Apricot Chicken is sweet, tangy, sticky, and full of flavor! Stir-fried with onions, peppers, and pineapples and ready in 20 minutes or less, this easy chicken in apricot sauce is a delicious way to spice up boring, bland family dinners!
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About this sweet and tangy apricot chicken
As much as I love chicken for dinner — because it is cheap, healthy, and easy to throw together — it can also be extremely boring and awfully bland.
Well, today we are going to get out of our chicken dinner rut, shake things up a bit, and take this versatile protein to the next level of yum!
Succulent pieces of chicken breast, tender-crisp peppers, fragrant onions, mild jalapeños, and juicy chunks of pineapple, all stir-fried in a fruity, tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy apricot sauce. Served on a bed of fluffy white or brown rice and garnished with crunchy cashews and fresh herbs. This dish is saucy and super flavorful.
Quick and easy to prepare, and light, yet filling, it’s perfect for hectic weeknight dinners. You could even impress family and friends with this apricot chicken recipe — it’s that good!
Why you’ll love this apricot chicken recipe
- Easy to make! Whip up a homemade sauce, stir fry the chicken and veggies, then toss everything with pineapple and dig in.
- Unique flavor! Just as interesting as teriyaki or barbecue sauce, but light and sweet instead.
- Simple ingredients! The only canned ingredients are apricot preserves and pineapple (but you can use fresh if you’d like).
- Prep for freezer meals! Have a bag or two in the freezer to make hectic weeknights a little bit easier.
What is apricot chicken?
Apricot chicken is an easy, flavorful dish that is fruity, tangy, and sweet in flavor with an apricot-forward taste.
This fruity chicken can be made with real or dried apricots as well as apricot preserves. Also, depending on the recipe, the chicken can be baked, stir-fried, or made in a slow cooker.
With a tantalizing aroma, this sweet chicken is incredibly tasty, simple to prepare, and perfect for weeknight meals!
Ingredients needed for apricot glazed chicken
You don’t need a long list of fancy ingredients to make an incredible meal. Pair lean protein with onions, peppers, and tangy fruit, plus one incredible sticky and sweet homemade sauce!
- Chicken: Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch) and keep them as uniform as possible. This way, every piece will be evenly cooked!
- Veggies: Chop one yellow onion and two red bell peppers into bite-sized pieces as well. Dice up a couple of jalapeños for some heat, or omit them if you aren’t a fan of spicy food.
- Garlic & Ginger: Both of these add some heat as well. If fresh ginger isn’t available, you can substitute an equal amount of ginger paste instead.
- Canned Pineapple: You don’t need much pineapple for this recipe, so it’s best to stick to canned. If you happen to have leftover fresh fruit in your refrigerator, go ahead and sub that in if you’d like!
- Vegetable Oil: Use this to stir fry both the meat and veggies. Avocado oil or canola oil are great alternatives.
- Apricot Sauce: It’s easy to make this right at home! Simply whisk together apricot preserves, light brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha until smooth.
How to make easy apricot chicken?
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add 2 tablespoons of oil, swirling to coat. Add the chicken to the skillet, in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken until golden and almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Cook onions and peppers: Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the onions and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the jalapeno and cook another minute. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Combine ingredients: Add the chicken along with the apricot sauce and pineapple to the pan. Toss everything well to coat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve: Place chicken mixture over rice (or other grain) immediately, garnished with sliced jalapenos, sesame seeds, and fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy!
Tips for juicy and flavorful apricot chicken
- Use your favorite cut of chicken. While the recipe below calls for chicken breasts, you can substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs. Just make sure you cook the chicken until it is golden brown and almost cooked through.
- Adjust the level of heat. If you aren’t a fan of spicy food, choose jalapeños that are smooth without any white lines. The smoother a jalapeño, the younger and more mild it is. Also, make sure you remove all of the inner ribs and seeds from the jalapeños as that is the source of the heat. As well, omit the sriracha from the apricot sauce.
- Prep in advance. Once you get started, this stir-fry recipe goes really quickly. Make sure you have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking!
FAQ: frequently asked questions
How to make easy apricot chicken sauce?
While there are a few different ways to make apricot sauce for chicken, this recipe is all about effortlessness that yields bold, balanced flavor!
