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a skillet full of four balsamic roasted cranberry chicken thighs surrounded by roasted cranberries

Balsamic Roasted Cranberry Chicken

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Sweet, savory, and oh-so-tender and juicy, this Balsamic Roasted Cranberry Chicken Recipe is a sweet and savory dinner perfect for the holidays. Made in the oven or air fryer in minutes. 


Units Scale

For the Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries or previously frozen and thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Cranberry Chicken:

  • 2 1/2 pounds bone in, skin on chicken thighs (~4 to 6 chicken thighs) *see notes for substitutes
  • 1/2 cup1 cup fresh cranberries or previously frozen and thawed
  • 1 Tablespoon each maple syrup and balsamic vinegar mixed together to coat chicken during roasting
  • Topping- fresh thyme leaves or dried herbs


  1. Add the marinade ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.


Air Fryer Option- Preheat the air fryer to 400 F. Remove chicken from marinade and place skin side down in the air fryer basket. Do not add cranberries or marinade to the air fryer. If you choose, you can place the cranberries in a small pan in the oven to roast until softened and then add them to the finished dish.  Air fry chicken for 14-15 minutes depending on size of chicken thigh. Then turn chicken over so the skin side is up and brush with balsamic/maple mixture. Bake for another 2 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.  Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Place optional roasted cranberries on top, sprinkle with thyme leaves and season to taste.

Meal Prep – Prepare the marinated chicken hours before, then bake later in the day or the next day.

Substitutes – If using skinless chicken, the cooking time will be anywhere from 20-35 minutes total. Check at 20 minutes for chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165F. No broiling needed.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Main, Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 5 oz chicken with skin an sauce
  • Calories: 355
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Protein: 22.5g

Keywords: cranberry chicken, oven roasted chicken, marinated chicken recipe, one pan dinner ideas