Sweet and Sticky 3 Ingredient Apricot Chicken (with Cauliflower Rice).
I make no joke when I say THREE ingredients.
This chicken, this magic chicken, is everything. It’s the perfect, go-to meal for a busy weeknight, or maybe even better for a night when friends are coming over, but as of yet, nothing is planned for dinner. Yep, this would be your meal!
Simple as that.
In full disclosure, I did not include the cauliflower rice in the 3 ingredients with the chicken. You can make the rice if you please… and you really should because it’s delicious, AND it completes the meal in a healthy way, but the chicken is what this post is all about.
The recipe comes from my grandma who got the recipe from her sweet neighbor (hi Mrs. Gonzalez). My grandma is the queen of making simple yet delicious meals that everyone loves. I first had this chicken around this time last year when my family traveled to Florida for Spring Break and Easter. Nonnie served it the first night we arrived, and well, between my dad, my mom, Kai, Asher, my Nonnie and Grandpa, and me, the entire meal was devoured. Even my picky-eating, no chicken thighs please, mother loved this recipe. It’s all about the sauce, it’s a combo I would have never thought up, but man it is so good.
So you ready? The magic three ingredients? Fair warning they are kind of weird, but like I said, SO GOOD.
….skin on chicken thighs (you can use chicken breasts as well)
….apricot preserves (try really hard to find a high quality brand without any corn syrup or other weird ingredients)
…Russian dressing (I made a healthier homemade version, but store-bought is what my grandma uses!)
I know, kind of odd…totally DELISH though.
When Nonnie served this, she had steamed white rice, corn on the cob and bread. I am going the slightly healthier route with my cauliflower rice, but um guys, I promise I will SO not be offended if you just make a pot of rice and call it a day. Nothing beats real deal steamed rice.
However, if you’re willing to branch out a bit, I highly recommend the Cauliflower Rice. I made mine with some coconut milk and then tossed in roasted cashews… healthy and yummy!
Whatever you do, just give this 3 Ingredient Apricot Chicken a try. Honestly, it’s SOOOO good. I can’t figure out if it’s more of an Asian flavor or an Indian flavor or maybe even a Russian flavor, but I really don’t care. All I care is that it’s completely amazing and the EASIEST thing ever to make. Like add your three ingredients to a Pyrex pan and bake.
DONE AND DONE.
Oh, and really quick, thank you so much for you kind words on yesterday’s post. I am thrilled you guys are so excited about the Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards, THANK YOU!
Now, let’s all celebrate with a little feast and an easy + pretty, healthy Wednesday dinner.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Sweet and Sticky 3 Ingredient Apricot Chicken with Cauliflower Rice.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: apricot, cauliflower rice, chicken
This chicken, this magic chicken, is everything. It's the perfect, go-to meal for a busy weeknight, or maybe even better for a night when friends are coming over, but as of yet, nothing is planned for dinner. Yep, this would be your meal!
- 6-8 skin on chicken thighs or 4 breasts
- 1 (13 ounce) jar high quality apricot preserves*
- 2 cups store bought or homemade Russian Dressing see my healthy recipe below
Cashew Cauliflower Rice
- 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower finely grated*
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt + pepper
- 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pyrex pan. Add the chicken. In a medium bowl, mix together the apricot preserves and Russian Dressing. Pour over the chicken.
Bake for 30-40, minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. The time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces. If the tops of the chicken are getting too browned, cover the pan with foil halfway through cooking. Serve the chicken along side the cauliflower rice (recipe below). Spoon the sauce left in the pan, over the chicken. EAT.
Heat a large, high sided skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add the cauliflower and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the coconut milk. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, then add the cashews and cilantro.
*Try to buy apricot preserves without any corn syrup, loads of sugar or other added ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Ideally there should only be apricots and a little sugar. *You can either finely chop the cauliflower or run the heads through a blender or food processor. For the best consistency, I like to blend 3/4 of the cauliflower in the blender and then finely chop the remainder for a little texture.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Healthy Red Russian Dressing.
