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Roast Mexican Chicken with Pumpkin & Pesto

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: One Pan
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This easy roast chicken weeknight has a bright, colourful Mexican twist, perfect for autumnal dinners.


  • 1/2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 4 Skin On, Bone In Chicken Thighs 
  • Juice of 1/2 Orange
  • 1/2 Small Culinary Pumpkin 
  • Sea Salt
  • Small Handful Pumpkin Seeds
  • Small Handful Blanched Almonds
  • 2 Large Handfuls Fresh Coriander 
  • 1 Red Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 
  • Small Handful Crumbled Feta


  1. Combine the sugar, the leaves of the fresh thyme sprigs, dried oregano, spices, half of the lime juice, the orange juice and 2 tbsp of olive oil to make a marinade and make sure the chicken thighs are well coated – I like to do this in a plastic bag to make sure everything is well coated, and it saves space in the fridge! You can do this while you’re preparing the pumpkin, but if you can leave it to marinate for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (355  fahrenheit).
  3. Peel and deseed the pumpkin, cutting it into thick slices. Arrange in a roasting tray with the chicken thighs (skin side up), setting aside the marinade. Season the pumpkin with sea salt.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, basting the chicken with the leftover marinate every so often until you’ve used it all up.
  5. Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a mini chopper (I have this one) or using a pestle and mortar (this is the one I use) combine the rest of the lime juice, the pumpkin seeds, almonds, coriander, a pinch of salt, half the chopped chilli and a good glug of oil. Add a bit more oil if you don’t think the mixture is loose enough.
  6. Either on each plate, or still in the roasting tray if you’re bringing it to the table drizzle over the pesto, and scatter everything with the feta and leftover chilli pieces. If you’ve got any leftover coriander, this will look great scattered over too. Serve straight away, because I’m afraid this one does not really keep/ re-heat very well!