45 Festive, Flavorful Apple Recipes to Make This Fall

An apple galette on a rustic table
Photo: Anna Williams

Who says you can't eat an apple for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Biting into one out of hand is easy, yes, but let's shake things up this fall and celebrate apple season by cooking and baking with them instead. From savory salads, soups, and flatbreads to sweet apple pies, turnovers, tarts, and more, apples make a delicious addition to every dish.

There are over 750 varieties of apples in the world, and more than 100 types of apples that exist in the United States alone. So when cooking and baking with apples, make sure to choose your varieties carefully: tart Granny Smiths and sweet Cortlands are not always interchangeable.

Here, we have 45 delicious, real simple fall recipes with apples you'll love eating once that chill sets in—and all year long.

01 of 45

Caramelized Onion Tarts With Apples

Caramelized Onion Tarts With Apples
Con Poulos

These puff pastry bites combine tart apples with caramelized onions for a unique fall flavor that's sure to please. Bake a few tarts for a dinner-party appetizer or a book club snack—or make one for a light meal served alongside a kale or perfectly fall mixed green salad.

02 of 45

Honey-Apple Galette With Pistachio Sugar

honey-apple-galette-recipe-1119foo
Anna Williams

Not only is this gorgeous galette a great way to put some Granny Smith apples to good use, it's also a terrific way to flex your baking skills. This pastry gets a clever upgrade from normal crust courtesy of some pistachio sugar. While it sounds fancy, all you need to do is blitz pistachios with sugar and a pinch of salt until ground, and sprinkle it all over the dough—both inside for crisp texture and outside for a beautiful presentation. We promise it's worth it!

03 of 45

Sheet Pan Pork With Fennel and Apples

Sheet Pan Pork With Fennel and Apples
Greg DuPree

To ensure a golden-brown crust on this pork, you'll start by roasting everything, and then crank it up to broil to seal the glaze in. Honeycrisp apples work well in this recipe because they hold their shape when baked. If you can't find them at your market, Jonagold or Pink Lady apples will work well too.

04 of 45

Spiced Apple Kombucha

Spiced Apple Kombucha Cocktail
Stephen DeVries

Wow your guests with this cocktail containing kombucha, spiced rum, and classic winter spices. Make it a few days ahead of your event to let the flavors really come together. Then, serve it up in a highball glass with ice and an apple to garnish.

05 of 45

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Mikkel Vang

Sweet Italian sausage mingles with chopped tart apples and sage in this lovely autumn dish. We use a cubed baguette for a toasted crouton feel, but you can play around with the base: try using crumbled-up cornbread, cubed challah, or brioche instead.

06 of 45

Spinach, Apple, and Walnut Salad

Spinach, Apple, and Walnut Salad
Maura McEvoy

This simple salad is great for nights when you need an appetizer in a pinch. It's made with several ingredients you likely have on hand already, and comes together in just 10 minutes. We especially love how the sweet Golden Delicious apple chunks taste alongside some tangy, crumbled goat cheese.

07 of 45

Boozy Apple Cider Slushie

Hard Cider Slush
J Muckle; Styling: Rebekah Peppler

Want to know how to win at any fall or winter holiday? Make boozy apple cider slushies. These delightful frozen cocktails taste like nothing you've ever had before. If you want to get super-fancy, garnish each drink with an apple slice and cinnamon stick. Your friends will be begging you to make these all year round.

08 of 45

Maple Baked Apples

Maple Baked Apples
Sang An

Baked apples are one of the easiest desserts to make, but that doesn't mean they aren't delicious. Here, easy baked apples are topped with maple syrup, walnuts, and golden raisins. If you've got some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, go ahead and serve it alongside the finished treat.

09 of 45

Sheet Pan Apple Crisp

October 2020 Recipes: Sheet Pan Apple Crisp
Caitlin Bensel

For a scrumptious apple dessert that requires minimal cleanup, try this sheet pan treat that's made with Gala apples, rolled oats, and plenty of warm spices. The genius of using a sheet pan here is that the ratio of apples to crisp is essentially 50-50, which yields some delicious results. Pro tip: this crisp recipe also works with other hearty fruits, such as pears, peaches, or plums.

