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Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables with Carrot Top and Walnut Pesto

In this recipe a whole chicken is broken down and arranged on a sheet pan with an assortment of spring vegetables and lemon.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword carrots, chicken, nuts, pesto, roast, spring, vegetable, walnut, whole chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 807kcal


For the roast chicken and spring vegetables:

  • 1 (4½ -pound) whole chicken
  • 12 ounces baby carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound peewee potatoes
  • 1 bunch medium radishes, halved
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

  • ¼ cup diced walnuts
  • ½ packed cup carrot tops, roughly chopped
  • ½ packed cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ medium shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Kosher salt, as needed


For the sheet pan roast chicken and spring vegetables:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • Remove backbone from chicken and discard. Break the chicken down into 10 parts by separating the wings, the thighs, the legs and the breasts (each halved).
  • Arrange the chicken, carrots, potatoes, radishes, asparagus and lemon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Slide your fingers under the skin of the chicken and push the butter under the skin. Drizzle the olive oil over and season the vegetables and chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes.

For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

  • Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the walnuts and toast until they are fragrant and just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the walnuts, carrot tops, parsley, shallot, garlic and olive oil to a blender and pulse until combined. Remove to a small-mixing bowl and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and Pecorino Romano. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

For serving:

  • Divide the vegetables and chicken among plates and top with carrot top walnut pesto.


Calories: 807kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 36g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 839mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8654IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 4mg