Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken

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Tangy and sweet, that’s what you’ll find in this easy Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken dish. You can even prep ahead of time and freeze for an easy meal.

Tangy and sweet, that's what you'll find in this easy Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken dish. You can even prep ahead of time and freeze for an easy meal.

Need a dinner without too much fuss & muss? We all do from time to time, and that’s okay … simpler is often better, right? With the tanginess of BBQ and cranberry sauces this Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken will easily become a new family favorite. Not only is it easy with only 4 ingredients, but it is friendly on the family budget. Score some chicken breasts on sale, bottles of BBQ sauce are frequently on sale for around $1, you may have stocked up on cans of cranberry sauce around the holidays, and there’s probably an onion somewhere in your kitchen! BINGO … you have everything you need to slow cook this dinner! Well, aside from a slow cooker! 🙂

This is a perfect dish for those beginning their slow cooker journey. You can literally throw all of these ingredients together into your slow cooker in less than 5 minutes!  Wanna know what took me the longest?  Getting the cranberry sauce out of the can, there was some serious suction going on even after loosening around the edges with a knife … that was really the hardest part! When the chicken had finished cooking (please note: not all slow cookers cook at the same temp/time, so times can vary), I took the pieces out and shredded really quickly with 2 forks, it was so tender that this step took less than a minute. Added the chicken back into the sauces and gave it a good stir to thoroughly combine. Now this dish would taste great with a variety of sides, we opted for plain Jane white rice, but mashed potatoes or noodles would work well too. This dish is somewhat similar to the Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken that I posted in 2013; that dish is just a tad sweeter from the applesauce.

With a hint of holiday flavor, thanks to the cranberry sauce, this dish will win your family over. Get that slow cooker out and easily prepare a simple but delicious meal without too much fuss!

This dish is included as part of our “7 Meals in 1 Hour” slow cooker/freezer meals post.  Click HERE to see all the recipes!

7 Meals in 1 Hour Crockpot Freezer Cooking Collage | Who Needs A Cape?


Yield: 4-6 servings

Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken

Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken
Cook Time 6 hours


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker, cook on low 6 hours.

**If freezing, place all ingredients in gallon-sized freezer bag. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, cook on low 6 hours.**

Tangy and sweet, that's what you'll find in this easy Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Chicken dish. You can even prep ahead of time and freeze for an easy meal.



  1. yummm! I love bbq sauce and cranberry and this looks so easy!! sounds great! pinned

  2. This chicken looks so good!! I will have to try it sometime soon! Pinning!!

  3. Looks awesome! I love finding yummy crock pot recipes that only call for a few ingredients. Pinning! Stopping by from DBB.

  4. Do you just throw the chicken in raw?

  5. My family is enjoying the recipes I’m making of yours immensely & I’m getting more done around the house because they’re so simple……not a lot of detail or prep or “weird” ingredients or standing over a dish all afternoon!! And they’re delish!! What a gift to have found your site!! Thanks so much!

  6. The cranberry sauce must add a nice tanginess to the BBQ chicken. Thanks for linking up this week.

  7. Barb Titley says

    I love your site – went shopping for basic ingredients for the 20 meals in 2 hours recipes. I froze all of the meat in separate packages because I didn’t have enough time to freeze-prep them, but I will still make these marvelous recipes, just not 20 at a time.
    Thanx for your site – it’s great.
    A Happy Lady!

  8. Greetings, just want to say I made the Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry chicken the other night & I can’t ever remember such a little bit of chicken going so far AND NOT because it wasn’t good either. It was delicious, everyone enjoyed it. I used mashed potatoes with it only because we haven’t had them in a bit & will try it with the rice next time. Thanks for something so easy yet delectable. Maryann

  9. We don’t get cranberry sauce in cans here, just a smallish jar – could you let me know the weight so I can make sure I have the equivalent? Thanks so much 🙂

    • Jo, it would figure that I do not have a can in my pantry at the moment to refer back to. I Googled & am pretty sure it is a 14oz can of Whole Cranberry Sauce. Hope this helps! This is one of my families favorite slow cooker dishes. Enjoy 🙂

      • Sorry I’m so late responding, was shoveling again 🙁 Yes, about 14 oz. which used to be 16 ounces, but have shrunk, like everything else, except my waist size LOL Let us know how your family enjoys it ♥

  10. This sounds delicious. I like turkey with cranberry sauce, so why not chicken. Thanks for linking up with us at Let’s Get Real Friday. I hope you’ll join us again.

  11. Regarding your mention of getting cranberry sauce out of a can, I love making recipes with it but had fought for years myself trying to get it out. I was at a friends making an appetizer dish for a party we were having and when she saw me struggling with a can of cranberry sauce she just laughed and took over….she turned the can upside down, got a knife and a small mallet, placed the tip of the knife on the middle area of the bottom of the can, then used the mallet to tap the handle of the knife a few times so the tip made a whole through the can. This lets air in and will break the vacuum suction inside the can so when you turn it right side up and open it the sauce will slide right out! Whoda thunk it would be that easy! Personally, I’ve found it easier to make sure the hole is big enough and goes all the way through to use a screwdriver (I bought one at the 99 cent store for kitchen use) and punch a hole through the can hitting the handle of the screwdriver with a rolling pin. Just thought I would share in case anyone out there was struggling with cans of cranberry sauce like me (oh this works well with refried beans and tomato paste too). 🙂

    • An even easier way to get the cranberries out of the can is to just use a bottle opener and punch a whole in the bottom, any air that gets in breaks the seal. You could also just use your can opener and cut just a little 1/2″ hole with it and that would work too!

  12. Deanna Furrey says

    This sounds yummy. I have a question though. Does the onion get soft enough? My husband can’t eat onion unless it is cooked well so when a recipe calls for onion, i make sure it is sauteed well. Thanks

  13. Really good flavor but so water/liquidy. I followed the recipe exactly so is that how it’s supposed to be? It doesn’t look that way in the pic.

    • Hi Ben, Definitely not “watery” when I’ve made this dish. Looked pretty much as it is pictured, no pools of liquid on the plate. Guess if it happened to me I would drain majority of liquid before adding the shredded chicken back in. Glad the flavors were to your liking. 🙂

    • I noticed mine looked watery until I shredded the chicken into it. Then it was the perfect amount of sauce!

  14. Super easy! I added in a bag of Target’s Archer Farms Barley & Red Rice Quinoa Blend when it was done cooking to soak up the great sauce. My husband loved it, too! Day 1 of the 7 Meal experiment… Looking forward to the rest of the week!

  15. lassilla trueblood says

    Hi Lori,
    This sounds delicious! I’m looking forward to trying it! Just a quick hint for you: After you open the top of the can of cranberry sauce, invert it over a bowl and with your can opener, start to “open” the bottom of the can while holding over bowl. This releases the pressure and lets air in to let the whole piece of “sauce” slide right out of the can and into your bowl. Hope this helps : ) And thanks for posting such yummy recipes!

  16. Caitlynn Curtis says

    What are the calories in the BBQ cranberry chicken.

    • Hi Caitlynn, I don’t have that exact information. There are a few sites online where you can input the ingredients and it will calculate for you.

  17. Can you use jellied cranberry sauce instead of whole berry or would it change the taste of it?

  18. Dr the Mrs Monarch says

    Is there a fresh cranberry substitute for the jelly? I’d rather use fresh ingredients when I can


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