Cuisine: American, russian
Keyword: healthy, russian dressing
The perfect dressing and healthy
- 2/3 cup plain full-fat or 2% greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup organic ketchup
- 1/4 cup pickle brine/juice the juice from the pickle jar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley + dill
- salt + pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or glass jar and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Yes lets… and then maybe even help ourselves to another plate…or two. 🙂
P.S. Don’t forget, you can vote once a day through March 7th for your favorite food blogger!! Just click on the badge above to link you to the Better Homes & Gardens site to vote! THANK YOU for all your continuous support!
This sounds fantastic! But why *Russian* dressing? I swear to God we have nothing even remotely similar in Russia 😀
Probably because of the “rassol” 😀
Hmm, no idea really! Thanks!
I couldn’t agree more, the rice is a must! This meal and these photos is just making me drool! 🙂 I could definitely have this meal at least once a week! You’re killing it girl!
Awe! Thank you so much, Taylor! I cannot tell you how much your kind comments mean! 🙂
oooooh looks sooo wonderful, this I would gobble down in two seconds!!
Thank you! 🙂
Whoa I can’t believe this has only three ingredients! Sometimes those odd combinations are just what works best! My mom always made the best pork chops with just ketchup and sweet soy sauce. Love this idea too, will have to try!
Thank you so much!
Three ingredients, two are expensive; although, I would try this after a few people have prepared the recipe and I hear the feedback 🙂
We make this except we add onion soup mix to the dressing and apricot jam and call it All Gone Chicken. I’m going to try your version without it!!
YUM! I bet your version is amazing! Thanks Nancy!
I LOVE apricot chicken! And I love you’re healthy Russian dressing!
I’ve made this before – really looking forward to trying your russian dressing recipe instead of the store bought variety!
Thanks Kathy! Hope you love it!
Sounds great! Is your recipe for bone in or out thighs?
Thanks Donna! I used bone-in. 🙂
Voted again!! Thanks for having the link at the end. It reminded me.
Wow, THANK YOU! I am so grateful for your votes and your kind comments! 🙂 Hope you are having a great week!
Congrats on the nomination! You deserve it, my dear. Your photography inspires me every day!
THANK YOU!! It means so much, Sarah!!
This. Looks. AWESOME! I just had to vote for you because you create amazing recipes and I love your blog and personality so much! Congratulations and best of luck! <3<3
Cassie!! Thank you SO much! it means so much that you took the time to vote, it is greatly appreciated!! 🙂
Thank you for the nice recipe. I had to read it fully to appreciate it.
This looks so good! I love recipes that come from grandmas. Congrats on the nomination as well!
Thank you, Aimee!
This chicken sounds soo amazing. I’ve never had Russia dressing before so I’ll have to try it. And cauliflower rice would be perfect to pair with this.
Thank you, Andrea! Hope you are having a great week!
3-ingredients, say what?! AWESOME. I love grandma recipes. I always used to bake with my Nana and she had this little yellow notebook where she kept all her baking secrets / recipes. Seeing this recipe makes we want to ask my grandpa is he still has that notebook!
And congrats on the nomination – you deserve it!
Thank you so much! Hope you are having a great week!
Yay for you on the nomination! Well deserved! Now, about this dish…this is going on the meal plan for next week! YUM!
THANK YOU!! I really appreciate it!! 🙂
Thank you so much! Definitely going to use this cauliflower rice recipe while I am on my enforced eating plan. It works doubly well, as my boyfriend is allergic to cashews and considers cauliflower The Albino Vegetable Menace, so no one will be touching the leftovers but me! Ha! 🙂
lol! Thank you so much! Hope you love this!
How much rice do you suggest?
about 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked rice.
Sometimes simple is better! And this looks very delicious.
