Italian herb chicken and pumpkin bake

This chicken and pumpkin bake is so versatile, it’s perfect for a weeknight meal that kids will love, or even when entertaining friends fuss-free.
Course Main
Servings 6
Gluten Free, Kid Friendly


Italian herb chicken

  • 800 g chicken thighs boneless, skinless, at room temperature
  • teaspoons dried oregano or 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • lemon zest of 1
  • olive oil


  • 600-700 g butternut or pumpkin cut into 1-2cm cubes (you can leave skin on)
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 red capsicum cored and chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or rosemary finely chopped
  • 2 400g cans cherry tomatoes
  • teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olives optional
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • fresh basil leaves small handful


  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Mix oregano, lemon zest and 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large bowl, add chicken and toss to coat. Leave to marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a roasting dish toss butternut, onion, capsicum and garlic with thyme or rosemary and a good drizzle of olive oil, and season. Roast for about 20 minutes or until slightly caramelised.
  • Stir tomatoes, sugar and vinegar together in a pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a good glug of olive oil.
  • Season marinated chicken with salt. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Brown chicken in batches on both sides; you don’t have to cook it right through.
  • Arrange chicken, roast vegetables and olives (if using) in a large baking dish. Spoon over tomato sauce and scatter over mozzarella. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then switch to grill for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Scatter over basil leaves and serve.


You can have most of this prepped in advance, so that when it’s time to eat it only needs 10 minutes or so in an oven to warm through. This chicken and pumpkin bake would also freeze well whole or in individual portions once cooked. It would be a nice comforting meal to have ready to go in the freezer, or to make for a friend who’s under the weather or just had a baby.
This recipe just so happens to be gluten-free. I love that I can create such a tasty gluten-free dish without buying any special products or ingredients. It shows how easy it can be to cook for the dietary requirements of friends and family.
I would serve this with a nice simple salad of rocket, pear and blue cheese – easy and delicious.