Butterflied Lemon Roast Chicken

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From stuffing and roasting to baking and searing, there are millions of ways to prepare chicken. You might think you’ve tasted them all, but have you tried butterflied roast chicken? No? Let SkinnyMs. expand your cookbook. Butterflying involves removing the backbone, which flattens the meat and lets it bake quickly and evenly. It also makes serving a breeze.

This scrumptious recipe coats the chicken with a flavorful mixture of rosemary, olive oil, garlic, and zesty spices. The chicken meat absorbs incredible flavor and aroma while roasting to perfection on a bed of lemon wedges and garlic cloves. Our Butterflied Lemon Roast Chicken requires very little prep time. It’s a fabulous weeknight dinner on busy days!

Butterflied Lemon Roast Chicken

Butterflied Lemon Roast Chicken

Yields: 12 servings | Calories: 349 | Total Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 107mg | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fiber: 0g | Sugars: 0g | Protein: 28g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10 |


  • 1 whole 4-pound chicken
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, 4 cloves minced, and 4 peeled, but left whole
  • 2 whole sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


  1. Set oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butterfly chicken by placing chicken breast-side down on clean countertop or cutting board. Starting at the bottom, cut along the spine with sharp kitchen scissors on both sides. Discard the spine. Flip the chicken over and lay it open. The chicken skin should be facing up.
  3. Combine olive oil, garlic, paprika, minced rosemary, salt, and pepper to make a rub. Loosen chicken skin a little at a time. Use hands to spread the rub between meat and skin.
  4. Place four whole garlic cloves and four lemon wedges on parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Place butterflied chicken, skin-side up, on top of the wedges and cloves. Add remaining lemon wedges between legs and body.
  5. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 50 to 60 minutes, until juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted between the breast and thigh reads at least 175 degrees F. Remove skin and cut into pieces to serve. Enjoy!

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11 Comments on "Butterflied Lemon Roast Chicken"

  1. Ana  July 25, 2017

    I tried making this tonight, and it turned out great! The chicken was flavorful and very moist. My husband is not a very big chicken fan, but he loved it. The cook time was just right for me. Thank you so much! I will definitely be making this dish again.

  2. Joel  December 15, 2017

    Made this last night. Fantastic! Moist (even the breast meat), tender, flavorful.


  3. jessica  April 28, 2018

    question about how much is one serving… like ounces of chicken per serving

    • SkinnyMs. (JH)  April 29, 2018

      Hi Jessica, a serving is going to be about 5 to 5-1/2 ounces of chicken.

  4. Susan  June 10, 2018

    Do you have recommendations for sides that are also low in carbs?

  5. Wendy Franklin  October 20, 2018

    Going to try this tonight. I couldn’t recommend a high protein low carb diet enough. Back into a size 12 and have found these pages invaluable for advice. Thank you.

    • Nichole Furlong  October 20, 2018

      You’re very welcome, Wendy! Let us know how your recipe turns out!

  6. David R Campbell  January 21, 2019

    How were the Freestyle SmartPoints calculated? The only culprit I see is the olive oil-8 points total.
    Divided by 12 servings…

    • Nichole Furlong  January 23, 2019

      Hi David, the only part of the chicken that is 0 Freestyle Points is the chicken breast – boneless and skinless. Because this recipe is for a whole chicken the chicken thighs, drumsticks, skin, etc are calculated into the Freestyle Points.


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