Thanks for the recipe, once again.
Agree! Thanks so much!
Your version of this dish sounds so yummy, and I find that homemade dressings are well worth the effort (which is usually less effort than going to the store to buy some 🙂 But I have some questions about the pickle relish in the dressing recipe: 1) dill or sweet relish? 2) Are we to use the actual relish or just juice? Thanks?
HI Maggie! Sorry for the confusion! It is the juice from the pickle jar, although real pickle relish would be great too I am sure! But I used the juice from the pickle jar. Hope you love this! Fixing the recipe now. Let me know if you have other questions!
Oh YUM! I love simple, simple meals like this that still pack a ton of flavor. Thanks for sharing! And congrats on your nomination, lady! You deserve it. Your blog is such an inspiration to me (and many others!)
Thank you so much, Chelsea!! your kind words are SO appreciated!! 🙂
Yumm, def trying this out, possibly tomorrow! So, I was wondering if you could clarify for me, as I’m slightly confused, is it pickle relish (like the diced up cucumber concoction) or the juice from a jar of big regular pickles (so no cucumbers at all)? Thank you!!:)
Hey Nicole! Sorry for the confusion! It is the juice from the pickle jar, although real pickle relish would be great too I am sure! But I used the juice from the pickle jar. Hope you love this!
Good looking recipe. Going to go for the gusto and try both recipes.
Thank you so much! Hope you love both!
Yes yes YES. I cannot thank you enough for this. Because one, just look at it! Cmon.. And two, it’s not full of cruddy ingredients. I could just hug you for this homemade dressing! I love simple recipes like this but they are always full of cream of this or processed that. Added to my meal plan next week!
hehe! Thank you SO much!! Hope you love the recipe! 🙂
I’ll definitely have to try it out, thanks for sharing:)
Thank you so much, Caroline! 🙂
I want to make this right now and eat it thats how awesome this looks
haah! Thank you!
My mother makes apricot chicken, it’s one of my favorites since childhood. She however, uses apricot jam, French onion soup mix and ketchup. It’s absolutely delicious. Sounds bizarre but it’s the perfect mix of sweet, savory and tangy!
Thank you! I bet your moms chicken is awesome!
This sounds amazing and I could probably come up with some way to make the dressing without yogurt but any suggestions for a replacement for the yogurt? (non dairy)?
Hmm, that is tricky. I would try full fat canned coconut milk. Or coconut yogurt. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks!!
Three ingredients is the best, and I love that cauliflower rice – I’m so obsessed with cashews!
FYI – I had to laugh when I came upon a bag of ‘riced cauliflower’ at Trader Joe’s today. Pretty much a sign that I need to give this recipe a try tonight! Just put together the dressing and it is a yummy alternative to the dreaded bottled dressing.
haha! I did not even know that was a thing! Hope you love this and THANK YOU!
What are apricot preserves? Apricot jam or dried apricots? (I’m Australian)
Apricot jam! Hope you love this! 🙂
I made this tonight with apricot preserves and a jar of Sir Kensington’s “Special Sauce” which is basically russian but paleo friendly… it was so so so amazing! i love your recipes!
So I’ve made several of your recipes and my friends all say this is the best meal ever! However when I made this chuck dish I’m not sure what happened. I used chic breasts instead of the thighs. I cooked them for 40 min. My sauce never thickened kind of curdled and didn’t brown. Chix was done tasted delicious. It was the sauce. I used good apricot preserves and made the homemade Russian dressing. Any thoughts? Maybe cook longer. Thx
Hmm, I am totally stumped. It had to of been the yogurt in the dressing. What kind did you use? I would not bake them longer, 40 minutes is plenty for chicken breast. Did you follow the dressing recipe exactly? I am wondering if maybe you baked it too long. The sauce shouldn’t thicken too much, but it should not curdle. Really sorry for the trouble!! Thanks, tieghan!
