Apple picking sits firmly amongst changing leaves, dropping temperatures, and shorter days when it comes to a list of things we most associate with fall. There’s nothing quite like hopping in a hay-lined tractor to ride along a bumpy dirt road and spend time with friends and family harvesting the sweetest, most perfectly ripened apples you can find. Supermarket apples just don’t stand up.
But once you return from this annual pilgrimage to your local apple farm, what should you do with your bounty? Don’t get overwhelmed with decision fatigue (because we all know how many apple recipes are out there)—we put together an abbreviated list of the absolute best recipes that should be at the top of your list when you come home with a bushel of apples. From crisp salads to soothing soups to decadent desserts, these healthy apple recipes will help you take advantage of fall’s favorite fruit. (Bonus—they’re all secretly healthy!) Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
For a waistline-friendly take on everyone’s favorite apple dessert, we forgo the pastry crust for a crunchy topping of oats, chopped almonds, and brown sugar. Not only does it cut down on calories, but it also jazzes up this delicious dessert with a flavorful and fun textural counter to soft, baked apples.
Get our recipe for Apple Pie.
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Oatmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples
Apple cinnamon instant oats are one of the most popular oatmeal flavors out there, but we can all agree that they can be seriously lacking in flavor. Toss the boxed stuff and turn your favorite oatmeal flavor into fiber-rich pancakes with a sweet and syrupy topping of warmed apples.
Get our recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples.
If you don’t have time (or patience) to put together dough for an apple pie, you can still get the warming flavors of this favorite apple dessert by following this apple crumble recipe. Oats and almonds come together to top soft cooked apples with a welcoming crunch.
Get our recipe for an Apple Crumble.
Spinach Salad Topped With Goat Cheese, Apples, and a Warm Bacon Dressing
Enjoy all that apples have to offer by serving them at their best: simply sliced, served with pecans and goat cheese and dressed with an unctuous bacon vinaigette.
Get our recipe for Spinach Salad Topped With Goat Cheese, Apples, and a Warm Bacon Dressing.
Apple Balsamic Flatbread
Take pizza night to new heights by breaking out a few of those apples you just picked. Slice ’em up and add them to a flatbread (store-bought is great here if you want to get dinner on the table quicker) with onions, cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic.
Get our recipe for an Apple Balsamic Flatbread.
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is another classic fall food, but why is this on our list of go-to apple recipes? Simple: the addition of apple brings a much-needed brightness and sweetness that really makes the squash sing.
Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.
Forget peanut butter and jelly—how about peanut butter and apple? This breakfast toast pairs apple slices and peanut butter and spruces them up with a light drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Get our recipe for Maple-Cashew-Apple Toast.
The Flakiest and Crispiest Apple Turnover
McDonald’s has nothing on our healthy apple turnover recipe. We use puff pastry to make perfectly portioned individual turnovers with fewer calories than you’d get from two bites of Cheesecake Factory’s Warm Apple Crisp.
Get our recipe for Apple Turnovers.
Read this next:
- The Best Apples to Use for Every Fall Dessert
- The Best Apple Pie in Every State
- The #1 Worst Apple to Cook With, According to a Chef