Now Reading
Roasted Pheasant with Homemade Marinara Sauce

Roasted Pheasant with Homemade Marinara Sauce

Roasted pheasant in a hearty marinara sauce on spaghetti

This quick marinara sauce makes a hearty meal with a roasted upland bird of your choice on a bed of pasta

An Italian restaurant called Luciano’s is down the street from our Kansas home. This local hotspot is renowned for, among other things, the salads they serve in toasted parmesan bowls. From what I can tell, the chef toasts shredded parmesan in bowls coated with olive oil. The crispy cheese takes on a cupped form, and his staff serves salads in these delicious edible bowls. 

To recreate that savory special treat, in this recipe, I’ll tell you how to make parmesan lattices, which are basically thin parmesan pancakes. They add a little extra something-something to pasta dishes.

The marinara sauce recipe here is my own and fairly easy to make. If you can’t find the San Marzano tomatoes at your grocer, you can order them online. In my area, the flavor potential of locally available tomatoes is hit or miss. Comparatively, the flavor of canned tomatoes is pretty consistent.

You can indeed use any upland bird for this recipe. Here, I share a simple roasting recipe for pheasant, but you are welcome to cook your upland birds for this recipe in any way you’d like.

Roasted pheasant in a hearty marinara sauce on spaghetti

Roasted Pheasant with Homemade Marinara

Jack Hennessy
Roasted whole pheasant makes a hearty meal with this quick marinara sauce
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 895 kcal


  • 1 whole pheasant preferably plucked
  • 1 tsp thyme freshly minced
  • 1 tsp sage freshly minced
  • 1 tsp rosemary freshly minced
  • ¼ lemon
  • ½ bulb garlic bottom cut off but not peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper freshly cracked
  • Olive oil
  • Celery or carrots for roasting pan
  • 16 oz spaghetti
  • Parmesan shredded
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Basil optional, chiffonade-cut



  • Fully thaw your pheasant and pat it dry. Dust all sides of it with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Allow the bird to sit in the fridge with ample airflow overnight so the meat can absorb the salt and the skin can dry.
  • Two hours before cooking, remove the pheasant from the fridge, truss the bird, and allow it to sit out until it reaches room temperature.
  • To cook the marinara sauce, heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet or medium saucepan medium-low. Add the sliced shallot and lightly salt and pepper it. Once the shallot is slightly seared and soft, add the freshly minced garlic and stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sliced shallot and garlic to a food processor and blend them thoroughly. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and blend them, allowing the tomatoes to retain a bit of their texture. Add the mixture back to the skillet or saucepan, and lower heat to barely a simmer until you’re ready to serve.
  • To cook the pheasant, heat an oven-safe (preferably cast-iron) skillet to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Add a very thin layer of olive oil to the skillet. Carefully sear thighs, legs, wings, and anything else that touches the skillet when the pheasant is on its side. Sear until the skin is light brown.
  • Remove the pheasant and lightly oil it with olive oil. Sprinkle fresh herbs over all sides. Stuff the bird with lemon and garlic. Slice the carrots or celery so they serve as logs to prop up the pheasant so the oven’s heat reaches all sides of the bird or very close to it.
  • Roast the bird at 325 for 50 minutes. Then, turn the oven up to 450 and roast for 3 minutes. You can insert a meat probe before sliding into the oven, but the goal is to have an internal temp of both breasts and the thickest part of the thighs of 170 degrees.
  • While the bird is roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, add dry spaghetti. Cook the pasta for 7-9 minutes or until tender but slightly al dente. Drain the pasta and add a pinch of salt and a bit of olive oil once the water is drained. Set the pasta aside until you’re ready to serve.
  • Once the pheasant is done roasting, remove it from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Allow the bird to rest for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the parmesan lattices. Heat a small (preferably cast-iron) skillet on medium-low. Spray it with a bit of olive oil, then add a thin layer of shredded Parmesan cheese. Spray the top side of the shredded Parmesan with oil. Once the underside is brown, flip it and brown the other side. Remove the lattice once both sides are brown and slightly crispy.
  • To serve, add the spaghetti, a parmesan lattice, sauce, sliced pheasant, and top it with fresh, chiffonade-cut basil. Enjoy!


Calories: 895kcalCarbohydrates: 110gProtein: 64gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 394mgPotassium: 1930mgFiber: 10gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 893IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 176mgIron: 9mg
Keyword Pasta, Pheasant
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

©2014-2024 Project Upland Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express permission of Project Upland is strictly prohibited.

Scroll To Top