Ideal for busy, hungry families

PREP TIME: 15 mins
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, easy weekend meal, family, friends

Traybake… my new favourite

This is my second traybake this month.

I love them!

They are such a simple one-dish meal and keeps everyone happy.

We’ve had a super busy 10 days (literally) under a 117-year-old Dutch Tjalk.

So, a traybake makes life nice and easy.

Especially when a hungry teenager asks “when’s dinner happening tonight?

Not noticing me standing there sodden, splatted in dirt, bitumen and anti-fouling paint.

30 minutes”.

And in that time, I can grab a shower and scrub off as much paint as it will allow.

Anti-fouling a boat – eek

So, here’s a dish I recommend on those super busy days which will hit the spot.

Butternut squash vs pumpkin – the differences

The recipe is chicken and pumpkin but I used butternut squash.

In New Zealand, we are big on pumpkin to go with our Sunday roasts.

But in the UK, I find it harder to get pumpkin.

So, what is the difference between them?

Apart from their physical shape and size, they also are available at slightly different times of the year.

Pumpkins are harvested in the UK between September – December.

Butternut squash is October – November.

Fruit or Veg?

Like most people, I thought squash and pumpkin were vegetables.

But in actual fact, because they have seeds, they’re technically fruits.

They are closer to melon’s than a gourd (*gourd = a fleshy, large fruit with a hard skin, sometimes edible)


Butternut squash is usually sweeter than pumpkins.

And can have a slightly nutty flavour.

Plus, they are less stringy than pumpkins.

Both take on warm spices nicely in your cooking.

Don’t just use pumpkins for your Halloween carvings, they’re delicious.

And, although you can still eat carving pumpkins, they have been bred to be large and thin fleshed so opt for other varieties.

You’ll find most places will label them ‘carving pumpkins’ so you will know which to make a face with and which to roast on a Sunday.

Back to the boat

Now you know my new ‘go-to’ dish when there’s just a little too much going on.

The super-simple-traybake.

Last week, it was the sticky chicken and plum traybake… also a hit!

So, I hope you give it a go and enjoy it as much as we did.

For now, I have to put my old clothes back on and head over to the marina yard with dog in toe.

Bella (our staffie) has ‘suffered’ the past 10 days.

She hasn’t been able to sneak back upstairs to the bed and comfy duvet for her usual daily sleep-in.

This dog just isn’t a morning animal!

“Come on, Bella!...

What’s your favourite traybake? Leave a comment…

Roast chicken, sage & onion traybake

Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, family meals, roast chicken, simple, traybake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 500 g pumpkin or butternut squash, sliced into wedges
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • olive oil for roasting pan and fry-pan
  • 4 organic or free-range skin-on chicken thighs or legs
  • 4 rashers, smokey streaky bacon, chopped
  • large handful of sage leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 200 ml chicken stock (homemade if possible)
  • large handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped


  • Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
  • Toss the pumpkin/squash and onion with oil in a large roasting tin.
    Roast for 15 minutes or until beginning to soften and lightly char.
  • While that's happening, heat a little oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the chicken, skin-side down, for 10 minutes or until the skin is golden and the fat has rendered.
    Then add the chopped bacon and cook for 2 minutes and add in most of the sage leaves.
  • Next, transfer the chicken, bacon and sage to the roasting tin with the vegetables (*keep your fry-pan close with the juices from the chicken etc to make the sauce).
    Pop the roasting tray back into the oven for 15 – 20mins or until the chicken is cooked and your vegetables nice and tender.
  • To make the sauce… add the garlic to the reserved frying pan with the chicken and bacon juices and stir over medium-low heat until fragrant.
    Add the stock, stirring to scrape up any crusty bits, then pour over the chicken and put back into the oven until piping hot.
  • Roughly chop the remaining sage leaves and parsley and scatter over the chicken and vegetables in the tray.
    Serve the traybake with mash.


TIP from Delicious Magazine: Make up to the end of step 3 up to 2 days ahead. Cool, cover and chill. Reheat until piping hot to complete the recipe.
Inspired by: Delicious Magazine
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