Anyone who loves butter and garlic (and who doesn’t!?) will adore this Garlic Butter Roast Chicken recipe!

A whole chicken is smothered with an easy homemade garlic butter and stuffed with fresh herbs and onion. Then it’s roasted to juicy and tender perfection in the oven.

With just about 5 minutes prep, what could be more mouthwatering than a simple recipe like this one?

close up of cooked Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken

A Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

There are lots of reasons we think this is the best chicken recipe.

  • The preparation is so simple, but yields such fantastic results.
  • It needs just a few ingredients but packs so much flavor.
  • The chicken turns juicy with extra crispy skin, it’s a perfect meal.
  • Roast chicken goes with almost any side dish.
  • Leftover roasted chicken can be enjoyed hot or used for meal prep or even chicken salad. Save the carcass for Homemade Chicken Stock.

ingredients for garlic butter roast chicken


CHICKEN Use a whole chicken for this recipe, preferably between 3½-4 lbs for a quick roasting time. This recipe would work fine with other poultry like a small turkey, grouse, or cornish hen. Just adjust cooking time according to size.

HERBS & ONION No need to make a fancy stuffing. Just stuff the bird with half an onion and some fresh rosemary, thyme, or parsley. These are optional but do add extra flavor to the meat.

GARLIC & BUTTER Garlic and butter are mixed with a bit of olive oil before spreading on the chicken. Feel free to add lemon to the pan as well, or other herbs, plus extra garlic. Add in some kosher salt and a sprinkle of pepper to taste.

garlic butter for roasting chicken

How to Make Garlic Butter Roast Chicken

This chicken recipe takes minutes to prep and the rest of the time is hands off.

  1. Season the chicken and stuff the cavity with herbs and onion.
  2. Prep the garlic mixture and spread over the chicken or under the skin if desired per the recipe notes below.
  3. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan, put into the oven, and reduce the heat. Roast per recipe below.

Swap out the cast iron skillet for a large rimmed baking pan and add vegetables like potatoes and carrots.

chicken with spread on top to make Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken

The Drippings

We like to serve this chicken as is and use the pan drippings to drizzle over the meat, cooked rice or mashed potatoes.

Since it’s higher in fat, you can use drippings and browned bits in this recipe to make a roux for gravy with prepared chicken broth.

Tips for Juicy Chicken

  • Pat chicken dry thoroughly with a paper towel, inside and out. A dried-off bird ends up juicier on the inside with crispy skin.
  • Tie the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under for even cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to a 450°F to sear the outside of the chicken. Lowering temperature cooks a bit slower and the result is perfectly tender chicken with crispy skin.
  • We love to cook this in a cast-iron dish but an oven safe sauce pan or a casserole dish will work too (no rack is required). Use a larger pan if you’d like to add veggies.
  • Cook chicken until the juices run clear and it reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh (not touching the bone).
  • Let the chicken rest 10-15 minutes before carving.

Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken in the pan after cooking

Got Leftovers?

Leftover roast chicken can be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to four days and can be frozen. The frozen chicken will taste best if used within four months. Add it to Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole or make a tasty Chicken Gnocchi Soup for a whole new meal!

Savory Sides for Chicken

Did you make this Garlic Butter Roast Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

close up of cooked Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken
5 from 127 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Garlic Butter Roast Chicken

This roast chicken is perfectly tender & juicy on the inside with a garlic-butter crispy skin!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Rest Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
buy hollys book


  • 3 ½ to 4 pound whole chicken
  • ½ medium onion
  • 4 sprigs thyme or 1 sprig rosemary or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped, more to taste
  • kosher salt and black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Ensure the cavity of the chicken is empty by removing the bag of giblets and neck. (Not all chickens will have these.)
  • Dab the chicken dry with a paper towel and season the inside and outside with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the onion in half (so you have two quarters of an onion) and place the onion and thyme inside the cavity of the chicken. If the legs are not tied together, use kitchen twine to tie them.
  • Combine butter, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves). Mix well.
  • Spread the garlic butter mixture over the skin of the chicken *see note. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Place the chicken in a cast iron or ceramic baking dish. Herbs, onions, lemons, & garlic can be added to the pan if desired.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and reduce the heat to 425°F. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with the melted garlic butter in the pan if desired.



