~ When autumn rolls around, everyone’s thoughts turn to apple everything! And here at THK, we’ve gotcha covered! From homemade applesauce to stunning salads and nutritious snacks, these are our favorite easy, healthy apple recipes. And while we don’t have a gooey, sugary apple pie on the list, rest assured – we’ve got lots of nutritious, apple pie-inspired twists for you, too! Try some of these recipes after your fall apple-picking adventure, and I just bet you’ll find favorites you’ll keep making all year through! ~
I’m writing this on one of the very first days of September, as our Ohio weather is already turning just a little cooler. Sitting here with my screen door open, I can hear the soft rustle of a mild breeze through the leaves outside – the first whisperings of fall.
But I feel my grip on hot August days slipping, and I can’t help but sense the shift of seasons. And somehow – in my food-obsessed brain – that automatically equates to the juicy, crispness of perfect fall apples. Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths, and my very favorite of all – Honeycrisps!
And so, I thought today might be just the right day to bring a little apple inspiration your way. In case you’re starting to plan for family apple-picking trips. Or eagerly waiting for those fleeting apple varieties you can only find for a few weeks each autumn.
These easy, healthy apple recipes will put those orchard-fresh fall treasures to perfect use!
Even better, though? Many of these recipes translate easily into nearly any season, all year long. Which is great since you can typically snag terrific apples at the market any time of year – not just during the apple-picking bonanza of autumn!
Easy, Healthy Apple Recipes … All Year ‘Round!
That Chicken Salad with Grapes and Apples? Oh my – it’s so great for springtime, when you’re craving something light and fresh, but can’t find good berries or peaches or watermelon yet. And it’s a welcome addition to picnics and summertime potlucks. A delicious change from traditional, heavy-handed, mayo-loaded chicken salad recipes!
Mmmmmm … and that easy-peasy overnight oats recipe? Sure, it’s got apples and cranberries and cinnamon goin’ on. Fall-ish, for sure. But honestly, you’ll love waking up to a cool and refreshing ready-to-eat breakfast like that in the summertime, too. I mean, we originally published that recipe in the dog days of early August for good reason!
So yes – definitely make some of these apple recipes right now – this fall. But don’t forget to dust off your favorites next spring or even next summer. With easy apple recipes like these, you’ll never want the apple-y fun to end!
Which Apples Are Best for These Recipes?
With so many apple varieties to choose from, including an increasing number of heirloom and specialty varieties, it can be confusing which are best for recipes.
The unsatisfying answer is that it depends. Some apples are better for cooking or baking, while others are at their best raw.
In our recipes here at THK, you’ll find that we generally try to offer some suggestions for which varieties to use, or which apple characteristics to look for when choosing. Some things to consider are:
How quickly the variety browns once cut and exposed to air (which can be important in recipes like our Apple Monsters or Apple Mummies)
How quickly the variety breaks down during cooking (which can greatly impact the final texture of a recipe, especially for something like applesauce)
And how sweet or tart the variety is (which is somewhat a matter of personal preference)
To dive into greater detail and figure out the best application for whatever apples you happen to have on hand, check out these helpful descriptions of different apple varieties, or peek at this super-handy chart to learn when your favorite varieties ripen and how to use them in your cooking.
Most important of all, though? Just enjoy those apples! So yummy, and so nutritious!
Eat them straight-up, right out of your orchard basket. Or turn them into one of these …
Our Best Easy, Healthy Apple Recipes
If you've got apples, we've got ideas for ya! Make one of our absolute favorite, tried-and-true recipes ... the very best easy, healthy apple recipes around! We love 'em, and we know you and your family will, too!
Absolutely bursting with scrumptious flavors and satisfying textures (and a secret ingredient that makes allllll the difference)! This salad is loaded with juicy grapes, crisp apples and crunchy pecans, then topped off with a you’d-never-guess-it’s-healthy Greek yogurt dressing. Ready in under 30 minutes and terrific for meal prep! Try this for weekday lunches and casual picnics ... or dress it up for a bridal shower or ladies’ lunch. It’s wonderfully versatile, and we’ve got lots of tips and serving ideas, too! You can even serve it as an appetizer!
