This Italian Dressing Chicken is the best way to use up that last bit of jam left in the jar. Mix in a little Italian dressing to make an easy chicken marinade, then bake. Seriously, that’s all there is to this recipe! 

Let’s chat about bottom of the jar chicken, aka Italian dressing chicken. A simple chicken breast recipe doesn’t always turn out very flavorful and that’s kind of annoying because every adult out there knows that what we really need is quick, easy AND delicious dinner ideas, which is where this Bottom of the Jar Chicken recipe comes in.

We start with a simple breast of chicken and then just three more ingredients — apricot jam, Italian dressing, and garlic powder — to add a stitch more flavor. As everything bakes in the oven, the Italian dressing chicken marinade seeps into the chicken, making it packed full of flavor, tender and a perfect standalone dish, served over pasta or even shredded on top of salad.

baked chicken with italian dressing marinade

Baked Italian Dressing Chicken

A long time ago I heard someone mention that they had made Rachel Ray’s bottom of the jar chicken. I asked what it was and they responded that you use the last of your jam and fill the jar with salad dressing and herbs or something like that and then cook it over chicken.

I think that’s what she said, at least. Anyway, the other night I noticed that we still had a little of the pineapple apricot preserves from some turkey burgers we had made. I knew it wasn’t enough for more turkey burgers, but I actually don’t really like that jam for toast so I needed to think up something to do with it. I suddenly remembered that girl talking about using it for chicken, so I winged it!

From there we’ve been making versions of this Bottom of the Jar Chicken ever since, though 9/10 I just buy regular ol’ apricot preserves.

This Italian dressing chicken was fantastic. It was light and incredibly flavorful. You can’t tell in the picture, but there was actually plenty of sauce, which is huge for me. I’m a saucy person 😉 I loved the mild and slight tang from the dressing with the fruity preserves. It was honestly so good! As I type this I’m totally craving it!

italian dressing chicken on gray plate

Italian Dressing Chicken Ingredients 

The ingredients list for this Italian dressing chicken couldn’t be any simpler! Here’s what we use to make baked chicken with Italian dressing: 

  • Boneless chicken breasts
  • Apricot preserves
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian dressing

Can I Use Other Types of Jam in This Italian Dressing Chicken? 

For sure! It’s a fairly flexible recipe, which is why we love this baked chicken with Italian dressing. We’ve tested and tested this recipe and have found that when you’re using jam, jelly, or preserves for cooking you should stick with one of the following:

  • Apricot
  • Pineapple Apricot
  • Mango
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Apple

We’ve found that strawberry and raspberry are often too seedy and sweet. However, I’m not stopping you if you’d like to try!

Can I Use Homemade Italian Dressing?

Absolutely! We just used store-bought dressing in this recipe to make this baked chicken as simple possible. But here’s a recipe for a homemade version of Italian Dressing that we LOVE if you prefer. 

a dark plate with chicken breasts with an apricot italian dressing

How to Make Italian Dressing Chicken

This baked Italian chicken couldn’t be easier to make! Here are the steps for making the Italian chicken marinade and cooking the chicken: 

  1. Whisk together the preserves, garlic powder and Italian dressing. 
  2. Pour over the chicken in a baking dish. 
  3. Bake until done. 

How Long to Bake Chicken

You can use chicken breasts or chicken tenders to make this Italian dressing chicken, although we prefer chicken breasts. Here are the guidelines for baking chicken: 

  • Chicken breasts are generally baked at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Chicken tenderloins are baked at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or even 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Can I Make Italian Chicken in a CrockPot? 

Yes, but note that to make bottom of the jar chicken in the slow cooker or crockpot, you need to use chicken breasts or an increased number of chicken tenders or there won’t be enough meat in the slow cooker and it will burn.

Place the CrockPot on low heat and add the chicken breasts. Pour the dressing all over the chicken and place the lid on. Cook for 8 hours on low. Or if you’re using high heat only cook the chicken for 3-4 hours.

Can I Make Italian Chicken in an Instant Pot? 

Yes! The Instant Pot is a great shortcut to making this baked Italian chicken.

To make Italian dressing chicken in an Instant Pot, place a little dressing in the bottom of the pot then add the chicken and the remaining dressing. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure and close the lid, making sure the pressure gauge is set to seal.

Cook for 10-15 minutes and allow a 5 minute natural release. Remove the chicken and enjoy.

three baked italian chicken breasts on gray plate

Tips for Making Italian Dressing Chicken

I say play with the flavor of the Italian chicken marinade! Add the amounts of jam and dressing that I did, then taste test to make sure it’s to your liking.

Also note that there are actually a lot of store-bought dressings that you can use as a marinade for chicken besides Italian dressing. We mention some in our Asian Ginger Marinade for Grilled Chicken recipe. Italian dressing is a great go-to that anyone can use for chicken, but it’s especially good if you add your own fresh herbs, sun dried tomatoes or even, like in this case, jam.

If you aren’t a fan of chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs for this recipe. Chicken thighs take longer to cook, so bump up the baking time to 35-40 minutes.

Here’s the best part too. This makes a killer freezer meal. Just whisk up the marinade in a freezer bag, add chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins, seal and freeze for up to 1 month!

a dark plate with chicken breasts with an apricot italian dressing

What to Eat with Italian Dressing Chicken

This chicken dinner recipe is one of our family favorites, and some of our favorite side dishes to eat with it are…

Baked chicken with Italian dressing is delicious enough to serve for a dinner party with guests, but also easy enough to feed the fam on a busy weeknight. It is tender, juicy and full of flavor. We all need more easy delicious chicken dinner recipes!


Looking for more marinade recipes? A good marinade is one of my favorite things, so make sure you try the following:  


Or, if you’re just looking for another delicious chicken dinner recipe, go with one of the following: 

Italian Dressing Chicken

3.92 from 92 votes
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


This Italian Dressing Chicken is the best way to use up that last bit of jam left in the jar. Mix in a little Italian dressing to make an easy chicken marinade, then bake. Seriously, that's all there is to this recipe! 


  • 4 Chicken Breasts, Boneless Skinless
  • 1/3 Cup Apricot Preserves
  • Dash Garlic Powder
  • 2/3 Bottle Italian Dressing, or less


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix the salad dressing and preserves together. Then, pour over the chicken in a small baking dish and sprinkle a dash of garlic powder over the top of the chicken.
    4 Chicken Breasts, 1/3 Cup Apricot Preserves, 2/3 Bottle Italian Dressing, Dash Garlic Powder
  • Bake for 25-30 min.
  • Serve chicken and sauce over pasta!


Store left overs in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 48gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 644mgPotassium: 883mgSugar: 13gVitamin A: 122IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Mom’s Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes
Cuisine: American

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This Italian Dressing Chicken is made with store-bought dressing and that last bit of jam you've got left in a jar. Mix it together, then bake. That's it!