Easy Roast Chicken

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Roast chicken is the ultimate kitchen staple! And my version is so ridiculously easy to make. There are just three ingredients, yes three! With no stuffing of the bird required. Trust me, this recipe will become your go-to oven roasted chicken recipe.

Whole roast chicken in a skillet
Photo credit: Gayle McLeod

Growing up, my mom was always so adamant about making a whole roasted chicken. It was easy, economical, comforting, and offered a different tasting experience from baked chicken breasts (namely, I got dark meat and crispy skin!).

My mom loved to serve this recipe with a side of roasted vegetables for weeknight dinners, but I’ve found it can go far beyond that. You can zhuzh it up for a stunning Thanksgiving main (that’s not a turkey) or carve it up to make soups, protein bowls, or even breakfast hashes.

Moral of the story – learn how to roast a chicken! Because it’s…

  • Versatile: you can slice it, dice it, or shred it
  • Simple: only three ingredients (chicken, olive oil, seasonings)
  • Super flavorful: you can always switch up the seasonings
Ingredients for roast chicken on a table

Roast Chicken Ingredients

While some roast chicken recipes are fancy, with aromatics stuffed inside the cavity and the chicken sitting on a bed of vegetables, don’t feel obligated to make it that way. As I always say, simple is often best!

Plus, when you want to get a healthy dinner on the table with no-fuss, it’s hard to beat this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • For the chicken: grab a 4 to 5-pound whole chicken. If it’s smaller or larger, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
  • For the flavor: all you need are olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. If you don’t have an Italian seasoning blend, feel free to sprinkle on your favorite dried spices and herbs.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Helpful tip: You can use any oven-safe pan (I prefer cast iron) or a large roasting pan (including the disposable holiday ones) to roast your chicken.

How To Roast A Chicken

First, pat the chicken dry and truss the legs (you don’t need to truss or tuck the wings). Trussing helps to cook the chicken legs and thighs evenly and avoid drying out the breast since the cavity will be exposed.

Helpful tip: If you don’t truss the legs, check on the chicken 10 to 15 minutes earlier, as it typically cooks faster.

Patting a whole chicken dry before roasting

Second, evenly rub the chicken with oil and pat in the seasoning. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more salt, as this will help crisp up the skin. As for the oil, make sure to rub it underneath the chicken as well, so all sides are fully coated.

Seasoned whole roast chicken in a skillet

Third, let’s get to roasting! Roast the chicken at 425°F (220°C) for about 70 to 90 minutes, or until it’s beautifully golden! To make sure your chicken is cooked perfectly, check out my tips in the next section.

A cooked whole roasted chicken in a skillet

The Best Time and Temperature for Roasting Chicken

After a few tests, I’ve found that roasting a 4 to 5-pound whole chicken is best cooked at 425°F (220°C) for 70 to 90 minutes uncovered. If you find that the chicken skin is getting burnt, you can quickly top it with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes.

Just keep in mind that all ovens heat differently. So use a meat thermometer to check your chicken at 70 minutes to see if it has reached 165°F (74°C). Poke it halfway into the middle of the thigh for the most accurate measurement!

A whole roast chicken on a plate

How to Serve a Simple Roast Chicken

There are countless ways to serve roast chicken. And you can never go wrong serving it up on a plate with vegetable-heavy sides. But here are a few more ideas to use up the whole chicken throughout the week.

Storage and Meal Prep Tips

Let me emphasize again how great of a meal prep ingredient roast chicken is! Here’s how to store it in the fridge and freezer.

  • To store: Cut up any remaining chicken (into slices or cubes), and store in sealed containers in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. You can use this as a meal prep base for all the serving options above!
  • To freeze: Carve the chicken into individual pieces (i.e. chicken breasts, legs, and wings), then place them in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Watch how I carve the chicken on the video below!

Roast Chicken Recipe Video

I’m confident this recipe will be on regular rotation in your kitchen! It’s so darn easy (really). Click play to see how I make it!

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Want even more amazing chicken recipes? Here are a few of my favorites. You can also take a glimpse at my roundup of chicken breast recipes and chicken thigh recipes for more ideas.

Believe me when I say this super easy roast chicken will be your new favorite way to prep a whole bird. Give it a try, and let me know your thoughts and how you served it in a comment below!

A skillet with roast chicken and herbs

Super Easy Roast Chicken

4.97 from 105 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Learn how to roast a chicken! It's the ultimate kitchen staple. And this easy roast chicken recipe only requires three ingredients! Watch how I make it in the video above.

