Cranberry Chicken

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

This Cranberry Chicken recipe makes easy, tender meat in a sweet and tangy cranberry sauce with orange juice, brown sugar, and maple syrup.

Delicious Cranberry Chicken is the ultimate sweet and tangy Chicken Dinner. Serve it up with Roasted Green Beans and Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes for the perfect comforting meal. 

Cranberry Chicken sliced on serving plate

The sweet cranberry sauce ingredients give the chicken breast a wonderful flavor, similar to what you’d have on Thanksgiving from Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Just like our classic cranberry sauce recipe, the chicken is cooked in fresh cranberries, brown sugar, and orange juice. The bold flavors soak into the chicken for a juicy and irresistible dish. 

Along with how delicious this recipe is, it’s also quick to make with a super-easy cooking method. After combining the sauce on the stovetop, you just add the chicken pieces to a skillet and let them simmer until cooked through. It’s a less than 30-minute stovetop recipe to get the perfect chicken for dinner. 

If you have any leftover chicken, it’s perfect to keep in the fridge and then repurpose it as a cranberry chicken salad. Just slice the cold chicken into bite-sized chicken pieces, and toss it with your favorite salad veggies. The burst of flavor from the cranberries would taste great with dark leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard. Toss that together with some dried cranberries and chopped nuts, drizzle any remaining cranberry sauce over the top, and enjoy!

Cranberry Chicken collage


  • Meat: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the perfect kind of meat for this recipe because they’re easy to prep, and they easily soak up the flavors from the cranberry sauce that they’re cooked in. 
  • Cranberries: Whether you use fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries in this recipe they bring a tart, bold fruity flavor to the recipe. 
  • Sweeteners: The maple syrup and brown sugar balance out the tartness of the berries with a rich, sweet flavor. 
  • Orange juice: Orange juice acts as an excellent cooking liquid, adds a little more sweetness, and gives the sauce an amazing tangy flavor. 



  • Homemade cranberry sauce: Start by adding fresh cranberries, orange juice, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Stir the ingredients together, then cook over medium heat until the fresh cranberries pop open. Once they’ve popped, turn off the heat. 
  • Prep chicken: Use a chicken mallet to pound each of the chicken breasts until they have an even thickness. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. 
  • Cooking time: Put a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add butter to the base of the pan. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer over the pan. Cook them on each side until thoroughly cooked through, approximately an 8-10 minute cooking time. To make sure the chicken is done, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. 
  • Serve: Stir the maple syrup into the cranberry sauce, then coat the chicken in the sauce and serve. 
Cranberry Chicken mixed with sauce in cooking pot


  • Lemon: You can add some extra tangy flavor to the recipe by mixing in a tablespoon or two of fresh lemon juice. If you add lemon to the recipe, you can also garnish the dish with lemon wedges. 
  • Seasonings: Another easy way to add some different flavors to the recipe is with seasonings like fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, basil, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, or fresh garlic cloves. 
  • Onions: You could also sauté some sweet onion along with the chicken in the skillet, or top the whole dish off with minced green onion. 
Cranberry Chicken on serving plate



  • Serve: You never want to leave meat out for more than 2 hours after cooking. 
  • Store: Transfer the Cranberry Chicken to an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freeze: You can also seal and keep chicken in the freezer for 3-4 months. 

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Cranberry Chicken

This Cranberry Chicken recipe makes easy, tender meat in a sweet and tangy cranberry sauce with orange juice, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries , frozen okay too
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 4 chicken breasts , boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


  • Add cranberries, orange juice, and brown sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  • Cook for 15-18 minutes until cranberries pop open then turn off the heat.
  • Using a kitchen mallet pound the chicken breasts until they are an even thickness.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add butter to a large skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Sear the chicken on both sides until the chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total.
  • Stir maple syrup into cranberry sauce and pour the sauce over the chicken.


Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 521mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Cranberry Chicken
Cranberry Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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