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This cranberry chicken casserole is a delicious and easy dinner that’s perfect for those chilly fall and winter nights. Chicken breasts are topped with a sweet and tangy cranberry orange sauce and baked to tender and juicy perfection, then served over white or brown rice, for a hearty and flavorful meal that the entire family will love.
When you want a healthy home-cooked meal that doesn’t require much more effort than it takes to order takeout, this cranberry chicken casserole will be your new go-to recipe. Catalina salad dressing, onion soup mix, cranberry sauce, and hint or orange zest combine to create a sauce that’s addictively delicious and full of bold flavors.
The preparation takes just a few minutes, and then you can just put it in the oven and forget about it. Less than an hour later, you’ve got a hot and tasty meal ready to go. It’s the perfect dinner for those busy weeknights, and the leftovers taste just as good the next day. In fact, you may want to make extra to ensure that you have some leftovers, since this dish tends to disappear in a hurry!
💗 Why We Love This Recipe
- It’s quick and easy, with only six ingredients and just a few minutes of prep time.
- Most cranberry recipes are sweet desserts, but the tart cranberries give a unique and delicious flavor to this savory dish, making it a perfect choice for the colder months.
- It’s delicious, healthy, and simple, so it’s a great choice for a family dinner any night of the week.
- This dish is a huge hit at potlucks and can easily be scaled if you need to feed a larger crowd.
- The leftovers taste just as good the next day!
- Medium bowl
- Casserole dish
- Measuring cups
- Meat thermometer (optional)
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Catalina salad dressing
- Whole berry cranberry sauce
- Dry onion soup mix
- Salt and pepper
- Orange zest (preferably from fresh oranges)
⏲ How to Make Cranberry Chicken Casserole
Step One: Prepare the Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Step Two: Add the Sauce and Bake
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the Catalina dressing, onion soup mix, cranberry sauce, and orange zest.
- Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.
Tips and Suggestions
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature while still retaining its moisture. According to the USDA, chicken should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Don’t chop or slice the chicken before baking it. This may cause the chicken to dry out, while the whole breasts will stay tender and juicy.
- Make some extra sauce to use for dipping or to have on hand for your leftovers.
- You can substitute French or Russian dressing for the Catalina dressing.
- If you want to reduce the fat, you can substitute a low-fat or non-fat salad dressing.
- If you don’t have whole berry cranberry sauce, the jellied kind will also work. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also make homemade cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries.
- You can use chicken breast tenders or chicken thighs instead of whole chicken breasts – just keep in mind that they may not need as much cooking time.
- This dish would be perfect served over mashed potatoes or rice with some green beans or other veggies side dishes and a simple salad – and maybe also a glass of white wine!
- If you’re watching your carbs, skip the starch and serve with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
- Slice up any leftover chicken and put it on a sandwich with some French or multigrain bread.
- Cut the leftover chicken into strips or cubes and put it in a salad with mixed greens, dried cranberries, and goat cheese.
How Do I Store Cranberry Chicken Casserole?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for 3-4 days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Can I Reheat This Recipe?
Yes, reheat in the oven at 300 for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Sheetpan Chicken Thighs
- Leftover Turkey Casserole
- Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Tetrazzini
Cranberry Chicken Casserole
- 2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4 large breasts)
- 1 cup Catalina salad dressing can substitute French or Russian
- 14 ounces whole berry cranberry sauce 1 can
- 1 ounce dry onion soup mix 1 packet
- salt and pepper
- zest of an orange
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. (Michelle …. Other recipes use a 9×13 so depending on how big the chicken is you get, you can up the size of the pan … just monitor the cooking time if you do and make a note for me.)
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and place in bottom of the casserole dish.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine Catalina dressing, cranberry sauce, onion soup mix, and orange zest. Whisk to combine.
- Pour sauce on top of chicken.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.
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