Easy Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken – A Simple Dump-Style Freezer Meal
Searching for an effortless and mouthwatering chicken recipe that will revolutionize your dinner time? I’ve got you covered with this Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken recipe!
This easy slow cooker freezer meal not only saves you precious time during busy weeknights but also delivers a burst of sweet and delightful flavors.
With the perfect balance of sweetness and tang, this dish is guaranteed to become a family favorite.
And by preparing this easy chicken dinner as a freezer meal, you can save valuable time during hectic evenings.
Then, with minimal effort later on, you can enjoy a delicious dinner without spending hours in the kitchen.
Ingredients for this Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Recipe
This is one of the easiest slow cooker recipes because of the list of simple ingredients needed.
Other than measuring things out, there is really no other preparation involved in putting this freezer meal together.
For my take on crockpot apricot chicken, you’ll need:
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- apricot preserves (or apricot jam – whichever you can find)
- French dressing
- minced garlic
- garlic powder
That’s all there is.
Preparing Your Apricot Preserves Chicken Recipe
In a medium bowl, which together the apricot jam or preserves, French dressing, minced garlic, and garlic powder.
Place the chicken breasts or thighs in a gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag, and pour the apricot sauce over them.
Remove as much air as possible from the bag, and seal it tightly.
Gently shake or knead the bag contents to ensure that all the chicken is coated with the sauce.
Label the bag with the recipe name, date, and cooking instructions.
Lay the bag flat in the freezer to freeze.
Cooking Your Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Freezer Meal
This delicious dish does best when thawed first. So, the night before you plan to make it, pull your bag out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
The next day, gently pour the contents of your freezer bag into your slow cooker or crock pot.
Cover and set it to cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
For food safety, you want to ensure that the internal temperature on your chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serving Suggestions for an Easy Dinner
Serve the slow cooker apricot chicken over white rice, or go for brown rice or cauliflower rice for a healthier option.
Add a side of green beans or a fresh side salad to complete the meal.
Or if you need to keep it really simple, grab a bag of salad and a loaf of crusty French bread at the local grocery store and you’ve got a delicious meal all ready to go when you get home!
You can choose to leave your chicken breasts or thighs served whole, or you can add one small extra step before serving and shred your chicken and mix it in with the sauce.
Both are fabulous options – it really just depends on your personal preferences and what you are in the mood for.
Substitutions and Customization Options
This slow cooker chicken recipe is so versatile, and there are many different ways you can customize it to create your own unique and fresh flavor.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- One of the easiest swaps you can make is to use a different salad dressing. If French dressing isn’t to your liking, this chicken dish also tastes great with Russian dressing, or even Catalina dressing.
- For a tangier flavor, substitute peach preserves or orange marmalade for the apricot jam. Or add a bit of orange marmalade right in with the apricot preserves, for a more citrusy flavor.
- If you prefer a spicier kick, add some red pepper flakes or a dash of curry powder to the sauce.
- Experiment with different cuts of chicken, such as chicken drumsticks, to vary the texture and flavor.
Whether you’re looking for a freezer meal or just an easy yet delicious dinner option to add to your regular rotation, this crock pot apricot chicken recipe is sure to become a sweet yet savory favorite of the whole family.
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other great slow cooker chicken recipes:
- French Onion Chicken
- 3-Ingredient Caesar Chicken
- Pesto Ranch Chicken
- 3-Ingredient Honey Sesame Chicken
- Sesame Orange Chicken
- Cranberry Catalina Chicken
- Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken
Absolutely! My family prefers the leaner chicken breasts, but chicken thighs are great in this recipe since they tend to be juicier and more tender.
Yes! You can substitute apricot jam for the apricot preserves. The flavor profiles are very similar and the results will be equally delicious.
This meal will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months easily. Although, taste and texture may start to decline after awhile, so for best results, or if you’re very sensitive to changes in textures, you’ll want to use this within 1-2 months.
To ensure that your chicken remains juicy, make sure not to overcook it. Follow the recommended cook time in this recipe as a guide, but feel free to adjust for your particular slow cooker. The best option is to use a food thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165F (74C). I have one slow cooker that runs REALLY hot, and my chicken is done in 3 hours on low…go figure…
Easy Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup French dressing
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
To Prepare & Freeze:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot preserves, French dressing, minced garlic, and garlic powder.
- Place chicken breasts in a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag.
- Pour apricot mixture over top of chicken in the bag.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal it tightly.
- Gently shake or knead the bag contents to ensure that all the chicken is coated with the sauce.
- Label the bag with the recipe name, date, and cooking instructions.
- Place bag flat in the freezer to freeze.
- The night before you wish to make this meal, pull the frozen meal bag out of the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, gently pour the contents of the bag into your slow cooker or crock pot.
- Cover and set it cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- Serve chicken breasts whole, or remove from slow cooker, shred, and then place the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker to mix with the sauce.