This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Spice up boring and bland family dinners with this easy Apricot Chicken recipe featuring chicken breasts stir-fried with onions, peppers, and pineapples in a sticky apricot preserve sauce. Made in one pan and ready in 30 minutes or less, this sweet and sticky chicken apricots is a delicious and hassle-free solution for busy weeknight cooks!

“We have chicken at least one night a week. So I’m always looking for inspiration and this was incredible!! I’m all over how easy it is to make, too!”

Overhead, close-up photo of chicken with apricot jam stir fry served on a bed of rice.

Update: This recipe was originally published in March 2019. I made updates to the post below to include more information about making this recipe for apricot chicken at home. 

As much as I love a chicken dinner — I mean, it is cheap, healthy, and easy to throw together — I also dread it because it can be extremely boring and awfully bland. But, 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!

About this apricot chicken recipe

This apricot chicken recipe features 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 healthy, yet filling, this apricot jam chicken is perfect for hectic weeknight dinners. You could even impress friends with this apricot chicken recipe — it’s that good!

Why you’ll love this apricots chicken

  • 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 weeknight dinners for the whole family a little bit easier.
Overhead photo of apricot sauce ingredients (before being mixing together) in a glass jar.

What is chicken apricot?

Apricot chicken, also known as chicken with apricots or apricot preserve chicken, is an easy, flavorful dish that is fruity, tangy, and sweet in flavor with an apricot-forward taste.

This fruity chicken with apricot jam 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 for apricot jam 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 stir fry

  • 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

  • Apricot Preserves: You’ll need a jar of apricot preserves to make the star of this show – apricots sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: A touch of light brown sugar lends rich sweetness.
  • Soy Sauce: A few splashes of umami-rich soy sauce is a classic ingredient in stir fry sauces for a good reason.
  • Rice Vinegar: Make sure you use plain rice vinegar and not the flavored varieties.
  • Sriracha: Sriracha sauce lends a little heat, but feel free to use your favorite hot sauce instead.

If you’ve got leftover apricot preserves on hand, put it to good use in these delicious recipes: Apricot Glazed Pork and Barbecue Brisket in the Slow Cooker (with the most delectable apricot sauce!).

Recipe variations

While I love this recipe for apricot sauce chicken as is, there are a few ways to make it your own.

  • Peach jam chicken – If you’re looking for a similar orange color and appearance, peach jam or peach preserves are great choices. However, since peaches are sweeter than apricots, you’ll want to add a little fresh lemon juice to your peach jam to achieve a similar sweet-tart flavor profile.
  • Orange marmalade chicken stir fry – With a good balance of sweet and tart flavors, orange marmalade is another option that works here. However, since orange marmalade is a little bitter from the orange peels, I recommend straining the orange peels out of the marmalade or adding more brown sugar to your sauce.
  • Apricot compote chicken – If you’re looking to take things in a different direction, you can use apricot compote in this recipe. However, keep if mind apricot compote is very chunky, so you’ll want to chop up the large chunks of fruit prior to using it in this chicken recipe.
  • Duck sauce chicken – Chinese duck sauce is sweet, and sour in flavor with a jelly like texture. Thanks to the inclusion of apricots, plums, peaches, or pineapples in duck sauce, this fruity sauce makes a good apricot preserve or jam substitute.
Overhead photo of chicken and apricots stir fry in a large cast iron skillet.

How to make this chicken and apricot recipe

  1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Combine ingredients: Add the chicken along with the apricot sauce and pineapple to the pan. Toss everything well to coat. Simmer the mixture for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve: Spoon the chicken in apricot glaze over rice and garnish with pickled jalapeno peppers, sesame seeds, and fresh herbs, like parsley or scallions, if using. Enjoy immediately!

Tips for the best chicken with apricot

  • 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!
Close-up photo of chicken with apricots jam, bell peppers, and onions.

FAQs: frequently asked questions

Below you’ll find the most common questions and answers about making chicken with apricot sauce. If you have a question you’d like answered, please drop it in the comments section below!

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.

What cut of chicken is best for apricot sauce?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the classic choice since they’re readily available and cook quickly. However, chicken thighs will also work if you prefer more flavorful dark meat. Please note, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time slightly, as thighs take a few minutes longer to cook through than chicken breasts.

Can I use something other than apricot preserves?

Absolutely! If you can’t find apricot preserves, apricot jam or apricot marmalade are great substitutes.

Or, if you’re looking for a different flavor profile, try peach preserves or even orange marmalade for a delicious twist, depending on what you prefer.

My apricot sauce is too thin/thick, how can I fix it?

If your apricot preserve sauce is too thin, simply simmer it for a few extra minutes until it’s reduced to your liking.

