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Recipe: Amelia Freer’s Za’atar Chicken, Aubergine & Squash Traybake

A gem from new cookbook Simply Good For You

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No fuss, great flavours and minimal washing up: this traybake recipe from Amelia Freer is a winner.

Recipe: Amelia Freer’s Za’atar Chicken, Aubergine & Squash Traybake

Traybakes are among the simplest dishes to make. Bung everything into one tray – vegetables, meat or fish and flavours – and roast it all together in the oven. This particular combination is a personal favourite of mine. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend. You can find it in most big supermarkets now, but if it’s difficult to get hold of, just substitute dried oregano and ground cumin instead.

Chicken Traybake


  • 12 chicken thigh fillets
  • (skin removed)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled
  • and diced into rough cubes
  • 2 medium aubergines,
  • diced into rough cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons za’atar
  • (or 1 teaspoon dried
  • oregano + 2 teaspoons
  • ground cumin)
  • 2 onions, peeled and
  • cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • and crushed
  • sea salt and freshly
  • ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, drizzle the chicken thigh fillets, butternut squash and aubergines with the olive oil, then scatter over the za’atar. Mix well to coat each piece with the flavour and oil. Tip on to a large roasting tray (you may need to use two) and add the onion quarters and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for around 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked all the way through – with no hint of pink in the middle.
  4. Serve simply with a rocket salad or some steamed seasonal greens on the side. Or if you would like to make it a little bit more special, serve topped with a pile of chopped coriander and some pomegranate seeds, perhaps with some steamed new potatoes and a feta-dotted herby salad too. TIP: This makes a great leftover dish to take to work for lunch the next day. Just stir through lots of salad leaves and (if you are feeling fancy) a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.

Simply Good For You by Amelia Freer is out now (Michael Joseph, £22)


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