Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet is a delicious, quick and easy, low-calorie and low-carbohydrate meal that I know you will love! It’s truly a win-win, with a short ingredient list, even fewer steps, and loaded with flavor.
Versatile and easy to prepare, this one-pan chicken and cauliflower dish will soon be a tasty addition to your arsenal of “go-to” recipes. Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet features pan-seared thighs baked with cauliflower and topped with capers and a sherry vinegar pan sauce. One bite, and you will be smitten.
Here’s what you will need:
- Chicken thighs – bone-in, skin-on thighs for the juiciest poultry.
- Cauliflower – you will need one head of fresh cauliflower. Look for a head with a creamy white color and densely packed florets free of bruises. It should feel heavy in your hand for its size.
- Olive oil – is used to pan sear the thighs. There is no need to waste your expensive extra-virgin olive oil here, as light olive oil works fine for this. You can also substitute vegetable oil.
- Sherry vinegar – this acid brings a touch of sweet tanginess to this dish. In a pinch, you can substitute apple cider vinegar. It will not taste quite the same, but it will still be delicious.
- Capers – one of my favorite condiments, capers are the flower buds of the caper bush. They add a briny lemony flavor.
- Salt and pepper – enhances the flavors and brings all of the players together. I use kosher salt; if you are using table salt, only use one-half as much as the recipe calls for.
- Parsley – an optional garnish and topping; it not only brightens the dish with a pop of color, but this herb also adds its own unique flavor to the dish.
Here’s how to make it:
- Gather your ingredients and preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the thighs with one-half of the salt and pepper and place in the skillet skin side down.
- Cook the poultry for five minutes or until the skin is golden brown. Turn it over and cook for an additional four minutes.
- Arrange the cauliflower florets around the chicken and coat them in the pan juices. Season lightly with the remaining salt and pepper. Put the skillet in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done and the cauliflower is crisp-tender. Poultry is done when it measures 165 degrees F on an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Remove the pan from the oven, add the sherry vinegar.
- Mix the vinegar with the pan juices and spoon over the cauliflower. Add the capers. Top with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
Frequently asked questions:
Is cauliflower a healthy vegetable?
Did you know that cauliflower is listed as one of the world’s healthiest foods? For the last few years, this superfood has been the “it” veggie, replacing kale, by food trend-watchers. And there is a good reason, cauliflower, which has a famous cousin, broccoli, is a blank canvas, taking on the flavors of the food it is cooked with.
According to Healthline, cauliflower is also very low in calories, high in fiber, and low in carbohydrates, making it very popular with folks seeking to limit their carbohydrates. In fact, one serving of this dish has 397 calories, 28% of your daily Vitamin C requirement, and only two grams of carbohydrates.
How to store fresh cauliflower?
When you get it home, unwrap it and place it in a loosely sealed plastic bag, with a paper towel tucked in to absorb any excess moisture. You can store it in the refrigerator for four to five days.
How to prepare the cauliflower for cooking?
Try this tip from Ina Garten and cut the core out first. Then, use the tip of your knife to break away about a third of the head, and from there, cut it into florets. Once it’s cut up, rinse the florets in a colander and let drain before adding them to the skillet.
Can I use chicken breasts?
Yes, you can substitute skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts for the chicken thighs. They will cook a little quicker than the thighs, so be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. It should be 165 degrees F. I don’t recommend using boneless, skinless breasts in this recipe. They will dry out.
Are capers and caper berries the same thing?
No, while capers are the small unopened flower buds of the caper plant, caper berries are larger and considered fruit. They have a similar flavor profile and are both stored in a brine-type liquid. They can often be used interchangeably in recipes, although you probably will want to chop up the caper berries.
What to serve with it?
Since this chicken and cauliflower recipe already includes protein and a vegetable, I like to keep things simple and add a side salad, like my Panzanella Salad, Brussels Sprout Cucumber and Tomato Salad or Romaine Wedge Salad. A piece of cornbread or a hoecake would round out this meal nicely.
Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can reheat them in the oven or the microwave. If you are microwaving them, place them on a microwave-safe plate, sprinkle a few drops of water over them, and microwave for a minute or so.
I like to use either my large eleven-inch cast-iron skillet or a large non-stick oven-proof skillet for this recipe.
To see if your thighs are done, insert your meat thermometer into the thigh’s thickest part but not touching the bone. It is done when it registers 165 degrees F.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, please consider getting one. They are inexpensive and a game-changer when cooking meat. If you don’t have a thermometer, pierce the chicken with a fork, the juices should be clear and not pink.
I usually place a splatter guard or splatter screen over the skillet when pan-searing the chicken. It keeps the splatter down and the top of my stove cleaner.
More recipes using chicken thighs:
If you like dark meat as I do, I know you will also love these easy recipes. A bonus: most of these recipes are also one-pan skillet meals.
- Easy Honey Baked Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- Skillet Mediterranean Chicken Bake
- Bacon and Mushroom Skillet Chicken
- Broiled Chili Rubbed Chicken Thighs
- Easy Southern Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs
- Chicken and Mushroom Crepes
If you want even more recipes, check out all of my chicken recipes here.
★ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
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Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet Recipe
- 4 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 head cauliflower rinsed and cut into large florets
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ¼ cup chopped, fresh parsley optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the chicken thighs with half of the salt and pepper and place in the skillet skin side down. Cook the chicken for five minutes or until the skin is golden brown. Turn the pieces over and cook for an additional four minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, arrange the cauliflower around the chicken. Spoon the pan juices over the cauliflower. Season lightly with the remaining salt and pepper. Put the skillet in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done and the cauliflower is crisp-tender. (Poultry is done when it measures 165 degrees F on an instant-read meat thermometer.)
- Remove the pan from the oven and add the sherry vinegar. Mix it with the pan juices and spoon over the cauliflower. Add the capers. Top with parsley if desired, and serve immediately.
**This recipe was originally published on April 21, 2016. I republished it on February 23, 2021, with new photos, the addition of a FAQ section, and expanded tips.