Easy Roast Chicken
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- With roasted or mashed vegetables: These veggies are classics for a reason. I’m talking about roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots, roasted potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or mashed cauliflower.
- Turn it into a salad: Slice pieces and layer on top of any salad for a protein boost – like this kale salad with apples and chicken.
- Add it to a protein bowl: Start with a rice or leafy greens base, then pile on your favorite veggies, diced roast chicken, pickled onions, or even a dollop of hummus!
- Make a breakfast hash: Dice it up into cubes and cook it with other seasonal veggies in a pan, then crack a few eggs on top for the final touch. You can use my turkey cranberry hash as inspiration!
- Add it to a soup: Make a classic chicken soup out of it, or even my white chicken chili.
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.
- Lemon Garlic Spatchcock Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Herbed Honey Mustard Chicken
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
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!
Super Easy Roast Chicken
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) whole chicken, packet of giblets removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, patting the seasoning in with your hands.
- 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.
- 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!
I wish I had taken a picture before my family dug into this dish bc it was devoured. It was the best roasted chicken I have ever cooked. It was so flavorful and moist. I didn’t have Italian seasoning so I used herbs that are used to make dipping sauce for bread and added garlic. Look out Thanksgiving!
Made this tonight! Absolutely delicious. Meat fell off the bone! It was perfect.
Glad this roast chicken was a success Melinda!
Very easy to fix, tastes delicious. We ate the chicken down to the bones!!
Happy you loved the recipe!
I’ve tried cooking whole chickens before, but my husband wasn’t loving them. I made this recipe last week, and he couldn’t get enough! Bonus points for making our house smell delicious. 😋
Grateful for simple ingredients – will be a new weeknight go-to for us!
This is one of those recipes where simple is definitely best. ;) Enjoy!
Delicious! The skin was so so crispy and the chicken was super moist and tasty. I cooked a 5.9 lb chicken in a cast iron, WITHOUT legs tied and it took 1 hour. My oven usually runs hot but it definitely cooked faster than I expected based on the recipe, so check your chicken often! Fantastic recipe!
So happy you loved the recipe Brianna! And yes, always a good reminder that all ovens cook differently. :)
Fantastic!!! Super easy and fast. I used a 5 lb chicken and all the spices!! Oregano, rosemary, basil AND thyme! I turned the heat down to 375 halfway through because it was cooking too fast. It was juicy and so flavorful!! The skin was perfectly crispy ❤️ Will definitely make this again!
Happy to hear your roast chicken turned out perfectly Michelle!
I am planning to make this. I love chicken and this looks yummy. Do you cover the chicken with aluminum foil or leave it uncovered while baking? Thanks
I leave this one uncovered.
I’ve made the roasted chicken two times. I felt like the first time it was a little dry. Today I’ve used my thermometer and thought it was done but after cutting into it just did not look cooked. I’ve put it back in the oven. I’m hopeful I haven’t messed it up. It’s a 4# chicken and I set it for 60 minutes and counted on the thermometer to help me. Any suggestions?
Remember that the chicken will continue to increase by about 5 degrees in internal temperature as it rests. :)
I’m curious to ask why you roast the chicken at 425° rather than the common 450° temperature?
Hi Julie – there’s no standard for roasting chicken, some prefer 450 and some prefer 425. Both work! :)
We LOVE this recipe for so many reasons! It’s easy and so good and so far – no fail! I’ve made this for my family (with your glazed carrots and sautéed cabbage recipes) and even my pickey eaters like it. I’ve also made this when my in-laws visited and they raved about it! It’s great on a weeknight or a weekend. Thank you for this and all of your recipes – we make and leave little to no leftovers on every recipe of yours we have tried!
For supper last night I made roasted chicken, pickled red onions and roasted potatoes and carrots. I used your recipe for the chicken and onions, but used fresh herbs (chicken unique). The kitchen smelled wonderful! Let’s just say that sometimes I just have to try new recipes! My partner and I loved everything and I will be making this meal again.
Wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe Katherine.
This was so easy and very delicious. I have made many of your recipes and we love them all. Thank you.
So glad you enjoyed this roast chicken!
Also, does it make a difference if I am using an enameled cast iron braiser?
Nope. That pan works great!
this will be the first time I use the convecton option on my stove. (fingers crossed) Also, I am just now starting to get intereseted in cooking. My husband brined the chicken, is there anything I should do differently with this in mind.
Hope this roast chicken recipe was a success Chris!
Easiest chicken ever!
Made this for dinner and it turned out perfect.
Glad this recipe worked out perfectly Terri!
Love this recipe (the husband also loves it). The first time I did it with Italian seasoning and the second one with zaatar seasoning and both came out so delicious. Thank you!!! Can wait until the book arrives.
This whole procedure turned out absolutely perfect as all of your recipes do! It is so delicious, and the first roast chicken that I’ve ever made can’t wait to try the turkey recipe next. Thank you
Happy to hear your roast chicken turned out perfectly Denise!
Another easy and straightforward recipe with great results!
Thanks so much Jennifer! I’m happy you love this roast chicken recipe. :)
This was my first time making a whole roasted chicken and it surprisingly was very easy! My family loved it! It was very juicy and delicious!
Happy to hear your first roast chicken was a success Cynthia!
I noticed that your oven has a fan in it, i.e., it’s also a convection oven. I am never sure whether to use the convection or not. Supposedly, it prevents hot spots in the oven, as you mention in the video when you turn the pan. But my oven also will automatically reduce the temp of the oven if the convection is turned on, by 25 degrees. Do you think the convection might end up drying out the chicken with the swirling heat? just wondering when to use convection and when not. thanks!
You can definitely use your convection setting for this recipe. It will create a really golden chicken! I default to standard as not everyone has convection on their oven. :)
Just made this tonight, and it was delicious! One question, though: is there any way to avoid all the splatter in the oven?
There shouldn’t be too much splatter with this recipe. But, you could alway cover the chicken with foil towards the end if you’d like.
Thank you, Lisa!
This was very good. First thing I did was to watch a couple of videos on best method to truss a chicken. Followed the preparation instructions for the oil and seasoning, used the same kind of Lodge cast iron skillet, positioned the rack one level below center, cooked for 90 minutes (slightly over 5 pound chicken) tested with an instant read thermometer and let it rest, tented, for 5 to 10 minutes and it was moist and delicious.
Glad your roast chicken turned out perfectly Tony!