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Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake – Slow Cooker Recipe

Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake – Slow Cooker Recipe

Cranberry sauce isn’t just for the holidays. It can be used in recipes all year round and is delicious when used to make this easy slow cooker recipe for Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake.

I use my Best Ever Homemade Cranberry Sauce but if you don’t have homemade you can use store bought whole berry cranberry sauce.

This recipe is also a great way to use up any cranberry sauce you may have leftover from Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other meal where you’ve served it.

Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake


Ingredients to make Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake:

  • 1 – 5 lb whole chicken
  • Half of a large onion, sliced or 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 half pint jars of homemade cranberry sauce or 1 – 8 oz can of store bought
  • ¾ cup of pineapple juice (orange juice works well too)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (approx 1 tsp)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper


Wash and drain the chicken.

Thickly slice the onion into about one quarter inch slices.

Slicing the onions into quarter inch slices

Add half of the sliced onions to the bottom of the slow cooker.

Layer of sliced onions added to the bottom of the slow cooker

Place the chicken, breast side up in the slow cooker and layer on the remaining sliced onions.

Whole chicken added to the slow cooker and layer on more onion slices

In a small sauce pan, combine the cranberry sauce, pineapple juice, minced garlic and salt and pepper. Cook just until the cranberry sauce is melted and the pineapple juice is mixed in.

Mix together cranberry sauce, pineapple juice and spices in sauce pan

Pour over the chicken and onions.

Cranberry sauce mixture poured over chicken and onion slices

Cook on high for 2 hours and then switch to low for 4 to 5 hours, until done.

If you need to start the Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake first thing in the morning before leaving for work or other activities, cook on low for 8 to 9 hrs.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken after cooking for 8 hours on low

Carefully lift the chicken out of the slow cooker and transfer to a plate for carving.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken on a plate ready to be carved

Depending on how long you’ve cooked it, it may even fall apart a bit.

Serve with with your favorite sides.

Here I’ve served it with potato puffs made from leftover mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.

Slow cooker Cranberry Chicken served with potato puffs and green beans

Doesn’t it look delicious!

Close up photo of Slow cooker Cranberry Chicken served with potato puffs and green beans
Whole Chicken Cranberry Bake makes a great meal no matter what time of year you serve it.


Want more cranberry recipes? Click on the links below:

Best Ever Homemade Cranberry Sauce

How to Can Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Drop Cookies

Cranberry Coffee Cake



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