Cranberry Chicken is a super simple, four ingredient dinner recipe.
You know that a recipe is a keeper when your family asks you to make it over and over and over again. I’ve been making this cranberry chicken recipe for a very long time. I believe my sister-in-law gave me the recipe before I was even married, so that means I’ve been making it for close to 30 years.
It’s probably a recipe that came from the back of a package. Or it might just be a super simple recipe that was shared from a home cook. Regardless, it’s incredibly simple, and my family enjoys it a lot.
Easy Chicken Recipe
Recipes with minimal ingredients are sometimes the best kinds of recipes. They’re perfect for those busy days where you simply can’t deal with making a complicated dinner (or making dinner at all!)
I’m not one for making a lot of recipes with pre-packaged ingredients, but this recipe is good so I don’t fret about that too much. No one is going to judge you for using a can of this or a jar of that. And if they do, then you shouldn’t be feeding them!!
Here are the four ingredients needed for cranberry chicken:
- French Salad Dressing (sometimes referred to as “Catalina”). Yep, you’re just going to buy a bottle of salad dressing- nothing fancy. You can even get the “fat free” variety, if you’d like.
- Dried Onion Soup Mix – you know… like Lipton brand or something similar. You’ll need one package of that mix. No substitutions.
- Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce – Use canned. It’s easy, and it works perfectly for this recipe!
- Chicken Breasts – You’ll need two pounds to feed about 6 people. You can certainly substitute boneless chicken thighs, if you’d like (baking time will be less).
I like to serve this cranberry chicken over rice. There is plenty of sauce, so you can spoon it over and let the rice soak it up too. Leftovers of this chicken are good, so don’t worry if you don’t have six people to feed. Enjoy!
Here are a few more chicken recipes you might like to try:
- Swiss Chicken Casserole
- Easy Chicken Santa Fe
- Baked Cornflake Chicken
- One Pot Stove Top Chicken and Rice
- Crispy Chicken Schnitzel
- Tuscan Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Easy Kung Pao Chicken
- Skillet Lemon Chicken
- 1 cup bottled French salad dressing
- One 1-ounce envelope dried onion soup mix
- One 16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a 9x13-inch casserole dish, combine the dressing, soup mix and cranberry sauce. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
- Cover the casserole dish either with a lid or with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to see if chicken is cooked through. Time depends on how thick your chicken breasts are. If not finished, bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
- The chicken can be served by itself or over rice with the sauce drizzled on top.
- *Use nonfat French dressing to cut down on fat.
Why will your site not allow printing? I click on print, get to a print-format version of recipe with another print button, which does nothing. 🙁
My site allows for printing! The problem must be with something on your end. I’m not sure how to help, sorry!
I have been making this recipe for years…. love it!!! I also substitute the cranberry for either apricot, pineapple, or orange marmalade jams.
I make this all the time and it’s a family favorite even though most of them normally hate cranberries!! The only difference is,I use Russian dressing instead of French. The rice drizzled with the sauce is sooo. Good. I am making for dinner tonight because my daughter in law requested it for her birthday dinner.
Can this recipe be made in a crock pot
I haven’t tried it in a crockpot yet!
What could I do to lower the sodium content? Does low-sodium onion soup mix even exist? I’ve made similar recipes before but stopped because of the sodium. Looks delicious! Thanks!
I’m not sure about that- sorry!
I found a recipe on Pinterest to make your own onion soup mix and there is no sodium in it.
can I use my own cranberry sauce; it’s lg. bag fresh berry & 2c. raspberry and when its cooled sweet & lo to taste Can cranberry is to loaded w/sugar have disbetes and can I cook this in Crockpot ??
I think you can try using your own. Haven’t tried it in a slow cooker.
Cranberry chicken is an excellent meal. I cook uncovered 375 degrees for 60 mins. Served over white rice is wonderful. Can’t get more simpler than that. Love it
I’m going to attempt this in my instant pot because I forgot to thaw my chicken. I’m going to do pot in pot and hope for the best. Anyone try it in the oven with frozen chicken breasts from Costco? I’ve made this recipe so many times. Always good. It’s yummy with mashed potatoes and also with rice like Lori mentions?
Hi, Lori, I have not tried your recipe yet either but I plan to soon. Probably would’ve done it tonight had I not had chicken just yesterday. I wanted to voice some support for the use of pre-packaged ingredients as that works best for most of us who do not have time to make our own spice blends and sauces from scratch. Must be nice, maybe someday! Thanks for the recipe for what looks like it will be a quick and tasty dinner, I can use all the recipes like this I can get! I’ll let you know how it turns out when I do make it.
Hi Lori –
Thank you for what certainly sounds like a simple, easy, straight-forward and tasty recipe.
It does, however, remind me of the circa 1960 edition of “Better Homes & Gardens” cookbook, which has the cook opening 4 cans of whatever, mixing them together, heating them on the stove, pouring it over some meat and calling it homemade.
I’m not trashing your recipe, because it really does sound wonderful, but when 3 of the 4 ingredients come out of cans, it’s not “a little here and there”, it’s everything but the chicken.
The points I’d like to make are that:
Lipton’s onion soup mix is easy to replicate – without the MSG and salt.
Making a batch takes 5 minutes, is easily stored, and will last for several months on the shelf.
French salad dressing? Equally easy to make and have on hand in the fridge. Salad, anyone??
Cranberry sauce? Who doesn’t make this for Thanksgiving?? Make a double or triple batch and store the rest in the freezer for future use. Okay, use canned cranberry sauce – just that homemade is better, doesn’t have the chemicals and preservatives and it will keep in the freezer. If this chicken is such a popular dish, then I’m betting that it won’t stay there for long!!
I know – all too well – that making dinner every night soon becomes a chore, not a pleasure. So shortcuts are good and help to preserve sanity … but even when I was working (and the 12 hr days were the short ones), we still managed to make healthy meals without using a lot of pre-packaged foods. By the age of 12, the kids learned how to make things from scratch and understand the difference between opening a jar and taking the 30 minutes to cook a sauce.
I think that the secret is pre-planning.
Thank you for posting your recipe – and I will be trying it soon (naturally, using home made ingredients)!
My oven has decided to take a leave of absence and new one isn’t here yet. Can I make this in the crock pot?
Probably, but I haven’t tried it!