One-Pan Braised Lemon Paprika Chicken with Sumac

One-Pot Braised Lemon Paprika Chicken with Sumac - tasty dish ready in 30 minutes! |

I’m going to do something that I neeeever, EVER would have thought I would do.

I’m going to try The Whole30 next month.

It all started when I met Michelle last year. She taught my friend Jackelyn and I how to make some seriously delicious cracklin’ chicken. She also showed us how to make her incredibly versatile magic mushroom powder (which I frequently use to season meat and roasted potatoes). Then, she talked paleo, particularly how the paleo diet changed her lifestyle and how it improved her overall energy level. When she first told me about her paleo journey, I was very curious about trying it too, but I was quite skeptical about my ability to stick with it. I mean, how can I give up grains, beans, and cheese?? But trying the paleo diet was always something that stuck to the back of my mind.

One-Pot Braised Lemon Paprika Chicken with Sumac - tasty dish ready in 30 minutes! |

Fast forward to a year later, Alice announced on her blog that she was going to go on the Whole 30. (By the way, you should all cheer her along on her Instagram.) When I read her post, I thought, if ever there was a time for me to try this paleo reset, it would be now. At least I know who I can turn to advice/support. Okay, so maybe I won’t be starting until next month. I have some family visiting for 2 1/2 weeks, and I’m planning to travel to Alaska over July 4th. It’s just going to be too hard, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

Why the heck do I even want to do the Whole30, you ask? I want the challenge, and I’m just plain curios. Under The Whole30 diet, I won’t be able to eat any grains, dairy products, legumes, and additional sugar. I want to see what kinds of tasty bites I come up with that would be paleo-friendly. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am quite excited to see what life is like without adding sweeteners to my diet. I may become a miss cranky pants without sugar, but I still want to learn how to deal with it. Most of all, I’m just curious about how my body responds to these dietary changes. Will I feel more energized like Michelle has? Will my body hate me? I’m eager to know!

Before I dive head first into this culinary adventure, I’m going to a bit more research over the next few weeks. I’ve already picked up copy The Whole30 book, and I’m beginning to test out recipes that I will want to wolf down during that 30-day period. Let’s start with this braised chicken.

One-Pot Braised Lemon Paprika Chicken with Sumac - tasty dish ready in 30 minutes! |

The dish is inspired by one of the meals I got from Sun Basket, an online cook-at-home meal delivery service. I’ve added more spices and more vegetables to the dish (of course). I have also cooked many variations on the dish, using chicken breasts and chicken thighs, and the thighs win out on more flavor. Not even debatable. Yes, there is a more fat when cooking with skin-on chicken thighs, but I feel full after eating one piece of chicken.

I definitely will make this braised chicken again during my Whole30 journey, but maybe sans freekeh on the side. Just maybe.

One-Pan Braised Lemon Paprika Chicken with Sumac

This one-pan braised lemon paprika chicken is bursting with flavor and ready in 30 minutes! Perfect for weeknights. Serves 4.

12 minPrep Time

18 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image


  • 4 skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic coves, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth
  • 8 oz (225g) carrots, peeled
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 large stalks of swiss chard, chopped
  • 3 TBS chopped parsley, more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted pine nuts (optional)


  1. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of the chicken.
  2. Heat a large pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and sear each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Scoop the chicken onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Add sliced onions into the hot pan and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic and a pinch of salt and cook until browned, about a minute. Add paprika, sumac, and cinnamon. Stir for 30 seconds. Pour in the broth, add another a pinch of salt, arrange place carrots and chicken into the pot. Lay lemon slices on top of the chicken. Cook covered for 8 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of water, a pinch of salt, chopped swiss chard and parsley and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the thighs are no longer pink. Turn off the heat.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle some more chopped parsley and pine nuts, and serve with roasted potatoes or your favorite grains!
Recipe Type: one pot


1. This recipe works very well with chicken breasts but you may need to cook them longer, depending on how thick the meat is.
2. I usually start out with bone-in chicken thighs that I snip away with kitchen shears. I freeze the bones for bone broth excitement another day.
3. You want to cook whole carrots in the pot, you want to work with small, thin carrots. If you are using large carrots, just slice them up before you put it in the pot.


