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Cranberry Chicken - A Delicious But Easy Baked Chicken Recipe

Updated on March 9, 2013
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Cranberry Chicken made with whole berry cranberry sauce. Jellied cranberry sauce may be substituted if you prefer a sauce without berries. Served with hot rice and Busy Day Green Beans.
Cranberry Chicken made with whole berry cranberry sauce. Jellied cranberry sauce may be substituted if you prefer a sauce without berries. Served with hot rice and Busy Day Green Beans. | Source

Just 4 Ingredients for Tender Baked Chicken in a Sweet, Tangy, Savory Sauce

Everyone should have a recipe like this up their sleeve. Whether you're a busy mom, someone who doesn't really care to cook, a bachelor making dinner for your new lady or a newlywed wanting to impress your mother-in-law, this is an easy recipe that anyone can throw together. It contains only four ingredients, including the chicken, and all four are items that are easy to find in any grocery store.

Three of the ingredients combine for the sauce, which is then poured over the chicken before you pop it in the oven. While the dish cooks, all four ingredients meld together into a scrumptious dinner that is a little sweet, a little tangy and a little savory. The sauce complements the chicken perfectly, and the recipe makes plenty of sauce to serve over hot cooked rice.

Something else that makes this recipe great for beginner cooks is that it requires no special equipment. All you need is a can opener, mixing bowl, spoon, and a baking dish or casserole dish with a lid. If you don't have a covered baking dish, a rectangle 13x9 cake pan covered with foil works perfectly fine.

Because this is an excellent recipe for beginning cooks, I'm explaining things a little more in detail than you experienced cooks will need. However, experienced cooks need not shy away from this recipe. It's always handy to have a quick, delicious dinner you can throw together on a hectic day. I often pull out all the stops when cooking for company, but I would not hesitate to serve this to guests, and in fact, I have -- many times.

Any of these pans will work to bake this chicken. Simply cover with foil if you have no lid.

CorningWare French White 2-1/2-Quart Round Casserole Dish with Glass Cover
CorningWare French White 2-1/2-Quart Round Casserole Dish with Glass Cover

Classic style is functional yet beautiful enough to put on the table.



1 can (15 ounces) whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce
8 ounces (1/2 of a 16-ounce bottle) Catalina dressing
1 packet dry onion soup/dip mix
4 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed


In a medium mixing bowl, combine the entire can of cranberry sauce with approximately half the bottle of Catalina dressing and the dry onion soup mix. The Catalina dressing does not have to be measured precisely. You can "eyeball" about half the bottle, or you can fill the empty cranberry sauce can about half full. Whether you use a little extra or not quite half the bottle, it will turn out great. Stir these items together until fairly well mixed. The sauce will be lumpy, but no worries -- it will look much different after it bakes in the oven.

Place the chicken breasts in a single layer, meat-side up, in a baking dish. Pour sauce mixture over the chicken. Cover the baking dish with a lid or with foil, gently pinching the foil around the sides of the pan. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Place a chicken breast and a serving of rice on each plate, and spoon sauce over both the chicken and the rice.

Buttered green beans and a green salad round this meal out nicely.

Bonus Recipe: Busy Day Green Beans

If you're craving green beans and have the time to cook up some fresh ones, make Paula Deen's green beans. They are he best I've ever tasted, and my family loves them. They do take some time to make, though, so I tend to reach for that recipe only on the weekends, when the pace at our home is more leisurely.

When I'm getting dinner ready in a hurry, I make what I call "Busy Day Green Beans." These green beans are so simple. They're yummy, although they won't win any cooking awards. However, they do the trick on a busy weeknight. My kids have grown to love these green beans, and thanks to the seasoning I like them to. I prefer the Paula Deen's fresh ones, of course, but these will do on a busy day!

Here's how you make them: Open two cans of whole green beans. Drain and discard liquid. Place beans in a microwave-safe serving dish. Sprinkle beans with a little garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and seasoned salt. Place several pats of real butter on beans, and microwave at 50% for about 2 minutes. Toss beans to coat with melting butter and seasonings. Microwave at 50% about two minutes more until butter is melted and beans are heated through.

How did you like this cranberry chicken? Please rate it!

Cast your vote for Cranberry Chicken

Using canned cranberry sauce is quickest, but making it from scratch is not difficult or time consuming.


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Want to try this. I have not yet cooked chicken with cranberries.

    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks GmaGoldie! I do cook with bonesless chicken breast quite a bit, but this recipe is one i almost always use bone-in chicken breast. Great to hear it's so healthy!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I had to stop back and share with you the bone in chicken is recommended by Dr. Oz because it provides more nutrients (and flavor but of course!).

    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Eddy!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Another for me to bookmark;thanks and here's my up up and away.

      Take care


    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for commenting, Deborah and Goldie. Let me know how you like it if you get a chance to make it!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I love cranberries and enjoy chicken - never thought of the combination. Fascinating, I will have to try. I prefer the real cranberries that Grandmother used to make so I will change it up a bit but the same essence. Great suggestion.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I am bookmarking this looks great thanks..

      Have a great evening


    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for your kinds words, everyone. If you try it, let me know how you like it! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Teri Helton 

      7 years ago

      A simple recipe that looks delicious! Thanks for the share!

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Looks like an easy and delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • raemay40 profile image


      7 years ago

      Sounds yummy thanks! for recipe:))


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