Sheet pan chicken with rosemary and grapes comes from Antoni Porowski, the food and wine expert on Queer Eye, who knows a thing about taste. Sweet grapes burst in the oven, making a syrupy base for crispy chicken and woodsy herbs.
Who doesn’t love a great sheet pan recipe? As they cook, the grapes burst and mingle with the crispy chicken, sweet charred onions, smoky ancho chile powder, and woodsy herbs—super tasty and super simple. I lean toward red grapes for their stunning color, but any sort will do. Ancho chile powder (many supermarkets carry it), which is mild and raisiny, complements the grapes, but regular chili powder or any spice blend you like is good here too. Thyme or oregano can be used in place of rosemary.–Antoni Porowski
☞ Table of Contents
Sheet Pan Chicken with Rosemary and Grapes
- 2 medium (1 lb) red onions trimmed, leaving some of the root end intact, and cut into 1/2 inch (13 mm) thick wedges
- 3 cups (9 3/4 ounces) red or green seedless grapes
- 10 sprigs fresh rosemary thyme, or oregano
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 whole (3 lbs) chicken legs*
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder or regular chili powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange onions, grapes, and rosemary in a single layer on the prepared pan. Toss with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the grapes are softened and begin to release juice, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat the chicken pieces dry, then season generously with salt, pepper, and chile powder.
☞TESTER TIP: Combine salt, pepper, and chile powder in a small bowl and mix before seasoning the chicken. This will ensure the seasoning is even.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil until hot. Add half the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the undersides are deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Arrange chicken on the baking sheet, placing it skin-side up and nestling it among the onions and grapes. Roast until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165° (74°C) and the onions and grapes are tender and slightly caramelized, about 25 minutes.
- Drizzle lemon juice over chicken, onions, and grapes. Serve with pan juices.
*Can I substitute other cuts for chicken legs?Sure. In a recipe like this, you can use whatever cuts of chicken you prefer or have on hand. A few of our testers did so and found they loved it just as much. You can use any mix of chicken parts that you want, including an entire chicken that’s been cut up. Just make sure that you’re aware of the timing for your chosen pieces. You may need to remove smaller pieces, like wings, earlier than you think.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I am happy to add another sheet pan chicken dinner to my toolkit because variety and simplicity are a great plus in my life. Although this is mostly a sheet pan meal, the brief start in a skillet jump-starts the browning, as well as giving the onions and grapes a headstart so that the onions transform by the end to a savoury silkiness with the crisp edge here and there. Grapes are a completely under-appreciated element, and when they can add a special layer of acid and sweetness to a dish, their resulting slight caramelization is kind of magical.
Ancho is a mild spiciness, so if you prefer, maybe mix some New Mexico red chile powder in (I will do that next time I make this). I combined the ancho with 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, so I could sprinkle an even blend of these over the chicken before it went into the skillet. At the table, I offered Maldon sea salt to adjust to personal taste. The pan juices provide a flavour bonus and no extra effort is required for a sauce.
Not only am I happy when a sheet pan supper simplifies my weeknight (or a busy week’s alternative to pizza on Friday night), but because 95% of my cooking is for a household of two, I look forward to recipes that might serve more than one night or can be played forward another day or two (this did both, and no-one refuses roasted chicken as part of a hash or burrito!)
If this is the first time you have used grapes in a roasted, savoury dish and you like it as much as we did, you definitely need to also try Baked Feta with grapes in place of the figs.
I do love a good sheet pan recipe. There is something special about the way all of the components of this sheet pan chicken with rosemary and grapes melded to form pan juices that kept the chicken extremely moist and flavorful. Using the most flavorful parts of the chicken and combining them with grapes, aromatics and seasonings bring together a dish that has warmth, comfort, and great visual appeal.
I used both fresh rosemary and thyme from my garden which worked very well. Having just run out of ancho chile powder, I used regular chili powder which gave the dish just a moderate amount of heat and was very acceptable to our palates.
I’m a huge fan of sheet pan dinners and this chicken with rosemary and grapes is no exception. The ingredients resulted in a dish that was a little sweet, a little spicy, and most importantly comforting and satisfying. That combo of sweet grapes and chili powder was the highlight for me. The only thing I might adjust would be to increase the amount of lemon juice to drizzle on at the end, but that’s certainly a matter of individual taste.
