Roasted chicken made simple! Enjoy a savory chicken dinner, including vegetables, baked in one pan with only 20 minutes hands-on time.
Why you’ll love it: It’s an easy and basic perfect roast chicken.
How long it takes: 20 minutes prep, about 2 hours in oven
Equipment you’ll need: roasting pan, food thermometer
Perfect for quiet Sunday dinners at home and impressive enough for company, simple roast chicken is an easy and delightful entree. Envision golden brown juicy chicken emanating garlic and herb aromas, surrounded by sweet roasted carrots and onions. Imagine the smells coming from your oven as the chicken slowly roasts!
We’ve all been tempted to pick up rotisserie chickens at the supermarket, and they are super convenient, but why not make your own? Roasting a chicken is not difficult, it’s more economical, and yes, you know I’m going to say this, homemade is so much better!
Have you noticed how salty a rotisserie chicken tastes? I think they inject them with preservatives and probably artificial flavor, too. And who knows how long they’ve been spinning in that glass case?
Once you’ve roasted a chicken at home, you’ll see how easy it is and how much better it tastes. Plus you get the bonus of veggies roasted right along with the chicken! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)
About this roast chicken
I’ve seen some more complicated roasted chicken recipes (butter/herbs under the skin, tying the legs together, etc), and they are great, but this is a great go-to roasted chicken recipe.
We tested both ways, so many ways, all the ways. And I’ll tell you how to make the simple version and the slightly more complicated (but still simple) verseion.
The Scoop on this Chicken
We tested fancier ways to roast a chicken (on a rack, with herb butter under the skin, etc), but here at Rachel Cooks we’re all about the basics and building blocks.
We kept it as simple as we could while still achieving a great end result.
This chicken tastes amazing the way it is (number 1 priority!) but it’s also great fancied up a little.
Read on for all our suggestions!
What kind of pan is best for Roasted Chicken?
About the only equipment you’ll need is a roasting pan. I’ve also used a Dutch oven or a large straight-sided skillet. A 9 x 13 inch cake pan works, too. If the chicken and vegetables fit in the pan without totally being crowded-in and it’s oven-safe, you’re good to go.
What to serve with this recipe
Almost everything goes well with roast chicken! A salad is great, maybe this simple arugula salad or Caesar salad. Another great choice is a green vegetable – we love sautéed Brussels sprouts, lemon feta green beans or roasted broccoli. Since you really already have the potatoes and vegetables with the chicken, why not keep it simple and just serve warm crusty bread, like this easy Dutch oven bread (no knead!) or easy healthy cornbread.
How many people does one chicken serve?
A roasted chicken dinner will serve four to six people, depending on how hungry they are and what else you’re serving.
What you’ll need
As always, scroll to the printable recipe card near the bottom of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
- A Whole Chicken: We recommend looking for one that is about 5-6 pounds, but we tested this recipe with a 5 pound chicken, a 7 pound chicken, a 5.67 pound chicken, you get the point. As long as you keep in mind that the cooking time will increase as the size of your chicken increases, you’ll be good to go.
- Lemon: We love the bright flavor that lemon adds. If you’re looking for something a little different, try orange!
- Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots: The flavor of this trio is unreal after it’s been roasted with the chicken. Yellow potatoes (like Yukon Gold) work great with a quick scrub, because the peeling is thin and tender. Red potatoes are good, too.
- Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil: The necessities! We love kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper but use what you have. If you use a finer ground pepper, you might not need as much.
How to Roast a Chicken
First off, preheat your oven to 425°F. Prepare the chicken by rinsing and drying it with paper towels. Drying is important because it will ensure a nice crisp skin.
Place carrots, potatoes, and onions on the bottom of a roasting dish. Add about half of the olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing to combine.
Place the whole chicken on top of the carrots and potatoes, breast side up.
Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle the chicken with remaining salt and pepper. Of course you can always add more or less salt and pepper. Place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken.
Bake for 1 hour, 50 minutes, or until temperature registers 165°F when checked with an instant-read thermometer inserted between thigh and breast, not touching bone.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This will result in the juiciest chicken.
Carve the chicken, and serve with potato, carrot slices, and pan juices. I like to garnish the chicken with fresh herb sprigs, like thyme and rosemary.
