Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe


Chicken and wild rice is a classic combination that has been enjoyed for centuries. This dish is both hearty and nutritious, with the perfect balance of flavors. The chicken provides lean protein and essential nutrients, while the wild rice adds texture and flavor to the dish.

Both ingredients can be made in a variety of ways, so there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating a delicious meal. Read on to learn how to make this recipe and keep it in your dinner rotation.

Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package wild rice mix
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Baked Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe Directions

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  1. First, make the marinade. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, orange zest, dried thyme, dried rosemary, sugar, and 1 cup of cranberries. Use a food processor or a blender to combine them until smooth.
  2. Next, place the chicken in a large zip-closure bag or a large mixing bowl. Pour marinade over the chicken. Toss to evenly coat the chicken. Allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Next, grease a baking dish or a casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. Add the onions and minced garlic to the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Let it bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent in color.
  5. In a saucepan over low heat, combine cranberry sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, and butter and cook until smooth.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and add the rice mixture. Stir to combine. Pour the water and the sauce mixture evenly over the rice. 
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on top of the rice. 
  8. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
  10. Once done cooking, remove the foil from the casserole. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray. 
  11. Using a slotted spoon, sprinkle cranberries over the chicken. 
  12. Return to the oven and continue to cook uncovered for 22 to 28 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  13. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  14. Transfer chicken to plates, and use a fork to fluff rice in the pan.
  15. Garnish as desired.
  16. Serve and enjoy.

Baked Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice Tips

  • Instead of using water, you may also use broth as the main liquid for this recipe.
  • Make sure that the aluminum cover is tight over the edges of the casserole. 
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.
  • You can serve the Chicken and Wild Rice with a ton of other recipes such as salad, soup, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, and the like.

Final Note

Baked Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice is a simple yet delicious dish that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy meal every week. This recipe is versatile and can easily be adapted to meet your preferences. Try adding different herbs, spices, or vegetables to make this yummy recipe extra delicious! Enjoy!

Looking for more dinner recipes to make for your family? Check out our collection of savory dishes.