Skip to Content

Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils

July 13, 2022

Warmly spiced with paprika, cumin and cinnamon, this deceptively easy roast chicken with lentils and yogurt sauce is a one-pot wonder that’s a sure-fire hit with young and old.


Paprika Roast chicken carved and shown over lentils and carrots on a white plater with a linen and a silver spoon.

A One-Pot Roast Chicken-and-Lentil Dinner for the Ages

We feel like this one-pot roast chicken recipe is one that is just made to be memorized and passed down and made on the regular in many homes. At least, we think it’s good enough to deserve that honor! It’s a one-pot meal, which makes it easy—easy clean up, easy on the brain, easy easy easy. It’s a complete meal that is gluten-free, low-carb and healthy—check, check check. It’s not boring—did we mention the chicken is spiced with paprika, cinnamon and cumin?—but it’s not spicy or especially challenging. In other words, it’s interesting enough for adults, but many kids will love it, too! Last but not least, this roast chicken recipe just unusual enough, just elegant enough that you could even serve it to company and feel like you’re giving people a new (or at least refreshing) gustatory experience, without breaking a sweat (or doing a zillion dishes).

Ingredients for roast chicken with lentils show in  small bowls including a whole chicken, lentils, carrots and spices

Everything You’ll Need To Make This Paprika-Cinnamon Yogurt Chicken Recipe

To add extra moisture and a super luscious flavor, slather the whole chicken in a warmly spiced, lemon-tinged yogurt sauce before roasting. It’s a riff on, well, a lot of dishes, really! You’ll see chicken marinated in yogurt in the cuisines of Greece, Morocco, India, and beyond. If you use it as a true marinade, lactic acid in yogurt tenderizes the chicken slowly—much more slowly than a harsher acid, like lemon or vinegar. But, for this roast chicken recipe, we just coat the whole chicken with yogurt sauce right before roasting, and it still brings a lovely, extra flavor and acts as an added moisture-lock. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this delicious chicken and lentil recipe:

  • Brown lentils
  • A whole chicken
  • Chicken stock
  • Carrots
  • Greek yogurt
  • Lemon
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
Lentils and chicken stock shown in a large skillet
Whole chicken on parchment paper covered in yogurt marinade
yogurt marinated chicken over lentils and carrots in a large skillet
whole roast chicken over cooked lentils and carrots in a large skillet

How to Make One-Pot Roast Chicken and Lentils

We’ve taught you how to make a classic, whole roast chicken.. We’ve spiced one up with Thai chiles and red curry. We’ve spatchcocked a whole chicken and thrown it on the grill for a perfect char. And while we adore all of these whole chicken recipes, none of them make for a whole meal. All that effort, and you’ve still got to come up with sides. Today though, we’re all about this whole roast chicken recipe that doubles as a one-pot meal! It’s not just about efficiency—though it is wonderfully efficient. Roasting the whole chicken—generously spiced with paprika, cinnamon and cumin—over a bed of lentils means that the lentils become infused with the super-flavorful chicken drippings that are drawn out during cooking, resulting in a deliciously hearty, cohesive chicken and lentil dinner. Here’s how to make this delicious roast chicken and lentil recipe:

  1. Mix the lentils and stock together and bring them to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with a towel, and salt it.
  3. Whisk together the yogurt sauce, and use about 1/4 cup of it to coat the chicken. Save the rest for later.
  4. Carefully lay the whole chicken on the lentils. Add the carrots, too.
  5. Into the oven! Plan on about 15 minutes per pound of chicken, so for a 3.5 lb bird, your cook time will be roughly an hour. But always use a thermometer to check for doneness. For a whole roast chicken, you’re looking for an internal temp of 165° F.
  6. Serve with the rest of the yogurt sauce!
Paprika Roast chicken over lentils with carrots in a large skillet shown with a spoon of yogurt sauce

Tools You’ll Need:

Roast chicken carved and shown on a bed of lentils with roasted carrots, parsley and a yogurt sauce.

More Whole Roast Chicken Recipes to Try

Another Winner of a Chicken Dinner!

Or, we hope that’s how you feel when you make this yummy chicken and lentil recipe! If you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 562


  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (3 ½-- to 5-pounds) chicken
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. In a 5-quart braiser or 12-inch cast iron skillet , combine the lentils and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat and cook for 10 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, sea salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to mix well.

  4. Pat the chicken completely dry inside and out. Season the chicken all over, inside and out, with the salt and pepper.

  5. Coat the entire chicken with 1/4 cup of the yogurt sauce. Place the chicken on top of the lentils in the braiser and arrange the carrots around the chicken. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes per pound. Begin checking for doneness when 20 minutes remain. The chicken is done when the internal temperature taken at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer and the juices run clear. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Spread the remaining yogurt onto a platter. Spoon the lentils on top of the yogurt, then add the carrots and chicken. Sprinkle with parsley before carving and serving.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories562
  • Protein72 g
  • Carbohydrates21 g
  • Total Fat20 g
  • Dietary Fiber8 g
  • Cholesterol242 mg
  • sodium970 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Joyce

    Should the pot be covered or uncovered when cooking?

    Uncovered. Hope you enjoy Joyce!

  • Jenn

    This was such flavorful chicken and the yogurt sauce was incredible.

    Thank you Jenn, we are so glad you loved it!