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Easy 4-Ingredient Apricot Chicken Recipe

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Last Modified: November 4, 2023
Published: November 4, 2023

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Simple Delicious And Family-Pleasing

baked apricot chicken

This easy apricot chicken recipe is a revelation I wish I'd known about 30 years ago. I was a time-starved working mom with hungry kids to feed. Better late than never, though, right?

My brother passed along this straightforward recipe to me recently. He and his wife are both retired empty nesters. They are no longer rushing around to beat the clock. But who doesn't love a dish that's ridiculously simple to make and tastes fabulous? I am so excited to share this recipe with you!

Apricot chicken bakes unattended in a tangy sauce, where it becomes fork-tender and succulent. Serve it to your family; it will disappear magically! It's so fast I am tempted to call it Houdini chicken because it helps you escape the kitchen fast!

It pairs perfectly with rice. Drizzle the delicious sauce over the rice when you serve it, and try to resist licking your plate.

Apricot Chicken Only Takes 4 Ingredients

You only need some boneless, skinless chicken, apricot preserves, dry onion soup mix, and French dressing. The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but we are not fans of dark meat.

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond (who adores chicken thighs) would be shaking her head at our choice, but we used chicken breast. The option is yours!

I made this recipe twice in one week. Our daughters both had a rough week, and I needed some guinea pigs to try it out, so I made a batch for both families. I also shared the recipe with a friend in Arizona who made it the same night!

raw chicken breast

I pounded the chicken breast a little to flatten it and speed up the cooking process. The second time I made it, I did not. Both times, it was great, but I liked the results a little better with the flatter pieces of chicken.

I cut the chicken breast into serving-size pieces and laid them in a single layer in a baking dish I had coated lightly with non-stick spray. Here's all you need to make the tasty sauce.

apricot chicken ingredients

Just dump the other three ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.

makin sauce for apricot chicken

Next, pour the mixture over the chicken. Distribute it evenly and spoon some of the sauce over each piece.

sauced and ready to bake apricot chicken

Pop it in a 350-degree oven and bake it for 50 to 60 minutes. It's that simple! I served it with plain rice. Rice is foolproof when you make it in an Instant Pot. Best of all, the rice stayed warm while the chicken was baking.

When I plated the meal, I spooned some of the sauce over the rice, which was delicious! Rice pilaf or brown rice would be great, too. A green salad for daughter #2's family paired very well with it. Another yummy side for daughter #1 and her family was simple, fresh asparagus.

baked apricot chicken

Why You Will Love This Apricot Chicken

This recipe is so versatile! One night, I used apricot preserves, and the next time, I used orange marmalade. Peach preserves would be delicious, too, I'm sure!

I used one of our favorite French dressings, but there are many other delicious variations like Catalina! For those of us lucky ducks in Nebraska, I'll bet Dorothy Lynch would be amazing!

My friend used chicken thighs and added soy sauce. Next time, she plans to add garlic and red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch!

There are so many yummy things you could do with leftovers if there are any! Cut the chicken into strips, tuck it in a wrap, layer it on top of a green salad, and add some mandarin oranges, green onion, and sliced almonds!

Chop it on top of a pizza with barbecue sauce, or stuff it in a baked potato and add shredded cheese and diced tomatoes! I'm a big fan of what I call "plan-overs"!

It's not just for chicken! I bet this would be equally fantastic using boneless pork cutlets or pork tenderloin! I'm going to try that version next!

Yield: 8 servings

Easy Apricot Chicken

baked apricot chicken

Easy apricot chicken is a dish that's ridiculously simple to make, kid-friendly, and tastes fabulous. It helps you escape the kitchen fast!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2.5 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast. You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you wish.
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup French dressing
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope of dry onion soup mix


  1. Trim any visible fat off the chicken.
  2. Pound out chicken breast with the edge of a small plate or wooden mallet, optional.
  3. Cut the chicken breast into serving-size pieces.
  4. Pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Place in a 13 x 9 baking dish you have greased or sprayed.
  6. Mix preserves, dressing, and onion soup mix in a medium bowl.
  7. Spread the sauce evenly over the chicken.
  8. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 50 to 60 minutes.

Does dinner time ever have you singing the blues? Do you have days when it's 5:00, and you're still scratching your head while everyone whines, "When do we eat?" Apricot Chicken to the rescue! Make your own Apricot Jam and use it in this recipe instead of buying preserves at the store!

Need more inspiration? Check out this crazy good, crazy fast tuna noodle casserole recipe!

A Helpful (And Money-Saving) Hint From GB

Watch for sales on chicken breasts and thighs! Sometimes, they're sold in large family packs. I purchased some skinless boneless chicken breast recently for under $3.00 a pound!

Freeze the chicken in smaller packages that are the right weight for your family, and enjoy having a great source of versatile protein ready when you are! Chicken breasts can be successfully frozen for nine months!

If you liked this recipe, you are my people! Please share this post on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest if you enjoyed this recipe today. It would sure tickle me, and I'd be ever so grateful; thank you! 

If you haven't already, please check out my Facebook page and look for me on Pinterest, where I'll post easy, delicious, and family-friendly recipes every week!

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13 comments on “Easy 4-Ingredient Apricot Chicken Recipe”

  1. Betty, I have made this recipe many times but mine calls for whole cranberry sauce instead of preserves. However, my sister uses different types of preserves. I use Russian or Western dressing. It doesn't seem to matter and I've never served it without getting compliments. I will definitely try the different preserves next time. Thanks for posting.

    1. Wanda! How nice to hear from you! That sounds amazing and I'll bet it's a little less sweet! Thanks so much for sharing and taking the time to comment!!

      1. I tried the Apricot preserves... ; I love them on toast or bagels but I was not impressed with this chicken. I think the cranberry sounds much nicer!

  2. As soon as I read this post, I ran out to the market and purchased the ingredients. I just finished the dish, and it was nothing short of delicious!

    1. Oh my gracious, you have idea how much that means to me!!! Thank you for taking time from your busy day to comment. Happy New Year!!

  3. This is so good and so easy to make. I used a cut-up rotisserie chicken and cooked it at 350 for 30 minutes. Served it over rice and added a package broccoli florets to mix in. Compliments from everyone at the table. Thank you.

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you! I spent the cold gray day at a funeral and what a happy note to find your comment at the end of a sad day, it was just what I needed, thank you!!

  4. I'm wanting to try it with Olive Garden signature Italian dressing but what preserves would pair good with it??

    1. Fruit preserves are not a traditional ingredient in Italian cuisine, but apricot or peach preserves have a sweet and tangy flavor that could pair well Italian-style dressing. If it was me, I'd mix some in a separate dish and try it before committing to a whole batch. I might consider honey as a sweetener instead. I love your desire to experiment! Let me know how it goes

  5. I have made this before & absolutely love it.Chicken does not even taste like chicken,tastes like a piece of heaven.I pound my chicken breasts,pour the dried onion soup over,then spoon apricot jam ,& pour some Western dressing over that.I also add some pineapple chunks on top,finishes the flavor just right.

    1. You have no idea how a word from a reader makes my day brighter! Thank you! I love your idea of adding the pineapple! I will give that one a shot next time I make it!

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