Skip to main content

9 delicious ideas for apple-picking season so your haul doesn’t go to waste

One of the best fall activities ever has to be apple picking with the family. Spending time in the crisp, fresh air and picking your own food is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the season. Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to get carried away in the orchard and end up with far more apples than you can handle. Then, after a week or so, you’re left with bruised, aging apples and nothing to do with them. There are only so many times you can make an apple pie or batch of applesauce before you get sick of the fruit altogether. 

Thankfully, there’s so much more to cooking with apples than those tried and true classics. Apples can be incorporated into main courses, desserts, breakfasts, smoothies, and more because they are equally at home in sweet and savory dishes. They add tartness, crunch, and nutrients to every recipe and they’re as tasty raw as they are cooked.

Related Videos

9 delicious ideas you’ll want to try this apple picking season

There are so many simple ways to incorporate the fruits of your labor (pun intended) that you may not have even considered. Here are just a few:

1. Swap out crackers for apples

Serving cheese and crackers to your guests? Skip the crackers and opt for apple slices instead! The sweetness of the apple and the sharpness of the cheddar cheese create a simple yet delicious snack. Plus, apples offer a more carb-friendly option, too!

2. Speaking of cheese and apple pairings…

Try this recipe for puff pastry-wrapped brie and, instead of using chunks of French bread, scoop out the gooey cheese with apple slices. The creaminess of the brie and the tartness of a big green apple make for an incredible pairing. 

3. Easy-to-eat caramel apple bites

If you love caramel apples — and who doesn’t — you know they can be a challenge to eat. The stickiness of the caramel ends up all around your mouth and behind your front teeth. This simple recipe solves that problem by cutting the apples into bite-size pieces before dipping them in the caramel. Genius!

4. Add crunch and tarty goodness to chicken salad

All you need for an old-school chicken salad is shredded chicken, mayo, and some chopped-up celery. Elevate this five-minute meal with this fresh take that adds apples, grapes, pecans, and a touch of curry powder. This salad is even better when served the day after it’s prepared — it will give the ingredients some time to mingle for a more robust flavor.

5. Trade your jam for apple butter

Apple butter is so easy to make, and you can work through your abundance of apples pretty quickly by preparing a few cans and storing them for later. Apple butter is perfect spread on toast or over ice cream, and making it will fill your home with the wonderful aroma of apples, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. 

6. Add apples to dinner

Pork, chicken, and turkey dishes taste especially delicious when paired with apples. Depending on the type of apple you use, it will add sweetness, tartness, crunch, and of course, tons of flavor. 

7. Make a yogurt & apple breakfast parfait

Get your morning started right with a healthy and flavorful breakfast parfait. Layer Greek yogurt, chopped apples, granola, and raisins for a delicious and nutritious morning meal. 

8. It’s soup season, so how about some apples with your soup?

Just the ingredient list alone for this recipe is enough to make your mouth water. The combination of tart apples, creamy butternut squash, yellow onions, and freshly grated nutmeg delivers the ultimate comfort food with a fall twist. 

9. Sangria

Any excuse to make homemade sangria is a good one, so worth through your apple-picking haul by making a pitcher or two. Red wine, apple schnapps, some fragrant spices, and a few cups of sliced apples are all you need to make the perfect refreshment for your next dinner party. 

One of our favorite apple recipes… ever!

This Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting is every bit as indulgent as it sounds — and the heavenly cream cheese frosting includes the decadent flavors of brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.

If you’re overwhelmed by the haul of your recent apple picking excursion, these few apple recipes will help you incorporate this delicious seasonal fruit into your meals and desserts. While everyone craves an American apple pie or a cup of applesauce every now and again, try expanding your recipe repertoire with these crowd-pleasing dishes.

Editors' Recommendations

6 amazing homemade Christmas gift ideas that cost less than $50 to make
DIY Christmas gifts that are heartfelt and won't break the bank
Christmas gift wrapped in brown paper with cranberries

Though holidays aren’t all about gifts, your long shopping lists may imply otherwise. Americans will spend over $900 on gifts this year, even amid the pandemic and its associated economic and health concerns.
However, breaking the bank isn't a prerequisite to having a fun holiday. Whether you have a lower budget or are hoping to give a loved one something truly unique, homemade Christmas gifts are a great option. They offer the perfect way to give something personalized, and maybe even delicious, at a fraction of the cost.
It may seem intimidating, but some gifts are a cinch to make, whether you consider yourself crafty or a skilled home chef. These six homemade holiday gifts will wow your friends and family who have everything.

Social media recipe “book”
Total price: Free
The holidays are often full of traditional dishes best enjoyed once per year, like dad’s favorite green bean casserole or mom’s delicious Christmas cookies. A virtual recipe book can be a great way to store them, so your loved ones don’t have to dig through their drawers to find them every year. Get the free book started using a Pinterest or Instagram account and add all of your family’s favorite holiday recipes. Ultimately, this gift can keep on giving. Give your loved ones the password so they can add their favorite recipes throughout the year, resulting in a gift you all can cherish every year.

Read more
These Christmas table decorations are the perfect backdrop for your holiday meal
Take your Christmas table decorating up a notch with these fun ideas
Festive Christmas table setting

'Tis the season to send our tastebuds on an adventure. From turkeys and hams to unique side dishes and desserts made from recipes passed down throughout the generations, food certainly takes center stage this time of year. However, who says your tastebuds have to have all the fun on Dec. 25?
Christmas table decorations can provide a feast for the eyes (and make your family and Instagram followers swoon). While some may think of it as another item on their to-do list, you may love getting your creative juices flowing by curating a gorgeously arranged tablescape. Allow these ideas to serve as inspiration.

Tell your turkey or roast to move over. Making room on your table for a centerpiece will draw attention to the table (rather than smartphones). You have plenty of options, from subtly beautiful assortments to statement pieces. Consider these ideas:

Read more
Tired of sugar cookies? Try these ridiculously creative Christmas cookie ideas
Christmas cookie recipes perfect for the holidays - and not sugar cookies
Christmas cookie cutter cookies

The holidays are certainly a busy time of year. With all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and cooking, it seems like December is a blur of holiday parties, food, and spending far too much money. But, one of the sweetest of all holiday traditions is baking. Particularly baking cookies. From gingerbread houses to Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, Christmas is a time for indulging your sweet tooth and eating more cookies than you would dream of any other time of the year.

But maybe you’ve had your fill of the typical holiday cookies. Do you want to branch out from your fallbacks of peanut butter, shortbread, and chocolate chip? If you want to shake things up at your cookie swap or holiday gathering, we’ve got you covered.

Read more