Orange Cranberry Chicken is a simple, flavourful recipe that blends tart cranberries with sweet oranges and mellow-tasting chicken. And the best part is that this cranberry chicken recipe is so simple to make with less than 10 ingredients, which makes it a perfect dinner any night of the week.
This flavorful cranberry chicken recipe was inspired by an old recipe made with canned cranberry sauce and orange juice concentrate.
I replaced the canned sauce with fresh juicy cranberries mixed with fresh orange juice and natural maple syrup. It's such a simple recipe to make, serve it with a simple salad and a side of brown rice for a delicious healthy dinner.
Why this Recipe Works
- It's a healthy chicken recipe that is made with fresh oranges and cranberries which are full of health benefits, not to mention the delicious flavor.
- It's so easy to put together. Dump the ingredients into your slow cooker and let it cook.
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
Here is What You Will Need to Make Orange Cranberry Chicken
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Fresh Cranberries
- Fresh Orange Juice
- Fresh Oranges
- Maple syrup
- Tamari sauce
- Freshly grated ginger
- Whole wheat flour or arrowroot (optional to thicken the sauce)
- Slow cooker or pressure cooker
- Large Skillet (cast iron is great for browing)
- Citrus Juicer (an handheld one is so convenient)
Estimated Time To Make This Recipe: 4 ½ to 5 hours.
How to make This Orange Cranberry Chicken Recipe
Prepare the Ingredients: Chop the garlic, grate the ginger, rough chop the cranberries, squeeze the orange juice, peel the orange, and rough chop the sections. Measure the syrup, and tamari sauce.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Step 1. Brown the Chicken
Once the oil in the skillet is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook on each side until they turn golden brown. If the skillet is too hot, reduce the heat to medium heat.
Step 2. Get the Slow Cooker Ready
Place the browned chicken breasts into a slow cooker.
Step 3. Add the Oranges
Top the chicken breasts with chunks of fresh oranges.
Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
Optional Step, Thicken the Sauce: Whisk together a slurry of 1 tablespoon of flour or arrowroot with 3 tablespoons of water and gradually whisk it into the sauce in the slow cooker until the sauce is the consistency that you like.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts can be replaced with one pound of boneless chicken thighs or a mixture of both.
Fresh Cranberries can be replaced with frozen cranberries.
Tamari Sauce is a gluten-free soy sauce that can easily be replaced one for one with soy sauce or coconut aminos.
Maple Syrup. Look for real maple syrup and not pancake syrup which is made with high fructose corn syrup. Maple syrup can be found in the grocery store with pancake mixes and pancake syrup.
Maple syrup can be replaced with an equal amount of honey.
Oranges. Any type of orange can be used in this recipe. Valencia oranges are a good all-purpose orange, and I have also used mandarin oranges to make this recipe.
Cranberry chicken tastes great sprinkled with orange zest and served over mashed potatoes, or your favorite whole grain with a side of roasted brussels sprouts, green beans or a spinach salad.
Storing and Using Leftovers
Store leftover cranberry chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.
Freeze leftover cranberry chicken in an airtight freezer container or a reusable plastic bag like this stasher bag.
Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight or place the sealed container of frozen chicken in a bowl or pan of cold water.
Re-heat leftover chicken on top of the stove, in the oven or microwave.
Use the leftover cranberry orange chicken to make quesadillas with goat cheese or roll it up in a wrap.
- Pineapple Cranberry Orange Chicken. Add ¾ cup of chopped pineapple for a blend of a blend of cranberry orange and pineapple.
- Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Chicken. This recipe is naturally gluten-free if you use tamari sauce and thicken the sauce with arrowroot instead of flour.
- Orange Cranberry Pork Chop. Replace the boneless chicken breasts with boneless pork chops.
I am Short on Time, Can I Make This Orange Chicken Recipe in The Oven?
Yes, you can! You will reduce cooking time by a few hours when you make this recipe in the oven.
Simply brown the chicken in an ovenproof skillet or dutch oven medium high heat. Once the chicken breasts turn golden brown, add the remaining ingredients, cover the skillet and cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees f.
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Have you tried these Healthy Recipes with Chicken?
- Chicken Murphy
- Healthy Crack Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken with Black Beans
- Braised Chicken with Apples
- Instant Pot Red Wine Chicken
If you like this recipe, please comment and rate it below!
Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs or a combination of both
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups cranberries that have been coarsely chopped
- ½ cup of chopped fresh orange or clementine
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon tamari sauce
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon whole wheat flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water optional
- Prepare the ingredients: chop the cranberries and oranges, squeeze the orange juice, crush the garlic, grate the ginger. Measure the syrup and tamari sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil in the skillet is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook on each side for few minutes until they become golden brown.
- Place the browned chicken pieces into the slow cooker.
- Top the chicken with the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
Megan Ellam says
Ooohhh thhis looks so good! Thanks for another great recipe.
I love the orange cranberry twist on this chicken dish! So perfect and festive for Fall and I bet it makes your house smell amazing too.
We made this for dinner last night and it was absolutely delicious! The orange and cranberry flavors really came through. Such a great flavor combo!
Jacqui Debono says
I have to make a chicken dish for a pot luck and I am definitely going for this one! Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!
Oh my goodness! I am loving this combination of flavors! Now this is the perfect fall chicken dish if you ask me!
I made this fall inspired chicken for our sunday meal and it was amazing. I browned the chicken and threw the rest of the ingredients and in the crockpot and let the magic happen. I loved the sweetness from the orange/honey and the tartness from the cranberries. The fresh ginger was really a special touch, thanks for a great recipe.
This Chicken recipe looks so tender! I love that it's slow cooked and the combo of cranberry and orange is always the best!
Such a lovely, easy and super delicious chicken recipe. I absolutely love how the meat looks. SO tender and so juicy. Full of flavor. I can't wait to make this!