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49 thoughts on “One-Pan Braised Lemon Paprika Chicken with Sumac

  1. Julia
    What a great chicken dish! I love the spices you used and especially love the sumac. I bet the flavors in this are out of this world.
  2. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
    LISA!!!!! I am so happy you are doing it!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!! be sure to tell me your exact start date so I can check in on you!!!! The hardest part for me so far is cooking for my family and not being able to eat pasta and rice. . but the no sugar has been easier than I thought. . I will be rooting for you!!! and this braised lemon dish looks fantastic!!!! just gorgeous! See, clean eating ain't so bad!!
    1. Lisa Post author
      Yes, will definitely let you know of FB when I'm starting! Got the date marked on my calendar. It will definitely be difficult cooking for my man while I'm on the diet. I need to keep cereal, pasta, and noodles around the house that I can't eat! So glad that you're saying the no sugar thing is not that bad! I just realized that savory snacks that I eat (like crackers and cheese) will be difficult to replace! Oh well, we'll figure it out. And you're welcome on the shout out!!
  3. Allie | BakingAMoment
    Girl this chicken dish looks outrageous! I'm crazy about all the bold flavors going on here. And anything one-pot is a winner in my book. Good luck with Whole 30! You and Alice are better women than I!
    1. Lisa Post author
      Hahaha, thanks, Allie! I feel like I'm going to be snacking on sooo much dried fruit while I read about the tasty treats on your blog during my Whole30. Need to get my sugar somehow!
  4. Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    Girl! This is gorgeous. Happiness in a bowl! Love it. And I've been seeing so many people doing Whole30 lately. I'm so intrigued, but not sure if I could do it. But you are going to rock it! Looking forward to hearing about the experience and seeing what recipes you come up with!
    1. Lisa Post author
      Thanks, Sarah!! I'll probably be craving so many cookies on your blog while I'm on the whole30, but I'm sure I'll make it through!
  5. Rachael@AvocadoADayNutrition
    This is gorgeous! Like, right out of a cookbook! Even though I'm generally not big fan of paleo, I think it's a great to experiment with your diet to figure out what works for you. And it sounds like you're approaching it with a really good mindset, trying it out of curiosity rather than an intent to loose a ton of weight! Hope it goes well!
    1. Lisa Post author
      Thank you so much, Rachael! Throughout the whole process, I just want to be honest with myself and see if eating less dairy/sugar/grains is better or worse for my body. Hope it goes well!
  6. Zainab
    You can totally do it!!! Let us kno when you start so we can support you. This chicken dinner looks amazing. I've pinned to try it myself.
  7. Julia
    Huge kudos to you for trying the Whole30! I'm interested to see how you like it! I did paleo for a big long stint a few years ago and had just ridiculous amounts of energy. This chicken is making my mouth water like whoa! I'm all about a good flavorful tender chicken recipe and this is definitely on my To Feast Upon list!
    1. Lisa Post author
      Oh man, yea, eggs are going to be a HUGE staple in my diet! I'll definitely keep regular updates (and probably more posts on the blog) during this journey!
  8. Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
    I have been following Michelle's blog for many years and love all her recipes! That's awesome that you met her! Even though I am not eating 100 % paleo, i try to post mostly paleo recipes. Good luck with Whole 30! I think now in the summer is the perfect time to do it because there is such an abundance of vegetables & fruits. Btw, I m obsessed with one pot meals and this one looks delicious!!
    1. Lisa Post author
      Thank you so much, Neli! I'm not a strict paleo person myself, but I've always LOVED Michelle's creativity with her recipes! Thanks for the encouragement and your kind words about the blog redesign!
  9. Julie | This Gal Cooks
    This meal is so pretty and delicious looking, Lisa! Regarding Whole30, I've been thinking about trying it out. Especially since I want to do an elimination diet. Ack, I think it will be a little difficult but if I put my mind to it, I think I can do it. Good luck! Can't wait to see the Whole30 recipes you create! :)
    1. Lisa Post author
      Thank you so much, Julie! The Whole30 is definitely a bit intense, considering how I need to eliminate so many types of foods at the same time. I'm doing a top of prep work right now and figuring out tasty paleo recipes that I'd actually want to eat when I'm craving a cracker or something. Will definitely keep you updated on how this all goes!
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    1. Lisa Post author
      Hi Tom, thank you very much for letting me know about the missing instruction. It has been added to #3 in the instructions.
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  14. Sheila
    Can't wait to try this dish. Looking for healthy dishes to cook so i went on line to purchase the cookbook. Thanks! Sheila D.

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