This apple butter roasted chicken is a killer combination of sweet and savory flavors. With a crispy outside and a juicy, tender inside, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner!

Here’s how my brain works when it comes to roasted chicken:

Sees whole chicken in the meat aisle of the grocery store:

“Ah, I should buy one of those. They’re so much cheaper, you get so many leftovers and it makes the best Sunday dinner!”

“Yeah, but they’re” – continues walking past the poultry

*This post is sponsored by Musselman’s Apple Butter. As always, all opinions are my own. 
This apple butter roasted chicken is a killer combination of sweet and savory flavors. With a crispy outside and a juicy, tender inside, it's the perfect Sunday dinner!

On the let’s say 25% of the time I don’t listen to that half of my brain telling me a whole chicken is too much work to be worth it and I actually buy the bird, I never regret it.

In fact, I end up preparing it, getting it in the oven and usually saying something along the lines of “what are you even talking about?

That wasn’t too much work, it took all of 10 minutes!”

Fast forward 80 minutes or so later when I’m eating said chicken and I’m all “I’m totally doing this every week, it’s SO good!”

This apple butter roasted roasted chicken was no exception.


Note – I don’t do it every week because my brain stupidly reverts to the situation above.

I need to remember recipes like this easy sheet pan Cornish game hen recipe or, this sheet pan piri piri chicken in those situations because both meals are even easier while still getting the same lovely roasted chicken outcome!

Not to mention the air fryer which is also great for roasting a whole chicken or making air fryer Cornish hens in half the time the oven would take!

Apple butter with a few savory spices added makes a delicious sauce for a roasted chicken dinner.
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Roasted to crispy perfection, this apple butter chicken makes an easy, delicious dinner.

The recipe for this apple butter chicken actually comes from Musselman’s website.

I’ve partnered with them for a few years now creating recipes using their delicious apple butter (like these apple butter bacon scones).

This year, they’ve put together a brand new e-book with all the most amazing apple butter recipes you can imagine.

You’ll find everything from breakfast (including my apple butter carrot cake oatmeal) to sides to entrees and dessert – don’t miss my apple butter rugelach! and tons of ideas on how to use apple butter I’m betting you never would’ve thought of.

Sweet and savory apple butter is used as a saucy glaze on this roasted chicken for a great Sunday night meal.

I especially love all the savory uses of their apple butter because it’s something I don’t immediately gravitate to when thinking about ways to incorporate it.

It’s sort of like maple syrup and how it can be used in savory dishes like maple ginger chicken thighs and maple mustard chicken just as easily as sweet recipes.

Upgrade your roasted chicken with a sweet and savory apple butter glaze!

Thinking of apple butter as a sweet ingredient only however doesn’t do it justice.

This roasted chicken with apple butter is the perfect example of how it can totally transform a savory dish.

Mixed with spices like cumin, paprika and chili powder the sweetness gets balanced out and makes for some of the tastiest crispy roasted chicken skin you’ll ever eat.

Not to mention an incredibly juicy and tender bird.

I even mixed up a little extra of the sauce to serve alongside the plated meal and if you make this, I highly encourage you to do the same because let’s be honest, dipping your food is the best.

Apple butter glazed roasted chicken makes a great show-stopper for a weekend dinner at home.

Go grab that E-book, a jar of apple butter and get to work!

Oh, and maybe a whole chicken while you’re at it too.

And check out 10 Ways to Use Apple Butter for even more ideas!

Need side dish ideas to enjoy with this apple butter chicken recipe? Try one of these:

Roasted kohlrabi

Maple roasted Brussels sprouts on the stalk

Green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese

Jicama fries

Garlic balsamic roasted potatoes and asparagus

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4.50 from 76 votes

Apple Butter Roasted Chicken

Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
This apple butter roasted chicken is a killer combination of sweet and savory flavors. With a crispy outside and a juicy, tender inside, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner!


  • 4-5 pound whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, I used smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • kosher salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375°F (I like to use my convection setting for roasted chicken if you have it).
  • Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Make sure to remove any innards from the cavity and place in a roasting/baking dish big enough to hold the chicken.
  • Mix together the apple butter and spices.
  • Gently pull back the skin on breasts of the chicken and rub the apple butter mixture as far down the bird between the skin and the flesh as possible using your hands or a spoon. Do this again on the legs and thighs. Brush any remaining apple butter mixture all over the outside of the chicken.
  • Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the thyme sprigs and garlic cloves in the cavity of the chicken.
  • Roast until internal temperature using a meat thermometer reaches 165°F (about 20 minutes per pound although this will vary by oven and especially if you’re using the convection feature which cooks quicker). If chicken is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil during the roasting process. Spoon the cooking liquids over the chicken 2-3 times while roasting to keep it moist.
  • Remove from oven once cooked, cover with foil (if not already) and let rest for about 10 minutes before carving and serving.




Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 720kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 78gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 249mgSodium: 283mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for family (including a notoriously picky eater) along with mashed potatoes and garlic-parm green beans. It was delicious! I didn’t have fresh thyme, so I added a couple teaspoons of dried thyme into the seasoning rub. Moist, flavorful, and easy. Will make again!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was excellent!! Brined the whole chicken overnight. Then we spatchcocked it and smoked it. So good and moist.

    1. Sure. You’d obviously have to adjust cooking time but there’s no reason the sauce won’t work on just breasts.

  3. I made this last night and it was great! I used peach butter that we brought back from Savannah instead of apple and sage in the cavity instead of thyme because I had fresh in the garden. Also, instead of mixing up extra for dipping, I transferred the pan drippings to a small pot and added cornstarch to make a quick gravy. Really really tasty!

  4. We made this last night with bone in turkey breast and it was amassing. I doubled the apple butter spice rub because the bird was 8lbs and lowered the bake temp to 325, but otherwise follows the recipe. Soooo flavorful and unique tasting. Crispy skin and super juicy. We used a locally made apple butter that was perhaps less sugary and less congealed than store brands and I think that resulted in the roast being more spice forward with more minor hints of apple sweetness. Highly recommend trying it!!