This sweet and savory low-effort meal is the perfect weeknight dinner.
Just set it and forget it! That’s the best part about slow cooker meals, and that’s why they’re perfect for weeknight dinners. Weekdays can be hectic and leave you with little time to prepare healthy and delicious meals. But with this slow cooker apricot chicken recipe, all you need is 15 minutes of preparation time. Then, you simply leave it cooking in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours (or low for 8 hours) while you go about your day.
If your crockpot has been accumulating dust in the cabinet, this recipe is the perfect excuse to pull it out and use it. Plus, in my experience, this dish is popular with both kids and adults! An easy, healthy, delicious, and family-friendly meal? What’s not to love about that?!
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
There are so many easy ways to make this dish a complete meal. Since the apricot sauce is already full of deliciously sweet and savory flavors, all you need are some simple sides to soak up the liquidy goodness. I personally like a good pilaf recipe with this dish. I usually go with a healthy quinoa pilaf or, if I want a little more flavor and texture, I go with this Italian bulgur pilaf with toasted pine nuts. However, the kids usually enjoy this apricot chicken on a bed of mashed potatoes. I like these surprisingly healthy buttermilk mashed potatoes, and for a healthy alternative, I go with creamy garlic mashed cauliflower.
Speed Up the Process in the Instant Pot
Nowadays, more people probably own an instant pot in place of a crockpot, which is just fine. That works too. This recipe should work just fine using the 15-minute poultry button. However, if you fill it halfway up or higher, you’ll want to add more time. If it looks undercooked when you release the pressure, cook it on high pressure for another 5 to 10 minutes.
The good thing about the instant pot is that you can skip searing the chicken in a separate skillet. Just push the saute button on the instant pot and adjust it to the highest setting before adding the avocado oil and searing the meat. Just make sure to allow the oil to heat up for 4 to 5 minutes before adding the thighs. After that, add the mixture of apricot preserves, soy sauce, dijon mustard, rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Then seal it and set it. *Note that you might have to cut the chicken thighs into smaller pieces for this method, or remove the bones to make it more malleable.
Why Chicken Thighs for this Recipe?
Because they’re the best– that’s why! With a little more fat, chicken thighs offer a more rich and intense flavor compared to breasts or other white meat counterparts. And, bone-in chicken always provides more flavor no matter how the chicken is cooked. Plus, chicken thighs tend to be cheaper in supermarkets than other cuts of chicken. They’re typically even cheaper when you buy them bone-in, and if you want to cook them without the bones, they’re easy to cut out at home. With chicken thighs, you always get more flavor and a bigger bang for your buck!
What more can you want? Slow cooker (or instant pot) apricot chicken has it all—deliciously sweet and savory sauce with tender, juicy chicken thighs. And it’s easy to make! The most difficult part of making this recipe is deciding what delicious side(s) to serve it with. Let us know what sides you chose to go with in the comment section, below!
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
- ¾ cup apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce low sodium
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1-inch piece of ginger grated
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 6 chicken thighs bone in
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion sliced
- In a small bowl, mix the apricot preserves, soy sauce, dijon mustard, rice vinegar, ginger, and and garlic until combined. Set aside.
- Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Season the chicken thighs lightly with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken on both sides for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Then transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.
- Place the sliced onion in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then place them on top of the chicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
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If you loved this slow cooker apricot chicken, you might also like to try these tasty dinner recipes:
- Slow Cooker Spicy Barbecue Drumsticks
- Slow Cooker Pomegranate Chicken Breasts
- Healthy Instant Pot Lime Chicken
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas