25 Creative Ways to Enjoy Apples This Season


View as:

closeup juicy red apple
Photo credit: stavklem/shutterstock


Though not indigenous to North America, apples have become a symbol of American cuisine, hospitality, and prosperity. Before sugar was cheap and widely available, apples were a primary source of sweetness, and considered a special delicacy. Fall is apple season, an ideal time to stock up at low prices and indulge in all things apple, from do-it-yourself cider to cheese-crusted pies and nouveau apple nachos. Check out these 25 apple recipes to make the most of apple season.

apple cheddar pie
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


This popular twist on an American favorite is quickly becoming a classic in its own right. The cheese goes right into crust to enhance the savory butteriness that envelopes the sweet-tart apple filling. It's just a small amount of cheese (6 ounces), which means you can spend a little extra on a high-quality sharp cheddar to make sure the flavor comes through.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

caramel apples
Photo credit: Derek Hatfield/shutterstock


A simple recipe for caramel apples can become a fun group activity for people of all ages. The ingredients are basic household staples, and the only special equipment needed is a candy thermometer (starting under $5) for gauging precise temperature, helping ensure smooth and luscious caramel.

Recipe: Chowhound

apple fritters
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


A cousin of the doughnut and a welcome addition to any pastry spread, apple fritters are an often overlooked seasonal treat. This takes the venerable fritter to the next level with a maple glaze, but even without it, the combination of a sweet yeast dough and apple filling infused with vanilla and butter is one of the best ways to enjoy apples.

Recipe: Half Baked Harvest

apple tart tatin
Photo credit: Claire Fraser Photography/shutterstock


A French pastry classic, this elegant tart makes an impressive statement at parties. The key here is to cut the apples evenly and layer them in an appealing way, since the ingredients themselves are rather basic.

Recipe: Food Network

apple oatmeal muffins
Photo credit: EQRoy/shutterstock


Apples and oatmeal are a naturally delicious and nutritious combination, and these muffins make a satisfying grab-and-go breakfast or anytime snack — not to mention an easily adaptable one that yields delicious muffins with any type of flour or milk, so there's no need to buy extra ingredients if you have a similar substitution.

Recipe: Cookie + Kate

apple butter
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


A luscious apple butter with warm spices, a deep color, and concentrated flavor is one of the easiest things to make with apples — owing to the use of a slow cooker. This inexpensive and delicious condiment has a ton of uses, and can be canned in decorative jars to make homemade holiday gifts.

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

apple turnovers
Photo credit: Marie C Fields/shutterstock


Turnovers are essentially hand pies, tasty single-serving treats that are easy to pack in a lunch or grab on the go. Using store-bought puff pastry reduces prep time. Just add apples, spices, and butter, and bake.

Recipe: Betty Crocker

apple cream cheese coffee cake
Photo credit: Charles Brutlag/shutterstock


Tangy and sweet, this breakfast and snack bread is a welcome twist on classic coffee cake and apple cake. It's a rich and indulgent crowd-pleaser, and an easy choice when craving something both sweet and savory.

Recipe: Allrecipes

apple cinnamon rolls
Photo credit: Agnes Kantaruk/shutterstock


Adding apples makes ooey-gooey homemade cinnamon rolls an even more special treat. The basic yeast dough is simple but does take a few hours to come together. The apples add a bit of fiber and nutrients to each serving.

Recipe: Midwest Living

apple nachos
Photo credit: Elena Shashkina/shutterstock


The trend of dressing up apple slices with sweet and savory toppings and serving them nacho-style can be taken in virtually any direction. A chocolate-and-peanut-butter-topped version is particularly appealing for its simplicity, classic flavor combination, and visual appeal, but options are limited only by imagination.

Recipe: Trial and Eater

apple chips
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Crunchy and sweet, baked apple chips can be enjoyed solo or added to trail mix and granola for a pop of natural sweetness. The key to getting them crisp is to slice them very thinly and evenly, making use of a mandoline slicer (starting around $10) a good idea.

Recipe: Sally's Baking Addiction

apple pie smoothie
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/shutterstock


For those who enjoy a regular morning smoothie or occasional afternoon refreshment, an apple-pie smoothie is a must-try this season. Bursting with all the flavor of apple pie without the fattening butter and crust, this guilt-free indulgence makes a nutritional breakfast or decadent dessert.

