roasted chicken with root vegetables

$14.96 recipe / $2.49 serving

I really don’t know what got into me last weekend but somehow I got it in my mind that I was going to roast a chicken. I don’t particularly like chicken (unless it’s doctored up with some great sauce or something) but I’ve never roasted a chicken and I was suddenly determined to do it.

I’ve come across a some recipes over the past few months that just looked so mouth wateringly good. Like this one, for instance, that is self basting with bacon and yummy potatoes. Then there was this one with a unique, creamy looking milk reduction. In the end, since this is my first chicken, I decided to go with this recipe for a basic roasted chicken with vegetables.

I didn’t have anything big enough AND oven safe to roast a chicken in so I ended up purchasing this roasting pan for only $9. Now, roasting pans can cost upwards of $60 each but my mom used one almost identical to this during my entire childhood and I’m sure it’s still going strong. Plus, it came with a lid – BONUS!

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

The grocery store only had HUGE chickens (we’re talking 8 lbs and more) but most recipes I found were for 3-4 lb. chickens. So, I ended up having to cook my chicken for about 2.5 hours before it got up to the safe temperature of 160 degrees F. So, if you have a smaller chicke, just scale back accordingly. A 3-4 lb. chicken will take about 1.5 hours to cook but ALWAYS use a thermometer to verify (stick it down in the deep spot between the breast and leg).

To figure out how big of a bird you need to feed your crew, you’ll want 1.5 lbs. of bird per person. This doesn’t mean 1.5 lbs. of meat, this is meat, bone, skin and all.

4.5 from 2 reviews
roasted chicken with root vegetables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $14.96
Cost Per Serving: $2.49
Serves: 6
  • 1 (8 lb.) chicken $7.96
  • 1 lb. carrots $0.78
  • 1.5 lbs. red potatoes $1.38
  • 3 med. turnips $1.54
  • 1 med. onion $0.67
  • 1 med. sweet potato $0.79
  • 1 whole bulb garlic $0.50
  • 2 med. lemons $0.64
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.50
  • 2 tsp dried thyme, divided $0.10
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.10
  1. Allow the chicken to thaw, if frozen. Remove the neck and gizzards from inside of the body cavity and rinse the whole chicken well, inside and out. Allow the chicken to sit and come to room temperature as you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Wash, peel and chop the vegetables into large chunks. The lemons can be quartered but not peeled. The garlic bulb can be broken up into individual cloves but does not need to be peeled (easy!). Simply remove any extra papery outside bits.
  3. Place all of the vegetables, half of the garlic cloves and half of the lemon pieces in the roasting pan (the rest of the garlic and lemon will be stuffed inside of the chicken). Drizzle 3 Tbsp of olive oil over the vegetables along with 1 tsp of thyme and some salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables until they are well coated.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle half a tsp. of dried thyme inside the cavity of the chicken then stuff with the remaining pieces of lemon and garlic. Nestle the chicken down in the vegetables. If the surface of the chicken is still wet, dry it with a paper towel so the oil and seasoning will adhere to the skin. Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the chicken and smear it all over the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tsp of thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast at 425 for 45 minutes. At that point, remove it from the oven, stir the vegetables, reduce the heat in the oven to 375 and roast for another 45 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven again and check the temperature of the chicken by placing a meat thermometer deep in the crevasse between the chicken breast and leg. If the chicken is not up to 160 degrees, roast for an additional 45 minutes or until 160 F. Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes prior to carving to let the juices redistribute.


Since this was my first chicken and I am by no means a pro carver, here is a video on how to carve a chicken. Good luck!

roasted chicken with root vegetables

Step By Step Photos

raw chickenHere is my HUGE chicken. Event though it’s wrapped up tight in plastic, it WILL still leak chicken juice all over your refrigerator. So, place it in some sort of dish.

clean chickenPull the neck and gizzards out of the cavity (aka “big scary hole”). Some people save these to make things with later but I’m not that far along yet. Give the chicken a very good rinse inside and out.

roasting panThis is my new roasting pan. I get really excited when I buy new kitchen ware because I know it will be with me forever. FOREVER.

vegetablesWhile your chicken is hanging out in the sink and getting up to room temp, prepare your vegetables. I decided to go with a root vegetable theme so I bought carrots, potatoes, turnips, sweet potato and onion. You will also need a head of garlic and some lemons.

turnipsThese turnips are beautiful so I had to take a picture. Plus, they always remind me of Super Mario Bros 2… remember that? pulling the turnips out of the ground? Anyway, turnips need to be peeled, fyi.

garlic clovesand the garlic DOESN’T need to be peeled… it will roast right in it’s skin. Then you can squeeze it out with your fingers later. It’s SO DELICIOUS.

seasoned vegetablesPlace all of the vegetables (and half the garlic and lemon) in the roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss till it’s all coated.

season chickenNow, go back to the chicken, sprinkle a little thyme inside the cavity (BIG SCARY HOLE) then stuff it with the remaining garlic and lemon pieces. Then, nestle the chicken down into the vegetables, smear oil over the skin and sprinkle more thyme, salt and pepper on top.

roast chickenPlace the chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven and roast for 45 minutes. The high heat in the beginning helps get the skin browning and crisping. This is my chicken after the first 45 minutes. Stir the vegetables before putting it back in the oven.

second 45 minutesReduce the heat to 375 and roast for another 45 minutes. If you have a smaller bird, it may be up to 160 degrees by this time. Mine was only at 140 so I put it in for another 45.

finally 160 degreesFINALLY, this big honker of a bird was up to a safe temperature. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes so the juices redistribute throughout the meat. Plus, it will be impossible to carve if it’s too hot.

roasted chicken with root vegetables

Serve this with some fresh, home made bread and a little side salad and you have a five star dinner!

