Apricot Chicken | Slow Cooker

A simple 4 ingredient Apricot Chicken family dinner that’s cooked in the slow cooker until fall-apart tender and completely delicious!

A blue bowl filled with mashed potato, broccoli and tender apricot chicken.

I am ALL about quick and easy midweek dinners. While I don’t mind spending a bit of time of the weekends preparing a fancier meal, on weeknights our dinners need to be super simple!

For a dinner to become on regular rotation in our house, it needs to be:

  • kid-friendly
  • made from basic ingredients – that don’t involve an extra trip to the supermarket!
  • easy to prepare
  • freezer-friendly (for any leftovers)

This slow cooker apricot chicken recipe certainly ticks all of these boxes – along with some of our other family favourites like noodle and beef chow mein, creamy chicken, bacon and rice casserole, 4 ingredient carbonara or tuna and vegetable pasta bake.

A bowl of apricot chicken with mashed potato and broccoli.

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Recipe

This recipe is an absolute classic! It’s been around forever and is the perfect example of a simple and tasty family meal.

The combination of chicken, apricot and french onion soup gives this dish the perfect sweet and savoury flavour.

Plus cooking it in your slow cooker (or crockpot) means the chicken is fall-apart tender.

Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe

  • Prep and Leave – we all love the simplicity of a slow cooker dinner. This apricot chicken takes less than 10 minutes to put together, then just leave it to slowly cook away during the day!
  • Family Dinner – this meal is a guaranteed hit with the entire family (including younger and fussier eaters). The sweetness of the apricots makes it so popular.
  • Budget-Friendly – This recipe uses chicken thighs (one of the cheaper cuts of meat). You can substitute the chicken thighs with chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts if you prefer. Note: chicken breasts won’t be as tender as chicken thighs.
  • 4 Ingredients – this recipe is so easy… it requires just 4 ingredients!!!
  • French Onion Soup Mix – while the packet of French onion soup may appear small, it’s packed full of flavouring.
  • Freezer-Friendly – my slow cooker apricot chicken can be cooked and then frozen for up to 3 months. Why not make a double batch!!
Apricot halves and chicken thighs coated in an apricot sauce.

What You Need

JUST 4 INGREDIENTS!!!! Can you believe it!?

  • skinless chicken thighs – or substitute with chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts. Chicken thighs or drumsticks are the best option as they will be more tender and the meat will quite literally ‘fall-apart’ when cooked. You can increase the amount of chicken up to 1kg if you like.
  • apricot nectar – this is a thick sweet liquid. See my tips below on what type of apricot nectar to use and where it can be purchased from.
  • apricot halves – ensure the apricot halves are drained before adding to the crock pot.
  • French Onion soup mix – this is a powder that can be bought in packets from the soup aisle of the supermarket. I generally use Continental brand (which is popular here in Australia), but you can use any brand you like. It is also known as simmer soup mix.
The four ingredients for apricot chicken.

What Is Apricot Nectar?

Apricot nectar is a sweet thick liquid that is made by mixing apricot puree with water.

It can sometimes be tricky to find at the supermarket as it tends to be kept in the juice aisle (not the canned/tinned fruit aisle).

I use Ardmona brand (popular in Australia) but you can use any brand (including homebrand). If you can’t buy apricot nectar, you can make your own using this recipe.

A tin of apricot nectar used for slow cooker Apricot Chicken.

This is what apricot nectar looks like (see image below):

A tin of apricot nectar.

What Kind Of Apricot Halves Are Best To Use?

It’s best to use a container (or tin) of apricot halves in juice. These have the skin removed and are soft – making them perfect for this recipe.

Alternatively, you could use preserved apricot halves or lightly poached apricot halves.

Fresh or dried peaches do not work well in this recipe as they’re too firm.

Apricot halves, drained, in a white bowl

How To Make Apricot Chicken In A Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)

Note: scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom for the full detailed method and ingredient quantities

This super easy dinner can be prepped in just 3 quick steps:

Step 1 – Sear The Chicken

This is an optional step but it makes a HUGE difference to the flavour and texture of the dish.

Sear the chicken thighs until golden on each side and then place into the slow cooker.

Chicken thigh fillets in the base of a slow cooker.

Step 2 – Add The Remaining Ingredients and Cook

Cook for 6 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH.

Apricot halves and apricot nectar, chicken and french onion soup in the base of a slow cooker.

Step 3 – Thicken The Sauce (Optional)

At the end of the cooking time, the sauce will have the most delicious flavour thanks to the apricot nectar and the French onion soup.

