Cranberry Chicken and Rice

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 20, 2010

So this meal was pretty good.  Came out a little on the bitter side, so I just sprinkled a little sugar over the cranberries on everyone’s plate and we were all happy!

So…you could add a little extra sweetener in before you bake it, or you could do as I did.

It really was tasty…after it was properly sweetened.

And boy am I glad that I froze some fresh produce from the fall and the holidays…because good prices on produce are SCARCE these days!!!

(Below is the recipe as I made it!)

3 cups cooked brown rice ($.40)  (or 1 cup raw brown rice)
About 1/2 cup of apple juice ($.15)
3 large chicken breasts ($2.54)
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder ($.03)
1 bag cranberries ($1.25) Bought on sale over holidays and froze
2 Tbsp sugar, sprinkled over the cranberries ($.10) Increase for a sweet sauce
Dashes of cinnamon and ground ginger, enough to lightly coat the cranberries ($.05)
2 cups cooked butternut squash, warmed ($.50) About half a butternut squash, bought when on sale for $.49/lb.


(Cook 1 cup raw brown rice according to package instructions.)

1. Place cooked brown rice into a 9×13 glass baking dish.  (This is a great way to use frozen rice from a big batch.  Rice doesn’t keep it’s consistency after being frozen, but baking it with some juice and cranberries, I didn’t notice the “mush” so much!)  Pour apple juice into the baking dish with the rice.

2. Nestle the chicken breasts into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

3. Top with thawed cranberries.

4. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and ground ginger.

5. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until chicken has cooked through. Cooking time may vary depending on thickness of chicken.

6. Once baked, sweeten if need be.  Or don’t if you like tart cranberries.  Toss some cranberries with some rice.

7. Serve Cranberry Chicken and Rice with Baked Butternut Squash.

Cost $5.02

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky H January 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm

This looks really good! I wonder if it could be modified for a slow cooker… Does anyone have any suggestions?


Ellen January 21, 2010 at 1:14 am

This sounds great and I have some cranberries left over in the freezer! I’ve done beef and pork roasts in the oven or crockpot with canned cranberries. and was thinking of how to adapt those recipes to use the frozen berries. Might try yours instead!


Carrie January 21, 2010 at 7:54 am

I make something called “Cranberry Chicken”, but it’s really simple and I think you could do it for quite cheap with sales. I make it in the oven, but my mom has done it in her Crockpot/slow cooker (for Becky H).

1 Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1 Bottle Russian (or Catalina) Salad Dressing (I’ve even used French in a pinch)
1 Packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Mix and pour over chicken breasts (I’ve done 3-6 chicken breast with this recipe – without adding any more) and bake in the oven at 375 for approx. 45 minutes (or until done). I usually serve it over white rice and it’s wonderful and OH. SO. EASY! :-)


Nicole January 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I’ve been keeping up with your blog, but just wondering, do you use paper plates? Or you must have a dishwasher, that’s the only downside(for me) for cooking is all the dirty dishes. But it’s just 2, so were good for now.
And when you freeze food, do you label and date it?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm


We use regular plates…and actually my dishwasher is not working at the moment, so we are hand washing :(

And yes, I recommend labeling and dating food that goes in the freezer!


Candi January 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Sounds yummy! I’m planning a cranberry chicken in the crockpot towards the end of the month using the canned cranberry sauce. But I do have some frozen berries from the holidays, I think I’ll add them to the pot. Thanks for the inspiration!


Heather F January 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Hi Erin, this is a nice recipe! I was noticing in the picture you had 3 chicken breasts, do you bake more than one casserole? I know how it is to have boys eat alot!!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm

@Heather F,

I baked this in a 9×13 casserole. The chicken breasts were huge…we usually eat 3 large or 4 smaller chicken breasts.


Heather F January 25, 2010 at 11:07 pm

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom,
thanks for the response! That makes much more sense! Usually the breasts im used to are small!


Nicole January 24, 2010 at 8:56 am

Thanks! Bought 3 bags of cranberries after the holidays for .25 each and realized I had *no* idea what to do with them!


Mary E.S. November 29, 2010 at 9:10 am

I bet this would be good with pineapple instead of cranberries since my family doesn’t particularly like whole cranberries.I think I’ll try this tonight but with pork chops and pineapple.We bought a whole pig,so my freezers are full of pork.LOL,no room for anything else right now.


Emily:D December 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I love this recipe! Can’t wait to actually try it with my family! Please keep posting GFCFSF recipes! Currently going GFCFSF!


Jody H January 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I didn’t buy cranberries while they were in season and now I can’t find them in the stores. Do you have any suggestions for a substitution? Would craisins work if we didn’t add more sugar, or does that sound nasty? Thanks for a great blog!


Dorey January 28, 2013 at 12:32 am

I love this site! Just a note, I ground up my cranberries and added the sweetner. I didn’t have apple juice so I used coconut milk in lieu of that and I ground up two sweet apples that I added to the cranberry mixture, then I spread it over the chicken and rice. My family thought it was a little too sweet so maybe just the extra apple is enough sweetner..Thank you so much!


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