This Easy Chicken Fra Diavolo is made on one sheet pan and can be on the table in 35 minutes or less! Succulent chicken is topped with creamy burrata and served with tender broccoli (or broccolini)! It’s an simple, fuss-free meal that packs tons of delicious flavor!
Updated: This post was originally published in January 2017. I edited the photos and added a recipe video to show you how easy this chicken diavolo is to make! However, the actual story and written words below in this post remain the same.
Hey there girls and boys! How was your weekend? I certainly hope it was glorious! And, of course I hope it was filled with fabulous food… even if you are still on a ‘New Year, New You‘ cleanse, diet or detox.
My weekend was a healthy balance of work and play. And, since I don’t do diets, you can rest assured I ate my fair share of delicious food.
Anyways, I’ll stop rambling and get right to the recipe. You’re welcome. Just don’t say I never gave you anything. 😉
Chicken Fra Diavolo
Also known as, easy-peasy baked chicken smothered and covered in a sizzling, scrumptiously spicy sauce.
Succulent, juicy chicken thighs are marinated and lovingly coated in a fiery red pepper and chili fra diavolo sauce. Topped with creamy, rich, melted burrata and served alongside tender-crisp broccolini (or broccoli).
This chicken is a lively mix of savory and spicy flavors, and it’s straight up splendid in taste.
Plus, is also stupid easy. Seriously! It’s actually harder to pronounce the name of the recipe than it is to make this for dinner. If you can roughly chop some produce, operate a food processor and turn on an oven, then you can totally make this chicken!
How to pronounce fra diavolo?
Fra diavolo is Italian for “Brother Devil“. The phonetic spelling is fra-dià-vo-lo.
What is diavolo sauce?
Fra diavolo is a spicy Italian-American sauce typically used for pasta or seafood. However, in this version we are using it for tender baked chicken thighs or breasts.
Most versions of diavolo sauce are tomato-based and seasoned with red chili peppers for spice. But, the term is also used for other sauces that include no tomato or use other forms of pepper, such as cayenne.
This diavolo sauce recipe uses both tomato paste and chili peppers, as well as other flavoring ingredients to create a sauce that is intensely flavorful and also doubles as a marinade!
Chicken diavolo ingredients:
- Chicken: breasts or thighs
- Red Bell Pepper
- Red Jalapeno Chili Peppers
- Tomato Paste
- Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- Pantry Spices: onion powder and smoked paprika
- Fresh Parsley
Is fra diavolo spicy?
Diavolo sauce can range from very mildly spicy to fiery hot. This diavolo is moderately spicy, however the heat level can easily be adjusted to taste!
To customize the spice level:
- To increase heat: Leave the seeds and ribs in the chili pepper. Use more chili peppers or add crushed red pepper flakes.
- To decrease heat: Remove all seeds and ribs from the chili pepper. Cut the amount of chili pepper in half or only use a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Can I use chicken breasts or thighs?
Dark chicken meat is the most succulent and tender. As a result, chicken thighs will yield the most flavorful diavolo recipe. However, you can absolutely use chicken breasts if that is what you have on hand, or if you simply prefer white meat!
What to serve with spicy chicken diavolo?
This chicken fra diavolo goes well with pretty much any side dish! However, keep in mind this chicken is slightly spicy. I suggest pairing it with a mild or fresh, crisp side to balance the flavors and compliment the textures!
- Fresh salad: Crisp greens will provide a delicious and cooling compliment to this fiery dish!
- Soup: Any lighter Italian soup would pair well!
- Crusty Bread: Toasted Artisan bread is a must for sopping up the sauce!
- Pasta: Diavolo is commonly served with pasta. Soft, delicate noodles perfectly balance the spicy flavors!
- Veggie noodles: If you are looking to lighten things up, vegetable noodles are a delicious option!
- Sauteed peppers and onions: Tender, crisp sweet bell peppers and mild onions are a wonderful combination!
How to make chicken fra diavolo?
This chicken diavolo is incredibly simple to prepare! And, you can easily to customize the level of spicy heat to your specific taste!
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)
- Make the Fra Diavolo Marinade: In the bowl of a food processor add the bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, tomato paste, onion powder, paprika, lemon juice, and salt. Process until chunky. With the processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Process until smooth. Stir in the parsley. Set aside.
- Marinate the Chicken: Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade and set aside for serving. Transfer the remaining marinade to a large resealable bag or bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Use tongs to transfer the chicken thighs to the prepared baking sheet, letting excess marinade drain off (Discard excess marinade). Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the chicken for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile: Place broccoli in a bowl and toss with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the 10 minutes is up, add the broccoli to the pan. Continue to cook the chicken for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Remove broccoli and add cheese: Remove the broccoli from the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Switch the oven to (high) broil. Add burrata to the top of the chicken thighs.
- Return the chicken to the oven. Broil for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.
