Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken is crispy, sweet and savory with just five ingredients. The perfect busy weeknight dinner! Includes recipes for homemade onion soup mix and French dressing!

We love easy slow cooker chicken recipes like Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic ChickenSlow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken and Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken.

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
 Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

Slow Cooker time folks! This Apricot Chicken is one of the easiest slow cooker recipes you’ll ever make too.

Most people love the set it and forget it nature of crock pots but this recipe asks you to spend just a few more minutes to create a crispy, juicy texture to the chicken you never think of with crock pots!

Brown Chicken Before Adding to the Slow Cooker

Brown the chicken before it goes into the slow cooker. Nothing fancy, just season it and brown it in a bit of oil (or even no oil) before putting it in the slow cooker. This adds depth of flavor, lots of texture and renders out some of the fat the slow cooker may leave behind.

Then, when you’ve finished cooking the Apricot Chicken in the slow cooker you’ll remove the chicken, cover with the additional sauce and finish under the broiler for just a couple of minutes.

Yes, I know it takes more than just the slow cooker, but I promise the efforts will be well rewarded.

Can I use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts?

No, please don’t. For a couple of reasons, but mostly because you must understand a slow cooker relies on a longer cooking time which can dry out white meat or even unprotected dark meat. Bone-in cuts of chicken provide some protection and the skin provides protection for the parts of the chicken that are not covered in sauce or liquid.

If you’d prefer to use these cuts I’d highly recommend you stick to oven or stovetop cooking. Perhaps even an instant pot? You can quickly sear chicken breasts and coat them in the apricot glaze.

Can you substitute pork for chicken?

Yes, pork is a great replacement for chicken in many recipes including this one. If you’re going to substitute pork I would do it with a larger cut like a loin or a pork shoulder. Brown the pork before adding it to the recipe just as you do the chicken in this recipe.

Can I use something other than Apricot Jam?

YES, absolutely. We love apricot but have also made the recipe with orange marmalade, peach jam, fig preserves, mango chutney, pineapple jam and more.

Can you use fresh apricots?

Yes and please invite me over for dinner if you do. Every summer when there is a bumper crop of fresh apricots I love making savory meals with fresh apricot sauce. Apricots are a delicious fruit and work great in cooked savory preparations.

What do you serve with Apricot Chicken?

We love serving this chicken with rice, brown rice, couscous or quinoa on the side. We also add steamed or roasted vegetables like broccoli, green beans and carrots.

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

HOW TO MAKE ONION SOUP MIX:

Mix together the following to replace one packet of dried Onion Soup Mix

  • ¼ cup dried onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium beef bouillon granules
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

I make this onion soup mix recipe in bulk and use about ¼ cup of the seasoning in place of one packet. By volume you’d think it should be more than ¼ cup but the onion flakes make pockets where the seasoning goes, so about ¼ cup is perfect.

HOW TO MAKE FRENCH DRESSING:

Whisk together the ingredients in a bowl or combine in a small food processor or blender.

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated chopped onion, with juices squeezed out
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

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Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken is crispy, sweet and savory with just five ingredients. The perfect busy weeknight dinner! Includes recipes for homemade onion soup mix and French dressing!
Yield 5 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 5 chicken thighs , bone in and skin on
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup French dressing
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme , chopped

Instructions

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the cast iron skillet, skin side down browning each side for 3-5 minutes before adding to the slow cooker skin side up.
  • In a bowl add the rest of the ingredients and whisk them together and pour half the sauce over the chicken, refrigerating the rest.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours then remove the chicken to a baking sheet.
  • Cover with remaining sauce and broil on high under your oven's broiler for 1-2 minutes or until bubbly and caramelized.