I made this tonight for dinner and had the same issue Linda did. I used boneless breasts, made your dressing…The chicken breasts I used were huge and took more than 40 minutes to come to a safe temp, and they were definitely not overcooked. My sauce never browned and I also had the curdling issue. I followed the dressing recipe exactly (and it was also really good), used good quality apricot preserves… it just didn’t hold up to baking. It might have been because I used a non-fat plain greek yogurt and maybe it needed the extra fat to help prevent curdling. While troubleshooting, I also found a recommendation to add cream (in this case yogurt) to a medium temperature mixture or it will separate when it boils. (Mine was all cold.) So, those are the only explanations I can come up with for now. I was disappointed that the chicken didn’t get that browned sticky quality 🙁 That being said, nothing went to waste. The flavor was delicious and the cauliflower rice with the coconut milk, cilantro and cashews was particularly good and just perfect with the chicken!
I am so sorry for the trouble. I did use %2 Greek yogurt so maybe that was it. I also did not bake my chicken longer than 30 minutes so I am wondering if it could be the longer cooking time as well. Again so sorry for the trouble!
Hey Tieghan, no worries! It seriously was delicious! Since another reader had a similar issue, I just wanted to help trouble shoot it. I don’t think it was the cooking time, the sauce separated as soon as it started bubbling in the oven. I might try the 2% or full fat yogurt next time. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed the flavors and I was quite happy that I was home alone for lunch the next day for the one portion of leftovers we had. Enjoy your time in Chicago!
Low fat and fat free yogurt will usually curdle when heated, especially if not tempered. I’ve never made anything with fat free yogurt that after heated, didn’t curdle. That’s usually the trick – using full fat yogurt will probably not only keep your sauce thicker, but it shouldn’t curdle.
That being said – this was made last night, along with the cauliflower rice. As much as I adored the chicken (so flavorful – and that dressing!) I think that rice was the star of the show. My husband and I played rock-paper-scissors this morning to see who got the leftovers for lunch and sadly, he won. But that’s okay. I’ll definitely be making this again, soon!
Thank you so much for this great info and I am thrilled that you love both the chicken and rice!! Hope you are having a great week!!
We have made cashew cauliflower rice two times and I only can say THANK YOU!!! Really fantastic recipe! We love it for dinner with chicken, like you suggest, or some differents cheese with home bread.
Glad you liked!! Thank you Eva!! 🙂
This is amazing. I almost never repeat recipes, but my husband immediately declared this to be he best chicken ever… And I agree! I’m making it again on Thursday, when his whole family is dropping in for a visit. Thanks! I can’t wait for the cookbook!
Thank you so much!!! Im so happy you guys like it! 🙂
Alright, stop it. Stop being so brilliant.
I have the next 3 meals planned, thanks to you.
Glad I found your blog.
hehe! Thank you so much! I hope you love everything you try! 🙂
It was delicious. I found the sauce will make so much more than just the 6-8 thighs. I did 12 and still had so much coverage of sauce. Really juicy and tender.
SO happy you love this recipe, THANK YOU!!
Just made this for dinner and while the flavor was wonderful the chicken didn’t turn out sticky and didn’t look anything like the picture. I think maybe there was too much dressing because the chicken was completely emmersed in the sauce mixture. I ended up taking them out of the sauce, spooning some over the top, and broiling at the end of the cook time.
Is it the juice from sweet or dill pickles in the dressing recipe?
Sorry for the late response!! The juice form dill pickles, but I am sure sweet will also work. Please let me know if you have questions, thanks!
Do you use 2 Tlb parsley and 2 Tlb Dill in the dressing? I was a bit confused on the “+dill”.
Yes, it is 2 tablespoons each. Sorry if that is confusing. Hope you love this!
This is exactly the kind of dish I need these days. I can’t get apricots in my grocery store yet because it was such a cold winter so I’ll go with the delicious preserves! Love the simplicity of this gorgeous recipe, Tieghan!
