Instant Pot Apricot Chicken
This easy shredded chicken is deliciously flavored with apricot preserves! Cooks in just 20 minutes in your Instant Pot! Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or roasted veggies.
I’m a big fan of a quick chicken entree that I can layer on top of other things (especially rice, potatoes, and roasted veggies). I have a lot of fun coming up with different ways to make that chicken exciting. (I’m sure this says something about me that I find that fun. I lead a wild life over here.)
This Instant Pot Apricot Chicken has a slightly sweet flavor thanks to apricot preserves. You can also use peach or mango preserves if you like too!
It’s the perfect dinner solution when you’re short on time. You’re going to love it!
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Chicken breasts
- Apricot preserves
- Orange juice
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dried herbs and seasoning
- Fresh basil (can omit)
- Dried apricots (can omit)
This chicken is so very easy. Just add most ingredients to the Instant Pot (not the dried apricots and fresh basil). Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on the model Instant Pot you have) on high pressure for 20 minutes if chicken is thawed or 25 minutes if chicken is frozen.
Carefully release the steam once done or do a natural release.
Remove chicken from Instant Pot and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot. Stir in dried apricots and fresh basil. You’re done!
Frozen or thawed chicken?
It’s up to you! If you use frozen chicken you’ll set your Instant Pot timer for 25 minutes. If your chicken is already thawed you’ll go for 20 minutes.
Is this entree sugar free and paleo?
It can be both! Just check the ingredients on your apricot preserves and dried apricots to make sure they’re not made with sugar.
Is this entree Whole30?
I haven’t seen store-bought preserves that are Whole30 compliant yet. (If you have, leave a comment and let me know what brand!) However, you could make your own Whole30 preserves and use that in this recipe. If you’re on Whole30 you’ll also want to make sure your dried apricots are made without sugar or simply omit them.
If you want a similar dish that’s easier to make Whole30 try my Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken, Slow Cooker Italian Shredded Chicken, Slow Cooker Shredded Pineapple Chicken, or Instant Pot Butter Chicken.
Can you omit the dried apricots?
Absolutely. It was really important to me that this chicken have all that great apricot flavor even if you don’t use dried apricots. While I love the dried fruit in there (oh I do) I want this entree to be something you can make all the time and sometimes dried fruit can be a bit tricky to find. If you don’t have it, don’t worry! Just omit it and enjoy this incredible shredded chicken as is! The apricot preserves provide plenty of sweetness.
Natural release or quick release?
A quick release is best for foods that cook fast like vegetables. You don’t want them to continue cooking any longer than absolutely necessary or they’ll be mush.
A natural release allows the cooking to stop gradually. This is ideal for large cuts of meat (think of it like letting your meat rest) because it will give you more tender meat. This is also a good idea for large pots of soup so you don’t end up with foam shooting out of the valve.
For shredded chicken you can use either method. You may find that some of the chicken breasts are harder to shred than others but once shredded (or chopped) you won’t noticed a difference. Thighs are most likely to be tender and shred easiest.
Does this chicken freeze well?
Just store the finished Instant Pot Apricot Chicken in a freezer bag or other freezer safe container. If using a bag be sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing. This chicken will be good in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy it just thaw it out and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Slow Cooker instructions (if instant pot isn’t your thing)
- Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Add all other ingredients except the dried apricots and fresh basil on top.
- Cook on high with lid on for 3 – 4 hours or low for 6 – 8 hours.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the slow cooker. Stir in dried apricots and fresh basil.
How to serve this
I love to serve this shredded chicken over cauliflower rice or traditional rice. It’s also delicious over roasted veggies or diced potatoes. Add a side of Garlic Green Beans or Easy Roasted Broccoli and you have a pretty amazing meal!
More recipes like this:
Instant Pot Apricot Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs, boneless and skinless
- 10 oz apricot preserves, or 1 cup, can use peach or mango preserves also
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- Add chicken, apricot preserves, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, garlic powder, and salt to the Instant Pot. Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on the model Instant Pot you have) on high pressure for 20 minutes if chicken is thawed or 25 minutes if chicken is frozen.
- Carefully release the steam once done or do a natural release. Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot. You'll see quite a bit of liquid but the chicken will absorb a lot of it once shredded.
- Stir in chopped dried apricots and fresh basil. (Both can be omitted if you like. This chicken has plenty of flavor even without them.)
- Taste and add more salt if desired. Serve over cauliflower rice, traditional rice, or roasted veggies.