To thicken a sauce that’s too runny, simply make a cornstarch slurry by whisking cornstarch into a little bit of water, then add that to the simmering apricot sauce and cook for a few minutes. It will thicken as it simmers.

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!

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Sure! You can cook the chicken breasts and prepare the sauce ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, add the chicken and apricot sauce to a skillet and gently reheat on the stovetop until warm.

However please note, this apricot chicken will be freshest and taste it’s best when you enjoy it immediately after cooking. If you make this apricot sauce chicken ahead of time, it will taste like leftovers.

Overhead photo of apricot chicken stir fry with bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.

Serving chicken and apricots

This easy apricot chicken recipe pairs exceptionally well with most Asian side dishes. Since the apricot sauce is so delicious, you want to serve it with something to soak up all that amazing, sticky sauce! Below are some of my favorite side dishes:

  • Salads: If you’re looking for an easy and light side option, it doesn’t get much simpler than a leafy green salad.
  • Soups: During the cooler months, a bowl of broth-y soup pairs great here.
  • Grains – Rice (brown or white), cauliflower rice, couscous, or quinoa all work great.
  • PotatoesMashed potatoes or roasted mini potatoes.
  • Cauliflower or Broccoli – Roasted, mashed, or healthier cauliflower or broccoli 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:

Storing leftovers

If you manage not to gobble it all up, this apricot chicken recipe makes some tasty leftovers!

  • Store the chicken with apricot sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warm 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. Check it out below:

How to turn easy apricot jelly chicken into a frozen meal

  1. Poach and slice the chicken.
  2. Chop the vegetables according to the recipe directions.
  3. Place the chicken and vegetables on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in a single layer.
  4. Transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze until solid.
  5. Place the chicken and vegetables in separate freezer safe zip-closure bags.
  6. 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).
  7. Place all the bags in a larger freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Close-up, angled photo of chicken apricot served over rice.

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!


Craving MORE? Follow all the deliciousness on FacebookPinterest and Instagram!

More saucy chicken stir fry dinners!

Overhead photo of apricot chicken stir fry with bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.

Apricot Chicken

5 from 4 votes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
0 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Spice up boring and bland family dinners with this easy Apricot Chicken recipe featuring chicken breasts stir-fried with onions, peppers, and pineapples in a sticky apricot preserve sauce. Made in one pan and ready in 30 minutes or less, this sweet and sticky chicken apricots is a delicious and hassle-free solution for busy weeknights!


  • 1 2-Cup Liquid Measure OR Small Mixing Bowl (for making apricot sauce)
  • 1 Wok or Large Skillet (for cooking chicken apricot)


  • 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
  • To Taste Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 TBS Neutral Oil – DIVIDED; or more as needed (vegetable or canola)
  • 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 Fresh Ginger – grated
  • 1 (8 ounce) Can Pineapple Chunks – drained
  • Optional Garnishes: Sliced Jalapeños, Sriracha, Sesame Seeds, Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Scallions, Diced Avocado, Shredded Carrots, Chopped Cashews
  • Serving Suggestions: Rice, Grains, or Asian Noodles


  • Make the Apricot 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 Breasts: Place the chicken breast pieces on a clean work surface and then generously season all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Cook Chicken: Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil, swirling to coat. Working in TWO BATCHES, add half the chicken to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken, stirring, occasionally, until golden until golden and ALMOST cooked through, about 4-5 minutes total. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken to plate and set it aside. Repeat the process, adding more oil if necessary, and cook the remaining chicken pieces. When almost cooked through, remove them to the plate.
  • Cook veggies: In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once shimmering, and add the onions, bell peppers, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Then, add in the jalapeno and cook for an additional minute. Next, add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Simmer Chicken in Apricot Sauce: Add the chicken and prepared apricot sauce to the pan and toss to combine. Next, add the pineapple and stir to combine. Reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook the apricot chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (165-degrees F) and sauce is thickened to your liking. Remove the pan from the heat and taste the chicken apricot before adjusting for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve Immediately: Serve sticky apricot chicken over rice, grains, Asian noodles, or veggies and garnish with sliced jalapeños, sesame seeds, and fresh herbs if using. Enjoy Immediately.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.


Calories: 238kcal    Carbohydrates: 11g    Protein: 25g    Fat: 9g    Saturated Fat: 6g    Cholesterol: 72mg    Sodium: 335mg    Potassium: 566mg    Fiber: 1g    Sugar: 7g    Vitamin A: 1325IU    Vitamin C: 60.6mg    Calcium: 20mg    Iron: 0.8mg

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @nospoonnecessary on Instagram and tag it #nospoonnecessary!

©No Spoon Necessary.  All images and content are under copyright protection. Please do not use any images without prior permission. Please do not republish this recipe without prior consent. To reference this recipe, please link directly to this post.