20 Whole Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot chicken with gravy.

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

A whole chicken is economical and nutritious, and it can be used in so many ways. Whether you are roasting a chicken for a Sunday dinner or using the meat for soup, casserole, or salad, you are sure to find the perfect recipe in this list.

A small chicken—4 pounds or less—will feed about three to four people. A larger chicken—4 1/2 to 6 1/2 pounds or more, will feed four to seven people. If you want leftovers, choose a large chicken or consider cooking two chickens.

  • 01 of 20

    Iron Skillet Roasted Chicken

    Iron skillet roasted chicken.
    The Spruce

    This is a super-easy way to roast a chicken. Just season the chicken, put it in an iron skillet, and roast it to crispy-skin perfection. Serve this chicken with roasted or mashed potatoes

  • 02 of 20

    Poach a Whole Chicken for an Easy Meal

    Poaching a whole chicken.

    cislander / Getty Images

    A savory poached chicken can provide a family with several meals. Use the chopped or shredded chicken in casseroles, make sandwiches, or add chopped chicken to a tossed salad.

  • 03 of 20

    Roast Chicken With Bacon and Sage

    Roast chicken with herbs.

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This whole roasted chicken gets its savory flavor from bacon, herbs, garlic, and a variety of other seasonings. The chicken makes a fabulous meal with dressing or potatoes, along with your favorite vegetables.

  • 04 of 20

    Instant Pot Whole Chicken

    Instant Pot chicken with optional gravy.

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    How do you get that chicken cooked and on the table in an hour or less? Answer: the pressure cooker. This Instant Pot chicken is incredibly quick and easy with or without the gravy.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    How to Spatchcock a Chicken

    Spatchcocked (butterflied) whole chicken.

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Spatchcocked chicken is another way to reduce the roasting time. All you need is some good kitchen shears to remove the backbone of the bird. Lay the chicken flat and roast it to perfection.

  • 06 of 20

    Chicken Under a Brick

    Chicken Under a Brick

    The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter 

    Chicken under a brick is another roasted spatchcocked recipe. It uses a rub made of thyme, rosemary, and garlic meat a delicious flavor. You will need a couple of bricks because they're used to keep the bird flat while it's cooking.

  • 07 of 20

    Quick Pesto Roasted Chicken

    Easy Pesto Roasted Chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This easy whole roasted chicken is the perfect main dish for a special family dinner or any meal. Serve this roast chicken with baked potatoes and green beans or your family's favorite side dish.

  • 08 of 20

    Moroccan Chicken With Chermoula (Djaj Mchermel)

    Moroccan chicken in a serving bowl.

    Brett Stevens / Getty Images

    The chermoula (or marinade) for this sensational Moroccan chicken is a combination of garlic, paprika, cumin, oil, and lemon juice, along with herbs and seasonings. The complex yet balanced flavors make this a stunning dish—one you'll make again and again.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Cuban Mojo Chicken

    Cuban Mojo Chicken

    Anita Schecter

    The citrus is the secret to making this Cuban favorite flavorful and juicy. Traditionally, sour orange is used, but since they can be hard to find, this recipe combines navel orange and lime. The whole chicken marinates in the zest and juices mixed with cilantro, garlic, oregano, and cumin before it is roasted until golden brown.

  • 10 of 20

    Smoked Chicken

    Smoked Beer in the Butt Chicken
    Smoked Beer in the Butt Chicken.

     Peter Sieling/Flickr

    Smoking a whole chicken is a wonderful method as long as you have the time (it can take up to 3 hours), but the waiting is worth it. The bird is first covered in a spice rub made of brown sugar, black pepper, paprika, thyme, and garlic and then left to slowly cook until the meat is tender and the skin has developed a deep color.

  • 11 of 20

    Herbed Roasted Chicken

    herb roasted chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Serve this delicious roast chicken with mashed potatoes and a tossed salad, along with your favorite side vegetables. This is also a good chicken to roast for sandwiches or casseroles.

  • 12 of 20

    Italian Herb Rotisserie Chicken

    Rotisserie chickens.
    Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    A sweetened balsamic glaze flavors these superb Italian-seasoned rotisserie chickens. Fire up the grill for these tasty chickens.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Roasted Chicken With Curry Rub

    Roasted Chicken With Curry Rub

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Curry powder and other spices add flavor and fragrance to this wonderful roast chicken, and a mustard and preserves glaze adds a touch of sweetness. Serve this delicious chicken with rice or baked potatoes and broccoli for an amazing family dinner.

  • 14 of 20

    Roast Chicken With Garlic and Basil

    Roast chicken with herbs and garlic.

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    An easy garlic and basil rub flavors this moist and delicious roast chicken. Serve this chicken with baked potatoes and your favorite vegetables for a wonderful family meal.

  • 15 of 20

    Crock Pot Garlic Roasted Whole Chicken

    Crockpot garlic roasted whole chicken.

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    A small roasting chicken is a snap to fix and cook in the slow cooker. Make sure you start the pot on high for at least an hour to increase the cooking temperature quickly.

  • 16 of 20

    Dr. Baker's Original Cornell Chicken

    Cornell chicken halves on the grill.

    mphillips007 / Getty Images

    Chef John introduces us to a Cornell University specialty created by Dr. Robert Baker. The basting sauce mixture for Dr. Baker's grilled chicken is a concoction similar to mayonnaise, with vinegar, egg, oil, and seasonings. The recipe is made with two chickens that have been cut in half.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Vertical Roasted Chicken

    Vertical Roasted Chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Try making this vertical roasted chicken dish the next time you have the family over for a big dinner or party. You can use a vertical roaster or a beer or soda can.

  • 18 of 20

    Slow Cooker Cola Chicken

    Slow Cooker Cola Chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    All you need to make this delightful crock pot chicken is a whole cut-up or halved chicken, ketchup, an onion, and cola. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then slow cook it to moist and tender perfection.

  • 19 of 20

    Thai Lime Roasted Chicken

    Chicken with limes.

    istetiana / Getty Images

    If you love Thai flavors, this roast chicken is an excellent choice. Lime juice, chilies, garlic, and fish sauce give this roast chicken distinctive Thai flavor. The tangy sauce is wonderful along with the chicken and rice or Asian noodles.

  • 20 of 20

    Moroccan Roasted Chicken With Preserved Lemons

    Moroccan chicken with olives and lemon.

    The Spruce / Christine Benlafquih

    This classic Moroccan roast chicken is made with a combination of olives, warm spices and seasonings, and a preserved lemon.