Baked Cranberry Chicken with Thyme

This baked cranberry chicken is so good my husband loves it and he’s not a cranberry-loving guy! The chicken is seasoned with sea salt, pepper, and thyme while the cranberries are tossed in pure maple syrup. These flavors mix while baking to create a wholesome seasonal meal in only 35 minutes!

up close shot of chicken and cranberries on a pan

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Baked Cranberry Chicken Recipe Inspiration

With winter rolling in, the delicious seasonal fruits are hitting grocery store shelves. There’s nothing I love more than creating recipes with seasonal produce which is what inspired me to create this recipe.

Last month I developed a similar seasonal recipe using pomegranates to create a skillet pomegranate chicken. It was fantastic! With this success, I wanted to try another by pairing cranberries and chicken. Once again it was a hit that we will be enjoying all winter long.

up close photo of cooked chicken and berries
Source: Plum Branch Home

Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make in only 35 minutes
  • Healthy recipe full of antioxidants and nutrients
  • The cranberries are sweetened with maple syrup to take away sour notes
  • It’s perfect to pair with roasted potatoes or a fresh spinach salad

How to Make Ahead

  • Dice onion and rinse cranberries ahead of time
  • Toss cranberries, diced onion, and pure maple syrup together in a bowl and let sit in the fridge until you’re ready to use
  • Season chicken ahead of time so it’s easy to get out and bake
over head photo of chicken and cranberries
Source: Plum Branch Home

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 bag (8 ounces or 2 cups) organic cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 of an onion diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not the sugar filled kind)

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

Step by Step Instructions

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

bowl of cranberries
Source: Plum Branch Home

Second, dice onions into small chunks and rise cranberries with water.

cranberries and diced onion being stirred in a bowl
Source: Plum Branch Home

Third, in a bowl mix together diced onion, cranberries, and pure maple syrup. Stir to evenly combine and set aside.

chicken on a pan and a hand sprinkling thyme on it
Source: Plum Branch Home

Forth, season chicken on both sides evenly with pepper, salt, and thyme.

hand getting ready to add cranberries to a sheet pan that has chicken on it
Source: Plum Branch Home

Fifth, add seasoned chicken to a greased sheet pan (or lay down unbleached parchment paper) and the cranberry mixture on top and around the chicken.

over head photo of raw chicken and cranberries
Source: Plum Branch Home

Sixth, bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

How to Serve

Serve healthy baked cranberry chicken with roasted potatoes, homemade mashed potatoes and brown gravy, or with sourdough dinner rolls. There’s really no end to what you can serve as a side to this dish!

Recipe FAQ

Is baked cranberry chicken healthy?

This baked cranberry chicken is a very healthy and wholesome recipe. With all the whole ingredients and the antioxidants of the cranberries, it’s packed with nutrition.

Can I use regular cranberries instead of organic?

You can use regular cranberries but if you can find organic the flavor is so much better!

Can I use honey instead of pure maple syrup?

I tested honey and maple syrup, and the maple syrup goes much better with the cranberries. Feel free to use the honey, it’s still yummy. But if you want the best version do maple syrup.

Does it matter if I use grade A or grade B maple syrup?

It doesn’t matter which grade you use for this recipe. A is my preferred grade as it’s lighter. Grade B is still good but has a thicker grittier texture due to being produced later in the season.

Can I use chicken thighs or legs for this recipe?

You can use chicken thighs or legs but if the meat has a bone in it you may need to extend the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.

More Chicken Recipes from Scratch

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up close shot of chicken and cranberries on a pan

Baked Cranberry Chicken with Thyme

Molly LaFontaine of Plum Branch Home
This baked cranberry chicken is so good my husband loves it and he's not a cranberry-loving guy! The chicken is seasoned with sea salt, pepper, and thyme while the cranberries are tossed in pure maple syrup. These flavors mix while baking to create a wholesome seasonal meal in only 35 minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 bag organic cranberries (8 ounces or 2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 of an onion diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not the sugar-filled kind)

Instructions
 

  • First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Second, dice onions into small chunks and rise cranberries with water.
  • Third, in a bowl mix together diced onion, cranberries, and pure maple syrup. Stir to evenly combine and set aside.
  • Forth, season chicken on both sides evenly with pepper, salt, and thyme.
  • Fifth, add seasoned chicken to a greased sheet pan (or lay down unbleached parchment paper) and the cranberry mixture on top and around the chicken.
  • Sixth, bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!
Keyword cranberry chicken, plum branch home cranberry chicken

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