Baked Cranberry Chicken

4.84 from 18 votes
57 Comments

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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.

Fork holding piece of cut Cranberry Chicken.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Cranberry Chicken
  2. How to Prepare Cranberry Chicken
  3. Frequently Asked Questions about Cranberry Chicken
  4. Other Yummy Cranberry Recipes
  5. Baked Cranberry Chicken Recipe

This Cranberry Chicken recipe is one of those dishes that always saves my life when I’ve had an especially busy day and didn’t think ahead to put anything in the crock pot. The chicken is baked to perfection in a savory sweet cranberry sauce with sweet bursts of dried cranberries and toasted pecan pieces. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes and green beans or a green salad. The red and green look so pretty together and so classy. It’s a simple meal that makes a statement, so it’s sure to impress your guests.

Ingredients in 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 and it really is one of the easiest chicken recipes you’ll ever make.

  • Start with 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.
  • Cranberry sauce – I like to use a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, but you can use leftover homemade sauce from Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Dry onion soup mix – one packet
  • Pecans – one cup chopped or more if you like an extra crunch
  • Craisins – or dried cranberries
  • One bottle of Catalina salad dressing – usually the smaller bottle is plenty.
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
Cranberry Chicken on a dinner plate with mashed potatoes and green beans.

How to Prepare Cranberry Chicken

  1. First, 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.
  2. Spread cranberry sauce all over the chicken in a nice, thick layer over each piece of chicken.
  3. Next, sprinkle the onion soup packet, chopped pecans and dried cranberries over the chicken.
  4. Then pour the Catalina salad dressing over the top.
  5. Lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Uncover the chicken and bake again for 15 more minutes so the sauce thickens and becomes a shiny glaze.
  7. Serve the extra sauce in a bowl and spoon over the chicken when serving. You can also garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cranberry Chicken

Is cranberry sauce healthy for you?

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!

How can I make my chicken more flavorful?

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.

Can I freeze cranberry chicken?

Yes! 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.

READ MORE:35+ Chicken Breast Recipes

Other Yummy Cranberry Recipes

Plate of Cranberry Chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes.

Baked Cranberry Chicken

4.84 from 18 votes
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.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Video

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch pan

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 26gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 898mgPotassium: 526mgFiber: 3gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 65IUVitamin C: 2.8mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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Comments

  1. I am new to the recipe method for cooking and want to try this. I not sure exactly how much dressing?? A small bottle or large bottle. And can I use walnuts in place of pecans?

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried this combo before, but I LOVED it! That savory fruity sweet flavor combo was delicious! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I love cranberry so much that I buy in bulk during the holidays so I can have them all year, so I knew I was gonna love this! I was not disappointed, this is amazing!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for once-a-year family get together this Christmas and it was a super hit! Everyone loved it so much that I made it for a vegetarian dinner later using Worthington’s Fry Chik instead of the chicken and everything else exactly as shown. It was deeelicious! My family consists of adult children, grandchildtren and great grandchildren. It’s nice to know that they still think I’m a great cook! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

  5. HEY COOKS! Make sure to double the Nutritional Info, unless you’re feeding eight 5 yr. olds! Everyone I know ordinarily eats 1/2 chicken breast. Here, you’re cutting the half chicken breast into yet another half. This might work if you’re feeding eight 5 yr. olds, but not for a normal adult. I DO pay close attention to Nutritional info, and I find this recipe to be extremely high in calories, etc., for ONLY the (unreasonable) portion size. It does sound tasty, though.

  6. 5 stars
    This was absolutely divine! My husband swears it is gourmet, 5-star restaurant dining. Thank you so much for this exquisite recipe! I made it exactly as you described – fork tender and simply “moreish “!

    1. So glad you liked this chicken! It’s so fun to see people’s reaction to this recipe because they are like “this is amazing, what’s in it?!” and after we tell them how simple the ingredients are they are always surprised! So easy, right? Thanks for taking the time to comment!