rosemary apple chicken paleo dinner recipe

Rosemary Apple Chicken

Every Friday night, I roast a chicken. My children are willing to consume any chicken dish as long as it contains fruit. Such is our unspoken agreement.

This past week, I used apples to lure my children to their protein dish. The combination of rosemary with apples was a natural pairing and the balsamic vinegar, which caramelized during roasting, sweetly permeated the entire chicken.

As I served this up to my family and asked how they liked it, my younger son exclaimed, “Mommy, it’s AMAZING!” Needless to say, I’m quite happy with the outcome of this little experiment, which yielded good results on the very first try.

Rosemary Apple Chicken
Serves: 6
  1. Rinse the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  2. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, then sprinkle with salt
  3. Arrange the apples around the chicken in the baking dish
  4. Place the sprigs of rosemary under the chicken
  5. Bake at 350° for 90 minutes, until browned on the outside
  6. Serve

This delicious fruited chicken dish is great for guests, providing warm soft apples as comfort food along with a good dose of protein – all in one dinner.


  1. Jenifer says

    Made this for Sunday dinner. Delicious! Like another writer, I wanted to bake a larger chicken (for leftovers) but my roaster is too small for both chicken & apples. So, I cut the apples in fourths, increased the baking time by 30 minutes, used a 9 X 13 baking pan (only 3 apples fit), and tented the chicken, bottom side up, for the first 30 minutes. Then, I took off the tent, flipped the chicken to the breast side up, and baked it the 90 additional minutes. It looked just like the picture – beautiful color – and it was delicious.

  2. Deborah says

    I made this chicken recipe last Friday and I’m making it again tonight. It was amazing. The perfect blend of sweet and salty. It’s probably the best chicken I’ve ever had. For tonight’s chicken, I brined it overnight with kosher salt and coconut sugar. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I love your recipes!!!

  3. says

    I was so much looking forward to this, following all of the instructions and ended up with a rubbery chicken! Boo! To be fair, I think the chicken was the problem, not the recipe – the flavour was fantastic.

    Any ideas as to why my organic chicken was so rubbery??

    Many thanks!

    PS. I totally love your recipes – best recipe site online! I recommend it to everyone! :)

    • says

      Hi Ania,

      The instructions look ok to me.

      A couple of things to try for the future:

      Washing the chicken is not recommended now, any bugs will be killed in the oven.

      Put something under the chicken in the oven. The apples would be a great choice. After cooking, take out the apples you want to serve. Add some flour to the oven tray and mix it in with a wooden spoon. Add some stock from what ever veg you are cooking and a splash of white wine. Reduce that down, and strain for the most delicious gravy.

      Finally while making the gravy let the chicken stand and relax for 30 minutes under a sheet of tin foil. Any juices that come out can be added to the gravy.

      This will double the flavour and give you the juicy chicken that you are after.

      Thanks and good luck next time!

      • says

        “Washing the chicken is not recommended now, any bugs will be killed in the oven.” – Seriously!!!

        Even if the bugs are killed, they will get baked with the chicken, and you can never separate them.

        I am not sure if you are joking or not.

  4. veronica says

    Whoa. Just made this since I wanted something fast and simple, yet a bit more flavorful than regular old roast chicken. It. was. Delicious. I used butter instead of olive oil. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, and sweet mama…those apples! I had a smaller bird and smaller roasting dish so I didn’t use four, but I wish I had. The apples came out so good after being roasted in all those savory chicken juices. This will be my go-to roasted bird recipe. SO GOOD! Thank you!

  5. says

    I also roast a chicken once a week. My kids like the stuffing and their favorite is pretty simple. I chop up three slices of brown bread, mix a raw egg in with the bread in a bowl, then mix with blueberries, chopped dried apricot, thyme and chives and one red onion. They love it.

  6. Chris Hanna says

    I just happened onto your website via a facebook post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE you website and and signed up for your newsletter. I’m going to order the Almond flour cookbook. Thank you so much for creating such a great website with tons of information.

  7. Liz says

    I am new to Paleo and Im trying out new dishes. I am trying the rosemary apple chicken but am using chicken breasts and putting it in the crock pot. Im not adding apples till the end. Will let you know how it comes out.


    • Liz says

      Ok, It came out good. I do think it would be juicier with a whole chicken. I am using the left overs in a salad tomorrow.
      Sleep tight everyone

      • Tyler says


        The one importance to this recipe is the skin. When you cook a whole chicken (or chicken thigh), the skin keeps the chicken moist and flavorful. Its also a way to keep your ingredients in place. Like other have said, the pull the skin away from the meat and place the herbs in there. That was it infuses the chicken and it turns out AMAZING!

  8. Clarise says

    Made it last night for my friends- they were impressed!! Thanks for sharing your amazing, healthy and simple recipes :)!!

