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Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 341
Paprika Roast chicken carved and shown over lentils and carrots on a white plater with a linen and a silver spoon.

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.

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!

Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 341


  • 1 1/2 cups Brown lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 Whole chicken (3.5-5 lbs)
  • 5 Large carrots, cut into 3"x1" pieces
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Flat leaf parsley for serving

Yogurt Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Plain greek yogurt (7oz container)
  • 1 Tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

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

  3. Remove any of the packaging or gizzards from the inside of the chicken and discard them. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry, inside and out. This will help achieve crispy skin. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon sea salt, until combined.

  5. Coat the chicken with 1/4 cups of the yogurt sauce. Place the chicken on top of the lentils and arrange the carrots around the chicken.

  6. Place the braiser or cast iron skillet in the preheated oven and roast the chicken for 15 minutes per pound, about 50-60 minutes total. This time will vary depending on the size of bird you are working with.

  7. After about 45 minutes, begin checking for doneness by using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 165° F and the juices run clear, your chicken is done. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.

  8. Spread the remaining yogurt onto a serving platter, top with cooked lentils, carrots and chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 341
  • Protein 26 g
  • Carbohydrates 35 g
  • Total Fat 10 g
  • Dietary Fiber 16 g
  • Cholesterol 64 mg
  • sodium 487 mg
  • Total Sugars 4 g

Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

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

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