Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Italian Chicken and Sausage Tray Bake


Chicken and sausage Italian Tray bake, one tray cooking, originates from the Italian Tuscan Hills with enormous Mediterranean flavours. This is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson's Italian Traybake recipe from her Nigellissima cookbook, published in 2012. This cookbook still stands proudly on my bookshelf. I can't remember how many times I have baked this dish since I first bought this book shortly after it was published, and it has never failed me. In fact I am more of a fan than ever. 

This dish came to my rescue again one Friday night when as of lunchtime I thought that 16 people were coming to dinner. By 5 o'clock the numbers had decreased to 12, and as I had bought all the chicken and spuds to feed 16 there were plenty of leftovers for us the next day. I baked enough ingredients to feed 12 in two trays, and it turned out beautifully. This particular group of friends who are also tennis players, have been meeting for 30 years on Friday night for tennis at local tennis courts, then for dinner at each other's home, so we are all very flexible and enjoy good food, wine, and each other's company. Some of the originals have left town, and others have joined, so whether it's 8 or 16 for dinner, we try to approach the whole event fairly simply and have a great time.

The following day for our dinner I cooked up the remainder of the chicken pieces and potatoes with a few variations, by adding some small cherry tomatoes from our tomato bushes, a little bit of cauliflower, some capsicum, some black olives, and a couple of pieces of pumpkin, and lots of rosemary of course. I put the leftover cooked sausages in for about 10 minutes before the dish was ready to take out of the oven just to warm them up.

It was so delicious the second time round the following day, leftovers often are, and to be truthful, I enjoyed it more than on Friday night when I was responsible for pulling the whole meal together.

Delicious, and straight out of the oven, smelling so aromatic and with a little more colour

I think to be honest the success of this particular tray bake rests with the tasty Italian sausages, good quality chicken, the very fresh aromatic rosemary, and of course the company around the table. However, I have made it again since and my rosemary, though perhaps a bit woodier than the supermarket version is still a fantastic Italian herb to use.  I actually think, as Nigella also suggests, that any good tasty thick sausages would do. You can go for the milder sausages, or the sweeter or "chilli and fennel" sausage. See my notes below. It is all about the fusion of flavours during the cooking process. The potatoes soak up the meaty and lemony flavours and crisp up beautifully on the edges, and stay nice and firm but a little more softened than just purely roasted potatoes.

Nigella also suggests using a shallow baking tray. This is probably preferable, however I have used both shallow and deep, and there wasn't much difference in the result.

For the full Italian experience, serve with bread or lentils, pickled zucchini, and a couple of jars of flame-roasted peppers, drained and mixed with good olive oil, red wine vinegar, and parsley.

Buon appetito! and thanks Nigella Lawson. You saved the day, again.

Quantities feed 8, just add more for more people


Let's Cook:

Preheat the oven to 220deg C/Gas mark 7.
Put the potatoes into a large, shallow baking tray and add the chicken thighs and sausages throughout the potato pieces. If using 2 trays, divide everything between them (and also swap the trays over and turn them round halfway through the cooking time).

Arrange about 4 sprigs of the rosemary among the chicken and sausages, then finely chop the needles of another 2 sprigs, to give you about 2 teaspoons of finely chopped needles per tray, and sprinkle these onto the chicken pieces. Believe me, this isn't too much rosemary.

Zest the lemon over everything, and season with the salt and a good grinding of pepper. Drizzle with the oil and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the chicken skin and sausages are golden and the potato pieces are cooked through. It's fine to let all of this stand for up to 30 minutes once cooked, prior to serving.

Cook's Notes:
  • It really helps if you have fresh rosemary growing, however a large punnet from the supermarket should have enough in it for this recipe. This isn't too much rosemary.
  • It's not the end of the world if you can't find Italian sausages, and I know they are expensive these days. You can go for milder sausages, or even fennel sausages with a hint of chilli, whatever you like really. The flavours will still be enormous.
This traybake could be very handy in the leadup to Christmas for an easy dinner in between festivities.

I wrote this up a while ago, and pleased to have it all prepared as I am feeling off colour and flattened by Covid 19 this week. It's been a long five days for both of us with Covid, of not feeling that great, and incredibly tired.  However this is Day 5 so hopefully we will start to feel a lot better from now on. I'm sure though we would have felt a lot worse if we hadn't' been fully vaccinated. The airconditioning is on, so it is very pleasant inside our home away from the Summer heat and humidity outside.

On the positive side, we don't need to worry about catching Covid over Christmas and New Year.

Wishing all of you a happy Christmas and festive season with family, loved ones, and friends, and I have really enjoyed hearing from all of you, and appreciate that you have taken the time to comment on my posts. I've enjoyed the cooking comaraderie from fellow bloggers and your recipes as well.  Happy and Healthy New Year for 2023.

Best wishes




  1. Oh Pauline, I'm so sorry to hear you caught Covid. I think everyone I know in Australia has had it. Take care. And this dish is buonissimo.
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com

    1. Tandy Covid seems to have taken hold at the moment, which is strange being during our Summer. Thanks for your comment, I love this dish

  2. Love tray bake meals! This looks hearty, flavourful and absolutely yummy.

    1. Thanks Angie, yes it is all of those things and never disappoints.

  3. Happy Christmas, Pauline 🎄🎄🎄 So sorry to hear you are unwell with the dreaded virus. We have escaped it so far. I have chicken in the fridge and will buy some Italian snags tomorrow. Time to use up some of my rosemary. Chel

    1. Happy Christmas to you as well Chel, thankyou. I really hope you enjoy this traybake, but I know you will, please let me know.

  4. i love me a traybake! so easy and so tasty! and i love using chicken thighs for them. Sorry to hear you had covid. it is still going around, the little devil :)

    1. Yes can't believe it finally found us, visited our home in fact. Still could be worse. Just very very tired.

  5. This really is an easy and tasty recipe for serving a group of folks. I love that your group has been having dinner together for 30 years - crazy! Sharing food with friends like this truly is one of my favorite passions. And on top of that, the flavors in this dish sound absolutely fantastic!!

    1. Thanks David, this dish really works well for a large group of people.

  6. Your tray bake sounds perfect, very similar to a Chicken Scarpariello I like to serve to friends. I do hope by now that you and your husband are feeling much better and that you were able to enjoy Christmas. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    1. Thanks so much Karen, here we are in 2023 already. Happy New Year to you all, we are all great here thanks so much.

  7. Food looks amazing. Hope you're enjoying this holiday season and looking forward to the new year, dear Pauline.

    1. Thaks so much Amalia, Happy New Year to you and your family.

  8. I love everything about this tray bake! First off, I think chicken and sausage is a match made in heaven. And there are so many different kinds of wonderful sausages out there. I also love that you can feed a crowd with it. If I thought I had 16 people coming for dinner, I'd pass out!

    1. Jeff, I almost did pass out momentarily, ha, ha, but then I just started preparations and it all came together. After all it's one of the things I do best, she says very modestly:)


Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really enjoy hearing from you.
If you would like to receive follow up comments, simply click the "Notify me" link to the right of the "Publish" and "preview" buttons.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.
(c)2014-2022 Copyright on articles and photographs by Hope Pauline McNee