  9. Josh says

    Hey Elana,

    This is my second time preparing this recipe. The first time I prepared it as per instructions listed, but the end result lacked the rosemary flavor I was looking for albeit the roasted chicken itself was FANTASTIC!!!!

    Tonight I did something differently. I measured out 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 4-5 sprigs of Rosemary (de-sprigged, using only the leaves), 1 tablespoon salt, and threw it all into a blender. What I got was a lovely but thick sauce with a very pleasant aroma; It was almost like the consistency of a balsamic vinaigrette ! Then I rubbed the chicken down under and over the skin and off it went into the oven.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  10. Kalie says

    Super Yum! My house just smelled like it was welcoming Fall with this recipe. I added some onions quartered and some tri-color carrots! The carrots didn’t get mushy and the onions were a nice addition!Thanks.

  11. Brian says

    I made this last night. Substituted the grape seed oil for olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar for apple cider vinegar. I made it in a Nu Wave (50 minutes). It was absolutely amazing! The apples should have gone in about halfway through, though. Added a sweet potato to the dinner.

  12. T9O Paco says

    Any suggestions in regards to this recipe being conducted in a crock-pot? I have too many things going on with work and civic activities to leave my oven on when I’m not home… don’t mind leaving my crock pot on though when I’m gone. Don’t have enough experience to know what to adjust or if this is the right recipe for my desired method. Thanks for all the inspiration your website provides me and for any suggestions you can offer. Thanks again Elana!

  13. Janet D. says

    My entire family loved this chicken. We were going to walk on the beach today so I put it in the crockpot so it’d be ready when we got home (it wasn’t crispy but the flavor was amazing!) We put the chicken in a salad with romaine, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. I served the apples on the side but everyone added them to their salad. Also served the nutty bread as everyone likes some kind of bread/roll with their salad. This is definitely a keeper!!!
    Thanks so much for all the ground work you do so we can enjoy these wonderful recipes!

  14. Kristin says

    So, all we had in the refrigerator was some turkey breasts, so we cut them up and put them in a casserole dish with all of the other ingredients… DELICIOUS!!! This will become a regular meal for us! Thanks!

  15. Andrea says

    I made my first chicken this weekend and am so glad I chose this recipe! I had a friend over to do yard work and quite literally left him for the ten minutes it took to prep this meal. It took care of itself while we worked up and appetite and we had an amazing dinner as our reward! Paired it with a spinach salad tossed with greek dressing (of course) and couldn’t have been more satisfied!

  16. shelley wrotny says

    tried this recipe except a T of salt seemed way to much so I used less than half and I still thot it was way too salty. Is that the amount you really use or was it a typo? Thank you, Shelley PS I love the brownie recipe

  17. says

    I made this chicken this week and we all loved it! I noticed (I think on the TK website) the comments about the chicken getting really black, maybe from the balsamic. I used white balsamic on mine and it turned a beautiful golden brown. We especially loved the tangy gravy made from the drippings. I posted this on my blog, and I’m so glad I found yours. We’re not a GF family, but try to eat less wheat anyway. Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas!

  18. Kerry Roberts says

    I have made this chicken 3x for non GF friends and gotten rave reviews every time. Great recipe. The combination of apples and Balsalmic Vinegar is wonderful.

  19. Jen says

    This was my first attempt at ever cooking an entire chicken and I did it without the support and help of my Home-Ec teacher mom. I was so proud of myself; it turned out to be super easy and came out wonderfully. Thank you for creating delicious gluten free recipes that both myself (who needs gluten free) and my boyfriend (who loves his gluten) can enjoy together.

  20. says


    Just had to tell you that I recommended this recipe for at least the 100th time since I first discovered it. I’ve served this at dinner parties, passed it along to my best friends, and taken it as part of a meal to a mother with a new baby. Every time your recipe gets rave reviews. And right now, I’m planning on making it again this weekend for another friend. Just thought you would want to know. I share so many of your recipes and I love that they are simple and delicious. You’ve made my life the much more delectable with each of them. Thanks!

  21. says

    Hi Eden,

    I love the part of this comment where you describe running down the street to your mother’s. Can I go on the family retreat with you? Sounds restful and delicious.

    Have fun!

    xo Elana

  22. says

    Elana–just made this tonight and it was perfect: tender, juicy, sweet and salty. This is definitely going to be a favorite. Plus, I loved all the comments on this post and will have to try a lime-agave roast chicken too.

    It was so good and tender that I had to run down the street to my mom’s to let her have a taste too. She gave it two thumbs up.

    I’m spending the next five days with my family at our annual cabin retreat. We play in the snow, watch lots of movies and eat. I’m taking lots of my own treats and good, allergy-free food–thanks to your inspired recipes and I can’t wait to share them with the rest of the family who thinks I’m deprived because of what I can’t eat. I love your attitude of abundance and deliciousness.