- To serve: Transfer chicken to the serving plate with broccolini. Serve with remaining sauce on the side. Enjoy!
See, you’ve totally got this! Easy weeknight (or even weekend) chicken dinner winner going on right here!
How to make diavolo step by step photos:
Tips for the best Chicken Fra Diavolo recipe:
- Chicken breasts or thighs: You can use either boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts in this recipe.
- Broccoli: Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and kale. It is slightly sweeter and more tender than broccoli. It pairs perfectly with the spicy sauce! You can use either broccolini or broccoli. If using regular broccoli, cut it into florets and add them to the sheet pan at the very beginning of baking (along with the raw, marinated chicken). Regular broccoli takes longer than broccolini to roast.
- Jalapenos: The recipe below calls for 2 red jalapenos, or chilis. However, you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes if that’s what you have on hand. Start with 1 teaspoon, and add more (up to 2 teaspoons) to taste.
- Spice level: For a spicy marinade leave the seeds and ribs in the chilis, or use the full 2 teaspoons or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Marinating time: Marinating the chicken is a must! While you can get away with only marinating it for 4 hours, I urge you to marinate it overnight for the most flavor!
- Melty cheese: Broiling the chicken to melt the burrata at the end of cooking is optional, but highly recommended. Make sure you watch the cheese closely when you are broiling the chicken! The cheese can go from perfectly melted to burned in a flash! It should only take a minute to two minutes to melt the cheese. However, you can just serve the chicken topped with thin slices of creamy burrata if desired and skip the broiling process all together.
Sheet pan dinners don’t have to be boring! Make your next weeknight dinner cozy, delicious AND insanely easy with this Baked Chicken Fra Diavolo.
Until Thursday friends, cheers – to sheet pan dinners, easy to cook and even easier to clean up.
More easy dark meat chicken recipes you will love:
How to make Chicken Fra Diavolo recipe and Step-by-Step Video👇
Chicken Fra Diavolo
- Food Processor
- Large Bowl or Resealable Bag (for marinating)
- 5-6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 Pound Broccoli or Broccolini
- 4 ounces Burrata Cheese – sliced into 5-6 pieces
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper - to taste
Fra Diavolo Marinade: (yield – about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper – seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 Red Jalapenos – partially seeded and roughly chopped (SEE NOTES)
- 6 Cloves Garlic – smashed and peeled
- 1 TBS Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp EACH: Onion Powder & Smoked Paprika
- ½ Lemon – juiced (about 1 TBS)
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil - plus more for drizzling
- 1 TBS Flat Leaf Parsley - packed & finely chopped
Optional Garnishes & Serving Suggestions: Fresh Parsley, Crushed Pepper Flakes, Vine Ripe Cherry Tomatoes, Crusty Bread
- Make the Fra Diavolo Marinade: In the bowl of a food processor add the bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, tomato paste, onion powder, paprika, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until chunky and sauce-like, about 1-2 minutes. With the processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Process until smooth. Stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Marinate the Chicken: Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade and set aside for serving. Transfer the remaining marinade to a large resealable bag or plastic container. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat completely. Transfer to the refrigerator and let the chicken marinate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Use tongs to transfer the chicken thighs to the prepared baking sheet, letting excess marinade drain off (Discard excess marinade). Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the chicken for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile: Toss the broccolini with two tablespoons of oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.
- When the 10 minutes is up, add the broccolini to the pan. Continue to roast the chicken for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is almost done cooking and the broccoli is tender.
- Remove the broccolini to a serving plate and switch the oven to (high) broil*. Top the chicken with burrata.
- Return the chicken to the oven and broil, watching very CAREFULLY, for 2 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the cheese is melted.
- To serve: Transfer chicken to the serving plate with broccolini. Garnish with a few pinches of red pepper flakes and parsley and serve with remaining Fra Diavolo sauce on the side. Enjoy!
- Chicken: I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but you can substitute chicken breasts if white meat is your thing.
- Broccoli: Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and kale, and to me it tastes a bit sweeter and tenderer than broccoli. If you’ve never had broccolini, I highly recommend you try it! But, if you would like to substitute regular broccoli, feel free. Just make sure you cut it into florets, and add them to the sheet pan at the beginning (with the raw chicken thighs), because broccoli will take the full 25 minutes to roast. Since you won’t be breaking the cook time up into 2-10 minute intervals, just rotate the sheet pan halfway through cooking.
- Jalapenos: The recipe below calls for 1-2 red jalapenos, or chilis, but you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes if that’s what you have on hand. Start with 1 teaspoon, and add more (up to 2 teaspoons) to taste. If using jalapenos, use 1 jalapeno for a more mild diavolo and 2 for a spicier sauce.
- Fra Diavolo Marinade: For spicy marinade leave the seeds in the chilis, or use the full 2 teaspoons or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Broiling the chicken to melt the burrata is optional, but recommended.
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