Chicken drumsticks, sweet potatoes, and pears are tossed with cinnamon, garlic, and olive oil then roasted until tender, caramelized, and golden brown. It's the ultimate family-friendly sheet pan chicken dinner recipe.
Something that I feel is heavily underestimated is the delicious pairing of sweet foods in savory dishes. The wonderful combination of what is usually reserved for desserts, like fruit, paired with a savory meal, like chicken, just makes me giddy. That happy marriage was exactly my goal in developing this recipe for Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Pears.
- Chicken drumsticks: The dark meat of the chicken, it’s a bit higher in calories, but all the more juicy and flavorful.
- Sweet potatoes: An excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as well as naturally sweet. They caramelize deliciously when roasted in the oven.
- Pears: Juicy, sweet, and crisp, there are 10 varieties of pear found in the US, with hundreds found worldwide.
- Onion: I used a white onion, which is mild and slightly sweet, to complement the other ingredients.
- Garlic: High in antioxidants and a delicious source of flavor.
- Olive Oil: A heart healthy cooking oil that also adds a hint of nutty flavor.
- Cinnamon: Warm, sweet, and woody in flavor, it pairs wonderfully with pears and sweet potatoes.
How to Tell a Pear is Ripe
It was great having USA Pears attend the Fresh Air Retreat that I hosted this past September. Among the great conversation we had about all things pears, their representative showed us a great method for checking a pear for ripeness.
While Bartlett pears change color as they ripen, most pears stay the same. What you'll want to do is check the neck. Lightly press at the base of the stem, and if it gives, it's ripe! USA Pears also has a quick video talking about this technique.
How to Make Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Pears
Begin by getting your produce ready. Chop up your onion, peel your garlic cloves, and peel and cut your sweet potatoes.
I didn’t peel my pears, because the skin is so thin and nutritious, but if it bothers you, you can. Core and cut your pears, then toss them with the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic on a large sheet pan or baking dish.
Next, drizzle it all with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and toss with your hands to make sure they’re evenly coated.
Next, we’ll repeat the process with our chicken, starting by laying them out on top and drizzling with oil.
Season the chicken with cinnamon, salt, and pepper as well. Then pop it in the oven at 425 for about 40 minutes, tossing in the middle, until it reaches an internal temperature of 180.
Once it's finished, remove from the oven, serve, and enjoy!
Change It Up
- Switch out the sweet potatoes. This dish would be just as delicious with red potatoes, yams, or Yukon gold potatoes.
- Don’t have drumsticks? You can still make this recipe with chicken wings, thighs, or breasts. Depending on the size and thickness, cook times will vary.
- Change up the fruit. While I firmly believe you should try this with pears, you could also use apples.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do we attend the next retreat?
Stay tuned! We will be announcing dates and locations for two retreats in 2022.
What pear should I use?
There are a wide variety of pears with varying levels of sweetness. I used green Anjou in this recipe, but you could try it with others! USA Pears has a great article talking about the different types of pears.
How do I store leftovers?
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Other Recipes to Try
- Honey Garlic Baked Chicken Wings
- Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
- Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs
- Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
If you’re in a recipe rut and are looking for something new, I highly recommend exploring the sweet and savory side of things with this Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Pears.
Your fork is waiting.
Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Pears
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 2 pears (any variety, cored and cubed)
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 16 cloves garlic (peeled, whole)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Scatter a large baking dish with the sweet potatoes, pears, onion, and garlic cloves. Top with chicken drumsticks, then drizzle everything with olive oil, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Using hands, toss well to ensure chicken and vegetables are evenly coated In spices.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes or until chicken reaches internal cooking temperature of 180 degrees. Toss once around the 20 minute mark to ensure even browning. Serve warm.
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with USA Pears. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.