The dish was certainly impressive but since I’m not a straight-up chicken loving type of person, I’m not sure it was worth cleaning out the “big scary hole” for me. Luckily, I’m resourceful and I turned about half of my left over chicken into some insanely delicious jambalaya this afternoon…. recipe to come soon!

The vegetables on the other hand… OH MY! Roasted vegetables are one of my favorite things on earth to begin with but when they’re covered in chicken fat and steeped with lemon, garlic and thyme they are not of this world. Really really amazing!


  1. Meghan says:

    Going to try this today with some larger drumsticks; I have terrible luck with whole chickens. My intention was to make chicken and your spice-rubbed squash recipe as a side for it, but then I saw this and will make the squash tomorrow to eat with leftovers.

    Your recipes are so easy to follow and make my cookingexperiences anxiety-free. I am so grateful! <3

  2. Jacob N says:

    Cooking a whole bird is such a rite of passage! Tying, also called trussing, your bird with some butcher’s twine can result in a more evenly cooked bird (between dark and white meats) and it makes the presentation look nice. Here is a nice simple video overview.

  3. Amber says:

    Do you think this would work with a smaller chicken in the crockpot or bone in chicken breasts?

    • Yes, I think bone-in chicken breasts in the crock pot would work. Just keep in mind that the crock pot is a moist cooking environment and the oven is a dry cooking environment, so you won’t get that nice browning and caramelizing action in the crock pot like you would in the oven. So, I highly suggest the oven instead of the crock pot for this one.

  4. How can you not like good, plain chicken? Communist!

  5. Amanda says:

    Hey Beth,

    Been going through the Budget Bytes files to try some new things (I’ve tried 50+ of your recipes and absolutely loved them all, my boyfriend is thankful that you’ve come into our lives haha) and saw this the roasted chicken and I’m eager to try it. Question – is a cornish hen the same thing as a “small chicken”? They don’t have whole roasting chickens at my grocery but they have cornish hens haha. I’m about ready to break down and buy it.

    Thanks and keep the recipes coming!
    – Amanda (fellow recipe budgeter and poor medical student)

    • I think the cornish hens are much smaller than a 4-5 lb. “small” chicken. Probably half the size (2 lbs. or so). You could still use them, but I’m sure they’ll cook much faster :) Maybe do a google search for roasting cornish hens to find out what time and temperature people generally use.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I bought a whole chicken a few days ago after doing my first ever (with my mum lol) a few days ago. The one we bought didn’t have anything in the hole, but it was some special organic one. I bought mine on special and it’s in the sink and i’m too scared to go near the hole! lol

  7. Suzanne says:

    Definitely need to make stock with the leftover carcass! I also tend to keep vegetable waste as I prepare it (tops of carrots, etc.) to also add to the stock pot. I simmer real low for at least 2-3 hours, then let stand overnight (really helps bring out the flavor) before straining and freezing. Yum! I NEVER buy stock.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you’re not going to stuff the chicken, cut it down the back and lay it flat on top of the vegetables. That way it will cook more evenly and brown the entire skin. It also makes cutting it into serving pieces after cooking easier.

  9. Melanie ;-) says:

    Day #17 and #18 were taken up with this fab dish :-)

    Using the leftovers for chicken salad sandwiches tomorrow (hubby’s fave)

    The root vegetables could have been a meal all by themselves imo. They were ‘that’ good! The lemon for me, was the kicker. It just made it smell so fragrant.

    Thanks again Beth.

  10. You are like me,in some aspects I hate whole chickens, from the cleaning out the cavity and cutting the extra fat off down to the horrible sound of the cutting the bones, or near the bones when carving. I will admit I avoid the whole chicken like a plague, unless it is the last thing in the freezer to cook. LOL this recipe does look rather nice to try and I know my kids will eat the veggies. I might have to figure something else out than the whole chicken to use tho.

  11. This is our dinner tonight! Can’t keep my fingers out of the veggies, and the meat is SO tender, it was falling off the bone….

  12. Roast Chicken is one of my mother in law’s favorites. I will definitely try this!

  13. oh it looks fabulous. Did you make Roast Potatoes too, or is that just a UK thing? If you haven’t tried them, you really should!!

  14. Megan says:

    I also always save the carcass! I’m a chicken stock FREAK! Making my own stock really helps to save $, and I know exactly what’s in it. Some of my favorite things to do with roast chicken leftovers are either pressed sandwiches/paninis, pizzas, OR pulled BBQ chicken (makes the MOST delicious BBQ chicken nachos and sandwiches!) Yum! I take a bottle of beer (usually Abita Amber, Golden is good too.. but any beer will do.), BBQ sauces (I mix sweet and spicy sauces), a hefty amount of Tabasco, and a mixture of whatever seasoning I’m feeling that day… cook it down for a while and Voila! Absolutely incredible!

  15. I love doing roast chickens. I usually get a 3-4 pounder. Once we are done with it, I take as much meat as I can that is left on the chicken and use it for either quesadillas or terryaki the next day. The carcass and whatever I stuffed it with (usually garlic, onions, and some fresh herbs) goes in a freezer bag. Once I have 2-3 carcasses I make chicken stock.

  16. Emi!y says:

    Don’t worry about not wanting to eat the chicken after roasting. It’s great to use in other things, like your enchilada recipe or in chicken pot pie and the like. (Me, I’d rather go for the skin than the meat:)

  17. Lid off :) but I know that lid will come in handy SOME day!

  18. I have been dying to roast a chicken too, and the addition of yummy root veggies makes this recipe irresistable! Question: you mentioned a lid; are you roasting with the lid on or off?

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