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This cranberry chicken is tender, sweet yet tangy, and easy to make! With less than five minutes of prep time, this is a perfect dinner for busy weeknights.
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This cranberry chicken recipe is a quick and easy meal that everyone loves in our family! The chicken is baked to perfection in a savory sweet cranberry sauce with sweet bursts of dried cranberries and toasted pecan pieces. It is a simple meal that makes a statement, so it is sure to impress your guests!
Cranberry chicken looks so elegant and beautiful like a Christmas dinner! It has all the flavor, and easy ingredients, and is baked in under an hour! The sweetness of cranberries and the savory flavor of chicken are the perfect combination you need for a comforting and fulfilling family dinner. It is the perfect option for an elegant or festive meal or a quick and simple meal! This chicken dish is sure to please!
Ingredients in Easy Cranberry Chicken
The combination of ingredients for this cranberry chicken may seem unusual, but I promise, once it is all baked together the flavor is HEAVENLY! It really is one of the easiest chicken recipes you will ever make!
- Chicken – Start with four large boneless chicken breasts, cut in half. You should have enough chicken to fill a 9×13 baking dish.
- Cranberry sauce – I like to use a can of whole-berry cranberry sauce, but you can use leftover homemade sauce from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
- Dry onion soup mix – Use one packet of the dry onion soup mix. It has seasoning in it and flavor.
- Pecans – Chop pecans for a delicious crunch and texture.
- Craisins – These are soft dried cranberry that adds a little more texture and flavor to the cranberry mixture.
- Catalina salad dressing – It may sound crazy but you will use a whole bottle of Catalina salad dressing. We use a smaller bottle but for extra richness in flavor dump a larger bottle onto the chicken.
How to Prepare Cranberry Chicken
Most of the ingredients are perfect for storing and using them as pantry staples. Layer the ingredients together and bake it in the oven. The sauce and onion soup mix will cover the chicken and bake right into it giving it a sweet and savory flavor in each bite!
- Prepare chicken – Arrange the chicken in a baking pan, prepped with some cooking spray. If you’re using thighs with skin, make sure to put the skin side down.
- Layer – Spread cranberry sauce all over the chicken in a nice, thick layer over each piece of chicken. Sprinkle the onion soup packet, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries over the chicken. Then pour the Catalina salad dressing over the top.
- Cover and bake – Lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake – Uncover the chicken and bake again for 15 more minutes so the sauce thickens and becomes a shiny glaze.
- Serve – Serve the extra sauce in a bowl and spoon over the chicken when serving. You can also garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Tips for Making the Best Cranberry Chicken Recipe
Follow these quick and simple tips to help make this easy cranberry chicken recipe! Prepare a mouthwatering dinner with extra help. Make a complete meal with this chicken and cranberry recipe too!
- Quality chicken – Make sure that you have good-quality chicken breasts. Look for chicken breasts that are uniform in size to help ensure they are baked evenly.
- Don’t overcook – Overcooking the chicken can lead to dry and tough chicken breasts. Use a meat thermometer to ensure a moist and tender chicken every time.
- Meat thermometer – Chicken needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit for proper serving temperature.
- Citrus flavor – Add in a citrus flavor with orange juice into the cranberry mixture. Orange juice gives an orange zest that is refreshing and balances the sweetness of the cranberry sauce.
- Sides – Take this easy dinner recipe and serve it over rice or mashed potatoes and green beans or a green salad. The red and green look so pretty together and so classy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cranberries themselves are rich in vitamin C and fiber so yes they are healthy! Try our low-sugar cranberry sauce for all the flavor but less sugar!
Season with salt and pepper before adding the rest of the ingredients. The cranberry sauce, onion packet, and salad dressing will add a whole host of flavors that will complement the chicken.
Yes! You can substitute with bone-in chicken or chicken thighs if you prefer. You may need to adjust the cooking times.
It is best to thaw the chicken prior to baking it with this cranberry chicken recipe.
Leftover Cranberry Chicken
If you are lucky, you may end up with a chicken breast leftover to store for the next day. This easy cranberry chicken is usually the first go during dinner nights. Follow these quick and easy ideas on how to properly store the cranberry chicken recipe.
- Storing – Place leftover cranberry chicken in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator for three to five days. This is a great meal plan too for adding protein and lettuce during each meal!
- Freezing – Store leftovers in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator and warm up either in the microwave or oven.
- Reheating – Place the chicken in the microwave or bake in the oven until it is heated through. Save extra sauce and pour it over the top of the chicken for added flavor.
READ MORE:35+ Chicken Breast Recipes
Other Yummy Cranberry Recipes
Cranberry sauce is so sweet and delicious with all the flavor! It is bright and colorful and adds the perfect touch to so many types of appetizers, bread, and even side dishes. Try these delicious recipes with creanberries in them for a flavorful and bright meal!
How to Make Cranberry Chicken
- 9×13 inch pan
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
- 1 can cranberry sauce whole berry
- 1 packet dry onion soup mix
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 cup craisins
- 1 bottle Catalina dressing
- Place chicken in baking pan. Generously spread cranberry sauce over the chicken.
- Sprinkle onion soup mix, pecans, and craisins over the chicken. Pour Catalina dressing over top.
- Bake lightly covered with foil at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.
- Tip: Spoon extra sauce over the chicken and rice or mashed potatoes when serving.
- Use four large boneless chicken breasts, cut in half – you can substitute with bone-in chicken or chicken thighs if you prefer. You should have enough chicken to fill a 9×13 baking dish.
- Arrange the chicken in a baking pan, prepped with some cooking spray. If you’re using thighs with skin, make sure to put the skin side down.
- Serve the extra sauce in a bowl and spoon over the chicken when serving. You can also garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
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