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Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Butter

With crispy, golden skin and a smokey lemon garlic butter, this roast chicken recipe is a step up from regular rotisserie chicken dinners. Baked until nice and juicy, it’s an effortless weeknight meal everyone will love.

If you’re looking for more whole chicken recipes you need to check out all my tips & tricks to roasting a whole chicken and definitely need to make my Beer Can Chicken!

Easy Roast Chicken Recipe

If easy meals are your thing, then this roast chicken recipe is for you! With a homemade lemon garlic butter and a hint of sage, this simple dinner with baked lemon slices will be a total show-stopper at all your gatherings.

To balance out the richness in each bite, a little bit of olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice are added to the butter mixture. Don’t forget the garlic, sage, and paprika for some aromatics and spice! For a bake-and-forget dinner with crispy skin, this chicken is a juicy symphony that’ll find its way to your table each week.

Even if you cut some corners and use store-bought compound butter instead, this recipe will beat boring chicken dinners any day. It’ll be a hit with the whole family and you’ll love making it as much as you enjoy eating it.

Roasted chicken recipe in the baking pan.

Why You’ll Love This Oven Roasted Chicken

This juicy oven-roasted chicken will be a new weeknight favorite.

  • Easy. Although “compound butter” sounds quite fancy, it’s basically butter mixed with spices and herbs. The rest is just baking… How hard can this recipe be?
  • Perfect for gatherings. Once it hits the oven, you can forget about it until it’s time for dinner! Meanwhile, you can spend time with friends and family.
  • Versatile. Use store-bought compound butter to save some time or shred up the leftovers to add them to your favorite recipes.
  • Prep-friendly. Prepare the butter and clean the chicken in advance so all you have to do is pop it into the oven throughout the week.
Ingredients for roasted chicken recipe.

What You’ll Need

It’s all about the lemon and butter for some zesty richness. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Whole chicken

For the Lemon Garlic Butter

  • Butter – I prefer unsalted butter but salted works too.
  • Olive oil – Avocado, corn, vegetable, or canola oil are great swaps.
  • Lemon zest – Feel free to use lime zest.
  • Lemon juice – Lime juice also works.
  • Garlic – Don’t use garlic powder.
  • Dried sage
  • Smoked paprika Use your favorite kind.
  • Salt – Skip it if you’re using salted butter.
  • Ground pepper – Only use black pepper.
  • Lemon
Roasted chicken recipe with a chunk sliced off.

How to Make Oven Roasted Chicken

Make your compound butter, clean the chicken, rub it with butter, and bake away! That’s it. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F. If you have an oven thermometer to confirm the temperature, even better.
  • Make the lemon garlic butter. Add all of the butter ingredients to a bowl and mix them until well combined. Set it aside.
  • Prep the chicken. Clean the neck, remove the gizzards, and clear out the chicken’s cavity. Rinse it well with water and then pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub the butter. Place the chicken in the roasting pan. Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken, making sure to rub some under the skin too.
  • Stuff it. Stuff the chicken with 1 lemon that has been cut in half.
  • Bake it. Top the chicken with 3-4 lemon slices. Pop it into the oven for 1 hour 40 minutes.

Tips for Success

These tips will help you master whole roasted chickens, turkeys, and any sort of poultry.

  • Use a meat thermometer. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should read 170F when it’s ready, otherwise it’s undercooked.
  • Use compound butter. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough time to whip up your own flavored butter. Use store-bought instead!
  • Ask for help. When buying the chicken, ask your butcher to clean it out for you so you don’t have to.
  • Cover it with foil. If the top of the chicken is browning too quickly, cover it with foil for the rest of the baking time to keep it from burning.
  • Keep it moist. Place a baking sheet with water on the lowest oven rack and bake the chicken as usual. This will release steam and keep the chicken nice and juicy.
Whole roasted chicken with a chunk sliced off.

What To Serve With Roast Chicken

This roast chicken recipe is perfect for dinner with some simple sides and a salad. If you love potato-sides like me, serve it with my Roasted Potatoes or Garlic Parmesan Fries. Other veggie sides include my Air Fryer Asparagus. For salad ideas, pair it with my Wedge Salad or Fattoush Salad.

Oven roasted chicken on a serving plate.

Proper Storage

Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days. If you have lots of leftovers, it’s best to keep it in the roasting pan and cover it with foil. For easier storage, though, you can just shred the chicken and place it in an airtight container. To reheat it, pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm. You can also reheat it in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

More Chicken Recipes To Try

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Roasted chicken recipe with lemon slices on top.