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 297mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword: apricot, crockpot, slow cooker, slow cooker apricot chicken

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

  1. I NEED HELP! I so can I salvage the leftovers (3 thighs and lots of sauce) from a way too sweet apricot dinner. I’m a good cook, but I feel really stupid and hate to give up.
    BLUNDER: I was using ingredients from your recipe, but following directions and suggestions from several similar recipes. Somewhere during the process I got distracted and failed to measure the ingredients, but poured each bottle, jar and packet into the crocket on top of the chicken. (2 bottles catalina, 2 jars apr. jelly, 2 packets onion soup). RESULT TOO SWEET: Can I resurrect this meal with fresh chicken thighs. one cup of leftover sauce and a not so sweet jelly you might kindly suggest? I see potential.

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this. You can usually balance out sweetness by adding lime juice or vinegar (which might make it tangy). How did it all work out?

  2. This was absolutely delicious! I normally shy away from crockpot recipes that require me to cook on stove top and/or in the oven. I’m glad I didn’t skip over this one.
    I used Catalina dressing since that’s what I had. Moist, flavorful with a nice bit to it. My family loved it! It will be added to my regular rotation. Thank you so much for this one!

  3. Hi , can Icook this on low for 5-6 hours ? I think the chicken will be way over cooked for my crockpot , it tends to run a little hot for low ..165 when done ,right?

  4. Could you use sweet chilie sauce and pineapple or orange preserves? If so how much of the sweet chili sauce?
    Maybe this is a whole other recipe…..sorry if so.

  5. Thank u so much for sharing this, both me & hubby eat lots of chicken and are getting bored, lol. This looks amazing!

    1. I haven’t tested it so I’m not comfortable giving a recommendation. I’m sure you might be able to find an online recipe with similar ingredients using an IP and follow that. Sorry.

  6. Made 2 batches of this recipe- one oven version-followed recipe as is, the other was the slow cooker version w/ a slight twist. I used PINEAPPLE PRESERVES wIth LITTLE to NO French dressing, in order to bring out more of the preserve flavor. BOTH came out extremely tasty, but the slow cooker version was the more preferred one, due to the fact that the omission of the french dressing allow the full flavor of the preserves to shine through. Also, I lost track of time and left the chicken in the slow cooker a bit too long, which basically worked out well to use the shredded chicken over rice, noodles, use it in wraps, etc. Being from Louisiana, I’ve eaten many variations of shrimp w/grits. The next morning I tried grits with a bit of the shredded chicken mixed in! Absolutely delicious!!
    All in all, it comes down to the flavor you want most dominant in the recipe. I found that using a whole cup of the french dressing overpowered the preserves. I found that cutting back (or eliminating) the french dressing allows the flavor of your choice of preserves to shine through!

      1. …And, on a side note, I originally made a pot of New Orleans Creole Red Beans & Rice to go along with the chicken!
        I ended up taking some of the SHREDDED CHICKEN and ADDED a bit to my bowl of BEANS! Wonderful blending of flavors!
        ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! ???

  7. Made this for dinner. Added 1/2 peach hot pepper jam and 1/2 apricot jam, because that was all I had in the fridge. It was excellent. Will make again and again…..

  8. Hi ,you have listed french dressing ,what kind of french dressing ,non dairy or dairy If not homemade? Does it matter if its non dairy or has dairy , Vons did not have any organic french dressing not much choice for french dressings at this Vons so i bought french dressing with milk in it .

  9. Hi again, can i use dry thyme leaves for the fresh thyme? i am planing on making this for dinner tonight :0)….

    1. So sorry about missing your comment until now. I know you’ve already made this but you can use dried thyme. Hope you enjoyed it!

  10. Hi , this sounds sooooo very yummy ! Thinking about make this with fresh apricots how many would i need and how would they go in the the crock pot ?

        1. If you want to use fresh apricots, chop them up into small chunks (you’ll need them easier to cook down) and then mix them in 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar before adding them into the slow cooker. Enjoy!

  11. This recipe is getting a five star rating for how simple and delicious it is! Perfect for just me and my husband, or a dinner party! My husband wanted to know “what dessert is paired with this?” given the name of the blog. He thinks it should be like a wine pairing with food. How funny!!

    1. Haha, that’s so funny that you mention desserts because we are working on that right now. Stay tuned! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe!