Lemon-Roasted Potatoes, Chicken and Spinach with Tzatziki

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lemon roasted potatoes chicken and spinach with tzatziki recipe
Allison Day/Modern Lunch

Lunch is our workday happy place...until we remember that we packed a mess of wilted greens otherwise known as the sad desk salad. This recipe for lemon-roasted potatoes, chicken and spinach with tzatziki from Allison Day’s Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal is the antidote: It’s easy to meal-prep for homemade lunches all week long and doesn’t skimp on fresh, satisfying flavor.

“The riot of textures, colors and flavors in this dish offers a visual and physical boost at noon,” Day writes. “It’s salad-esque but eats heartier, rooted by sweet potatoes permeated with lemon, juicy chicken, tender spinach, briny olives and cooling tzatziki to sauce it all. Enjoy as is today, and take along whole-grain pitas to fill or lavash to wrap for something different tomorrow.” We like your style, Allison.

To make it vegetarian, she suggests replacing the chicken with cooked chickpeas, butter beans or hard-boiled eggs—just add it on top of the spinach instead of roasting the potatoes and carrots.

Sad salad? We don’t know her.

Excerpted from Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal by Allison Day. Copyright © Allison Day. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved. 


Lemon-Roasted Potatoes and Chicken

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

Four 4-ounce boneless chicken breasts (skinless or skin on)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

¼ cup lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 cups baby spinach or baby arugula

1 cup kalamata olives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


1 English cucumber, unpeeled and halved lengthwise

2 cups strained plain whole-milk yogurt or plain Greek yogurt (see note in directions)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving

¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint

½ garlic clove, minced 

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Roast the Potatoes and Chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes and chicken with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken from the baking sheet to a cutting board to rest, and cook the sweet potatoes until they are very tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool the sweet potatoes before assembling the container.

2. Make the Tzatziki: Use a metal spoon to scrape the seeds from the cucumber; discard them or save to use in smoothies or juices. Grate the cucumber on a box grater and squeeze out the excess juice. In a large bowl, combine the grated cucumber with the yogurt, dill, mint, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste, and mix well to combine. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

3. Assemble the Lunchbox: Slice the chicken crosswise or shred it using two forks. Divide the spinach evenly among each of four bento boxes or containers, then repeat with the chicken, sweet potatoes, tzatziki (or pack it separately), olives and lemon wedges; drizzle with extra oil and sprinkle with dill. Seal and refrigerate until you are ready to take it with you; it will keep for up to five days in the fridge.

NOTE: To make strained yogurt, line a large fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth (approximately four 15-inch square layers), suspend it over a large bowl and add 4 cups of plain yogurt (at least 2% but preferably whole milk). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to a day. Transfer the strained yogurt to a large container and refrigerate as long as the yogurt’s expiry date allows. You can also refrigerate the whey (the liquid strained out of the yogurt) in a glass jar to use for marinades, dips or dressings.

Nutrition Facts
  • Lemon-Roasted Potatoes and Chicken

  • 433 calories

  • 25g fat

  • 31g carbs

  • 22g protein

  • 6g sugars

  • Tzatziki

  • 91 calories

  • 4g fat

  • 10g carbs

  • 5g protein

  • 7g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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