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Our reader-favorite cranberry rosemary chicken is an easy one-pan chicken dish that’s full of vibrant, wintery flavor. Tart cranberries married with heady rosemary and sweet maple syrup, grounded by a rich white wine sauce. Made paleo-friendly or Whole30-compliant with simple ingredient swaps, this chicken recipe is perfect for holiday dinners and hurried weekday meals alike.

Cranberry rosemary chicken thighs in a red and cream baking dish.

🍗 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • This cranberry rosemary chicken is, in a word, amazing. It’s super easy. It’s on the more-nutritious side of most holiday cooking. And it’s made right in one baking dish. Well, one baking dish and one blender, but still. It also happens to include a few of my favorite ingredients: cranberries, fresh rosemary, juicy chicken thighs, and dry white wine. Basically it’s winter on a plate and I love it.
  • It’s perfect for dinner parties or holiday meals with extended family. Cranberry rosemary chicken looks and tastes super luxurious and indulgent on the surface. Secretly? It uses fewer than 10 ingredients and doesn’t take much effort at all. The oven does most of the work for you! Serve it with something green like roasted kale, Italian green beans, or tender-crisp asparagus and a side of mashed potatoes? Guaranteed to impress.
  • Need to meet a variety of dietary needs? Cranberry rosemary chicken will absolutely work for most of your guests! It’s naturally dairy free, gluten free, and grain free. It’s super low in carbs and it’s paleo-friendly. We’ve also included easy options to make it Whole30-compatible or keto-friendly if needed. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to make this dish work for vegetarian or vegan guests, so it’s not a magic solution for everyone.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • It’s no secret that cranberries are pretty tart. If you’ve never cooked with whole cranberries before, you might be surprised just how tart they are. The maple syrup helps offset that flavor, though! You can also sprinkle a little salt onto the whole cranberries to bring out their natural sweetness. Over-cooking the cranberries only adds to the bitterness, so be careful with the cook time.
  • If you use a high-speed blender, you may notice your marinade is much more pink than what’s in our photos. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. We used a standard blender and blended just until everything was smooth. A high-speed blender will just emulsify the ingredients much more thoroughly. It’ll still taste great!
  • Because this recipe uses bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, the chicken comes out irresistibly juicy and moist, with the most delectable crisp skin. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs and chicken breasts will work, too, with a little adjustment. They won’t need to cook as long, so be sure to reduce the cook time to accommodate. For best results, always go by the internal temperature and not the clock!
Cranberry rosemary chicken thighs in a red and cream baking dish.

🥘 More Must-Make Holiday Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 37 votes

One-Pan Cranberry Rosemary Chicken


Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Marinate 30 minutes
Total 1 hour 30 minutes
A quick and easy one-pan chicken dish that's full of vibrant, festive winter flavor.
6 chicken thighs

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • 9×13 baking dish with lid or plastic wrap to cover
  • Large spoon or silicone spatula
  • Basting Brush
  • internal meat thermometer

Ingredients

For the Cranberry Rosemary Marinade

  • cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

For the Chicken Thighs

  • 6 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs approximately 3 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions

For the Cranberry Rosemary Marinade

  • Add ⅓ cup fresh cranberries, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, and ¼ cup dry white wine to food processor or standard blender. Blend or pulse ingredients together until fully combined into smooth marinade.
    Ingredients for a cranberry olive oil marinade with fresh rosemary in a large standard blender.

For the Chicken Thighs

  • Place 6 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs skin-side up in baking dish and arrange chicken thighs in one flat layer. Pour prepared marinade over chicken thighs, making sure to coat chicken thighs completely and evenly.
  • Cover baking dish with lid or tight layer of plastic wrap and place dish in refrigerator. Marinate chicken thighs at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours.

To Cook the Chicken Thighs

  • Remove baking dish from refrigerator and set aside. Let baking dish stand at room temperature, covered, 30 minutes.
  • Toward end of 30-minute window, preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Uncover baking dish, then use spoon or spatula to scrape marinade off tops of chicken thighs and into dish. Be careful not to tear or remove skins of thighs.
  • Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly across tops of chicken thighs. Season generously with salt to taste, then sprinkle ½ cup fresh cranberries and 4 sprigs fresh rosemary into marinade around chicken thighs in baking dish.
    Chicken thighs and cranberry marinade in a large baking dish.
  • Place prepared baking dish in preheated oven. Bake chicken thighs, uncovered, 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, begin checking doneness of chicken thighs with internal meat thermometer. Continue baking chicken as needed, checking doneness every few minutes, until internal temperature of chicken thighs reaches 160° Fahrenheit.
  • Once chicken reaches 160° Fahrenheit internally, remove baking dish from oven and set aside. Preheat broiler to High. While broiler preheats, remove rosemary sprigs from baking dish and discard.
  • Brush 1 tablespoon maple syrup over tops of chicken thighs, then place baking dish under preheated broiler. Broil chicken thighs, watching closely, until skin on thighs is crispy and browned but not burnt. See Notes.
  • Once skins of chicken thighs have browned, carefully remove baking dish from oven. Immediately spoon cranberries and marinade from baking dish onto tops of chicken thighs, covering thighs completely. Let chicken thighs rest 3 to 5 minutes.

To Serve the Chicken

  • Once chicken thighs have rested and internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit, transfer chicken thighs to serving plates. Spoon additional cranberries and marinade from baking dish over tops of chicken thighs, garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary if desired, and serve immediately.
  • Broil Time: All broilers are different, so your chicken thighs could need anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes to crisp up like you want. Mine were ready in 5-7 minutes, but I have to move my baking dish around underneath the broiler every 3 minutes or so to ensure an even browning.
  • Make it Whole30: Use coconut aminos instead of both the soy sauce and the maple syrup in the cranberry marinade. Use chicken broth instead of white wine. Omit the maple syrup that’s brushed onto the chicken thighs or replace it with olive oil.
  • Make it Strict Paleo: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and chicken broth instead of white wine.
  • Make it Keto: Use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos. Replace the maple syrup with a maple-flavored liquid keto sweetener. For strict keto, use chicken broth instead of white wine.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 533calProtein: 31gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 264mgPotassium: 443mgTotal Carbs: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gNet Carbs: 10gVitamin A: 161IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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106 Comments

  1. If using boneless, skinless chicken thighs do I skip step using the broiler to brown skin?

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      You certainly can, but I would still do the broiler step in order to lightly caramelize that last little addition of maple syrup on top. You’d just need less time under the broiler since you’re not browning the skin, and you definitely don’t want to burn the top of the chicken thighs.

  2. Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Sure, just defrost them first!

  3. Is one thigh one serving?

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      It is!

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