Video

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C), place a baking rack in the lower ⅓ of the oven, and bring the chicken to room temperature. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
    A raw whole chicken on a plate before roasting
  • Place the chicken breast side up in an oven-safe pan (I prefer cast iron). Truss the legs. Drizzle with oil and use your hands to rub it all over the chicken.
    Olive oil on roast chicken in a pan
  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, patting the seasoning in with your hands.
    Whole roasted chicken in a skillet next to spices
  • Roast the chicken for 70 to 90 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Double check doneness with an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 165°F (74°C). Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board before slicing and serving.
    A skillet with a cooked whole roast chicken

Lisa’s Tips

  • I used an almost 5-pound chicken and it took 85 minutes to cook. If you’re using a smaller chicken, make sure to check the temperature early, so that you don’t accidentally overcook it and end up with a dry bird.
  • If you don’t have kitchen twine to truss the legs, not to worry. You can still roast the chicken and just the legs fall open. But I’d recommend checking on the chicken 10 to 15 minutes earlier, as it typically cooks faster.
  • If you don’t have Italian seasoning, just sprinkle of mix of individual spices such as dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
  • If you want a fancier roast chicken recipe, check out the one in my cookbook – it’s two whole roasted chickens (hello meal prep!) on a bed of fennel, pear, and onion. So delish!

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 181IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roast Chicken, Roasted Chicken, Roasted Chicken Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




170 Comments

  1. I made this today for our lunch, it was absolutely delicious.
    So easy and so moist.
    I cooked a 6lb chicken and it took about 1 1/2hrs.
    Perfect recipe!!
    We loved it!5 stars

  2. I followed this recipe exactly. I did start checking chicken at 60 minutes because someone said theirs was done then. It actually took 75 minutes. Yes, the house got smoky but I just left doors and windows open a bit. So, so juicy and tasty. Served it with mashed potatoes. Green beans. And homemade chicken gravy. So good. Also, I wish I had taken picture! It was beautiful and crunchy on the outside.5 stars

    1. Sounds like you nailed this roasted chicken, Sandra! And a perfect assortment of side dishes as well.

  3. Thank you so much for this easy roast chicken recipe, Lisa. I never would have considered roasting it at that temperature, but it was perfect…and fast!!!
    Nancy5 stars

  4. Awesome,juicy,and super fast and easy! Keeper for sure 🥰 This is a dialysis friendly recipe which is hard to come by so thank you!!5 stars

  5. Delicious! I added olive oil/seasoned halved red potatoes in the last 30 minutes. The chicken was moist and crispy skin! Thank you so much!5 stars

    1. I have a 6 lb. Chicken. About how long should I roast it at 425 degrees;I don’t have a thermometer (at this time).

  6. Turned out pretty well but 425 degrees F seemed way too high. Chicken was done in far fewer than 80 minutes. Thanks for the recipe, helped first time cook a lot.4 stars

    1. Hi Maryanne – Glad your chicken turned out okay! It’s always good to keep in mind that every oven heats differently.

  7. Perfection ! I used Cavender’s Greek spice as it was all I had. Do use a meat thermometer, the bird was done in far less time than the suggested time. Thanks !!5 stars

  8. Did you bake/roast the chicken at 425 degrees the whole time??
    I have a just-under 5# chicken .
    Thanks,
    Barbara

  9. Trying this recipe at the moment! How do you combat all of the smoke while roasting in a cast iron with olive oil?
    We just had to switch to a roasting pan due to so much smoke!

    1. It isn’t the recipe or the method. Do an internet search for how to prevent your cast iron from smoking. There you will find some great tips.

  10. Lisa, I was wondering could I stuff the cavity with some onions or would that affect on how the chicken will cook?

  11. This chicken is very tasty, my son really liked. Even thought I have your cook book, I always keep your e-mail, some of your recipes are not in the book. Thank you. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Prosperous 2024.5 stars

    1. So happy you and your son love this roast chicken, Concetta! And yes, I have hundreds more recipes on my website, and unique recipes in the cookbook as well. I hope you enjoy them all!

  12. I made a chicken last night with this recipe and it came out so good. The Chicken was nice and juicy and really tasted great. I will definitely be cooking a whole chicken with this recipe again.5 stars

      1. Simple! Delicious!
        With Pam juiced and simmered stock from the neck and innards I fine gravy is easy to whip up.
        Thanks for sharing this!

  13. Chicken was perfectly cooked however the splatter from the high heat and cast iron pan caused more than a significant amount of smoke. All the smoke detectors all went off and the house was extremely smokey. We ended up with all windows open in -5 Celsius and fans running! Now there is no way to use the oven without a very thorough clean. I think lower heat and slower cook would be way better.2 stars

    1. Hi Heather – oh yikes, it sounds like your oven may cook a bit hotter. Have you double checked it’s temp with an oven thermometer? I don’t get any splatter or smoke, and I’ve made this recipe for years.

  14. I have made many of Lisa’s recipes which have all been great but this roasted chicken is awesome! Don’t let it’s simplicity fool you – I almost didn’t make it because of that – but it is so good! I’ve made it twice and it will be my go to roasted chicken recipe from now on.5 stars

  15. Used this recipe today OMG it was so good literally so juicy this will be a go to from now on the timing was perfect thanks for sharing!!5 stars

  16. We ate this for Thanksgiving today. It is simple, and worked out perfectly. A turkey would have been too much for 2 people.5 stars

  17. Excellent! I made gravy from the drippings and served with mashed potatoes and sautéed leeks. We also have leftover chicken that I’ll use to make chicken salad. Plus, we’ll use the remaining carcass to make stock.5 stars

  18. Made this chicken a couple weeks ago and it was a big hit! Especially the crispy skin!! Has anyone tried/mentioned cooking a chicken that is partially frozen?5 stars