Whether you spend a day apple picking in the orchards or just can’t resist the bags of apples at your local farmer’s market, it’s easy to get overrun in apples at this time of year. And after making pie, crumble, crisp, and even trying all these twists on apple pie, which are all delicious in their own right, you might want to consider how apples might come to the rescue at dinner time as well.
Apples for dinner? Yes, and we’re not just talking as applesauce next to pork chops. We’ve found a dozen easy, yummy, and unique savory apple dinner recipes that are perfect for this season of Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Empire, Fuji, and McIntosh. . .
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Top photos: Sausage and Apple Dinner from Jo Cooks and Harvest Chicken and Apple Skillet dinner from Well Plated
Apple and cheese quesadilla
I will forever be indebted to the plain cheese quesadilla for saving dinner on many busy weeknights, but this jazzed up Honey Ham, Gouda and Apple Quesadilla recipe from Simple Seasonal is not much more work at all. Great way to use up Sunday ham leftovers though any honey ham slices will do; this quesadilla gets its surprising crunch from tart, thinly sliced apples.
Harvest chicken-and-apple skillet dinner
This one-dish Harvest Chicken and Apple Skillet dinner from Well Plated is a gorgeous mix of colors paired with a delicious mix of flavors. Get your little sous chefs to help do the peeling and chopping, and it’ll be on plates ever quicker. Don’t like brussels sprouts? One commenter substituted them with broccoli, and it was a hit.
Related: Cool Mom Eats Apple Guide: The best apples for baking and cooking.
Lydia’s spaghetti with tomato apple sauce
Adapted from Lidia’s Favorite Recipes, this Tomato Apple Sauce recipe at Cooking Chat pairs high-quality canned tomatoes with tart, shredded apples. Rather than tasting like saucy apples, the apples lend a certain je ne said quoi to a traditional dish.
Sweet potato and apple soup
Only four ingredients (one less than our 5-ingredient soup roundup!), this Sweet Potato and Apple Soup from Trial and Eater is ideal for these cooler fall evenings. With just a few minutes to prep ingredients, you’ll have time to help the kids with homework while the veggies roast for this soup. I’d pair this with good, crusty bread (maybe even homemade)!
Apple, sausage, and goat cheese frittata
This gorgeous Sausage, Apple, and Goat Cheese Frittata from The Defined Dish may sound brunch-y, but would make an excellent dinner paired with a simple salad. Love that you’ll make it all in just one skillet (and–ho boy–do I love this STRAUB cast iron pan in the photos) and that it could easily be made vegetarian with meat-free breakfast sausage.
Hot dogs with cheese and apples
I’ve got to admit, I’ve never thought about putting apples on hot dogs, but after seeing this recipe for Hot Dogs with Cheddar and Sautéed Apples from Food and Wine, I may reconsider. I’d have mine with a good fall beer; the kids can have apple juice.
Sheet pan sausage and apple dinner
We are big fans of sheet pan dinners here and this highly tweak-able Sausage and Apple Dinner from Jo Cooks looks like another winner. Follow her recipe to a T or use up the veggies you have, but we’ll definitely add her sweet honey drizzle that will go so well with the salty sausage. Other than chopping a few vegetables, almost all the “work” happens while the dish hangs out in the oven cooking.
BBQ tofu sliders with apple slaw
We are frequent eaters of tofu (and shared a couple of our favorite tofu recipes recently), so I’m excited to try these yummy little BBQ Tofu Sliders with Apple Slaw from Delish Knowledge. Roasting the tofu before covering in BBQ sauce gets it nice and crispy, and the apple-and-cabbage slaw comes together so quickly while the tofu is in the oven. Add some sweet potato fries on the side, and dinner is served!
Chicken and apple salad
This Chicken Salad with Apples and Cranberries recipe from The Spruce Eats makes not only a delicious and light dinner, but also great leftovers for lunch the next day. Not sure your kids will like dried cranberries or want to switch out the spices? No worries–there are substitutions in the recipe.
Related: 5 weeknight dinners that make great lunches the next day | Meal Plan Ideas #34
A dish called Poulet à la Normande, or Chicken Normandy, does not sound like something you can whip up any old Thursday, but this recipe from Mon Petit Four will help you get it on the table in under 30 minutes. Braised chicken is added to apples, apple brandy, apple cider, and cream for a sop-up-the-sauce-with-bread kind of meal. And, yes, this recipe does call for 2 TBS of brandy to the sauce, but the alcohol will boil off while cooking.
Fish tacos with apple slaw
Even Taco Tuesday can get in on the apple action with The Recipe Critic’s Smoky Paprika Fish Tacos with Apple Slaw. Store-bought shredded cabbage makes it even less work to whip up this dinner that’s packed with flavor and textures. You can easily lighten up on the fish seasonings for kids who like plainer flavors or even try this with grilled chicken for a change.
One-pan pork chops with apples and onions
Three cheers for another one-pan meal! We joked about the standard pork-chops-and-applesauce combo at the start of this post, but this recipe for Pork Chops and Apples by The Chunky Chef is no joke. I mean, look at that beautiful meal! And her recipe will have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes which is exactly what we need on a busy weeknight–though this looks so great, no one is going to complain if you put it out for Sunday dinner either.