Easy Fried Apples Recipe made with four delicious and simple ingredients and ready in just 20 minutes! Gluten-free and vegetarian, learn how easy it is to make these cinnamon-spiced fried apples and enjoy as is, with your favorite ice cream, or mixed with your morning oatmeal.
Looking for more easy apple recipes? Try this reader-favorite applesauce recipe or make your very own homemade apple cider.
Homemade Fried Apples
Many things come to mind when I think about how to prepare apples – from cakes to pies, apple crisps to apple cobblers to homemade applesauce, and yes, even apple sangria. You name it, I’m probably thinking about it.
But what about fried apples?
One of my favorite ways to enjoy apples when I’m too tired to bake anything fancy, fried apples are sauteed in sugar, butter, and cinnamon, until soft, tender, and perfectly caramelized.
If that’s not enough to make you love them, here are five more reasons to love this recipe,
- You’ll think you’re eating pie…minus the pie
- Although they are sweetened with brown sugar and fried in butter, they’re a much healthier alternative to deep-fried apples or apple pie
- These little apples cook super fast, making it an excellent recipe for anyone who hates to wait (or hates to cook)
- They can be enjoyed with breakfast, dinner, AND dessert
- Safe for those with a sensitivity to gluten and are totally vegetarian
Just wait, you guys, these fabulously sweet little apples are guaranteed to be your new cool-weather sweet treat.
Ingredients in Fried Apples
- Lemon juice
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
Please note that this is not a recipe for deep-fried apples. Yes, these apples are fried in butter, but they are not dipped in a batter and then submerged in oil to deep fry. Although those would also be fantastic, this is your classic southern style fried apple.
If you don’t have any brown sugar on hand, feel free to substitute with granulated white sugar, you’ll hardly notice a difference!
What Are the Best Apples For Fried Apples?
Try to use the following,
- Granny Smith apples
- Honeycrisp apples
- Golden Delicious apples
- Pink Lady apples
Just like in homemade applesauce, apple pie, or even apple crisp, there are a million opinions when it comes to “the best” apple. Depending on the variety, apples may either be sweet, tart, or a combination of the two.
What everyone can agree on is that you want apples that are crisp, tart, sweet, and hold up well when cooked or baked. In other words, you don’t want apples that get grainy and fall apart the moment they get a little warm.
In this particular recipe, I used Pink Lady apples, but any of the above (of a combination of the apples listed above) will taste great.
How to Make Fried Apples
Learning how to make fried apples is incredibly easy! You’ll need a large skillet, spatula, and a handful of super simple ingredients…like apples! You may either peel or leave the skin on your apples – this choice depends entirely on you. I love apple skin, plus I’m lazy, so I will rarely peel mine.
- Melt your butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the apples, lemon juice, and sugar, tossing well to evenly combine.
- Cook the apples, stirring often, until soft, but not mushy.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired.
My favorite way to enjoy these apples (aside from straight out of the skillet) is with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh my word, you guys! You have to try it! Warm, buttery apples with sweet, ice-cold ice cream. I mean, c’mon. It’s like hot and cold perfection.
And my second favorite is definitely with a giant scoop (or two) of whipped cream. The creaminess with the tart apples? Pure magic.
How to Serve Fried Apples
Fried apples may be enjoyed with breakfast, dinner, AND dessert!
- Breakfast: Add your apples to a bowl of overnight oats or a hot bowl of oatmeal for an easy and much-improved fall-spiced breakfast. You may also add your apples to fluffy pancakes, waffles, and French Toast.
- Dinner: Serve with mashed potatoes or cauliflower and herb-roasted chicken thighs or pork chops for a delicious twist on an already delicious dinner.
- Dessert: Well, that’s obvious. Grab some ice cream and whipped cream and call it a celebration!
More Apple Recipes,
Easy Apple Crisp Recipe (How to Make Apple Crisp)
Autumn Rosé Sangria with Apples and Pomegranates
Autumn Chicken Skillet with Apples and Sweet Potatoes
Apple Balsamic Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
Kohlrabi, Beetroot and Apple Salad with Feta
If you try making this recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Fried Apples Recipe
- ¾ cup salted butter
- 8 medium red apples - unpeeled and chopped into cubes
- ½ lemon - juiced
- ½ cup brown sugar - packed, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg - optional
- Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the butter until melted. Add the apples, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Stir well to combine.
- Continue to cook the apples until they are soft, but not mushy (you want some bite left). Remove from heat and stir in the ground cinnamon.
- Best served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
- You may chop your apples into cubes or into slices. If you choose to slice your apples, try to slice them in equal thickness and not too thin as they will cook too quickly, not giving them a chance to caramelize.
- This recipe is absolutely sweet, but it's not written so that the apples are swimming in butter and sugar. If you like your apples with additional syrup, increase the amount of butter by half and double (or triple) the total amount of sugar.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
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