Oven Roasted Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


With crispy skin and zesty butter, this bake-and-forget roasted chicken recipe will be a weeknight favorite!


  • 4 lb. whole chicken

Lemon Garlic Butter:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 34 slices of lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Make the Lemon Garlic Butter: In a bowl mix butter, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic cloves, dried sage, smoked paprika, salt, and ground pepper. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Prep the Chicken: Clean the neck, gizzards, and other parts out of the cavity of the chicken. Rinse water over the entire chicken to clean it. Pat it dry with a paper towel.
  4. Place chicken in a roasting pan.
  5. Rub lemon garlic mixture all over the chicken (be sure to put some under the skin as well).
  6. Stuff the chicken with 1 lemon that has been halved.
  7. Place 3-4 slices of lemon on top of the chicken.
  8. Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes, or until internal temperature is 170°F.


  • Serving Size: 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 179
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 268 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 19 g
  • Cholesterol: 61 mg

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23 comments on “Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Butter”

  1. Looks good and I am constantly doing that myself. I compare myself to others who have more than I do and I look at their homes compared to mine. Very hard to stop doing that.

  2. This recipe looks amazing!!! and super easy to make 🙂 My oven is not working, I’m wondering if I can use the electric mini oven instead. I just want to make sure it will cook just fine.

  3. I made this for dinner tonight and have to say that it will definitely be added to my cooking rotation. So moist! So tender! It was actually so tender that the meat fell off of the leg bone while I was cutting it. Well done!

    1. Ohh.. that’s the best kinda tender! Plus it’s so flexible, you could add different spices for a more complex flavor! 🙂 Glad you liked it Kim!

  4. This is delicious- even 4 days after, the cold left overs are moist and yummy! Thank you for a new and EASY recipe for my family.
    Quick question- I would like to cook 2 whole chickens (4lbs each) side by side in the oven for a larger group. Do I increase cooking time?

    1. Hurray! So glad you liked it Katy!

      I would keep the cook time the same even when roasting two birds side by side. If it’s not done then check every 20 minutes.

  5. Your photos look great!! If I double to size of this bird, would I double the cooking time? Thank you in advance!

    1. Thanks so much Kristin! 🙂 If you double the size you would not double the cook time. I would maybe increase the cook time by a hour and check it ever 15-20 minutes from there.

  6. I’m with you, comparison is the work of the devil and does nothing but to increase self doubt. I try my best to catch myself as I go down that road. It’s hard as women to not get caught up in it and you are right, saying it out loud makes it lose its powers. Thanks for this recipe!! I love roasting a whole bird for dinner parties.

  7. Avatar photo
    Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie

    This is SO lovely. I’m getting so hungry looking at your gorgeous photos!

  8. Avatar photo
    Andi @ The Weary Chef

    This looks so flavorful! Would love to try it soon!
    Each of us has our own style of capturing flavors in our recipe, Krista. And yours looks really good! 😀

  9. Avatar photo
    Justine | Cooking and Beer

    Such a beautiful bird, Krista! This has “fall cooking” written all over it! Pinned!

  10. Avatar photo
    Serene @ House of Yumm

    Krista before I even read the post and just saw the pictures I was thinking “Woooow. She made a whole chicken look absolutely gorgeous!!” I love your photography! But I completely understand the comparison game all too well myself. I think with photography there’s always room to improve ourselves which means we will always be working hard to do better. But you are definitely excelling!

    1. oh… you are too sweet! Thank you Serene!

      I totally agree with you, with photography, things are always changing and so are our own personal styles so we will always be working hard in that area. Always striving for something better.

  11. Avatar photo
    Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen

    Girl, I so know that feeling of comparison. I do it all the time, and in nearly every aspect of my life, and I hate how it can eat at you! Bravo to you for speaking out about it though, and I hope it helps you to realize how truly awesome you are! I look up to your photography and blogging skills, so remember that if you are doubting yourself. You have fans! 😉 And this chicken and that lemon garlic butter looks like the perfect dinner! Love the crispy skin!

    1. You are so right, it can start to eat away and destroy so many parts of who we are! Thank you so much Ashlyn, you are seriously so sweet!! Made my day!

  12. Avatar photo
    Katerina @ Diethood

    Pretty bird!! That’d be one fantastic dinner!

    I almost never, ever compare myself to others. I learned a long time ago that I can only be the best that I can be if I try to do my best. Make sense? 😀