This Air Fryer Roast Chicken is simple to make, tender, juicy and flavorful! When you roast a whole chicken in the air fryer using the roast function, you get rotisserie style chicken right in your air fryer (and without a spit)! This is a great way to use less electricity, leave room in your oven, or simply not heat up your house when it's hot outside! It's also quick enough to make on a weeknight. However, if you don't have the roast function on your air fryer, you can use the air fryer setting and get similar results.
This whole roast chicken recipe is popular any time of year but makes a great alternative to turkey for holidays like Christmas dinner, Easter dinner, or Thanksgiving dinner, as well as special occasions. And it's guaranteed to be a recipe the whole family will love!
The option to roast vegetables or brown meat in an air fryer is becoming more common with larger air fryer models like the Ninja. Using the roast function is superior to using the air fry function because your air fryer will default to a higher temperature and cook for a shorter amount of time than air frying, which makes it suitable for cooking beef or poultry.
Citrus stuffing such as lemon, lime, or orange, placed in the cavity of a chicken, creates a juicier result because it gives off fragrant steam as it heats.
You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:
- 3.5 lb chicken
- 1.5 tsp dried rosemary
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 wedges of lemon
- 3-4 pumps of cooking oil spray * I use avocado or canola oil as it has a high smoke point
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- sprigs fresh rosemary
- additional lemon wedges
You can air fry one whole chicken in an air fryer basket or 2 entire chickens (3.5 lbs) at once (if you have an XL air fryer or 2-drawer model, that's at least 8 quarts)
Place chicken breast side up on a plate
Remove string to open up the cavity and add 2 wedges of lemon
Then add garlic and rosemary to the lemon in the cavity of the chicken
Spray bottom of air fryer (grill or basket) with a few pumps of spray oil
Place the whole chicken in air fryer drawer or basket (breast side up) and sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the chicken
Spray with 3-4 pumps of oil.
Cook on ROAST function for 40-45 minutes @ 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until cooked through (the internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) and legs move easily. *See Equipment for the best instant read thermomoter!
If you have a 2 drawer Ninja Foodi, use the match cook function to cook 2 chickens
*Cooking time may vary, depending on the type of air fryer you have
**AIR FRYING CHICKEN (ON AIR FRY SETTING)
**If you don't have the roast function on your air fryer, cook it on air fry @ 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees f (74 degrees c) on meat thermometer. Flip it once during the cooking process.
Serve with additional lemon wedges and fresh rosemary, if desired.
Then carve, as you would a turkey.
Hint: When you remove the whole bird, place it directly onto paper towels to soak up any excess moisture on the bottom, before placing it on a serving platter.
📖Variations & Substitutions
- Rosemary - you can use fresh rosemary instead of dried rosemary, but you'll need half as much for the cavity of the chicken, or preserve your own herbs by dehydrating them in the air fryer
- Garlic - you can use jarred minced garlic instead of fresh garlic or if you are in a pinch, use garlic powder (you can sprinkle it on the outside and inside of chicken)
- Citrus- you could substitute lime or orange for the lemon to vary the flavor
- Oil - you can use a spray of olive oil, but canola oil and avocado oil are superior for air fryer use because they have a high smoke point (so good for high-temperature cooking) and a neutral flavor, so they don't interfere with the flavor of the food you are cooking
- Chicken - you'll want to use a smaller chicken (3-4 lbs) if you have a small air fryer drawer or basket
🥗 Side Dishes
This Ninja Foodi roast chicken recipe goes well with anything you'd typically serve a roast chicken with, including:
- Chipotle Mashed Potatoes (shown below) or plain mashed potatoes
- Easy Greek Rice (with Lemon)
- Greek Style Potatoes (lemon roasted potatoes)
- Onion baked potatoes
- Mixed vegetables, Green beans and Mushrooms, or Healthy Roasted Carrots with Brown Sugar
- Salad (Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe, Spinach salad, or Healthy Potato Salad )
- Fries (plain potato fries, Spicy Sweet Potato Fries , or Air Fryer Parsnip Fries)
- Potatoes Romanoff
Spray your chicken (and anything you put in the air fryer) with a light spray of cooking oil, but do NOT use an aerosol cooking spray with propellants (like Pam). This can cause damage to the surface of your air fryer and cause the coating to flake off and potentially onto your food. *The label will tell you whether it has propellants or not
You will need an air fryer for this air fryer roasted chicken recipe. I did a lot of research before I bought my Ninja Foodi Air Fryer (dual zone 2 basket 8 quart), (affiliate link)- 9 months to be exact. Yeah, I know, I could have had a baby in that amount of time, but I'm glad I researched it so thoroughly because I got the perfect air fryer for my family and my budget. It's the best countertop kitchen appliance I have ever owned! Some people like the basket-style air fryer, but I prefer the drawers because I can cook more than one thing at a time.
I also purchased stainless steel tongs with silicone tips (affiliate link) so I don't damage the non-stick coating on my air fryer when using it.
Lastly, I recommend everyone own a instant read thermometer! (affiliate link). Internal temperature of food is the BEST way to check for doneness and you can use it for everything (pie, bread etc) not just meat.
Store leftover chicken in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
👪 Serving Size
This air fryer roasted whole chicken recipe makes 4 servings. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust. I doubled this recipe and cooked 2 chickens, as I can fit one chicken in each drawer of my 8 quart Ninja Foodi dual drawer air fryer. I also wanted leftover chicken for sandwiches, which we had plenty of!
This recipe is Weight Watchers friendly @ 3 pts for ¼ of the whole chicken (3.5 lbs)!
- Cook chicken to an internal minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
- Never leave cooking food unattended
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
If your air fryer has a rotisserie spit you can use it that way. However, if it doesn't, but your air fryer has a roast function, you will get a similar result (like roasting in a convection oven).
You can cook a whole chicken in most large air fryers, depending on the size of your basket or drawer. Most air fryers are ideal for cooking a small chicken 3.5 - 4 lbs.
So if you are looking for a Ninja Air fryer whole chicken recipe or have another type of air fryer and want to roast chicken (that tastes just like store-bought rotisserie chicken), this is the way to get a perfectly juicy chicken that's full of flavor! Air frying a whole chicken is such an easy and delicious way to do chicken!
And if you're looking for more air fryer chicken recipes, check out this Air Fryer Sweet & Sour Chicken.
📋 Air Fryer Roast Chicken (with lemon, rosemary and garlic) Recipe
- 3.5 bs whole chickens
- 1.5 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, dried
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 wedges of lemon
- 3-4 pumps oil spray
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
- sprigs fresh rosemary
- additional lemon wedges
NOTE: The photos in this recipe card will NOT print unless you set them to print by selecting "recipe image"
- Move string to open up cavity and add 2 wedges of lemon
- Then add the garlic and rosemary to the cavity.
- Spray bottom of basket or crisper plate of air fryer with a few pumps of spray oil and place the entire chicken breast side up in the air fryer. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over.
- Spray with 3-4 pumps of spray oil.
- Cook on roast for 40 -45 minute 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until cooked through. The internal temperature of your chicken should be 165 degrees F (74 degress C) and legs move easily
- Garnish with additional lemon wedges and fresh rosemary and serve.