This simple, flavorful recipe for cranberry chicken is cooked in one skillet with a punch of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Add green beans and you have a delicious meal that’s easy on the cook and the dishwasher, too!
Perhaps I’m the only one who buys cranberries in excess each fall. They’re just so pretty, sparkling in the produce section, gleaming red and bright. And then, of course, I absent-mindedly forget: did I already buy cranberries? Do I have enough? Am I just making cranberry sauce and baked brie or was I going to try them in a cocktail, too? Hmm, not sure. Better safe than sorry. They’re on sale, guess I’ll pick up another pack.
You know where this leads. Cranberries in the freezer, and it’s January, then February. Fortunately, easy chicken dinners are always in season, and cranberries make a lovely way to dress up a down-to-earth weeknight dinner. Plus, they’re still darn pretty!
How to make a balsamic cranberry chicken skillet
Making this skillet is incredibly quick and easy and requires a pretty straightforward list of ingredients.
- Chicken breasts – use thick ones for this recipe. You’ll sear them first, then transfer the whole skillet to the oven, which is a fantastic method for making sure thicker pieces of chicken are cooked perfectly all the way through. A little dredge of flour adds a delicious crust to the chicken, but you can omit this to make the recipe gluten-free.
- Cranberries – fresh or frozen work great! If frozen, no need to defrost first. They’ll catch up quickly in the high heat of the oven.
- Green beans – feel free to sub another veggie if green beans aren’t your thing. You may need to adjust the cooking time!
- Olive oil and seasonings – salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary make the chicken sing. Fresh herbs are always nice, but I often use dried for this dish and don’t notice a big difference. Then, a little balsamic vinegar and brown sugar are all you need to enhance the cranberries’ signature tartness!
Cranberry chicken skillet recipe notes
A few quick tips and suggestions for making this as simple and tasty as possible:
- Be sure to use a cast iron skillet or something else oven-safe. You’ll season and sear the chicken on the stovetop, then transfer to the oven to finish cooking it through, and you definitely want to be able to use the same pan! Extra dishes=no bueno.
- The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 F. An instant-read thermometer is such a worthwhile investment for your kitchen; it removes all the guesswork so you have less stress, less uncertainty, and a better result every time! This one is inexpensive and works really well for me. (affiliate link)
- Serve with your favorite rolls, some crusty Dutch oven bread, or fully channel the cranberry bliss and whip up some mashed potatoes!
- This is a great recipe for meal prep, if you want to make an extra large batch or just get ahead for the week. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days and can be easily reheated with one go in the microwave.
The skillet shown in these photos is 10.5″ wide, and cooks like a dream. It’s also super lightweight, compared to other cast iron pans, which makes it very easy to transfer from stovetop to oven and oven to table. It is an investment, but the maker, Marquette Castings, has extended a 10% discount to my readers with code “nourish.” You won’t be disappointed! 🙂
If you like this skillet, you might also enjoy:
- Chimichurri Chicken Skillet with Asparagus
- One-Pot Chicken and Rice with Cashews
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Balsamic-Glazed Bruschetta Chicken
- Brown Butter Sage Skillet Chicken
If you try this cranberry chicken skillet or any other recipe on the blog, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Skillet
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- several turns of freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 16 ounces fresh green beans , trimmed and washed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Place flour in a shallow bowl, and dredge each chicken breast through to coat lightly. Set aside.
- Combine cranberries, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- In a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken. Brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove pan from the heat.
- Tuck green beans into the skillet around the chicken breasts. Drizzle the beans with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Spoon the cranberry mixture evenly over the chicken.
- Transfer pan to the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes. The chicken’s internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F, and the green beans will be tender and slightly wrinkled. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!