs , halved lengthwise and then sliced
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Cumin, ground - 2 tsp
- Paprika - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 1/2 lbs
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Cucumbers - 12 oz , sliced into spears (preferably a seedless variety like English cucumbers)
- Cilantro leaves - 1 cup
- Jalapenos (opt) - 1 , chopped, seeds and pith removed if you'd like it to be less spicy
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sweet potatoes / Garlic (portion for chicken) - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make cilantro sauce - (Double if making Wednesday's meal.) Combine cilantro leaves, jalapenos, olive oil (portion for sauce), lemon juice (portion for sauce), garlic (portion for sauce), and salt (portion for sauce). Blend with an immersion blender or standing blender until nearly smooth. Taste and season with some additional salt, if needed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make chicken seasoning - Combine garlic (portion for chicken), cumin, paprika, salt (portion for chicken), dried oregano, black pepper, olive oil (portion for chicken), and lemon juice (portion for chicken). This should form a thick paste. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Prepare chicken - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating while preparing chicken.) Tenderize chicken with a fork. Rub seasoning mixture on both sides of chicken thighs. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Cucumbers - Slice into spears.
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Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
Toss sweet potatoes with first portion of cooking oil. Season with some salt and pepper.
Spread sweet potatoes out on a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes to get them started cooking.
Next, heat a skillet with second portion of cooking oil over medium heat. Add chicken thighs and sear on both sides just until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Remove pan with sweet potatoes and flip them with a spatula. Add chicken thighs to sheet pan and return both to the oven.
Continue roasting chicken and sweet potatoes together until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. (Chicken is done when it reaches 165F / 74C.)
Give cilantro sauce a stir. (If doubled, reserve half for Wednesday.)
Sprinkle some salt over cucumber spears.
Just before serving, drizzle cilantro sauce over chicken and sweet potatoes. Serve with cucumber spears for some fresh crunch. Enjoy!