If you would like to thicken the soup, simply add a little cornflour dissolved in water and stir through the sauce.

Chicken cooked in an apricot sauce in a slow cooker.

Recipe Tips & FAQ

Do I need to sear the chicken?

While it’s not 100% necessary to sear the chicken first, it makes a massive difference to the final taste and texture of the dish.
Searing the chicken really does take this recipe to a whole new level! This step caramelises the outside of the chicken, locks in the moisture and adds the most delicious flavour to the dish.

What can I use instead of apricot halves in juice?

Apricot halves in juice are a very common item at the supermarket. You can find them in the canned/tinned fruit aisle.
If you are unable to access apricot halves in juice, you could use preserved apricot halves or lightly poached apricot halves.

Do I need to thicken the sauce?

I like to thicken the sauce at the very end of cooking using a mixture of cornflour that’s been dissolved in water. This makes it the perfect consistency for serving on top of mashed potato or pasta.

Is a slow cooker the same thing as a crock pot?

Yes, absolutely! In Australia we refer to it as a slow cooker, however, in many countries (including the US), a crock pot is the commonly used term.

Can I use a different cut of chicken?

Yes you can! Chicken drumsticks are a great alternative to chicken thighs (just ensure that they’re skinless).
Chicken breasts or tenderloins don’t give the same ‘fall-apart’ texture as thighs or drumsticks.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes absolutely! I love doubling my apricot chicken and storing the leftovers in the freezer.

A blue bowl filled with mashed potato, broccoli and chicken covered in apricot sauce.

Storing & Freezing

Once the cooking time has finished, it’s important to place any leftovers into an airtight container and into the fridge immediately.

Do not place the slow cooker pot into the fridge as it retains the heat and won’t cool the chicken quickly enough. 

Consume any leftovers within 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. 

A fork with apricot chicken on a bed of mashed potato and greens.

More Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes

Browse my collection of family-friendly dinners that can be made in a slow cooker… including Creamy Tuscan Chicken, Chilli Con Carne, Pulled Pork and One Pot Roast Beef.

A collage of dinners that have been made using a slow cooker.

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A blue bowl filled with mashed potato, broccoli and tender apricot chicken.

Apricot Chicken | Slow Cooker

A simple 4 ingredient Apricot Chicken family dinner that's cooked in the slow cooker until fall-apart tender and completely delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Slow Cooker Recipe
Keyword: apricot chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 serves
Calories: 278kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 800g skinless chicken thighs approx 6 thighs
  • 40 g French onion soup mix packet dried
  • 410 g apricot halves drained
  • 405 ml apricot nectar
  • 1 tbs cornflour optional (see notes)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Brown each side of the chicken thighs before transferring to the slow cooker. (Note: if you have a searing slow cooker you can do this step in the slow cooker bowl).
    Chicken thighs in the base of a slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle over the french onion soup packet.
  • Add the drained apricot halves and the apricot nectar.
    Apricot halves and apricot nectar, chicken and french onion soup in the base of a slow cooker.
  • Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
    Chicken in a apricot sauce in a crockpot.
  • Serve with your choice of vegetables, mashed potato or pasta.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Ingredients Info:
  • skinless chicken thighs – or substitute with chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts. Chicken thighs or drumsticks are the best option as they will be more tender and the meat will quite literally ‘fall-apart’ when cooked. You can increase the amount of chicken up to 1kg if you like.
  • apricot nectar – apricot nectar is a sweet thick liquid that is made by mixing apricot puree with water. It can sometimes be tricky to find at the supermarket as it tends to be kept in the juice aisle (not the canned/tinned fruit aisle).
  • apricot halves – ensure the apricot halves are drained before adding to the slow cooker.
  • French Onion soup mix – this is a powder that can be bought in packets from the soup aisle of the supermarket. I generally use Continental brand (which is popular here in Australia), but you can use any brand you like. It is also known as simmer soup mix.
More Recipe Tips
Searing the chicken (optional but HIGHLY recommended) – this step caramelises the outside of the chicken, locks in the moisture and adds the most delicious flavour to the dish.
Thickening the sauce (optional) – I like to thicken the sauce at the very end of cooking using 1tbs of cornflour that’s been dissolved in 1/4 cup water. This makes it the perfect consistency for serving on top of mashed potato or pasta.
Doubling – this recipe can easily be doubled.
Storing and freezing – consume any leftovers within 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 610mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 2236IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg
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