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Low salt roast chicken

12 March 2014

Nutritionist Azmina Govindji shares her top tips for reducing salt and saturated fat in the diet by boosting flavour with herbs and spices, and gives her recipe for a low-salt roast chicken.

Healthy low salt roast chicken
Healthy low salt roast chicken

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour 20 minutes




  • 1.6kg (3.5lb) whole chicken, skinless (ask your butcher to do this if possible)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs Schwartz Garlic Pepper
  • 2 tsp Schwartz Thyme
  • 2 tsp Schwartz Paprika
  • 1 tbs Schwartz Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 125ml (4fl oz) water


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Take enough kitchen foil to be able to line a roasting tin and completely seal the chicken.  Place the skinned chicken into the foil lined tin and score the chicken to allow the flavours to penetrate.
  2. Make a paste with the oil and the herbs and spices, brush over the chicken. Stuff the lemon halves into the cavity and place the onion wedges around the chicken.
  3. Mix the balsamic vinegar with the water and pour over the onions. This will create a light gravy and keep the chicken moist during cooking.
  4. Cover the chicken with the foil and roast for about 1 hour 10 minutes. Baste and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked throughout. Serve the chicken smothered in the balsamic and onion juices.

Serving suggestion per serving: 80g steamed green beans and three new boiled potatoes (120g cooked weight) in their skins.

  Per serving (463g)  Per 100g 
 Energy  1625kj/388kcal  352kj/84kcal
 Fat  12.3g  2.7g
 Saturates  2.4g  0.5g
 Carbohydrates  28.0g  6.0g
 Sugars  6.6g  1.4g
 Protein  43.0g  9.4g
 Salt  0.38g   0.08g 

Azmina's tips for replacing salt with herbs and spices

  1. Rich deep flavours from garam masala, cumin and ginger add depth to curry dishes, helping you to cut down on added fats and salt.
  2. Making rice or pasta? Try flavouring with lemon juice, white pepper, chives and flat leaf parsley instead of pouring in the oil or shaking on the salt.
  3. Trimming the skin off chicken and using leaner cuts of meat helps to keep fat and saturated fat low. Herbs and spices such as paprika, thyme, rosemary and garlic pepper liven up meat without the need for added salt.
  4. Use black pepper as seasoning instead of salt. It works particularly well on scrambled egg, pasta, fish and soups.
  5. Oregano goes really well with most vegetables. Ditch the salt when cooking your veg and sprinkle oregano on top partnered with basil, thyme or parsley, with a little light olive oil, for a delicious flavoursome kick without the added salt.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.