To make apricot sauce, simply whisk together apricot preserves with brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and whisk until the sauce is smooth.
Is apricot chicken healthy?
This apricot chicken recipe is made with lean chicken breasts stir-fried with onions, peppers, and chunks of pineapple. Packed with protein, plus rich in vitamins and antioxidants, apricot chicken is a healthier option for dinner than most takeout!
This easy apricot chicken recipe pairs exceptionally well with any grain. Since the apricot sauce is so delicious, you want to serve it with something to soak up all that amazing, sticky sauce! Here are some of my favorite side dishes:
- Grains – Rice (brown or white), cauliflower rice, couscous, or quinoa
- Potatoes – Mashed potatoes or roasted mini potatoes.
- Cauliflower – Roasted, mashed, or healthier cauliflower rice.
While apricot glazed chicken has onions, peppers, and pineapple chunks stir-fried right into the dish, you can always add extra fruits and veggies to your plate! Some delicious pairing options include:
- Onions: Easy Caramelized Onions
- Bell Peppers: Sautéed Onions and Peppers
- Avocados: Avocado Corn Tomato Salads
- Fruit Salads: Mango Salad
- Leafy Green Salads and Dinner Side Salads
Storing leftover apricot glazed chicken
If you manage not to gobble it all up, this apricot chicken recipe makes some tasty leftovers! Store the chicken with the sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
While I wouldn’t recommend freezing the cooked stir-fry, you can definitely freeze this dish as meal prep. Having your freezer stocked with a few of these ready-made chicken stir-fry meals makes it easy to get dinner on the table quickly during the busy work week!
How to turn easy apricot chicken into a frozen meal
- Poach and slice the chicken.
- Chop the vegetables according to the recipe directions.
- Place the chicken and vegetables on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in a single layer.
- Transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze until solid.
- Place the chicken and vegetables in separate freezer safe zip-closure bags.
- Prepare the sauce according to the recipe directions and transfer it to a freezer safe zip-closure bag (make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing).
- Place all the bags in a larger freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Quick to prepare, easy to make, and downright delicious, this Apricot Chicken will become a staple in your house!
Until next week, friends, cheers! To stepping up your dinner game!
More easy chicken dinners!
- Chinese Chicken Wings (crockpot recipe!)
- Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry (quinoa bowl!)
- Cajun Chicken Recipe (one skillet meal!)
More recipes with apricot!
The Best Apricot Chicken Recipe👇
Apricot Chicken Recipe
- 1 cup Apricot Preserves
- 2 TBS Light Brown Sugar - packed
- 2 TBS Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 TBS Rice Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sriracha – or more to taste (can substitute crushed red pepper flakes)
- 1 ½ pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – cut into 1’’ pieces
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- 3 TBS Vegetable Oil – DIVIDED
- 1 large Yellow Onion – cut into 1’’ pieces
- 2 medium Red Bell Peppers – cut into 1’’ pieces
- 2 large Jalapeno – seeds and ribs partially removed or fully for a less spicy dish
- 3 large Cloves Garlic – minced
- 1 heaping tsp Ginger – grated
- 1 (8 ounce) Can Pineapple Chunks - drained
- Optional for Serving: Rice, Sliced Jalapenos, Sriracha, Sesame Seeds, Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Scallions, Avocado, Shredded Carrots, Chopped Cashews
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together apricot preserves, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add 2 tablespoons of oil, swirling to coat. Add the chicken to the skillet, in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken until golden until golden and almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Cook veggies: Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and add the onions and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the jalapeno and cook another minute. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Simmer: Add the chicken along with the apricot sauce and pineapple to the pan. Toss everything well to coat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve chicken over rice immediately, garnished with sliced jalapenos, sesame seeds and fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy!
- Chicken Breast: You can substitute the chicken breast with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Just make sure you cook the chicken in step 3 until it is golden brown and almost cooked through.
- Heat level: If you aren't a fan of spicy food, choose jalapeños that are smooth with zero white lines. The smoother a jalapeño, the younger and more mild it is. Also, make sure you completely seed and fully remove the ribs from the jalapeños as that is the source of the heat. As well, omit the sriracha from the apricot sauce.
- Mise en place: Once you start cooking, this stir-fry recipe goes really quickly, so make sure you have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking!
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