Cranberry chicken is an easy - and festive! - one pan meal. My recipe uses whole, fresh ingredients & makes a tasty, healthy weeknight dinner!
I’m always down for new ideas for chicken dinner options, but the combination of ingredients in them just weren’t appealing to me.
They generally used Catalina dressing - or French Dressing - usually along with canned whole berry cranberry sauce and sometimes dry onion soup mix.
You know, all things that I never have on hand, and makes it sound like a giant sodium bomb, TBH.
... I’m ~old~, and have to think about things like that, now!
The goal was to make an easy dinner recipe - something appropriate for busy weeknights - with minimal ingredients.
So, this is what I came up with - a delicious dinner that the whole family will love.
A bit of honey and orange juice are the perfect balance for the chicken and cranberries.
Also, the addition of rosemary is evocative of Christmas dinner... just in “easy recipe for busy days” form!
This is a super simple recipe, using basic ingredients that are all either pantry staples, or can be found in most local grocery stores.
A few notes:
I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts when I make this recipe, but you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer - about 8 of them.
Cranberry chicken thighs are also excellent, we just tend to use breast meat to keep the fat down a bit.
In season, I’ll use fresh cranberries. When those aren’t available, frozen works fine.
You ca defrost them before using, or just measure them in, frozen. Just expect to add a few minutes to the cooking time, while they form the tangy cranberry sauce.
I use 1 fresh orange, for both orange juice and orange zest.
You can use whatever kind you like, I go for large, juicy varieties like Valencia or navel.
You can use whatever form of chicken broth / chicken stock / bone broth that you like.
I generally use liquid honey when making this, but maple syrup also works really well in this recipe.
If you’d like to keep it lower carb, you can use a brown sugar substitute - same amount.
I’ll usually use Dried Rosemary, as I always have it on hand.
If you’re going to use fresh rosemary, you can use 2-3 teaspoon worth. Just chop or crush it before adding it to the pan.
Rounding out the recipe, you will need:
A small onion
Salt and ground black pepper
... I just don’t have any commentary on these ones!
How to Make Cranberry Chicken
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post. This is the pictorial walk through with additional tips and info.
Zest and juice the orange into a small bowl, set aside. Chop the onions, and press the garlic.
Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side, until browned. They do not need to be cooked through.
Transfer browned chicken to a plate, set aside.
Place remaining olive oil into the pan, along with the chopped onions, turn the burner down to medium heat.
Season with a little salt and pepper, cook for a few minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add garlic, stir well, and cook for 1 more minute.
Add orange juice, zest, cranberries, honey, and rosemary to the pan. Stir well, bring to a simmer.
Cook cranberry mixture for a few minutes, mashing the cranberries as they soften.
Add chicken broth, stir well.
Add the chicken breasts back to the pan, cover and let the chicken cook until it is cooked through - registering aan internal temperature of 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer - and sauce has formed a thick glaze.
Taste, season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve hot, topped with plenty of sauce!
Allow leftovers to cool to almost room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, fully reheating before eating.
Baked Cranberry Chicken
If you would prefer to bake this chicken:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
After browning, place chicken in a single layer in a 9 x 9 baking dish.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165.
What to Serve with Cranberry Chicken
I like to serve this dish with a white vegetable and a green vegetable.
No idea why - maybe as a flavor / texture balance thing, maybe it’s just that the red/white/green feels even more festive?
Anyway, it just feels right to me!
For the green, I usually do green beans, asparagus or Brussels sprouts.
As for the white, I usually go for either mashed potatoes or - as pictured - my Low Carb Cauliflower Mash.
More Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes!
Looking for something festive - for the whole family? Here are some great gluten-free recipes perfect for your holiday table!
Cranberry Jello Salad
Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies
Gluten Free Fruitcake
Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Scones
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Paska [Easter Bread]
Gluten Free Sauerkraut Buns [Pyrizhky]
Gluten-Free Stuffing Recipe
Honey Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Classier Version
Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Trashier Version
Sweet Potato Souffle
Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze
Need holiday foods that are gluten free AND low carb? Here are a few more ideas, from my low carb blog:
Share the Love!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense.
Finally, if you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and a comment!
- 1 Orange
- 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil divided
- ½ Small onion finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves minced or finely pressed
- 2 cups Fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoon Honey
- 1 teaspoon Dried rosemary
- ½ cup Chicken broth
- Zest and juice the orange, set aside.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan. Cook chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side, until browned. They do not need to be cooked through.
- Transfer browned chicken to a plate, set aside.
- Place remaining olive oil into the pan, along with the chopped onions.
- Season with a little salt and pepper, cook for a few minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add garlic, stir well, and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add orange juice, zest, cranberries, honey, and rosemary to the pan. Stir well, bring to a simmer.
- Cook cranberry mixture for a few minutes, mashing the cranberries as they soften.
- Add chicken broth, stir well.
- Add the chicken breasts back to the pan, cover and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through - 165 F with a meat thermometer - and sauce has formed a thick glaze.
- Taste, season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve hot!