10 of 45

Apple Coffee Cake Twist With Giant Crumbs

Apple Coffee Cake Twist With Giant Crumbs
Brie Passano

The sweet-and-spicy cinnamon crumb topping is unquestionably the best part of any coffee cake. So naturally, we made it the star of this dessert. Here, the big, buttery crumbs sit atop an elegant crescent roll twist, which is more striking to serve (and simpler to bake) than a traditional coffee cake. Add apples to the mix, and you've got pastry perfection.

11 of 45

Celery and Apple Salad With Toasted Buckwheat

Celery and Apple Salad With Toasted Buckwheat
Alison Miksch

Celery, apple, and toasted buckwheat deliver a variety of textures that make this healthy lunch idea extremely satisfying. Toasted buckwheat is a fun and nutritious add-on that fits into a gluten-free diet. Bonus: this recipe won't wilt like other salads by the time the clock hits lunchtime.

12 of 45

Catfish With Apple and Cabbage Slaw

Catfish With Farro, Apple, and Cabbage Slaw
Aya Brackett

Bold cayenne pepper-spiced catfish is served alongside sweet and tangy cabbage slaw in this recipe, for an easy, balanced meal. The colorful slaw includes hearty farro, red cabbage, apple slices, cilantro, and some apple cider vinegar. While you can use just about any apple variety here, we recommend a Gala or Pink Lady.

13 of 45

Apple-Cheddar Quesadillas

Apple Cheddar Quesadillas
Antonis Achilleos

Apples in a quesadilla? Just trust us. Here, Honeycrisp apple slices mingle with sharp Cheddar cheese and a tangy honey mustard sauce to add a pop of flavor to this sweet and savory 25-minute meal. If you can't find Honeycrisp apples, look for Gala, Braeburn, or the Pink Lady variety instead.

14 of 45

Mustardy Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple

Mustardy Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple
Roland Bello

Packed with protein and fiber, this hearty main course salad is a nutritional powerhouse. Combine the kale, roasted sweet potato, chopped apple, and almonds in a large bowl and drizzle with a tangy mustard vinaigrette. Once dressed, massage the kale with clean hands to make the salad more palatable.

15 of 45

Seared Salmon with Israeli Couscous

Seared salmon with Israeli couscous
Jennifer Causey

There are plenty of sides that go great with a piece of salmon, but we're partial to this Israeli couscous salad. It's made with whole-wheat Israeli couscous, chopped apple pieces, parsley, baby arugula, red onion, and toasted pine nuts, and boasts a refreshing yet simple mustard and lemon zest dressing.

16 of 45

Potato Pierogi With Sautéed Cabbage and Apples

Potato Pierogi With Sauteed Cabbage and Apples
Kana Okada

Turn frozen potato pierogi into a meal by serving with a simple side of apples, cabbage, and onions.

17 of 45

Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake

We like this crockpot spice cake dusted with a light coating of powdered sugar, but it would be equally delicious drizzled with caramel sauce.
Victor Protasio

This slow cooker cake takes nearly five hours to come together, but only requires 30 minutes of hands-on work, as the appliance does the majority of the heavy lifting. The dessert, which is studded with apple bits, is dusted with a light coating of powdered sugar, but it would be equally delicious drizzled with caramel sauce.

18 of 45

Parm-Crusted Grilled Cheese

Parm Grilled Cheese
Jennifer Causey

If you're a grilled cheese fan, you need to give this Parmigiano-Reggiano-crusted version a whirl. Not only does the sandwich boast a salty, crunchy exterior that's several notches above your standard fare, but it's filled with Gruyère cheese, Gala apple slices, and a slather of sharp Dijon mustard. While the cheese and apple pieces juxtapose each other nicely, the mustard works to balance the two.

19 of 45

Dehydrated Apple Slices

How to dehydrate apples - dehydrating apples guide
Getty Images

Sure, you can bite into a perfectly crisp apple if you're on the hunt for a satisfying snack, but if you're in the mood for something a bit different, try dehydrating your apple slices instead. The simple process yields crispy apple pieces that are great as a solo snack, in granola, or on top of a comforting bowl of oatmeal.

20 of 45

Microwave Baked Apples

Four microwaved apples in a white serving dish.
Getty Images

Midnight snack, anyone? These baked apples are about as easy to make as it gets, as the microwave does the most of the work. Choose from fillings and toppings of your choice, such as cranberries, currants, granola, ice cream, and more.

