A simple 4 ingredient Apricot Chicken family dinner that's cooked in the slow cooker until fall-apart tender and completely delicious!
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:
- 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.
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!!
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.
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.
This is what apricot nectar looks like (see image below):
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.
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.
Step 2 - Add The Remaining Ingredients and Cook
Cook for 6 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH.
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.
Recipe Tips & FAQ
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes absolutely! I love doubling my apricot chicken and storing the leftovers in the freezer.
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.
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.
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Apricot Chicken | Slow Cooker
- 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)
- 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).
- Sprinkle over the french onion soup packet.
- Add the drained apricot halves and the apricot nectar.
- Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
- Serve with your choice of vegetables, mashed potato or pasta.
- 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.
Can you make this without the apricot havles. Just using the nectar
Hi Emma, I'd recommend using it all!
Another delicious recipe. Thank you
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
I made some alterations, I dipped the chicken in flower and fried the out side, and and added 1 caramelised onion. Overall very nice,thank you.
I’m not usually one to comment. But I could not leave without saying how amazing this dish was. I could not believe how easy and cheap this meal was. Definitely adding it to the recipe book x
Oh I am SO happy to hear that! Thank you so much!