This recipe for marinated chicken tenderloins with freshly made zucchini noodles (Zoodles) uses pantry friendly ingredients which feature bright, vibrant flavors and savory goodness, all while being very friendly for low sodium diets. The tender and juicy chicken and awesome zucchini noodles all cook in one pan, which makes for easy cleanup!
Approximate sodium per serving: 147mg
A One Pot Meal!
One pot meals are a favorite for several reasons. One of the main reasons is because one pan means fewer dishes. Also, they’re quick to pull together on a hectic weeknight when everyone is scurrying around after games, recitals, asking homework questions, and generally just ready for some nourishment. Side bonus: When the “one pot” is actually a sheet pan, the protein and vegetables are a mosaic of colors and textures that leap off the table.
Also, did we mention fewer dishes?
And, they are a fantastic vehicle for low sodium meals, because you can control the seasonings so easily visually.
SODIUM NOTES BY ALEX G., REGISTERED DIETITIAN
In this delicious chicken and zoodles recipe, the low sodium flavor comes from the tangy balsamic vinegar balanced by the sweetness of the honey and the savory flavors of the Italian spices and Dijon mustard. By adding in roasted fresh vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini zoodles, you’ll be full and satisfied from this dish without having to worry about consuming too much sodium. Read labels carefully when selecting a brand of chicken breast tenderloins, as chicken is often injected with a broth-like solution to keep it plump and fresh in the packaging. Brands I reviewed contained as much as 300 mg of sodium per 4 oz serving of chicken. In this recipe, regular Dijon mustard was used to make shopping easier, but the amount of sodium in the mustard is spread throughout the whole recipe. You could order no salt added mustard through a specialty retailer like http://HealthyHeartMarket.com to make this recipe as low sodium as possible.
One of the key components of a one pot meals is that they’re pantry friendly. You’re looking for things that you’d normally keep on hand, like canned goods along with everyday proteins and vegetables. In this case, we’re looking at zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and boneless chicken breast tenderloins along with dried herbs that you normally keep within reach whenever standing at the stove. For this recipe we’ll use Italian seasoning blend, which is usually filled with rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, and sage.
We’re going to make a quick marinade with vinegar, honey, mustard, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Once the chicken is marinating, you can preheat the oven, and prepare the sheet pan. Once the short marinating time is over, pat the chicken dry and get it in the oven.
Because the vegetables are so delicate, you’ll get those on the sheet pan once the chicken is nearly cooked through for a short cooking time. You don’t want overcooked or mushy vegetables, you want the zucchini to be slightly crisp tender, and the tomatoes softened, but not fully imploded.
Bake at 425°(F) for a total of 30 minutes
We told you this was a quick weeknight meal! The chicken marinates for 30 minutes, and then bakes for 15 minutes. Once the chicken has baked for 15 minutes, the vegetables are added to the prepared sheet pan until the chicken is beautifully cooked through and juicy, and the vegetables are the perfect texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute boneless chicken thighs?
You absolutely can! If the thighs are small, they will cook in the same time frame as the chicken tenders. If they’re medium-sized, they will cook in about 35 minutes, so you’ll want to add the spiralized zucchini and cherry tomatoes during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. If the thighs are on the larger side, you’re looking at about 40 minutes cooking time. So, you’ll get the vegetables on the pan at the 25 minute mark.
Note: If you’d like to substitute bone-in thighs, you’ll be looking at a cooking time of about 1 hour.
Can I substitute yellow squash for the zucchini?
Sunny yellow squash would make a colorful alternative to the zucchini. Also, because their textures are so similar, the cooking time on the sheet pan will be the same as the zucchini. If you have both zucchini and summer squash in the fridge, you could spiralize half of each to create a riot of color on the pan!
What other vegetables can be spiralized?
You can spiralize a wide variety of veggies! From beets, to jicama, to bell peppers, the list goes on and on. Here are some fun vegetables to try:
- White potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
And if you wanted to add a sweet component to this sheet pan meal, you could spiralize apples, pears, or pineapples. If you want to lean into the realm of fruit, you might want to substitute the cherry tomatoes for quartered onions for an entirely different (and delicious) flavor profile!
This sheet pan dinner would perfectly pair with a side salad of watercress or arugula, lightly dressed with a lemon and no-salt mustard vinaigrette.
Storage and Reheating
Store any leftover chicken and veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave until warmed through.Print