Spicy Grilled Chicken with Lentils Recipe

This deliciously simple dish combines spicy grilled chicken breasts with hearty lentils and vegetables to make for a flavoursome fuss-free dinner.

10 Mins 30 Mins Medium Serves 2


  • 1 red onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 bunch(es) flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100g red split lentils
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder (5g)
  • 2 chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp za’atar spice


Prepare the veggies

  1. Halve, peel and thinly slice the red onion.
  2. Trim the carrot, then quarter lengthways (no need to peel). Chop widthways into small pieces.
  3. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press).
  4. Trim the courgette then slice into rounds about 1cm thick.
  5. Roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all).
  6. Zest then halve the lemon.

Cook the lentils

  1. Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and carrot. Stir and cook until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ground cumin and tomato purée, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Next, add the red lentils, 500ml water and stock powder. Stir to dissolve and bring to the boil.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are completely soft, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Prepare and cook the chicken

  1. Preheat your grill to high.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breats – lay the chicken breast(s) on the chopping board, place your hand flat on top and slice into it from the side (being careful not to slice all the way). Open it up like a book. Repeat for the other breast(s).
  3. Pop onto a plate, season with salt, pepper, lemon zest and za’atar spice.
  4. Add a splash of oil and coat the chicken all over, using your hands. Remember to wash your hands and equipment your hands after handling raw meat.
  5. Lay the chicken breast(s), opened flat out on a foil-lined baking tray and place under the grill.
  6. Grill until browned on both sides and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Check that the chicken is cooked i.e. it is no longer pink in the middle.

Cook the courgettes

  1. While the chicken is cooking, heat a frying pan over high heat (no oil).
  2. When hot, add the courgette and cook until charred, 3 to 4 minutes on both sides.
  3. Remove from the pan, allow to cool and cut into small chunks. Add to the lentils and get ready to serve.


  1. Season the lentils to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir in half the parsley.
  2. Share between your bowls. Halve the chicken breast and serve on top of the lentils.
  3. Finish with a sprinkling of parsley and a final squeeze of lemon juice.
Spicy Grilled Chicken with Lentils Recipe

Recipe notes

This deliciously simple dish combines spicy grilled chicken breasts with hearty lentils and vegetables to make for a flavoursome fuss-free dinner.

Za’atar (zaatar or zahtar) spice is a blend of savoury dried herbs like oregano, marjoram or thyme, and earthy spices like cumin and coriander, with sesame seeds, salt and the most important ingredient of all… sumac! Sumac gives it the delicious unexpected tanginess that is the key to good za’atar.

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