Another added benefit was how easy it was to put together even though it requires some time in a pan on the stovetop. Does this disqualify it as a sheet pan meal? I don’t think so given how quickly it all comes together. Despite that little quibble, it’s a perfect meal for a cold winter night and one that I’ll definitely be making again.
We love a sheet pan chicken dinner at my house but it definitely feels like “nothing new under the sun” territory. I’m happy to report that this recipe is definitely worth deviating from whatever ol’ faithful sheet pan chicken dinner you go to time and again.
The prep is super simple which makes the added step of browning the chicken before plopping it on the sheet pan feel very manageable, and the extra crisp skin that it delivers makes it very worth it. The end result is delicious and, for me, felt very special for a Thursday and like something I would proudly serve up for guests.
I wasn’t totally sure how I’d feel about the roasted grapes, despite the fact that roasted grapes feel like they’re having a moment, and this recipe showed me exactly why that is the case. Jammy, sweet, and savory, and a perfect contrast with the roasted onions and rich chicken legs. All around a definite weeknight win.
This sheet pan chicken with rosemary and grapes recipe reminded me a little of Melissa Clark’s spatchcocked chicken with fennel and grapes, so I thought I would give it a try. I used a whole chicken, cut up into leg/thighs, and airline breasts for the meal.
We really enjoyed the chili seasoning as it paired well with the sweetness of the grapes and red onions. I let the chicken rest in the pan about 5 minutes before plating, and we ended up with wonderfully crispy skin and a very juicy bird overall.
Sheet pan chicken with rosemary and grapes is a chicken dish that features brown crisp skin and is a little bit sweet from roasted grapes and red onions, a little bit earthy from the chili powder and herbs (rosemary for me), with delicious pan juices.
It is also mostly hands-off, only requiring a quick browning of the chicken legs. I used red grapes which became soft and a little caramelized, but green would be nice too (it’s Concord grape season here in Massachusetts and I considered them for a nanosecond before discarding that idea given the necessary seed removal).
I had been planning to serve the chicken over polenta (which would be nice) but ears of sweet corn in my CSA share prompted a menu switch to corn fritters. Having something to soak up the delicious pan juices is a must. Next time, I may use a little chicken stock to deglaze the pan because more of a sauce would not be a bad thing. A new addition to my chicken rotation!
The joy began long before the first bite was taken; collateral goodness of the cooking! The aromas of the roasting red onions, red grapes, and seasonings drew all to the kitchen as I prepared the rest of the chicken. Wow!
I used a combination of rosemary and thyme, cut fresh from the garden, and wish I could bottle the heady scent. Add to that the browning of the chicken and it was a winner before we even sat down to eat. The pan juices and roasted onions with grapes were just terrific. This is a pantry-friendly recipe, great for the cooler northeast season, and a perfect treat for a Sunday night casual dinner with friends.
I served it with roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, also prepared on a sheet pan. The colors were just lovely-kind of like turning leaves!
Roast chicken and grapes – who knew this would make such a wonderful dream team?
I knew going into this that all of the flavor components of this dish paired well separately, but what a wonderful combination when they can work together! The recipe itself is pretty straightforward, though I could see areas where you can switch up the specifics a bit. (Swap the red onions for shallots or use a grape variety that you can only find at the farmers market for a handful of weeks, for example. I also replaced the ancho chili powder for a Korean red chili flake for a little extra kick.)
Flavor-wise, this is the ideal dish to embrace grape season in a creative new way. The sweetness! The earthiness! The subtle schmaltziness!
Many sheet pan recipes fail because they try to throw everything in the same pan at once and guarantee a “set it and forget it” execution, usually resulting in a mix of under and overcooked components that never live up to their promise. This sheet pan chicken with rosemary and grapes recipe manages to avoid that pitfall and deliver a wildly delicious result with very little additional work and should be on everyone’s weeknight rotation.
For my family, the best part of this dish was actually not the chicken, with everyone arguing over who got the caramelized grapes and onions, glistening in chicken fat, that easily stole the show. The chicken was cooked perfectly, but my only gripe is that the seasoning doesn’t make it through the skin. Next time, I’d rub some of the seasoning under the skin on the thigh portions, and am planning to experiment with ras el hanout or hawaij in place of the ancho chile powder.
Originally published October 21, 2021