« Paleo Thin Mints

Paleo Peanut Butter Patties – Tagalongs »

Chicken with Cauliflower and Olives

chicken with cauliflower and olives paleo dinner recipe

This high-protein chicken dinner (full of cauliflower and olives) is a wonderful Paleo one pot meal.

This hearty, grain-free, savory Paleo dinner dish is a hit with adults and teens alike in our house. I often serve it with a Spinach Salad for a filling, vegetable heavy dinner.

While we eat chicken once or twice per week, I also try to serve the boys (all 3 of them) steak each week as that is their favorite dinner. They are more than happy when I serve them grilled steak with a side of Mashed Cauliflower and Carrot Fries. For now though, back to chicken! Here’s our new favorite recipe.

Chicken with Cauliflower and Olives


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon (use a microplane zester)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  1. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel
  2. Spread thyme sprigs evenly in the bottom of a 7 x 11 inch baking dish
  3. Place chicken over thyme sprigs and scatter cauliflower around chicken
  4. In a small bowl, combine shallot, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, olives and garlic
  5. Pour lemon mixture over chicken and cauliflower
  6. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight
  7. Bake at 400° for 45-55 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is well browned

This recipe was adapted from a Real Simple recipe as well as a food.com recipe. What is your favorite way to prepare chicken?

Here are some of my other favorite Paleo chicken recipes:

posted on March 4, 2013, 45 comments

  1. This will make my hubby happy. The olives and lemon sound perfect with the chicken and cauliflower and I love that it’s so simple. :-)

  2. Ella

    This looks good – and healthy. I will definitely make this soon – I think on Wednesday. I can hardly wait!

  3. Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat @ eatrecyclerepeat.com

    I love roasted chicken, grilled whole chicken, and braised chicken thighs, but I think lemon or curry chicken in the crockpot wins for me!

  4. Carmen

    This looks so delicious! Thank you for another easy recipe that can become a staple. Does anyone know if the ‘zest of one lemon’ part means I go around the whole lemon with the grater? I am guilty of not adding lemon zest to recipes because I can never figure that out.

    • Lisa

      The zest of one lemon means exactly that. Take one lemon that you have washed and remove the yellow outer layer. DO NOT include any of the white pith; it is bitter. This can be done with a grater, but the easiest way is with a microplane; which is very sharp and can also be used for garlic, chocolate, etc. If you only need the lemon juice for a recipe, it’s a good idea to zest it before cutting and freeze the zest for another day.

  5. Can’t wait to try this! I’ve been making almond flour quiches with cauliflower. The addition of lemon and olives sounds wonderful. hmmm, may even try this as a sort of pot pie.

  6. Julie Hansen @ juliehansenintuitive.com

    This looks so good and a wonderful use for my farm box cauliflower. Thanks Elana!

  7. TN Farmette

    I love buffalo chicken in the crockpot. I wash and dry chicken breasts and lay them in the crock pot. I mix together 1/4 cup of homemade chicken broth with 2 cups of gluten free buffalo sauce. Top the chicken with the sauce and cook on low all day. It’s great paired with salad, Elana’s carrot fries or cajun sweet potato fries and paleo ketchup.

  8. this sounds like a great meal.

  9. jeangaijin

    This is in the oven right now! I can’t wait to taste it. I was so happy (and surprised) that I had all the ingredients on hand, as I’m usually missing one crucial thing when I see something I want to make right away.
    I think next time I might add the cauliflower to the bowl with the marinade and toss it so that it gets coated and then add it to baking pan… although maybe it will soak up too much of the marinade that way. And I bet this would be REALLY good with some kind of firm white fish like scrod or hake. I wish it wasn’t going to take 45 more minutes to be done!!

  10. Ive been making a lot of chicken recently, but today I had chicken with dried chilies and salad. was really good! and simply to make!

  11. You solved my casserole dilemma!

  12. Rick Nielson

    Thanks Elana, I love your site.

  13. Rhoda

    I made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I have already pre-ordered the cookbook. Thanks for this recipe.

  14. Sensational recipe Elana. Cauliflower is such an understated vegetable. Difficult to get kids eating it but it works for me. Great texture if slightly undercooked. Of course, abandoning the carbs – the best recipe in the world is cauliflower cheese.

