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Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe: A Flavorful Family Favorite

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Scrumptious homemade Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Photographed by: Ren Fuller

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken is your go-to recipe for a delicious and straightforward meal. You’ll love the crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat.

By combining fresh lemon, fragrant herbs, and a touch of garlic, you create a dish that’s bursting with flavor. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a special occasion, this recipe is sure to impress.

With easy-to-follow steps and simple ingredients, you can make a tasty, home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, you will need the following ingredients and possible substitutes:

  • 1 whole chicken (about 4-5 lbs). Substitute: Four to six bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs.
  • Salt: About 3/4 to 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Substitute: Table salt.
  • Pepper: 1-2 teaspoons of black pepper. Substitute: White pepper.
  • Lemons: Both zest and juice are needed. Usually, 2 lemons. Substitute: Lemon juice concentrate or lime.


  • Fresh thyme: 2-3 sprigs. Substitute: 1 tablespoon dried thyme.
  • Fresh rosemary: 2-3 sprigs. Substitute: 1 tablespoon dried rosemary.
  • Fresh parsley: 2-3 tablespoons chopped. Substitute: 1 tablespoon dried parsley.

Other important ingredients:

  • Garlic: 4-6 cloves, minced. Substitute: 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder.
  • Butter: 1/4 cup melted. Substitute: Olive oil or margarine.
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons. No substitute listed for this.

Additional optional ingredients:

  • Potatoes: 4-5 medium ones, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds.
  • Carrots: 3-4, sliced into 1-inch pieces.

Keep everything simple and fresh. Fresh herbs and real lemons make a big difference in flavor.


  1. Preheat Oven: Set the oven to 425°F (220°C).

  2. Prepare Chicken: Remove giblets from the chicken cavity. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

  3. Season Cavity: Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken cavity. Optionally, add a lemon half or a few garlic cloves for extra flavor.

  4. Make Herb Mixture:

    • In a bowl, mix melted butter, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  5. Season Chicken:

    • Gently lift the skin over the breast and spoon some herb mixture under it.
    • Brush remaining herb mixture over the entire chicken.

  6. Tie Drumsticks: Use kitchen twine to tie the drumsticks together. This helps the chicken cook evenly.

  7. Set Up Roasting Pan:

    • Place the chicken breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
    • Optionally, add potatoes and other vegetables around the chicken. Season them with salt and pepper.

  8. Roast Chicken: Place the roasting pan in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

  9. Rest the Chicken: Remove chicken from oven. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

  10. Serve: Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted vegetables. Enjoy!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

For the best lemon herb roasted chicken, follow these tips and tricks.

Preparing the Chicken

  • Pat dry: Make sure to dry the chicken well with paper towels. This helps to get crispy skin.
  • Season generously: Don’t skimp on salt and pepper, both inside and out. It makes a big difference in flavor.
  • Butter under the skin: Spread the lemon herb butter under the skin for more juicy and flavorful meat.

Cooking Tips

  • Oven temperature: Start roasting at a high temperature (425°F) and then lower it halfway. This ensures a crispy skin and moist meat.
  • Use a rack: Place the chicken on a roasting rack to allow hot air to circulate, cooking it evenly.
  • Check doneness: Use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F at the thickest part of the thigh.

Extra Flavor

  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme add a fantastic aroma. Don’t forget the garlic and lemon zest.
  • Marinate: If you have time, marinate the chicken overnight. It helps the flavors to penetrate deeper.
  • Baste: Occasionally baste the chicken with its own juices or additional butter for extra flavor.

Storing Leftovers

  • Cool it quickly: Let the chicken cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Airtight containers: Store leftovers in airtight containers or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate: Keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the chicken. It can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Reheat properly: Reheat leftovers in an oven at 350°F until warmed through to keep the meat tender. If microwaving, add a bit of water to maintain moisture.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions


  1. Honey-Lemon Glaze: Add a sweet twist by mixing honey with melted butter, lemon juice, and herbs. Brush this on the chicken before roasting.
  2. Garlic and Herb: Mix minced garlic with rosemary, thyme, and olive oil. Rub it all over the chicken for a bold, savory flavor.
  3. Spicy Kick: Add red pepper flakes or paprika to the herb mix for a bit of heat.

Serving Suggestions

  • With Roasted Vegetables: Serve the chicken alongside roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions. They cook well together in the same pan.
  • On a Bed of Rice: Make it a complete meal by serving the chicken on a bed of rice pilaf, flavored with herbs and lemon zest.
  • Fresh Salad: Pair the chicken with a light, fresh salad. A mix of greens, cherry tomatoes, and a lemon vinaigrette complements the chicken perfectly.