Chicken & Winter Veg Traybake with Kale Pesto & Couscous

This easy traybake is a delicious way to pack some winter veg into your meal. You can mix up the veg if you like (parsnips work well) and this is a dish that can change with the seasons – spinach pesto and summer veg is just as delicious! We’ve removed the bone from the thighs and kept the skin on to keep the chicken moist, but you can use skinless or chicken breasts if you prefer – just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Save any leftover pesto to use for delicious salads. If using cavolo nero or if you prefer a less bitter pesto, blanche the leaves in boiling water for a couple of minutes and drain well before making the pesto.


Heat the oven to 200C/180Cfan/Gas 6

Place the carrots, squash, celeriac, onion, garlic, and thyme into a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season and toss to coat.

Arrange the chicken pieces between the vegetables skin-side up. Season the skin and drizzle with a little more oil. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is golden and cooked through depending on the size of your chicken thighs (the juices should run clear when pierced) and tossing the vegetables after 20 minutes

Meanwhile prepare the pesto. Put the pine nuts, garlic and kale into a food processor and blitz. Add the Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice and pulse again to combine. Drizzle in the oil, with the blade running, until you have a drizzling consistency. Season and add more lemon juice to taste.

Prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions and fluff with a fork.

Remove the tray from the oven and place the chicken on a plate. Carefully squeeze the garlic from its skins into the tray. Add the couscous to the tray, stirring through the vegetables and mixing in any flavour. Serve topped with the chicken and drizzled with pesto.



  • For the Traybale
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, boneless, skin on
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut chunks
  • 200g squash, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 200g celeriac, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 sprig of thyme or rosemary
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 x packet of Ainsley Harriott Roasted Vegetable Couscous
  • For the Pesto
  • 30g pine nuts or walnuts
  • 60g Parmesan or vegetarian Italian hard cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 80g kale or cavolo nero, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon for squeezing