According to the store’s labels, we tested this recipe with a “fryer,” a “young chicken,” a “roaster,” and a “broiler.”
Short version: They all work and it’s mainly a difference in size and whether or not giblets are included.
Longer version: Broilers and fryers are typically smaller than a roaster, however the three can pretty much be used interchangeably. They’re all considered “young chickens.” If you use a larger chicken, you’ll need to keep in mind that it will take longer to cook.
It’s best to roast it uncovered so that the skin gets brown and crispy. However, if it looks like it’s getting too brown, tent it with a piece of foil to prevent the skin from burning before the chicken is cooked through.
Make this recipe your own
This is such a simple recipe so you can easily make changes, depending on what you like or happen to have.
- Switch up the veggies. You’ll want a vegetable that doesn’t mind a couple of hours in the oven. Try parsnips or sweet potatoes.
- Add whatever herbs you have. If your garden is filled with sage, use a bunch of that. A mixture of herbs is nice because you get a lot of exciting flavor. I love adding sprigs of fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary to the cavity of the bird. They provide so much flavor.
- Add garlic! Okay, like I said, I kept this recipe super basic, but I do love adding garlic. I put a few cloves in the cavity of the bird and then sprinkle some in with the potatoes, onions, and carrots. Roasted garlic is so yummy!
- Add a compound butter under the skin. There’s no denying this is a great move when it comes to chicken. Check out the recipe notes for a recipe.
- Like roasted chicken but don’t want a whole bird? Try oven roasted bone in chicken breasts. They are very easy to make and are juicy and delicious.
- Looking for something different? Try braised lamb shanks or Instant Pot short ribs.
If you have extra time in the morning, prepare the chicken and vegetables, put them in the pan, and refrigerate it. It’ll be all ready to pop in the oven when you get home.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Leftovers should be stored in the fridge. Cooked chicken will last up to 3 days if properly stored. If there’s a lot left, cut the chicken into smaller pieces before refrigerating it so the meat cools more quickly.
Reheat in the microwave or in the oven, covered, until warmed through. Roasted chicken is delicious served cold, too. Try it on a sandwich or in a salad.
One Pan Chicken Dinners
Once you discover the beauty and simplicity of chicken dinners made in one pan, you’ll want to enjoy them frequently. Try:
- Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
- Hot Honey Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Creamy Chicken Spaghetti — one pan, endless variations!
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Apple Gouda Stuffed Chicken Breasts with smoky roasted sweet potatoes
- Roasted Romaine Salad — sheet pan dinner
- One Pan Mediterranean Chicken and Israeli Couscous
- 3 to 4 yellow potatoes (1 -1 ½ lbs.), scrubbed, trimmed, and quartered (red potatoes are fine, too)
- 4 to 5 whole carrots, peeled, and cut into 3 inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow onions, quartered
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper, divided
- 1 whole chicken (6 pounds), giblets removed, and patted dry with paper towel
- ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place carrots, potatoes, and onions on the bottom of a roasting dish. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to combine.
- Place the whole chicken on top of the carrots and potatoes, breast side up.
- Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (more or less to taste). Place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken (see notes).
- Bake 1 hour, 50 minutes, or until temperature registers 165°F when checked with an instant-read thermometer inserted between thigh and breast, not touching bone. Larger chickens may take longer to cook and smaller chickens may need less time.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Carve the chicken, and serve with potato, carrot slices, and pan juices.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days. If there’s a lot left, cut the chicken into smaller pieces so it cools more quickly. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven, covered, until warmed through.
- If the chicken seems to be browning too quickly, tent with a piece of aluminum foil.
- If desired, add fresh herbs to the cavity as well. We recommend rosemary, thyme, and fresh parsley.
- If desired, add peeled garlic cloves to the vegetable mix and to the cavity of the chicken.
- If desired, create a compound butter to rub under the skin. This yields the best flavor in our opinion, but the above recipe is great if you want to keep things simple (it also looks a little nicer as the butter and spices tend to brown more quickly). For the butter, in a small bowl, blend together 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Gently lift up the skin of the chicken, and with your fingers, scoop some of the butter mixture and push it beneath the skin. From the outside of the chicken, massage the butter off your fingers and onto the chicken. Continue until butter mixture is used up. Resume recipe by drizzling oil over the chicken, but omit the additional salt and pepper as that is incorporated in the butter.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.