  23. Doron says

    I am sure the size of the chicken or apples was a factor here. Nothing better than learning from experience.

  24. says


    Nothing better than a cooking husband! Yes, if you used a bigger size chicken than called for in the recipe or had very large apples, then I suppose it all wouldn’t have fit in the recommended baking dish –was that the problem?

    I hope you, the kids and wife enjoyed it and thanks for your comment.


  25. Doron says

    I just started cooking. As a husband for the past 10 years, I finally discovered cooking. This chicken seems great and I am typing this while the chicken is cooling. I am pretty sure the kids will love it too. The only thing was using a 9×13 pan, where all the apples didn’t fit nor didn’t get covered with the juice. Should have listened to my wife and baste.

  26. says

    Jenny — The combination of rosemary, apples and balsamic vinegar sweetly permeates the entire chicken as mentioned in the description of the recipe in the post above.

  27. says

    Sarah –Yes a kosher l’pesach balsamic would work very well in turning this into a Passover dish. Thanks for the clarification/suggestion!

  28. sarah says

    Balsamic vinegar is made from wine and is therefore not chometz. Vinegars that are grain-based are the problem.

    Bartenura makes a kosher for passover one that is probably available in most supermarkets around this time of year.

    I use it alot on Pesach!

  29. says

    Hi M, I am currently working on a recipe for roasted chicken with oranges.

    Also, Claudia Roden (my favorite cookbook author –she is an Egyptian Jew and has amazing Sephardic recipes) has some good recipes using Morrocan salted lemons with chicken. I love her book, Arabesque.

  30. ~M says

    Hi Elana,

    Besides apples and peaches, what other fruit have you roasted alongside your poultry? I’m trying to come up with an option that would be in season now, but am drawing blanks.


  31. says

    ~M, I think this is a great idea. I think for Pesach I would use some lemon juice and maybe a tablespoon of agave to replace the sweetness of the balsamic. Thanks for all of your comments and ideas!


  32. ~M says

    Hmm, what about lemon or lime juice – another acid? It might not taste as sweet, but it would also tenderize the meat. When I make my turkey, I put lemons and lemon juice under the skin (like others do with butter) and achieve the same effect and the meat does not taste lemony, at least to me.

  33. says

    M- Yes, I completely spaced on that too. Hmm, I wonder what we could use for this instead of the vinegar. It would make such a nice main dish for a festive Pesach meal. if I think of anything I’ll let you know. Likewise, keep me posted if you get a good idea for a vinegar substitute…


  34. ~M says

    Unfortunately, I momentarily forgot about the balsamic when I made my comment about Pesach; no vinegar is allowed. But it will be great the rest of the year, especially for Shabbat dinners.

  35. says

    Hi M- Great to hear from you again. I am glad that you and your fiance liked this dish and enjoyed hearing about the twists you added to it –love the idea of serving this for Pesach, I might just have to do that myself!


  36. ~M says

    Hi Elana!

    You inspired me to make a version of this rosemary apple chicken tonight for dinner and it was a huge hit! My fiancé even said that he thinks it belongs in a restaurant :)

    I ended up with a slightly larger chicken – 4.5 lbs – since I wanted leftovers. A few hours before cooking, I destemmed 1-2 sprigs of rosemary and let them marinate in some extra virgin olive oil. I later added salt and pepper to the mixture.

    After washing the chicken, I separated the skin from the muscle and slathered the rosemary/oil mixture in this area. This way, if I take off the skin (which I do for most of the chicken), there is still flavor on the meat. I also put another sprig in the cavity – I wasn’t sure what you meant by under the chicken.

    Instead of using a pyrex lasagna-style dish or roasting pan, I arranged the chicken breast-side down in my Circulon dutch oven. I put the apples around the chicken, but next time will cut them thicker to discourage disintegration. I cooked it covered at a slightly lower temperature, and only uncovered it for the last 30 minutes of cooking, which resulted in crispy skin and juicy, moist chicken.

    I am so happy with the results. This dish will definitely be made again during Pesach, possibly for my seder, which my grandparents are flying in for.

    In the meantime, I have my leftovers to look forward to:
    – a spinach salad with breast meat, fresh pineapple chunks, dried cranberries, and some shredded carrots and apples (I love colorful salads)
    – my Pumpkin chicken skillet, based off of Gluten-Free Mommy’s pumpkin chicken tortillas (but I try to limit my corn-intake so my version tops the filling on baked sweet potatoes. Yumm!

    Thanks again!

    • Brenda G. says

      Hi, The pumpkin chicken you mentioned sounds so interesting. Can you share how you make it? Thank you! :)

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