Awh thats a bummer!! Soon though!! Im so happy you like it!! Thanks Robyn!!
Hi, could you clarify….if I use breasts, can they be skinless, or do they have to have the skin on? And do I add the chicken straight into the Pyrex dish raw, I.e., no pre-browning?
Hi Tiffany! Yes, you can use skinless breast, that will be great! And yes, just add them right to the baking dish. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
Hi, is your recipe calling for 1 oz of apricot preserves or 1 13-oz jar of apricot preserves? Did you brown your chicken in a skillet before baking it? Did you use a glass or metal baking dish?
My recipe has a mysterious 13. It is unclear if the recipe calls for a 1-ounce jar of preserves or 1 13-ounce jar of preserves. I went with the latter. There was a lot of sauce, and the chicken never browned. I’m guessing it means I should gone with the small jar option. Would love for someone to confirm. It still turned out great, and i loved the cauliflower rice!
I made this tonight and really enjoyed it. All I could find at the grocery store was fat free Greek yogurt. I substituted full fat viili (like yogurt) instead. It didn’t get sticky so I’m not sure what happened there. I wasn’t sure if it was one ounce of apricot preserves so I did about six ounces (according to my taste). It turned out more saucey which I just spooned over the cauliflower rice. I plan on making this again. Thank you.
I am glad you still enjoyed this Mindy! Thanks!
hi! also a little confused about how much apricot preserve is meant to be in the recipe! one 13 oz jar or 1 oz total?
Can’t wait to try it either way!
1 (13 ounce) jar. Sorry about that! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! ?
I wish there were a way to separate the “comments” from those who like the looks of the recipe from “reviews” by people who have made the recipe. Any chance that can be done?
And now for a question – other than not crisping up, is there any reason I can’t use boneless thighs? That’s all I have in the freezer right now
Hey Janis, That is a really great suggestion, thank you! I will look into getting something like this added. To answer your question, yes you can use boneless thighs. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
Delicious. I used my homemade apricot jam and the homemade Russian dressing.
YUM! Thank you for trying this, Lisa! I am so glad you loved this! xTieghan
I’m having a HBH week of dinner recipes and this didn’t disappoint. Even my “I don’t like to eat meat” 20 month old gobbled it up. Her love of cashews really took over. For my small family of 3, I just did the 5 boneless skinless thighs I had in the freezer so I did two tablespoons per thigh then did a little bit more and spread it all around. That left enough dressing for me to freeze for another time! My sauce didn’t get sticky in the oven either so I poured it into a skillet and brought it to a bowl to reduce and thicken a bit and in a few minutes I had what I think she is describing. Just in case anyone ends up in the same boat! I seriously can’t wait to eat this again. And the frozen cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s worked out great. Made for a super fast meal. Their apricot preserves are basically what she describes too! Not many ingredients and no corn syrup or things I don’t know what they are.
Wow that is so amazing that you all enjoyed this recipe Andrea! Thank you so much! xTieghan
Thank you for making our dinners delicious! So easy and tasty. Love the homemade dressing. Fantastic!
As always, Thank you!
Aw you’re too kind! I am so happy to hear that you have been enjoying my recipes, Cheryl! Thank you and I hope you continue to! xTieghan
Looked really good, figured it was worth a try. I thought this was just ok…will not make again, sorry. Lots of calories for something I did not love.
Hi! I am really sorry about that. If there is anything I can help with, please let me know! Otherwise, I hope you enjoy some other recipes of mine! xTieghan
My mom added a package of onion soup mix! So good! Thanks for including a Russian dressing recipe, it’s actually hard to find now.
Thank you Lisa! xTieghan
Hi, made your apricot chicken recipe(with plain rice) and it turned out so good! My family loved it and it was super quick and easy to make. I have leftover sauce so will be making it again for dinner tonight.
Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad you enjoyed it! Happy Holidays! xTieghan