This slow cooker apricot chicken recipe is tender chicken thighs in a delicious sweet and savory sauce made with apricot jam, soy and ginger. A super easy crock pot dinner option! 

Apricot chicken is a unique dish that will please both kids and adults alike. Serve your chicken over rice pilaf or Instant Pot mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

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A close up of slow cooker apricot chicken topped with parsley.

This site doesn’t have a lot of slow cooker recipes, mostly because I’m not the biggest slow cooker fan. That being said, this slow cooker apricot chicken is FABULOUS and you’ll love it, even if you’re like me and you don’t use your crockpot that often. The sauce is what makes this dish special, it’s sweet, savory and tangy, all in one. And don’t even get me started on the melt-in-your mouth chicken!

How do you make apricot chicken?

This recipe starts with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which are seared until golden brown. Onions go into the pan to cook, then place the chicken and onions in your crockpot. Whisk together apricot ham, Dijon mustard, soy sauce and ginger, then pour that mixture over the chicken. Let the chicken simmer in the sauce until tender. Add a sprinkling of parsley, then serve and enjoy.

Seared chicken thighs in a pan.

Tips for the perfect chicken

  • I use chicken thighs because they have a lot of flavor and are less likely to dry out during the long cooking time. You can also use chicken breasts if you prefer.
  • Fresh ginger is best for this dish, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger.
  • If you’re pressed for time, you can skip browning the chicken and onions. That being said, I feel that this step really adds a lot of flavor, and it’s definitely worth taking the extra few minutes to do it.
  • Serve your chicken over rice, mashed potatoes, or couscous with a steamed vegetable on the side.

Chicken thighs in a slow cooker topped with a mixture of apricot jam, soy sauce and ginger.

Apricot Chicken Variations

This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can switch up the ingredients to customize it to your tastes.

  • Protein: Try using bone-in pork chops instead of chicken thighs.
  • Jam: No apricot jam on hand? This recipe also works great with peach jam. You can also use pineapple jam for a tropical flair.
  • Potatoes: You can add potatoes to the crockpot along with the chicken and onions. I recommend using whole baby Yukon gold potatoes.

A slow cooker full of apricot chicken thighs.

Can you freeze apricot chicken?

This recipe is a great candidate for the freezer. Simply cool the chicken, then freeze it in a resealable bag or airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it on the stove top until warmed through.

Two apricot chicken thighs on a plate over rice.

This recipe is really is one of the best slow cooker meals I’ve had. The chicken just falls off the bone and that sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Try it tonight and watch the rave reviews pour in!

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Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Video

4.58 from 92 votes

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

AuthorSara Welch
A close up of slow cooker apricot chicken.
This slow cooker apricot chicken recipe is tender chicken thighs in a delicious sweet and savory sauce. A super easy dinner option!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot preserves, soy sauce, dijon mustard and ginger. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place the chicken thighs skin side down in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until deep golden brown. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Place the chicken thighs and onions in a slow cooker. Pour the apricot sauce over the chicken and onions.
  • Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking. Nutritional information includes the chicken skin; if the skin is discarded the calorie and fat count will be lower.


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. I never use fresh ginger – could I sub out for powdered ginger? If so, how much should I use?

  2. Would love to try this recipe but unsure what apricot preserve is? I’m in Australia. Does it just mean apricot jam? lol

  3. 5 stars
    Love the apricot chicken recipe, but just want to double check the carbs (my apricot preserves are 13 gm per tablespoon). I kacook for someone with diabetes…

  4. Going to make this in a few days. Want to add potatoes and vegetables in the crock pot as well. At what point do I add the potatoes and carrots. From the very beginning when I put chicken in crock pot

  5. 5 stars
    I made this last night and followed the recipe exactly. It was great! Looked and tasted fantastic. Both my picky eaters (three and six) finished their dinner! We’re using leftover for lettuce wraps tonight. One of the few slow cooker chicken dishes that I’d add to the rotation. Thanks!

  6. 4 stars
    I made this last night & my husband & I really liked it. I used 8 bone in skinless chicken thighs because I had froze 4 per package. I did not cook the chicken or onion in a pan first. (I just prefer to keep the cleanup to a minimum.) Served it over rice. We really enjoyed it & rated the recipe as a keeper. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!

  7. I did this in a slow cooker for the prescribed 8 hours on low. When I returned, t was a burnt mess when I came home after 7 hours. I may try it in the oven as another reviewer suggested, or not. I also agree with the reviewer who commented on those reviews that add remarks without trying the recipe – that is an absolute waste of time to anyone considering the recipe.

    1. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with this recipe, I tested it at both low and high heats and it came out ok for me both times. All I can think of is sometimes slow cookers can run hot, depending on the brand and the age of the slow cooker. I tested this recipe with a brand new slow cooker so maybe there was some discrepancy there. I’ll test the recipe again, thanks for your input.

  8. Although no one has tried this they all awarded it 5 stars! From now on I’ll read the comments before I look at the “ratings”.

  9. I’m from New Zealand so I’m a little unsure of what apricot preserves is? Is it apricot jam (apricots + sugar and water cooked then jarred)? Or more like an apricot chutney with savoury flavours (onions, spices etc)? Or canned apricots? Thanks in advance, since this recipe looks super delish, and I’m sure my family would love it!

    1. Basically, it’s apricot jam with bits of/chunks of apricot in it. *Typically*, a “jam” is smooth and contains no bits of fruit (except for strawberry and raspberry “pips”) whereas a “Preserve” contains visible bits of fruit. In Australia, anyway…

  10. 3 stars
    . Flavor wise the sauce is delicious but the chicken may melt in your mouth but it also falls apart making a unattractive mess when serving. Also it looked nothing like the photo when done. So i tried it several other ways. Personally i feel it defeats the purpose of the slow cooker, if your gonna dirty a pan and waste 15 min cooking/browning the chicken (as thighs are naturally tender and moist they dont benefit much from long slow cooking). So i decided i might just as well add sauce and; either put lid on and continue cooking another 20 min or finish in oven @ 375 for 25 30 min uncovered. We tried both and the oven version looked nearly identical to your photo. Lot less dirty dishes and no messy crock pot to clean. Also served with parsley potatoes which finished up at the the same time. Thank you for the recipe it is a keeper.

    1. I haven’t tried it this way, but it should work the same. Or you could skip the browning process since it will partially cook a thinner cut like a boneless skinless breast, making it more susceptible to drying out in the slow cooker.

    1. I have not tried this in an Instant Pot, but you could brown the chicken and onions in the pot, add the sauce, then set the Instant Pot for about 20 minutes and let the pressure release naturally? That’s my best estimate

  11. 5 stars
    Oh my, this looks o good! Chicken thighs are always so tender and slow cooking would really make them even better.

  12. 5 stars
    My wife really enjoys slow cooker meals in the fall and winter. So easy to enjoy and we make enough for more than 1 meal.

  13. 5 stars
    Makes my mouth water! I’m a big fan of the slow cooker! Really nice to come home to a cooked dinner after work!

  14. I do not have a slow cooker. Can this apricot chicken be baked in a regular oven? If so, at what temperature and for approximately how long?

    1. Yes it can! After you sear the chicken and onions, pour off any fat then add the sauce to the pan. Cover the pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.