Smoky Spiced Lemon Chicken Leg Quarters are an affordable, flavorful sheet pan dinner. Requires little hands-on time for an easy weeknight dinner. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of all other top 8 most common food allergens.
Hey friends! Ask and ye shall receive! Y'all wanted more sheet pan dinners and really, I'm just here to help. 🙂
Last week it was those sheet pan Adobo Lime Portobello Tacos - so good. Today's Smoky Spiced Lemon Chicken Leg Quarters channels the same vibe of being packed with flavor!
Smoky Spiced Lemon Chicken - honestly, I had a hard time settling on a name for this dinner because there are so many different flavors that just meld wonderfully together. There's the bright freshness of lemon juice and zest (zest is key - it packs so much flavor!). But then you get subtle spiced flavors (but not too spicy!) from chili powder and cumin, topped off with a slight smoky spice from the smoked paprika.
All these flavors not only pair well with the roasted chicken leg quarters, but also with the veggies I made alongside: sweet potatoes and cauliflower. They're both sturdier vegetables, and hold up well to longer cooking temps and times. The cauliflower pieces get some crispy edges which add an amazing crunch.
Then the sweet potato. OMG the sweet potato. With the sauce drizzled over the whole sheet pan, plus the juices from the chicken...it creates these amazing, melt-in-your-mouth sweet potato bites. They almost get a slightly spiced and caramelized flavor. So good!!
And before we get to the Smoky Spiced Lemon Chicken Leg Quarters recipe, I wanted to touch on the chicken for a sec. I know I'm going to get asked about subs, so yes - you totally can substitute chicken breast, chicken thighs, pork chops, etc. You likely could even do tofu or tempeh! The only thing is that with any of these other options, especially if they are not bone-in, they will likely take less cooking time and you'll need to keep an eye on it!
I chose chicken leg quarters because honestly? I have about 30 lbs in my deep freezer from when I got it on an insane sale for about 44 cents per lb. I KNOW!! In general, though, chicken leg quarters tend to be a more affordable piece of chicken. Given that it's dark meat, and that it's cooked with bone in, the meat retains a lot of juiciness.
Let me know if you try this super tasty Smoky Spiced Lemon Chicken Leg Quarters sheet pan dinner! It's a pretty simple meal, cooked all on one pan and packed with flavor! Tell me what you think! I can always be reached at email (lindsey@ nutritiontofit.com), on Instagram (tag your pics with @nutritiontofit, #nutritiontofit), and the NTF Facebook page! Enjoy!!
Smoky Spiced Lemon Chicken Leg Quarters
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 2 sweet potatoes (medium-sized, chopped; will yield about 4 cups)
- 1 cauliflower (1 small head, chopped; will yield about 4 cups)
For the Smoky Spiced Lemon Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil (or other high-heat oil)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon sliced
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place chicken leg quarters on the sheet pan, then place the cauliflower and sweet potatoes around it.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, oil, and spices. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Place the lemon slices on top of the chicken leg quarters.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees and when pierced, the juices run clear.
- Serve warm.
- Any leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight covered container for up to 3 days.