Cranberry Balsamic Baked Chicken {Freezer Meal}

This freezer-friendly Cranberry Balsamic Baked Chicken recipe is healthy and simple, with a blow-your-mind-delicious balsamic marinade.

Easy and delicious, freezer-friendly, Cranberry Balsamic Baked Chicken with Brussels sprouts.

By Alyssa Nitz, Contributing Author

I was first introduced to this tasty, Cranberry Balsamic Baked Chicken recipe just a couple weeks after having my son, Jacob. After receiving some yummy but heavy pasta and casserole meals, which I gobbled gratefully, my mom made me this dish, and it was a like a breath of fresh air.

Sitting in the balsamic marinade in the refrigerator all day, the chicken will turn out incredibly tender and flavorful. Let me tell you, this marinade is everything. It’s tangy because of the balsamic and dried cranberries, and little bit sweet because of the maple syrup. My husband may or may not have caught me eating a spoonful of it out of the dish once. Just sayin’. He has no proof.

Added bonus, since this dish is best when prepared ahead of time, you get to simply toss your dish in the oven at dinner time. If you’re in the same parenting phase as I am, not having to be in the kitchen too long before dinner is a real game-changer. Not that I don’t love having my little people within a three feet proximity as me crying for crackers while I cook. It’s just not exactly relaxing.

Start by grabbing a baking dish, or gallon size freezer bag if you’re planning on freezing, and whisk together your olive oil, balsamic, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper.

Then you throw in some dried cranberries. Those cranberries will break down in the balsamic vinegar and flavor the whole marinade.

Add the chicken breasts and Brussels sprouts to the marinade, rolling everything around, and giving your chicken and sprouts a nice little marinade bath. Tuck it all in nicely, cover it, and let it hang out in the fridge for at least a few hours.

After the marinade has worked its magic, pop this beauty in the oven and go sit on the couch and watch Ellen. You’ve done your job.

And hello dinner.

The meal was such a hit that it became a regular in our dinner lineup. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is as easy to prepare as it is tasty. This dish checks all the boxes of being nutritious and simple, with a sauce so delicious you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful…but who would do that?!

Healthy, delicious cranberry balsamic chicken

Cranberry Balsamic Baked Chicken

  • Author: Alyssa
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


This Cranberry Balsamic Baked Chicken with Brussels sprouts is super simple to make and full of flavor. The delicious combination of the tangy balsamic with the sweet maple syrup and cranberries will make this chicken dish a family favorite.


  • 3/4 cup olive or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 34 chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  1. Whisk together oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a baking dish.
  2. Add chicken, Brussels sprouts, and cranberries to marinade, and mix until everything is evenly coated.
  3. Cover dish and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.
  4. Bake uncovered at 375°F for 30 minutes.


Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze: Complete recipe through Step 2. Pour all ingredients into a gallon-sized freezer bag or container with lid. Seal and freeze.

To Prepare from Frozen: Thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Cook according to the instructions in Step 4.

 About the Author

Alyssa and family from Always Overdressed Alyssa is a former English teacher turned stay-at-home mama to a three year old little wildflower named Lucy, and one year old, Jacob, with fire-engine red hair. She married her high school sweetheart and still thinks he’s dreamy. She likes to write about, talk about, make, and most importantly eat delicious, nourishing food.

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  1. Kate says

    I’m unclear – do you cook the chicken ahead of time (you said it’s best cooked ahead of time) or put it with the Brussels sprouts and sauce raw and then cook it all together?


    • Rachel says

      It all goes in raw and baked together. Thanks for the question. I’ll go back and read through the recipe and update to make clearer.

  2. Gail says

    Love the combination of flavors here. How would I adjust the cooking time if I wanted to do this in a slow cooker? Thank you.

    • Rachel says

      Chicken breasts take 2.5-3.5 hours to cook in the slow cooker (they are done when they register 165°F internally). I haven’t tested Brussels sprouts in there, but I would imagine they would take about 3 hours or so (until tender). Hope that helps.

  3. Candace says

    Does this go in the oven still covered?

    • Rachel says

      Good question! You will bake this uncovered. I just updated the directions to make this clearer.

  4. Liz Wine says

    Any suggestions for a substitute for brussel sprouts?

    • Rachel says

      Hmm, I’m not sure without test it. I just like to roast a big pan of veggies separately, usually.

    • Diane Swanson says

      I just made this and substituted green beans for the brussel sprouts. It turned out great.

      • Rachel says

        Yum! Thanks for sharing about your swap. Sounds delicious, Diane.

  5. Hannah says

    Have you tried using frozen brussels for this? I’m wanting it to be a freezer meal.

    • Rachel says

      No we haven’t, but sounds like an idea worth trying.

  6. Tracy says

    I tried this recipe last week, and it was such a hit in my house w/my husband and two boys. Thank you!

    • Rachel says

      Wonderful to hear that. Thanks for sharing, Tracy.

  7. Andrea says

    Can you substitute fresh or frozen cranberries for dried?

    • Rachel says

      This is Alyssa’s recipe, but my thought is that dried cranberries have added sugar which cuts back the acidic taste that fresh cranberries are known for. I also think the fresh/frozen kind will contribute quite a bit of extra liquid. If you’re ok risking those two caveats, then go for it. Fresh cranberries would definitely be a healthier substitute.