Oven Roasted Chicken with Pepita Sauce: Surprisingly Easy

Oven Roasted Chicken with Pepita Sauce: Surprisingly Easy

I made this Oven Roasted Chicken for dinner last night and it was so yummy, still juicy and super simple to make.

The recipe was originally made on the tv show The Chew. And to be honest I was a little bit intimidated to “spatchcock” the chicken, which is just a fancy word to say remove the backbone. It was surprisingly easy and that is coming from somebody who cannot stand touching raw chicken. It completely and totally grosses me out. So if I can do it I know you can too!

The Pepita Sauce was so fresh and really made the chicken pop. It was such a nice extra to have in the winter months because you don’t typically get that nice summer fresh feel with a lot of winter type of dishes.

I can't even express how deliciously juicy this chicken is!Click To Tweet

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Oven Roasted Chicken with Pepita Sauce


  • 1 whole chicken (backbone removed)
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled & cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled & cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large onion, peeled & quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt & black pepper to taste

Pepita Sauce*:

  • 1 cup toasted pepitas (which are just shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1.5 cups parsley leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, use the zest and juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


Take kitchen shears and cut out the backbone of the chicken, watch the video here to see how. Season the chicken inside and out with salt. If you have planned ahead cover & place in refrigerator overnight. If not you can skip this step.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting to get to room temp. Drizzle with olive oil and season w/salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place the carrots, parsnips (or other hardy veggies of your choice, like potatoes, winter squash, etc.) on the mat. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme sprigs on top. Place the chicken, skin-side up, on top of the veggies.

Place in theย oven and roast until the chicken is golden brown and vegetables are tender, 45 min to an hour. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes before you carve it up.

While the chicken is roasting in the oven add all of your sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until slightly coarse.

To serve, carve your chicken, slice up your veggies, discard the thyme, spoon the sauce over your oven roasted chicken and enjoy.


* If you have leftover sauce, it makes a great salad dressing! It would go great with my Pear & Cabbage Salad, just replace the dressing with the pepita sauce.


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The best healthy oven roasted chicken with pepita sauce recipe. Perfect & easy for a week night or Sunday dinner meals. How to cook a simple, moist, juicy, crispy skin whole chicken with vegetables.

The best healthy Oven Roasted Chicken with Pepita Sauce recipe. Perfect & easy for a week night or Sunday dinner meals. How to cook a simple, moist, juicy, crispy skin whole chicken with vegetables.


  1. What a fun recipe! Can’t wait to try out that Pumpkin Seed Sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Really peaked my curiosity on this one Summer, but so far every one of your recipes I’ve tried has been a winner so I’m willing to risk the unknown on the pumpkin seed sauce. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks Marquita! I don’t think you’ll regret it.

  3. Can’t wait to try your pumpkin seeds sauce, Summer! Thank you!

    • ๐Ÿ˜€ You’re welcome!

  4. Wow, that sounds and looks really yummy and so many of my favorite ingredients! I can’t wait to try this – thanks for passing on to us Summer.

    • Thank you Teresa, I hope you enjoy it.

  5. Love the sound of the pumpkin seed sauce- I assume you mean pepitas- I often roast a free range or organic chicken xx

    • Yes, Suzie, good point, I do mean pepitas. I should probably update that so as to not confuse anybody. Thank you!

  6. ooo – this sounds like a winner! Gotta try it!

    • Thanks, Reba! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Sounds yummy. The only time that I recall attempting to remove the backbone, it was a messy process and not one I wanted to repeat quickly. Hearing how you feel about the process and that doing it was easier than you thought, I will watch the video and give it a try for this and any other recipe. Thank you.

    • Good luck. I was worried it would be terrible too. Hopefully, the video helps. My kitchen scissors are pretty sharp, that might have made a difference too.


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