Lemon and herb roasted chicken is a classic and delicious dish that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for centuries. This flavorful recipe is made by seasoning a whole chicken with a mixture of minced garlic, fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano, and lemon juice. The chicken is then roasted in the oven until it is crispy and golden brown on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. In this blog post, we will explore the history of lemon and herb roasted chicken, occasions where it is commonly served, its nutritional benefits, and what to serve with it.

History of Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

Roasting meat has been a common cooking technique for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans are believed to have roasted meat on spits over open fires, and the method was later adopted by medieval Europeans. The first recorded recipe for roasted chicken dates back to the 4th century AD, when the Roman author Apicius wrote about a dish called “Pullum Particum” which was made by roasting a chicken stuffed with herbs and spices.

Lemon and herb roasted chicken as we know it today likely originated in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain. These countries have a rich culinary history that emphasizes fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and olive oil, all of which are key ingredients in lemon and herb roasted chicken. The dish became especially popular in the United States in the mid-20th century, when home cooks began experimenting with new flavors and cooking techniques.


Author N. J. Sorensen, RDN


  • 1 whole chicken about 4-5 pounds
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the minced garlic, olive oil, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper.
  • Rub the herb mixture all over the chicken, both inside and out.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon wedges.
  • Place the chicken in a roasting pan or baking dish, breast side up.
  • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.
  • Garnish with additional fresh herbs and lemon wedges, if desired.


Enjoy your delicious and flavorful lemon and herb roasted chicken!

Occasions to Serve Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

Lemon and herb roasted chicken is a versatile dish that can be served for a variety of occasions. It is a classic main dish that is perfect for a Sunday dinner with family or friends. It is also a great option for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. The bright and fresh flavors of the lemon and herbs make it a great dish for spring and summer gatherings like barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. Additionally, lemon and herb roasted chicken can be served as a hearty and satisfying meal any day of the week.

Nutritional Benefits of Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

Lemon and herb roasted chicken is not only delicious, but it is also a healthy and nutritious meal. Chicken is a great source of lean protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles, bones, and other tissues in the body. One serving of roasted chicken provides approximately 30 grams of protein, which is about half of the recommended daily intake for an adult. Additionally, chicken is low in fat and calories, making it a good choice for people who are trying to maintain a healthy weight.

The herbs used in lemon and herb roasted chicken also provide a variety of health benefits. Thyme, rosemary, and oregano are all rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. These herbs also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain in the body. Additionally, the lemon juice used in the recipe provides a dose of vitamin C, which is important for a healthy immune system.

What to Serve with Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

Lemon and herb roasted chicken is a delicious and satisfying main dish that can be served with a variety of sides. Here are some ideas for what to serve with lemon and herb roasted chicken:

  1. Roasted vegetables: Roasting vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts in the oven alongside the chicken is an easy way to create a complete meal. The vegetables can be seasoned with the same herbs and spices used on the chicken to create a cohesive flavor profile.
  2. Salad: A fresh and colorful salad is a great way to balance out the richness of the chicken. A simple salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette dressing can be a perfect complement to the lemon and herb flavors of the chicken.
  3. Grains: A side of grains like rice, quinoa, or couscous can be a great way to add some texture and bulk to the meal. These grains can be cooked with herbs and spices to complement the flavors of the chicken.
  4. Bread: A fresh crusty bread can be a great way to soak up the juices and flavors from the chicken. A garlic bread or a crusty baguette can be a perfect accompaniment to the lemon and herb roasted chicken.
  5. Sauce: A flavorful sauce can take the dish to the next level. A creamy sauce like a lemon-garlic aioli or a tangy tomato-based sauce can add some complexity and richness to the dish.

Lemon and herb roasted chicken is a classic dish that has stood the test of time. Its origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations, and it continues to be a popular dish today. This flavorful and healthy meal is perfect for a variety of occasions and can be served with a variety of sides. Its fresh and bright flavors make it a perfect dish for spring and summer gatherings, while its hearty and satisfying nature makes it a great meal for any day of the week. So why not try making lemon and herb roasted chicken for your next dinner party or family gathering? It’s sure to be a hit!