The Great Thermo Meal Prep by Tracey Pattison is a cookbook filled with ideas and recipes that can be made ahead of time in large quantities and reheated when you’re ready to eat. It’s ideal for those who do or would like to meal prep; and want the convenience of a home cooked meal at the end of the day without having to do anything other than reheat.


The Great Thermo Meal Prep covers weeknight meals, batch cooking and freezer friendly meals, as well as a make and bake ahead chapter.


Before I go further I must confess that I do not have a thermo appliance (which all the recipes were tested in and written for) and the only time I’d ever heard of such a gadget was when I asked cookbook author Trish van der Nest what her favourite appliance was and she answered “a Thermomix”. A thermo appliance is a blender that also cooks and stirs. You can use it to knead dough or mix batter. It comes with two steamer baskets, a small one that fits inside the blender bowl and a large one that perches on top. For those curious this is what it looks like.


Despite that disclaimer, I found most recipes can be made on the stove, in the oven and using a stand-alone blender. My favorite recipes were the spice blends and marinades that can be made in batches ahead of time to create flavourful meals. If meal prep is something you want guidance on, this cookbook is filled with guides, tips and recipes.


The recipe I’m sharing is the Balsamic Chicken Tray Bake. It uses her Italian balsamic marinade, cooks in just one pan (less clean up) and is absolutely delicious. Instead of chicken breasts I used thighs – you can use any piece of chicken, you’ll just have to adjust cooking time accordingly. I also did 4 servings, not 6 and thus halved the marinade (it was plenty), which is the star of the dish. You can make it the night before you plan on serving or the day of. It takes about an hour from start to finish.


Italian Balsamic Chicken Tray Bake from The Great Thermo Meal Prep


Italian Balsamic Chicken Tray Bake from The Great Thermo Meal Prep

An easy to make and delicious one tray balsamic chicken bake. Can be made ahead and comes from The Great Thermo Meal Prep.
Course: Mains
Dietary: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free, Wheat Free
Servings: 4 servings


Italian Balsalmic Marinade

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Chicken Tray Bake

  • 4 chicken thighs skin on
  • 1 red onion cut into wedges
  • 250 grams Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 zouchinni cut into rounds
  • 50 grams rocket


Italian Balsalmic Marinade

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor / mixer and blend until combined into a sauce.

Chicken Tray Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 200C, fan forced.
  • Place the marinade, chicken, onion, tomatoes and zucchini in a large bowl, then toss together until well combined and evenly coated in the marinade.
  • Add the chicken mixture to a large baking tray with a lip, spreading it out in a thin layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes until cooked and golden.
  • To serve immediately: Top with fresh rocket (arugula) leaves and serve with toasted ciabatta or a grain. To serve the next day: Cool on the tray and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. The next day remove the tray from the fridge and preheat the oven to 200C, fan forced. Bake for 12-15 minutes until heated through and serve as above.


You can replace the thighs for chicken breasts - just adjust the cooking time.


Italian Balsamic Chicken Tray Bake from The Great Thermo Meal Prep


The Great Thermo Meal Prep was given to us by Jonathan Ball Publishers and is available here. Jonathan Ball Publishers nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions + images are our own. Recipe is reprinted with permission. 

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