  • Garlic Butter Option: I prefer to spread the garlic butter mixture over the skin of the chicken. If you'd like, half of the garlic butter can be placed under the skin to infuse the butter into the meat. Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat and add the butter mixture under the skin. Massage it around the chicken breast to spread it over the meat between the skin and the meat. Spread a thin layer of the remaining butter mixture over the skin.
  • Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, inside and out.
  • Tie the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under for even cooking.
  • Lemons, additional onion, or garlic can be added to the baking pan if desired.
  • Preheat the oven to a 450°F to sear the outside of the chicken. Lowering temperature cooks a bit slower and the result is perfectly tender chicken with crispy skin.
  • Cook chicken until the juices run clear and it reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh (not touching the bone).
  • Nutrition information includes half of the butter mixture as not all of it is absorbed into the chicken.
5 from 127 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 458 | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
pot with cooked Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken and writing
cooked Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken with writing
close up of Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken with a title
Buttery Garlic Roast Chicken spread and finished dish with a title


, ,

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

Latest & Greatest

5 from 127 votes (108 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. *Pro Tip* If you want to bake this at 425, do not use fresh garlic. Garlic burns at temperatures greater than 375. My suggestion, pre-heat to 375 and reduce temp to 350 when you put the bird in. Bake at 350 for an hour and a half, to two hours, depending on the size of your bird. Patience is a virtue in this scenario, and sometimes low and slow is best. But if you don’t mind burnt garlic, carry on my wayward son.

    Other than that, it was delicious!

  2. Absolutely excellent! The flavor is wonderful and the parts that should be crispy are perfect. This chicken will meet all tastes of the family. The drumsticks are too few! We should have chickens with 6 or 8! The breast meat is juicy and flavorful – Enjoy! (And make sure you stock up on this in your freezer-it will become part of your frequent entrees!)5 stars

  3. The garlic on top of the skin burned to a crisp in half the time it took to cook the chicken. I pulled the burnt garlic off and the chicken was good but all roasted chicken is good. I’m at a loss for how so many people gave this 5 stars. I’ve cooked a lot of roast chicken and I should have known better. Garlic burns at 400+ degrees F.

  4. My favorite roasted chicken recipe! I’ve been making whole roasted chicken for years and this is by far the best! It’s always juicy and never dry. I like to add rosemary with the thyme/butter mixture and I do spread some of it under the skin. I also add onion and baby carrots with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper around the chicken. It’s so yummy! Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

    1. Cook chicken until the juices run clear and it reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh (not touching the bone). You will need approximately an extra 15-20 minutes for the chicken to cook.

  5. incredible! I made this for my girlfriend and it was fantastic! The left overs were even better! You can’t go wrong with this recipe!5 stars

  6. This bird was delish!! I followed the recipe exactly then took the recommendation of stuffing with fresh lemon, thyme l, rosemary & onion wedges5 stars

  7. Great recipe! The chicken shad a crispy skin and the meat was very juicy. This is a definite keeper since it is probably the best chicken I have made and I have tried many other recipes. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  8. I am going to make this tomorrow as we have a big snow storm coming so perfect for a day inside. However I already chopped all my onions that I had. What would you recommend if I do not have a half onion to put in? I am going to try and run to the store in the morning but in case the snows already too bad just want to have a back up.

    1. The onion is optional, so if you don’t have one you can leave it out and it will slightly change the flavor but will still be delicious. I would love to hear how it turns out Brittany!

  9. Hi, I’m trying this for our Sunday dinner. It’s different from the usual way I roast our chicken. I looked at the comments and I couldn’t find anything about covering the dish… if so how long before the cover is removed..? I can’t wait to try this one out and hopefully I’ll be making this my standard roasted chicken recipe5 stars

    1. Hi Brett, we bake this uncovered. If we find it begins to brown too much, we lightly cover the skin with foil. Enjoy!