Recipe: Family Fresh Meals

apple roasted chicken
Photo credit: annata78/shutterstock


Infusing a simple roasted chicken with apples and herbs lends seasonal flair to a household staple. Those who prefer less sweetness in a savory main dish can opt to use tart apples and dry hard apple cider.

Recipe: Chef Michael Smith

apple quesadilla
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/shutterstock


Apple quesadillas come in all flavors, from savory barbecue chicken and smoked cheese to sweet cinnamon and cream cheese versions. A gouda and apple version caters to those looking for a simple way to add apples to quesadillas. To dream up other creations, think of classic grilled cheese combinations to fill tortillas.

Recipe: Allrecipes

apples with brussels sprouts
Photo credit: cjorgens/shutterstock


Brussels sprouts have a natural sweetness that is drawn out when caramelized by roasting or sautéing, and apples — an easy addition to roasted or sautéed Brussels sprouts — help to draw that out while highlighting also earthy flavors. Crumbled bacon adds even more flavor.

Recipe: Southern Living

roasted apple bread
Photo credit: pearl7/shutterstock


A slightly unconventional but refreshing departure from the same old apple-flavored baked goods, this is ideal for those who don't have much of a sweet tooth. The process is straightforward but does take a while, which makes this a project for a leisurely weekend at home.

Recipe: The Kitchen Prep

apple squash soup
Photo credit: Bochkarev Photography/shutterstock


Adding apples to a classic squash soup enhances the sweetness and tartness, adding dimension and flavor as well as volume and nutrition. Spices typically used in squash soup, such as cumin and ginger, complement apples too, so it's easy to simply add apples to a favorite squash soup recipe.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

apples with pork chops
Photo credit: Josie Grant/shutterstock


Pork and apples have been a favorite combination throughout Europe and the Americas for centuries, if not longer. A simple one-dish meal is baked in the oven to tenderize the meat and the apples while combining flavors into a flavorful gravy that is soaked up by the onions. Use hearty apples such as Mutsu or Honeycrisp so the slices retain shape while cooking.

Recipe: Cooking Light

apple quinoa salad
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock


Quinoa can be enjoyed year-round as a base for salads with the addition of fresh seasonal ingredients. An apple quinoa salad is full of freshness and crunch. Toss with a curry dressing for added heat during chilly weather, although any basic dressing works.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

apple arugula salad
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Even those who aren't wild about the addition of sweet fruits to savory dishes can get on board with apples and arugula tossed with a mustardy vinaigrette. Adding nuts and cheese raises the bar, but neither is necessary.

Recipe: Baker by Nature

apple slaw
Photo credit: Elena M. Tarasova/shutterstock


An apple and cabbage slaw takes advantage of the delicious flavor and crispness of uncooked apples, and makes a healthy and filling snack or condiment alongside heavy barbecued meats and roasts. Consider using a mandoline or food processor (starting around $15) to make chopping quick and uniform.

Recipe: Picture the Recipe

honeycrisp apple with cheese on cutting board
Photo credit: photogal/shutterstock


Flatbread is a trendy alternative to crackers for serving enticing combinations of food to guests. Scattered over any kind of flatbread, apples and goat cheese make a tangy, sweet, and crisp dish. Serve it as a seasonal appetizer for a crowd or an elegant lunch. Other soft cheeses, such as ricotta or burrata, can be substituted for goat cheese.

Recipe: A Saucy Kitchen

apple panini
Photo credit: sarsmis/shutterstock


Ham and cheese is a popular combination that seemingly can't be improved — except perhaps with the addition of caramelized apples. Their sweet earthiness bolsters the natural savory and salty flavors.

Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis

apple sausage
Photo credit: Oleksandra Naumenko/shutterstock


Making this popular breakfast meat is a simple process with simple ingredients, including fresh local apples, and results in a cheaper and more delicious apple sausage than store-bought. Ground turkey can easily be subsituted for the recommended ground chicken.

Recipe: EatingWell

apple cider
Photo credit: pilipphoto/shutterstock


A cool-weather treat, apple cider can be expensive when bought from a market. Making it at home is cheap and easy. The only special equipment needed: jars and pots to sanitize, which are basic canning supplies (available on Amazon) that can be reused again and again.

Recipe: PickYourOwn.org

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.