Easy Cranberry Chicken

Easy Cranberry Chicken | Very Culinary

by Amy Flanigan on October 17, 2013 · 23 comments

This is one of the very first recipes I ever posted back in 2009, when I was merely cataloging my favorite childhood dishes.

Easy Cranberry Chicken | Very Culinary

Cranberry Chicken goes way back to my teenage years when my mom used to make it. Then it became something I made often for my own family. But it’s probably been over a year since the last time. (Too many new recipes to try!)

I’ve always loved it, but also thought it lacked just a little seasoning, so I updated it slightly and now it’s perfect. A little sweet, a little tart, and rich. I know the ingredients might sound funky, but somehow they all really work.

Easy Cranberry Chicken | Very Culinary

And bonus – all you need is a mixing bowl, a casserole dish, and $10. Crazy easy to make, easy to clean up, inexpensive, and tasty. I wish every home cooked meal could be like that!

Easy Cranberry Chicken
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients
• 8 ounce bottle Catalina Dressing
• 1 package dry onion soup mix
• 1 (15 ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• salt and pepper
• 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine the dressing, soup mix, cranberry sauce, and red pepper flakes. Blend well.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Season the chicken thighs with a little bit of salt and pepper and place in the baking dish, in a single layer, making sure all the chicken is coated well.

Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour (or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F.)

Serve over mashed sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, or rice.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria February 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Made this last night and boyfriend told me I had to comment and tell you how awesome it is! Thanks for an easy, inexpensive weeknight dinner.

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Amy @Very Culinary February 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

So glad to hear it! Yay!

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Rita Fig January 25, 2014 at 5:42 am

Hi Amy, just discovered your site and I’m hooked? This chicken recipe sounds amazing..question tho…..my family does not eat dark meat thighs. Have you ever tried this with chicken breasts…boneless or bone in? Wondering if it might come out too dry…hmmm. What’s you opinion? Thanks!

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Amy @Very Culinary January 25, 2014 at 9:59 am

Hi Rita, welcome! I have made it with thighs and also with breasts…and so have many other readers (if you read through previous comments), with success. It is not as moist as the thighs, but it’s not dry. Depending on the thickness of the breasts, though, it might need to be cooked slightly longer than an hour. You’ll just need to check it. Hope you like it!

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Elaine January 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

I saw this recipe made in a crock pot. The only thing different was the omission of the salad dressing. After the 6-8 hrs. on low, the chicken was like shoe leather. Will try your oven version.

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Amy @Very Culinary January 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Oh, what a bummer :( There must not have been enough sauce to keep it moist? Hope this one works out for you! I make it all the time and the thighs are always moist.

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Stephanie October 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

I absolutely love chicken with fruit sauces, and cranberries are my favorite around this time of year. If only Billy felt the same…. I will find a way!

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Joanne October 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I love rediscovering meals from blog posts of yore…it’s like you’re eating them for the first time all over again!

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Erin | The Law Student's Wife October 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

I love updates to mom’s dishes! This looks simple to pull together and like it would feed a crowd (aka. totally welcome at my house!)

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Mom October 17, 2013 at 8:29 am

This was its usual success at a recent pot luck. I do like your added touch of the red pepper flakes and will try next time I make it.

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:52 am

I also noticed that in the original recipe, the chicken wasn’t seasoned. How is that possible? Just by sprinkling some salt and pepper on them, and adding the pepper flakes, made a big difference.

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Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain October 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

Mmmmm…now, this is a recipe that needs to be actioned. I always need a new chicken recipe! This looks delish, Amy!

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

Thanks, Lauren! It’s too easy and inexpensive not to!

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Kathleen October 17, 2013 at 8:21 am

At your recommendation from the original post, I made this for the first time years ago. I now have to double the recipe every time I make it, because all three of my children eat 2-3 thighs apiece. When they ask, “What’s for dinner?” and we respond, “cranberry chicken,” the cheers can be heard ’round the world. Thanks for a great, go to recipe, Amy!

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

That’s awesome! I usually double it too :D

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Lynda October 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

Your mom gave me this recipe. I’ve made it several times both with thighs and breasts. It’s great to make for a group. Because of the funky ingredients I don’t think I would have tried it without a recommendation from someone I trust, and it’s delicious!

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:50 am

Yep, I’ve had many people snicker when they hear the ingredients. It’s definitely ones of those that you have to taste to believe. And once you do, you’re hooked.

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How to make biltong October 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

Thanks for the recipe I am eager to try this. Was there enough sauce, I am thing maybe i should add a little more cranberry sauce.

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

Great question! You know, this could stand to have a little more sauce actually, especially if you serve it over rice or potatoes so they can soak it up. But I wouldn’t just add extra cranberries…definitely double all the ingredients (excluding the chicken), so you get the right flavor balance.

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P~ October 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

Oooo…I have some homemade HoneyFrench dressing…I need to try this! P~

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

Dooooo it!!

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Aggie October 17, 2013 at 5:58 am

This seriously sounds and looks so good to me! Love the change up on just regular ole chicken…I get so bored of it! I love cranberries so much. I will definitely be trying this one!

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Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

Yay! Who doesn’t love a simple/tasty chicken dish? This can obviously be made all year round, but I seem to remember it more in the Fall…probably because the stores stock their endcaps with canned cranberries!

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