Chicken Tray Bake with Potatoes and Meyer Lemon-Olive Salsa - Danielle Walker

Although I’m not big into lemon desserts, I love the bright, citrusy burst lemons bring to the table in cooking! Lemon freshens up so many dishes with its acidity. And winter here in California means my Meyer Lemon tree is heavy with fruit and I better get to using the bounty! I’ve been making this gluten-free, paleo Chicken Tray Bake with Potatoes and Meyer Lemon-Olive Salsa on repeat. Think crispy chicken and roasted potatoes with brilliantly tangy salsa. It’s warm enough for winter, but also reminds me that spring is around the corner. And even though this dish sounds fancy, it all comes together easily and quickly — on just one sheet pan and in one bowl! 

image of roasted chicken thighs and potatoes on a sheet pan with lemon olive salsa on top.

Types of Lemons 

Meyer Lemons are slightly smaller and sweeter than a regular lemon — they’re thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin. They give a lovely flavor, without being too sour, and are great to use in both cooking and baking. But if you can’t find them, regular lemons work here too. Your salsa may just be a little bit more tart! 

image of roasted chicken thighs and potatoes on a sheet pan with lemon olive salsa on top.

Castelvetrano Olives 

These Sicilian olives are green, large and worth finding! They have a meaty bite and buttery quality to them. And in this recipe, they pair with the chicken and potatoes so well. Don’t chop the olives too fine. The salsa should have a more robust texture to it so that you’re getting small pieces of olive and herbs with every bite. If you have an olive bar at your grocery store, you can probably find them there. But jarred ones work too and are available on Amazon! 

Chicken Thigh Rub 

These bone-in chicken thighs get a rub made from a mix of two warming spice blends — cajun and tagine! The cajun marries paprika with cayenne and red pepper for some spice. And then the tagine combines the warmth of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. The mix of the two blends give the chicken a deep, smoky, rich flavor with a touch of heat.

If you have Healthy in a Hurry, you can make your own blends at home. It actually has recipes for ALL my seasoning blends. Or, you can pick up my bottled blends in the shop here and here.

You can sub chicken breasts or boneless thighs if you wish, but you’ll want to watch the cooking time, as boneless pieces can cook faster. 

Close up image of roasted chicken thighs and potatoes on a sheet pan with lemon olive salsa on top.

Lemon & Olive Salsa

While your Chicken Tray Bake roasts away in the oven, the salsa topping comes together in a snap. It has just three ingredients, plus some herbs (parsley, mint, and dill). It is fantastic paired with the crisp chicken and potatoes, but I also like to throw it in the food processor to make a spread for chicken or turkey sandwiches.

Enjoy eating 

Here are some more dinner ideas — take your pick between sheet pan or InstantPot, and chicken or fish!

Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

Lemon Herb Crusted Halibut with Roasted Tomato Zucchini Salsa 

Gluten-Free Chicken and Dumplings Soup 

Instant Pot Orange Sesame Chicken


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Chicken Tray Bake with Potatoes and Meyer Lemon-Olive Salsa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean



For the lemon-olive salsa

  • 1/2 cup Castelvetrano green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of one Meyer lemon (about 1 to 2 teaspoons)
  • Juice of one Meyer lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill 
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. 
  2. Lightly grease a half sheet pan  (18×13) with oil or line the pan with parchment paper. Place the chicken thighs in the center of the pan.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with the Cajun Seasoning blend and the Tagine Seasoning blend. Rub the mixture on the tops and bottoms of the chicken.
  4. Toss the potatoes in the remaining oil and salt. And scatter them around the chicken.
  5. Roast for 28 to 30 minutes, until the chicken reads 165F and the skin is crispy, and the potatoes are fork tender. Toss the potatoes and rotate the tray halfway through.
  6. While the chicken roasts, make the tapenade by stirring together the rough chopped olives, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, herbs, and salt.


*If you have a copy of Healthy in a Hurry, you can mix these seasonings up yourself! Or grab a convenient bottle of my specialty blends here.


Chicken Tray Bake with Potatoes and Meyer Lemon-Olive Salsa

image of chicken tray bake chicken thighs and roasted potatoes on a sheet tray with lemon olive salsa on top


  1. Allison Lambert says:

    Sounds delicious! I am not a fan of chicken thighs. Could I sub with chicken breast?

  2. Ruth says:


    I have your cookbooks–all but one— and am so appreciative of your generosity and good work.

    today I was delighted when I saw ‘Smokey Paleo chicken Recipe.’ And s’priced not to find it in the blog. ?Maybe I have it in a cookbook—- I just love getting info electronically these days.

    Is this recipe around?

    Wishing you moments of peace, joy and delight,
    and continuing good health,

  3. Barb says:

    Great recipe for variety. I will say bc I hadn’t used your tagine or cajun seasonings yet it took 2hrs to collect all the spices and make the recipes and then put it all away. Then zesting a lemon is time consuming too! But love the fresh flavor. I have started subbing fresh lemon oil instead in most recipes. And that’s all before I started the actual recipe!
    The rest went much faster. I love chicken legs hubs prefers breasts. I used legs worked well and I was happy. Next time it will be breasts and legs. It took about 10m longer. I used zucchini instead of potatoes. Next time I’ll cook in separate baker bc too much juice came out so chkn wasn’t crispy as hubs likes it. We loved the spices I adjusted a few spices in mixes less oregano and thyme. And I ran out of smoked paprika so used smoked salt and regular paprika.

    Trying to limit carbs right now.

    It was very good we enjoyed it very much.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Barb! Thanks so much for this review and feedback. I agree that if you already have the seasonings mixed, it greatly reduces the time spent on preparing this recipe – but now that they are made, you have them on hand to use anytime! I’m happy to read that you all enjoyed the recipe. Thank you for your support & happy cooking!

  4. Desiree says:

    I made this a couple nights ago and it was DELICIOUS!!!!!! And super easy!!! Definitely recommend everyone try it. I put only Cajun spice on the chicken and not the other spice because I didn’t save the web page and didn’t know what it was. Didn’t miss it though! I also went to a couple grocery stores and couldn’t find Meyer lemons anywhere so I just used a regular lemon. It was still delicious. I did double the salsa which I also recommend because it was so good that we put a lot on! It’s a quick easy weeknight meal and the fresh herbs and lemon make it light and refreshing tasting!

    • Danielle says:

      Thank you so much for this review, Desiree! This is one of my favorite weeknight meals & I’m thrilled you’re enjoying it as well!

  5. Marianne Kleminski says:

    Loved it.

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