Smothered chicken in a sticky and zesty sauce for a quick and easy chicken tray bake that the whole family will love. No fuss, but full of flavour, this Sticky Chicken Tray Bake couldn't be easier, as it's all done in one pan with a simple marinade that you probably already have all the ingredients for. Sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, lime and a raid of the spice raid and you have yourself an incredible marinade that creates the BEST sauce.
It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare this dish, and just 30 minutes in the oven and you have yourself a pan of juicy chicken with the most epic marinade that makes an almost gravy like sauce to coat the noodles. It's sweet, salty, zesty, it really has it all. Load the pan with noodles and crunchy toppings and serve it up on the table in the pan.
Why you will love it
- The best marinade and sauce - This has SO much flavour, but it is so easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients for the marinade.
- Cooked in just 30 minutes - A really quick and easy meal, but also super impressive.
- Budget friendly - Using chicken thighs makes this a budget friendly dish.
- Easy to adapt - Feel free to adapt it with whatever vegetables you have, making it even more budget friendly.
- Chicken thighs - These give the best flavour. We used skin on and bone in thighs as they are really juicy. We wouldn't recommend using chicken bread.
- Broccoli - An easy way to add some greens. We like using tenderstem broccoli, however any broccoli will work.
- Pak choi - This is a great vegetable to add to Asian dishes and it has lots of crunch.
- Sesame oil - This adds an incredible flavour to the sauce. You could use olive oil if you don't have it, but we would recommend getting some.
- Soy sauce - You can use reduced salt soy sauce if you prefer.
- Honey - The balance of the sweet and saltiness in this is really nice. You can swap the honey for maple syrup if you prefer.
- Lime - This really lightens it all up. Use juice and zest if you want a really limey flavour.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best. Make sure it is crushed almost into a paste to ensure even distribution in the sauce.
- Ginger - Did you know that you can freeze fresh garlic and grate it straight from frozen.
- Chinese 5 spice - This is where a lot of the flavour comes from. Make sure that your jars of spices have not been open for more than 6 months because they will loose some of their flavour.
How to make Sticky Chicken - Step by step
One: Mix all the marinade ingredients together.
Two: Put the chicken in a large bowl and cover with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Put the marinated chicken on a baking sheet and add the pak choi (bok choy) halves and tenderstem broccoli. Pour the marinade from the bowl over everything.
Four: Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Baste halfway through.
Five: Add the cooked noodles to the tray and top with sliced spring onions (scallions), red chillies and sesame seeds.
Some kind of greens is a must in this dish I think - it really balances out the strong flavours of the marinade. We used pak choi (bok choy) and tenderstem broccoli, as they add lots of crunch, but you could add shredded spring greens instead.
If you wanted to add even more veggies, they diced mushrooms, courgette and aubergine work well. You want to go with soft, quick cooking veg, as the beauty of this dish is how quick is cooks.
What to serve with this chicken tray bake
We served ours with noodles, as chicken and noodles is such an amazing combination. However, you could also serve it with rice (which can be added to the pan just like the noodles), mashed potatoes or couscous (giant/Israeli couscous works well here). Equally, just serve it up with loads of crusty bread, which is great for dipping in the sauce.
If you are looking for some rice recipes to try, then why not try one of these:
Store: This chicken dish will keep in the fridge for 2 days. Just make sure that it has cooled fully and then store in an air tight container.
Freeze: If you want to freeze this, then we recommend shredding the chicken and mixing it with the noodles and vegetables. Put in freezer containers and then it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: To reheat it, I would shred the chicken and mix with the noodles and veggies and then fry it all in a pan with a little sesame oil. You may need to add a little water to loosen it all up.
Frequently Asked Questions
We always like to use a food thermometer to check. The cooked temperature of chicken is 75°C/165°F. However, if you don't have a food thermometer, then it is best to use your judgement and stick a knife in it. It shouldn't be pink inside.
As long as you use a gluten free soy sauce and make sure there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free.
Yes, you can marinate the chicken overnight or throughout the day if you want, and then that will save some time for when you are ready to cook it.
This will take 30 minutes in the oven. However, all ovens cook differently, so yours might need a little longer.
Yes, you can easily double this recipe. Just make sure that there is enough room on your baking tray. You might need to use two baking trays.
Yes, you can make this in the slow cooker. Mix the chicken and sauce together and then cook on high for 4 hours. Cook the noodles and vegetables separately to serve.
• If you don't have honey, then you can swap it for maple syrup.
• If you want to add some spice to the marinade, then add a pinch of red chilli flakes or some cayenne. We also like to add a little bit or Sriracha to it.
• We used chicken thighs, however you could use chicken drumsticks instead.
• You can swap the tenderstem and (pak choi) bok choy for spring greens. You could also add some diced mushrooms, courgette and aubergine.
• We served ours with noodles, but you could swap it for rice and still add to the pan. Or, serve the chicken on top of mashed potatoes or couscous.
More chicken recipes
If you’ve tried this chicken tray bake recipe, or any other recipe on the blog, then let us know how you got on in the comments below, we love hearing from you!
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Sticky Chicken Tray Bake
- 8 chicken thighs
- 160 g Tenderstem broccoli
- 2 Pak choi (bok choy) - halved length ways
- 2 tablespoon Sesame oil
- 3 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Runny honey
- 0.5 Lime - juice only
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 30 g Fresh ginger - grated
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 Red chilli - sliced
- 3 Spring onion (Scallion) - sliced
- 60 g Cashews
- 4 nests Dried wholewheat noodles - boiled and drained (optional)
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together.
- Put the chicken in a large bowl and cover with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Put the marinated chicken on a baking sheet and add the bok choy halves and tenderstem broccoli. Pour the marinade from the bowl over everything.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Baste halfway through.
- Add the cooked noodles to the tray and top with sliced spring onions (scallions), red chillies and sesame seeds.
- If you don't have honey, then you can swap it for maple syrup.
- If you want to add some spice to the marinade, then add a pinch of red chilli flakes or some cayenne. We also like to add a little bit or Sriracha to it.
- We used chicken thighs, however you could use chicken drumsticks instead.
- You can swap the tenderstem and (pak choi) bok choy for spring greens. You could also add some diced mushrooms, courgette and aubergine.
- We served ours with noodles, but you could swap it for rice and still add to the pan. Or, serve the chicken on top of mashed potatoes or couscous.