21 of 45

Apple Cinnamon-Spiced Cocktail

Apple cider cocktails - Apple Cinnamon-Spiced Cocktail
a_namenko

Once fall rolls around, trade in your rosé and canned cocktails for a delicious, apple-flavored libation. This cocktail calls for Aperol, fresh lemon juice, apple cider, and vodka, and can be garnished with apropos items such as apple slices or cinnamon sticks.

22 of 45

Kale-Apple Smoothie

Kale-Apple Smoothie
Grant Cornett

Eat your greens and keep the doctor away with this healthy smoothie recipe. It's great if you're looking for a post-workout recovery drink or something to sip on on the way to work. If you're really pressed for time, you can blend it the night before, freeze it, and let it thaw for sipping later.

23 of 45

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup With Cheese and Walnuts

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup With Cheese and Walnuts
William Brinson

The lusciousness of a sweet potato, combined with tender onions, helps give this easy soup a delicious creaminess without a speck of cream. Nutmeg brings out the sweetness of the cooked sweet potato and apple, and a side of tangy blue cheese, walnuts and crisp apples is the perfect pair for this classic fall meal.

24 of 45

The Best Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Apple Pie
RealSimple.com

While we love an impressive dessert, sometimes there's nothing better than a slice of warm apple pie. This recipe for an old-fashioned take on the American classic calls for about eight cups of thinly sliced apples, and is best served a la mode. But, if you're in the mood for a savory twist, sprinkle a half cup of grated Cheddar cheese over the top crust about 20 minutes before you remove the pie from the oven.

25 of 45

Spinach Smoothie With Avocado and Apple

Spinach Smoothie With Avocado and Apple
Christopher Baker

Does it get much healthier than this smoothie? The creamy concoction packs just four ingredients: fiber-filled apples, avocado, kale, and fresh apple juice. Not a fan of kale? Swap in spinach.

26 of 45

Roast Chicken, Apples, and Leeks

Roasted Chicken, Apples, and Leeks
Miha Matei

Rosemary adds an earthy flavor to this no-fuss chicken dish.

27 of 45

Pork With Buttered Apples

Pork buttered apples
Grant Cornett

There's just something about the combination of sweet apples and pork that really works. Here, you'll cook pork tenderloin and serve it alongside a mixture of buttered apples and thyme. While tenderloin is typically the leanest cut of pork, the buttered apple accompaniment adds a richness to this meal that you won't be able to resist.

28 of 45

Pork With Sautéed Granny Smith Apples

Pork With Sautéed Granny Smith Apples
Antonis Achilleos

Cook tart apples until tender and golden-brown and pair with crisp cumin-dusted pork cutlets.

29 of 45

Homemade Hot Apple Cider

apple-cider-recipe
chas53/Getty Images

Sure, you can stock up on apple cider at your local farmers market or grocery store, or you could make the autumnal drink all by yourself. Though whipping up some homemade cider might sound intimidating, it only requires about 20 minutes of hands-on prep and makes use of several fall pantry staples.

30 of 45

Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
Ken Kochey

Warm up with this healthy vegetarian soup, which gets its rich consistency from pureed sweet potatoes.

31 of 45

Good Morning Green Smoothie

Good Morning Green Smoothie
Caitlin Bensel

Tossing some apple slices into a smoothie is a great way to add some subtle sweetness to the drink. In this easy recipe, a roughly chopped Granny Smith apple balances out some soy milk, fresh spinach, a Persian cucumber and frozen pineapple chunks.

32 of 45

Sage and Apple Stuffing

Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Mikkel Vang

When added to stuffing, apples provide a touch of sweetness and moisture that pairs perfectly with turkey, which can often be a touch dry. Here, rustic bread, some veggies, and chicken broth are paired with butter-crisped sage leaves tucked into each bite, and grated apple. For this recipe, we prefer a Fuji or Pink Lady apple.

33 of 45

Ginger-Apple Chutney

Ginger-Apple Chutney
Max Kelly

This homemade chutney boasts earthy spices, like cumin and fennel seeds, that add depth to the sweet-tart apples. You'll also find fresh ginger, which adds bright heat, and red onion, which has savory appeal. If you like spice, you can even add a red serrano chili to the mixture. Enjoy this condiment with roast chicken, pork chops, or whatever else you desire.

