chicken with cauliflower and olives

Chicken with Cauliflower and Olives

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.

Print 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
  8. Serve

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

Here are some of my other favorite Paleo chicken recipes:


    • Michele says

      Bone in meat always takes longer but it would be hard to guess how long to add exactly. My guess is an additional 15-20 minutes at 400F.

      The problem I see using bone-in breasts with this dish is that the cauliflower is browned a bit at the end of the normal cooking time. It definitely wouldn’t need an additional 15-20 minutes to cook alongside the bone-in chicken. So you might have to add in in part the way through (maybe reserving half of the liquid for the cauliflower/olive mix) so it doesn’t get overcooked. Or you could just cook in two separate pans. But that would take up more space in your fridge for the marinate.

  1. Jennifer says

    One of my new favorites!
    I substituted French green olives and added a TBS of Dijon mustard.
    Love, love love.

  2. Susan Scoffin says

    This has fast become one of my favourite recipes of all time…my daughter pretty much follows a Paleo diet and loves your website and has made number of the recipes. She suggested we try this recipe…it is absolutely delicious and the textures and aromas of ingredients are a pleasure to work with even before it goes in the oven. I love that the olives come out a bit roasted and are amazing!

  3. randi says

    This was super delicious. I didn’t have enough cauliflower on hand so added some sweet potatoes and artichokes. So good. The sauce poaches the chicken and it is sublime.

  4. Jennifer Finn says

    Delicious! I must confess: I am terrible at following directions, so I cut up the chicken. It was great, and convenient for my young kids, but will try to follow next time to compare results. thanks for another great recipe, Elana!

  5. says

    Delicious!!! And I quote from my girlfriend, “its like a party in my mouth” ☺ I surprised her and she loved it! Thanks!!! She already amazon primed your book. Next is pizza muffins. Thank you for helping me score points. ?

  6. Toni says

    I have another cauliflower recipe I love which incorporates apples, red onion, & rosemary. I have extra pears on hand, so I think I’m going to experiment with chicken, pears, red onions & rosemary. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Courtney McAllister says

    I am batch cooking before baby arrives. Would you recommend fully cooking, then freezing and reheating when needed or freeze raw and cook fully when ready?

    • Elana says

      Courtney, i haven’t tried that. If you do please stop back by and let us know how it goes. And congratulations in advance!

  8. Trisha says

    Also curious how many it serves. Planned to make for 9 adults on Rosh Hashanah and it doesn’t look to feed that many. Also curious how it doesn’t dry out with that long a cooking time??

    • Elana says

      Rickk, these are whole boneless skinless chicken breasts and this dish is juicy and delicious! Perfect for the holidays :-)

      • Sandra says

        How many chicken breast come in the 1 pound package you are purchasing? Are you getting four or two? Thanks!

        • Elana says

          Hi Sandra, it varies depending on the size/weight of the chicken breasts, but the number will not affect the outcome of this recipe.

  9. Sheila Perl says

    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!

  10. Alycia says

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

  11. says

    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!

  12. Jessica Evans says

    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!

  13. Marcia says

    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!

  14. Cindy Beeley says

    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!

  15. says

    Hi Elana,

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


    • Karen says

      You do not need to cover the dish, but I did baste the chicken and cauliflower with the liquids a few times. Came out succulent and delicious! I also added a little white wine to the liquid before cooking. Was a big hit!

  16. Audrey V says

    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!

  17. says

    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.

  18. Carrie says

    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!

  19. says

    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.

  20. Valerie says

    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.

  21. Judith says

    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.

  22. Toby says

    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!

  23. says

    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!

  24. says

    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!

  25. says

    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.

  26. Rhoda says

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

  27. says

    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!

  28. jeangaijin says

    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!!

  29. TN Farmette says

    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.

  30. says

    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.

  31. Carmen says

    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 says

      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.

  32. Ella says

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

  33. says

    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. :-)

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