  15. I made this for dinner tonight, and since I didn’t have any cauliflower on hand, I substituted Brussels sprouts. Which worked quite well, very yummy! Thanks for the great recipe Elana!

  16. This looks great! It’s very similar to a baked chicken dish I make with olives and lemons, but I’m looking forward to trying it with the cauliflower!

  17. Toby

    This was my first post as a subscriber. Made it two days ago and the whole family, including 1.5 and 3.5 year olds, loved it. Thank you and looking forward to more awesome recipes!

  18. Judith

    Thank you soooooo much. A great Paleo casserole/one pot dish! I just wish there were more of these. Made it last night and loved it.

  19. Valerie

    I made this tonight for my family and we loved it!! I also made a raw kale salad with mandarin oranges, sweet onions and a tangerine/fig balsamic dressing and it was so delicious together.

  20. gigi

    Made recipe this weekend. It was really good. Added a few cherry tomatoes.

  21. Becky Leppard @ WholeandWell.com

    This is a fabulous recipe, Elana! I am constantly looking for recipes that fit the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol which is no potatoes, tomatoes, chili and peppers, eggs and eggplant. So nice to find this yummy recipe. Also a good one for guests since so simple.

  22. Carrie

    This was so yummy! Savory and moist – it was a big hit with everyone in the family from our 4,6,& 8 year old to even Dad who is not a big fan of cauliflower!

  23. Angela

    Thank you for this recipe. It was SO GOOD.

  24. Amy

    Absolutely delicious! Thanks Elana!

  25. That is such a simple recipe. For working mums it is perfect quick dinner,lunch – you name it or even party dish.Love olives and cauliflower.

  26. Audrey V

    This was wonderful, thankyou. If you think you don’t like cauliflower, try it this way, it is delicious. This was so good, I would serve it to company. And easy! I am not a fan of olives, so I just left them out. This recipe is going on my list of favorites!

  27. This was asked but not answered. Do you cover this dish while cooking?

  28. Eliza

    This was delicious, thank you for such a flavorful dish that my whole family devoured!

  29. Hi Elana,

    I have used your recipe for preparing the chicken and it tastes really good. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


  30. Cindy Beeley

    Elana–I am writing to tell you that this dish is one of my new all-time favorites! I have prepared it twice, and it is the most flavorful, happy on the tongue dish! It is company-worthy, and I am thankful for your having created and shared it!

  31. Amelia

    We’ve had this for dinner twice now and hubby and both girls and I all love it! Thank you!

  32. Lisa

    Can anyone tell me how many this dish serve? I’m cooking for my book club and have 9 coming… Thanks!

  33. Lisa

    Can anyone tell me how many this dish serves? I’m hosting 9.

  34. Marcia

    Thanks so much for this recipe, it has become a family favorite! I use a variety of olives in this, and do as another poster suggested by tossing the cauliflower with some of the marinade so that it gets coated with the oil mixture. I’ve also varied some of the herbs occasionally to experiment.

    I saw someone else used Brussels sprouts – I’m going to borrow that idea!

  35. Jessica Evans

    I’m going to make this with my new favorite condiment, preserved lemon. It’s super easy to make and adds an amazing flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. I am brand new to the Paleo diet (as in, I’m still researching and haven’t started yet), but it looks like a good option for me – and your recipes look great! I have very little time (and by very little I mean about 5 minutes) to cook on a daily basis, so I’d like to find meals that I can prep and freeze on my day off at the beginning of the week, and microwave to reheat each day. Any tips on which of your recipes (chicken, fish or veggies only) work well for that? So happy that I found this site!

  37. Alycia

    This looks amazing, but just curious… the chicken doesn’t get overcooked? 45 minutes at 400 seems like a long time?

  38. Alice

    This was super easy to make and delicious!!!! My family loved it!!!! Thanks!!!!

  39. Sheila Perl

    I have just printed out the recipe and am on my way to the kitchen to get the chicken out of the freezer! Wow, I even have the olives in the fridge :) Sounds wonderful!

  40. Valerie Koch (@valerie_koch) @ twitter.com/valerie_koch

    Wow–this was delicious! I roasted a whole chicken and used marjoram instead of thyme, because I didn’t have any. The kids even loved the cauliflower. Amazing. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top