34 of 45

Big Batch Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
Greg DuPree

Start your morning off with this baked oatmeal that feeds a crowd. Inside you'll find oats stirred together with coconut flakes, sweet-tart apples, and raisins, which allows them to soak up all that extra flavor. Furthermore, the addition of eggs in the batter make this breakfast deliciously pudding-like.

35 of 45

Ravioli With Apples and Walnuts

Ravioli With Apples and Walnuts
Jose Picayo

Add crunch to your favorite store-bought ravioli with chopped apples and walnuts.

36 of 45

Slow Cooker Apple-and-Pear Sauce

Slow Cooker Apple-and-Pear Sauce
Greg DuPree

Apple and pear sauce isn't exactly something you can find at the grocery store, which is why we developed a recipe so you can make it at home using a slow cooker. Here, apples and pears cook together with some water, pure maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, the insides of a vanilla bean, and a cinnamon stick. The result is a sweet sauce that's good on its own or served alongside poultry or pork.

37 of 45

Rustic Apple Tart

Rustic Apple Tart
David Prince

For an apple dessert that requires just 5 minutes of hands-on work, give this rustic tart a try. It's made with refrigerated pie crust and frozen cinnamon apples, which is why it's so easy to throw together.

38 of 45

Cast Iron Mummy Pie

Mummy Pie
RealSimple.com

For a Halloween treat that's slightly spooky but still delicious, give this creepy Mummy Pie a whirl. While the exterior is made with pie dough arranged to look like a mummified head, the sweet, slightly tart red filling features frozen raspberries and three pounds of apples. We like the Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Golden Delicious variety.

39 of 45

Apple Cake With Caramel Glaze

Apple Cake With Caramel Glaze
Amy Neunsinger

Pour a sticky caramel sauce over the spiced apple cake and let it soak in to add extra moisture and another layer of flavor.

40 of 45

Brown Butter & Vanilla Pear Pie

Brown Butter & Vanilla Pear Pie
Johnny Miller

While pears are the star of this pie, it's also filled with chopped apples and plenty of pure vanilla extract. What really sets this dessert apart, however, is the rich brown butter the fruit filling is tossed in. It adds depth of flavor to the dessert and gives it a mild nutty taste you'll love.

41 of 45

Apple Streusel Dump Cake

Apple Streusel Dump Cake
Caitlin Bensel

Dump cakes might not look like much, but we promise they deliver when it comes to taste. This one is made with apples, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice for balance, just like traditional pie filling. The fruit mixture is then covered with a crispy topping that includes rolled oats, cinnamon, and ginger. The bonus streusel layer is made up of big, buttery, crunchy crumbs.

42 of 45

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

Cranberry-Apple Crisp
Greg DuPree

This dessert is just as quick and easy as apple crisp, but twice as interesting thanks to the inclusion of cranberries. The bright red bits not only add more complex flavors, but also prevent this treat from becoming overly sweet. Additionally, roasted, salted macadamia nuts and rolled oats make for an extra-crispy streusel topping you won't want to miss. Pair this dessert with big scoops of vanilla ice cream and you're good to go.

43 of 45

One-Tray Maple Pork Chops

October 2020 Recipes: One-Tray Maple Pork Chops
Caitlin Bensel

What's better than a lavish pork chop dinner? A pork chop dinner that can be made in one baking sheet and is on the table in less than 30 minutes. This balanced meal includes maple-mustard glazed chops and savory-sweet parsnips, fennel, and apples, which play off the juicy meat.

44 of 45

Bourbon-Cranberry Compote

Bourbon-Cranberry Compote
Gentl & Hyers

This compote recipe is foolproof and fuss-free, plus you can make it ahead of time (which is a blessing, especially in busy holiday seasons). You'll simply heat fresh or frozen cranberries and sugar with apple juice and bourbon in a saucepan until it thickens up nicely. Let the compote cool, and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator until you're ready for the feast.

45 of 45

Carrot-Apple Slaw

October 2020 Recipes: Carrot-Apple Slaw
Antonis Achilleos

Need an easy BBQ side? Opt for this colorful and healthy slaw, which requires just five minutes of hands-on work. It pairs well with just about any cookout staple, but is especially delicious alongside grilled sausages, seared steak, or pulled pork sandwiches.

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