Easy Baked Cranberry Chicken is a 4 ingredient recipe with chicken breasts, dry onion soup mix, cranberry sauce and Catalina dressing. Perfect for busy weeknights and a delicious dinner the whole family will love!
This baked cranberry chicken recipe is one of the easiest chicken recipes you'll ever make. It's sometimes called Catalina chicken or Catalina dressing chicken because you make the sauce with Catalina salad dressing. It's a super simple recipe that has been around a long time!
This delicious chicken dinner comes together easily so it's simple to throw together after a busy day. And it's made with pantry staples, so you can stock up on the ingredients and have dinner on the table in no time.
My family absolutely loves this easy chicken recipe! And, even my pickiest eater has no complaints when cranberry chicken is on the menu. The chicken is tender, flavorful and covered in the most delicious tangy cranberry sauce.
Catalina Chicken Ingredients
You only need 4 ingredients to make this Catalina dressing chicken recipe. If you don't already have the ingredients for Cranberry chicken, you can find them in your local grocery stores:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts -- I use either 4 or 6 thin chicken breasts
- Dry onion soup mix -- I use Lipton onion soup, but any brand is fine
- Whole berry cranberry sauce -- Use jellied cranberry sauce if you can't find whole-berry sauce
- Catalina salad dressing -- Use Russian of French dressing if you can't find Catalina salad dressing
Note -- As written, this chicken bake does contain a fair amount of sodium. To cut down on sodium, use 2 tablespoons of dry minced onions, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper in place of the dry soup mix!
I often use this homemade onion seasoning. But, it's nice to have the ingredients ready to go when you're in a hurry!
How to Make Baked Cranberry Chicken
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. You can cook at a higher temperature, but I like to bake chicken dishes like this at 350 because it keeps the chicken nice and juicy. Nobody likes dry chicken!
Then, spray a baking dish or casserole dish with cooking spray or pour a little olive oil in the dish.
Place chicken into the prepared baking dish. Set the pan aside while you make the sauce.
Pour the dry onion soup mix in a medium bowl. I like to sprinkle some of the dry soup mix over the chicken breasts, as well.
But, you don't have to do this. You can mix everything together in the mixing bowl if you like.
Next, add the whole berry cranberry sauce to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together until the sauce is well blended.
Then, pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken breasts. Pour sauce around the whole dish so that the chicken is fully covered with the mixture.
Use a spoon or spatula to spread the sauce evenly over the chicken.
Place the baking dish into the preheated oven.
Bake the chicken for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees or slightly above, according to a meat thermometer.
You don't need to cover the dish with aluminum foil. Some recipes call for this, but you're baking at medium heat, and leaving the dish uncovered allows the sauce to reduce and thicken up as it bakes.
The Catalina chicken bake takes just 30 minutes in my oven, but every oven is different. So, the total cook time may vary. Just remember to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness!
When the temperature is 165, dinner is done and ready to serve!
What to Serve with Cranberry Catalina Chicken
Spoon the delicious sauce over the chicken when serving. This recipe makes plenty of sauce, and it is seriously so good that you may want to make extra mashed potatoes or rice to absorb the all of the incredible sauce!
Recipe Variations and Helpful Tips
This easy dinner recipe is very versatile, and there are many easy ways to change the cranberry glaze to suit your own tastes. Sometimes, I like to add a tablespoon of orange marmalade or a little orange zest when baking.
You can also make your own cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries if you don't want to use a can.
If you don't want to use your oven, you can make Instant Pot cranberry chicken! Or, cook chicken and cranberry sauce in your Crock Pot or slow cooker.
To offset the flavor of the tart cranberries, you can add a bit of brown sugar to the sauce.
Make cranberry chicken thighs using chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts if you prefer dark meat.
Or use turkey cutlets instead of chicken. This is the perfect way to enjoy a simple Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving dinner.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover baked cranberry chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It reheats well in the oven or in the microwave, especially if you use the reheat setting.
For longer storage, freeze the chicken and sauce in a freezer safe container.
Do you like to prepare meals ahead of time? You can also freeze the uncooked chicken and sauce mixture in zip top freezer bags. This saucy chicken dish is really perfect for meal prep!
When you're ready to cook the cranberry chicken, thaw in the fridge, dump the contents into a baking dish, and bake!
Baked Cranberry Chicken
- 6 small chicken breasts
- 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
- 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 cup Catalina salad dressing
- Preheat oven to 350°f
- Spray a baking dish with non stick cooking spray
- Place the chicken breasts into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle some of the dry soup mix over the chicken
- In a medium bowl, mix the cranberry sauce and the Catalina dressing together. Stir in the remaining soup mix, and mix until well combined
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, and spread evenly over chicken so that the chicken is completely covered
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165° according to meat thermometer
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
I hope you enjoy this easy cranberry chicken dinner as much as my family does! It really is a family favorite in our house.
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