Tired of the same-old, same-old PB&J? Change up that boring lunch routine with these super-popular wraps! They're an addicting combination of sweet, crunchy, chewy and creamy ingredients that your whole family will love. Plus, they're ready in just minutes – great for on-the-go meals and make-ahead lunches. They'll keep you powered up for hours with nutrient-rich fruits, whole grains and lots of protein!
These cute Apple Mummies are a really easy, healthy Halloween treat! So much fun ... but so nutritious, too! Definitely a fruit snack you can feel terrific serving at Halloween parties. Plus, these look just spook-tacular on fruit trays, and are quick and easy enough to surprise the kiddos as an after-school treat! No doubt – your little ghosties will gobble them up!
Most homemade applesauce recipes call for LOTS of added sugar, so you'll be amazed when you peek at ours! This easy applesauce recipe uses only a little added sugar, relying instead on nutritious dates to stealthily add plenty of deep, rich, "carmamel-y" sweetness. A dash of cinnamon and vanilla add to the delicious fall flavors – so comforting, and the ideal way to use up your apple-picking bounty!
Juicy, healthy apples hang out with superfood all-stars like spinach and almonds in this fantastic salad. It's a gorgeous combination of creamy-crunchy-smoky-sweet-tangy deliciousness. Even better? You only need a few simple ingredients and about 10 minutes to make it (plus we've got make-ahead steps!). An easy apple recipe for busy weeknight dinners, but it also effortlessly dresses up for entertaining!
Healthy apple pie?? For breakfast?!?! Yep, yep, yep! Ok, so it's not exactly apple pie, but this quick and easy oatmeal recipe has the delicious, comforting flavors of All-American apple pie … in a healthy, energizing breakfast! It’s a fall family favorite at our house – try it for a fast weekday morning breakfast, or enjoy it for leisurely weekends or anytime you’re entertaining overnight guests (hint: it's totally perfect for Thanksgiving weekend)!
These adorably silly monster faces are a slam dunk for Halloween class parties or monster-themed birthday parties, since they're made with allergy-friendly, nut-free butter. But, they're so darn cute, your kids will happily eat them up, any time of year! (And you'll be thrilled when they beg for such a nutritious snack!) Bonus: they're a fun "craft project" for rainy days or for bigger kids to make on their own!
These healthy apple muffins don't taste healthy at all, especially with that decadently crunchy cobbler topping! But we've slashed the fat and worked in lots of nutritious substitutions. Plus, the ingredient list showcases apples in 3 ways: apple sauce, apple juice (or cider), and even 3 whole cups of shredded apples! A terrific recipe to celebrate apple season, and you can even preserve a little of that autumn bounty to savor later, since these muffins freeze great, too!
These quick snacks are like no-bake apple pie cheesecakes, rolled up into deliciously portable little pinwheels. Featuring crisp, sweet-tart apples, and ready in less than 10 minutes! Tuck these into lunch boxes or serve 'em as grab-and-go snacks to keep your family fueled up for busy days. They'll disappear in a flash (so you might want to pick extra apples at the orchard, for sure)!
Here's an apple-filled recipe for the holiday season – one of our family's beloved recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's super-duper quick to make (yes – literally 5 minutes!), and can even be made ahead. But in just those few minutes you get lots of wonderful, sweet-tart flavors and great texture! It just might be the headliner on your holiday table this year – try it and see why we love it so much!
No time to make a healthy breakfast in the morning? No problem! This deliciously fast, hearty breakfast takes just 10 minutes to prep ... and is ready when you are! Lots of protein from creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy nuts, plus great nutrition from heart-healthy oats, sweet cranberries, and juicy apples. Easy, healthy apple recipes just don't get much easier or healthier than this one!
Ok, ok ... so this isn't a recipe that you make WITH apples. But it's definitely a recipe you make FOR apples! This rich and silky dip is the perfect way to enjoy apples as a snack, or even dessert. Whip it up any time you have extra apples to eat and need a quick and easy recipe to use them up fast (because trust me ... with this dip, apples disappear in no time)!
Feeling inspired yet? I know I sure am!
But you know what would make fall’s apple season even better? Yep …
Plan an Apple Picking Adventure!
You know we wouldn’t tempt you with all these super-fun, healthy and easy apple recipes, without giving you some hints on where to find some gorgeous apples!
If you wanna make those apples even more fun, try turning them into a memorable family field trip … before you head to the kitchen!