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Whole Roast Chicken with Carrots

May 15, 2024

This whole roast chicken recipe boasts crisp skin, juicy meat and just five ingredients. It’s an everyday feast that everyone will love.


whole roasted chicken over a bed of carrots shown in a large white braiser

A Classic For A Reason.

This is a classic roast chicken recipe, a perfect roast chicken recipe, the best roast chicken recipe—it is worthy of every superlative in the book! And why is that? Well because it’s so gosh-darn simple. It’s the kind of roast your grandma made—and if your grandma didn’t make roasts, then it’s the kind of roast your imaginary, storybook grandma would make. A beautifully baked bird with crisp skin, juicy meat, and a few carrots strewn underneath that soak up all of those delicious juices—it’s an everyday feast that everyone will love. Serve with some crusty bread and a green salad, and you’re golden.

carrots, whole chicken, lemon slices, onions, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley shown in small bowls

Everything You’ll Need to Make This Simple Whole Roast Chicken With Carrots

Five basic ingredients—you’ll give us salt and pepper for free, right?—make this simple roast chicken recipe a no-brainer, go-to dinner in our homes. The thing with a whole roast chicken is that the chicken sort of bastes itself—it doesn’t need much help to be delicious. Just some high(ish) heat and a smidgen of know-how will take you far. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy recipe:

  • A whole chicken
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Lemon
  • Fresh garlic
Raw whole chicken shown over carrot slices in a large white braiser

Roast Chicken: Why Size Matters

We mentioned that you’d need a little know-how to cook a whole chicken. And it’s true! You’ll have more success if you’ve got just a couple of tricks up your sleeve. Our best trick? Buy the best-quality bird you can, and make sure you get one that’s not larger than five pounds! The larger the bird, the more difficult it will be to get it perfectly cooked. You might risk having to sacrifice dry outer meat in order to make sure that the inner parts are fully cooked. With a smaller chicken, you’re a lot less likely to have to worry about that. So! Three and a half pounds to five pounds—that’s the sweet spot.

How To Make The Very, Very Best Roast Chicken

With crisp, perfect skin encasing juicy, tender meat, this simple roast chicken-and-vegetable dinner is just the best. Simplicity at its very finest. And we promise, if you follow a few easy guidelines, yours will turn out just as picture-perfect as ours.

  1. Carefully dry the chicken by patting it with a paper towel. This helps ensure that the skin gets really nice and crispy as it roasts.
  2. Salt the cavity, then stuff it with the lemon, onion and garlic. These simple aromatics will infuse the chicken juices with tons of savory flavor.
  3. Generously salt and pepper the outside of the chicken. Because we don’t add any fat—we’re not brushing the chicken with butter or olive oil—the salt will help to draw some chicken juices out and ensure that the finished bird is super delicious.
  4. Roast the chicken in a pan with the carrots for about an hour.
  5. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, if you can, before carving. Toss the carrots in the chicken juices, and serve!

Wondering how to know when the chicken is done? Well, as ever, it’s a great idea to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer—you’re looking for 165° F at the thickest part of the thigh but NOT touching bone. The old-school way to check for doneness is to cut between the leg and the thigh and see if the chicken juices run clear (as opposed to opaque).

whole roast chicken with carrots shown in a large white braiser with lemon slices

Tools You’ll Need:

More Simple Whole Chicken Recipes to Try

There’s no feeling quite like serving up a whole chicken for dinner. It’s classic, a bit luxurious, a bit of a feast no matter when you eat it. You don’t eat a whole chicken in front of the T.V. A whole chicken is a meal to gather around, to share. You’ll save the carcass and make stock. Maybe you’ll dry the wishbone for another day. It’s an event, a reason to pause together.

Cook, Gather, Pause.

We hope that this simple roast chicken recipe is your excuse to gather your family around the dining table and have some quality time together. Even if it’s just 20 or 30 minutes, and you’re mostly busy stuffing your faces, that counts as quality time in our book. We want to see how gorgeous your roast chicken is—snap a photo and share it on Instagram, and tag us using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can be sure to see it! Happy eating

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Whole Roast Chicken with Carrots

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 343


  • 1 (3½- to 5-pound) chicken
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ yellow onion, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Pat the chicken completely dry inside and out. Set the chicken, breast side up, in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting dish. If desired, tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

  3. Season the chicken all over, inside and out, with the salt. Stuff the cavity with the onion, lemon, and garlic cloves. Season the outside of the bird with the pepper.

  4. Arrange the carrots around the chicken and roast for 15 minutes per pound. Begin checking for doneness when 20 minutes remain (see Note).

  5. The chicken is done when the internal temperature 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 15 minutes before carving.

  6. Toss the carrots in the chicken pan drippings and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve alongside the sliced chicken.

Note: As a good rule of thumb, chickens roast at 375°F for 15 minutes per pound. If your bird is bigger or smaller than what a recipe calls for, you can just do the math!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories343
  • Protein47 g
  • Carbohydrates5 g
  • Total Fat14 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol180 mg
  • sodium1862 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Whole Roast Chicken with Carrots

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Nina

    Do you cook with the lid on or off? Also, just confirming it's 4 tablespoons of salt?

    Off and yes, that is correct. If you are worried about sodium you can use less but we prefer the flavor with the full amount.

  • Karen

    How long do you cook this in a crock pot?

    Probably 3-4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

  • Cindy

    I made this delicious chicken but couldn’t bring myself to use 4 TABLESPOONS of salt so I cut it in half. I used a 4 1/4 lb. chicken. It still seemed quite salty, especially the skin and roasted carrots. Otherwise we loved it!

    Thanks Cindy, glad you enjoyed it! Definitely ok to tweak the salt to your liking!

  • Stephanie

    This is my new go-to roast chicken recipe. It was unbelievably easy and the chicken was super tasty. My family loved it. Thank you!