Chicken with Kale & Pistachio Pesto

Eat your 5-a-day in one meal with this delicious chicken traybake. If you’re vegetarian, simply leave out the meat and use veggie Parmesan in the pesto.


500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into thin slices (keep the seeds if you like and toast them on a separate tray to scatter over the finished dish)
200g shallots, peeled and halved
300g leeks, use baby leeks or cut large ones into lengths and halve them
300g carrots, use baby ones or cut them into long batons
400g fennel, cut into long wedges
1 garlic bulb, halved through the middle
3-4 large or 6-8 small chicken thighs (depending on whether you’re serving 3 or 4), skin patted dry

For the pesto
200g chopped kale, woody stalks removed
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp pistachio kernels
2 tbsp grated parmesan
½ lemon, juiced
60ml olive oil


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put all the veg for the bake except the garlic in a large bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil, then carefully turn everything over with your hands so the oil adds a very thin coating. Lightly oil the tray as well if you are worried about things sticking.
  2. Arrange the veg in piles on the tray, or scatter it all over if you prefer. Add the garlic halves and the chicken, sitting the chicken on top of the veg. Season well and bake for 40 mins then, if the chicken skin is still pale, either turn the oven up or turn it onto the grill setting, and cook or grill until it is nicely browned.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Whizz the kale, garlic and pistachios until everything is finely chopped. Add the Parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil and whizz again. Any left over will keep in a jar for up to three days in the fridge. Serve the chicken and veg with the pesto spooned over.

Recipe from

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