This ginger chicken pilaf traybake is the easy weeknight dinner you need in your life! With fragrant spices, bell peppers and chicken, it is a hearty dinner recipe for when you want the oven to do most of the work. A gluten-free and low histamine dinner recipe.
This ginger chicken is the perfect 'fakeaway' as they call it! Feels like a take-out but so much better with healthy ingredients and quick to make too. This recipe was very loosely inspired by a similar one on the Olive Magazine website, but with many swaps and substitutions.
⭐ Why this recipe is so good
An easy traybake that kind-of feels like takeout is always good on a Friday night (or any night . . .). I think you will love this ginger chicken tray bake because:
- Fragrant and so tasty: the combination of the ginger, turmeric and cardamom gives so much flavour.
- Healthier than take-out: no strange ingredients here! So fresh and full of healthy ingredients.
- Easy to make: a super simple traybake that lets the oven do the work.
- Chicken breasts: the protein of the meal, and one that seems much loved by those on my Instagram! Use either one or two chicken breasts depending upon their size. As you can see, one of these was quite sizeable and was really two portions on its own.
- Ginger: a really versatile ingredient, and brimming with health benefits too. It adds so much flavour to this dish. Fresh ginger is best, but you can use something like the Simply Organic ground ginger if you are out.
- Turmeric: for flavour but also because it just makes everything so pretty with its deep yellow colour. I like the Simply Organic ground turmeric root.
- Cardamom: a fairly recent discovery for me, but it really adds a lot of flavour and complements the ginger and turmeric so well.
- White onion and garlic: the base of most fragrant dishes such as curry, soups and stews. It flavours the pilaf rice.
- Bell peppers: use any colour you like, they will all go wonderfully in this dish. The bell peppers add a hint of sweetness after being baked in the oven.
- Basmati rice: the carbohydrate of the dish, it is flavoured by the onion, garlic and spices.
- Apple juice: used in place of vegetable (or chicken) stock or citrus.
📖 Variations to the recipe
I haven't tried it myself, but you can swap out the apple juice for chicken or vegetable stock if you prefer. For those on a low histamine diet, I would suggest being cautious about the ingredients of a store-bought stock as many contain MSG, yeast or 'flavourings'.
Not a fan of bell peppers? Then broccoli or zucchini would be good. Or even asparagus if it is in season.
🔪 Step by step instructions
A very simple traybake recipe, this easy chicken pilaf recipe comes together in just a few steps:
Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F. Once at temperature, add the onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, olive oil and apple juice to an ovenproof pan. Stir to combine. Place the chicken breasts on top. Cover with foil and bake.
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.
Add the bell pepper to the baking dish, and continue to cook.
Remove the chicken from the pan, or push to one side. Add the rice and stir so that it combines with the apple juice and spices. If it seems too dry add a touch more apple juice. You may like to spoon some of the spiced mixture over the chicken. Return the chicken to the pan and bake until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
🍚 What is pilaf rice?
Pilaf rice is a step up from regular rice that is simply cooked in water. It is typically cooked in a flavoured stock, rather than plain water. In this recipe I have used apple juice in place of stock to give it a fruity flavour that works so well with the other ingredients.
Aside from stock (or juice), pilaf rice also has 'added' ingredients to flavour the rice, usually onion and often garlic and herbs and spices too.
Using a long grain rice such as basmati rice or jasmine rice is most common when making pilaf rice.
🍽 More tasty chicken dishes
Ginger Chicken Pilaf Traybake
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Once at temperature, add the onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, olive oil and apple juice to an ovenproof pan. Stir to combine. Place the chicken breasts on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Cook the rice according to packet instructions.
- Take the pan out of the oven and remove the foil. Add the bell pepper to the tray. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, or push to one side. Add the rice and stir so that it combines with the apple juice and spices. If it seems too dry add a touch more apple juice. You may like to spoon some of the spiced mixture over the chicken. Return the chicken to the pan and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
- Plate up the chicken and rice, add parsley, salt and pepper (if using) to taste and enjoy!
- Be sure to stir thoroughly so the rice mixes in with the apple juice and spices.
- If using a meat thermometer the chicken should have an internal temperature of 165F / 74C.
- Swap out bell peppers for other vegetables if you prefer.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- cardamom, which scores 0 but has a note stating that some varieties may not be tolerated.
- ginger, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2.