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apple inspired recipes

You know that old cliché about how eating a daily apple will obviate the need for a physician? Well, it’s not exactly true, but the saying has endured for a reason: Apples offer bountiful health benefits, including rich amounts of fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Apples also keep for months in the refrigerator and are a wonderfully versatile ingredient in the kitchen.

Conventionally grown apples often contain high levels of pesticides, regularly ranking in the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of most contaminated produce, so it’s important to buy organic if possible. I like to shop for local apples at the farmers’ market whenever I can because they tend to be fresher and therefore more nutritious — and sometimes I find a new-to-me variety to try.

More than 2,000 cultivars grow in the United States alone, so there really is an apple for every taste. Some are sweet, some tart, and others offer a delightful balance of both. Here, we recommend a particular type of apple for each recipe, but feel free to riff with your favorite variety, whether that’s a tangy Jazz apple or a crunchy Braeburn.

Autumn Breakfast Hash

breakfast hash made with apples

Makes 2 servings •  Prep time 15 minutes •  Cook time 40 minutes


  • 1 tbs. plus ¼ tsp. sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ¾ cup shredded Brussels sprouts (about 6 medium)
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped kale leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and diced
  • 2 large eggs


Breakfast Sausage

  • Avocado or other neutral oil, for the pan
  • ½ lb. ground turkey, organic and pasture-raised if possible
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried sage
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. fennel seeds
  • ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Add the diced sweet potato and parboil for six to seven minutes, or until slightly tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the breakfast sausage. Preheat a cast-iron skillet lightly coated in oil to medium heat. Add the turkey and seasonings, and break up into small pieces while distributing the seasonings. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about seven to eight minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, prepare the hash. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering, then add the parboiled sweet potato, remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are browned and crispy on most sides, about five minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and onion, and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about five minutes more. Add the kale, apple, and cooked sausage, and stir to combine.
  4. Create two small wells in the hash and crack the eggs into the wells. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, cover, and cook until the yolks reach desired doneness, about four minutes for runny yolks or six minutes for firmer yolks.
  5. Serve warm.

Beluga Lentil and Golden Apple Salad

lentil salad made with apples

Makes 6 servings •  Prep time 15 minutes •  Cook time 45 minutes

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup black beluga lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 tbs. sea salt, divided
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ lb. beets, scrubbed and chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Golden Delicious apple, cored and diced
  • 2 oz. crumbled soft goat cheese
  • ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering, then add the shallot and cook until translucent, about three to four minutes. Add the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the lentils and 1 teaspoon of the salt and stir to combine. Add the broth and bring to a steady simmer. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Strain off excess broth if necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water with the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the beets and boil for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Strain and toss in a large bowl with the cooked lentils.
  3. Add the celery, apple, cheese, onion, and black pepper, and toss gently to combine. Enjoy warm, or refrigerate to chill completely before serving.

Apple-Cabbage Slaw

coleslaw made with apples

Makes 6 servings •  Prep time 15 minutes (plus one hour inactive) •  Cook time 0 minutes

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • ¾ cup shelled pistachios
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper until combined.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until everything is evenly coated. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour (or up to four hours) before serving.

One-Pan Apple Pilaf With Seared Chicken Thighs

baked chicken with apple pilaf

Makes 4 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 70 minutes


  • 1 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, organic and pasture-raised if possible
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil


  • ¾ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  1. Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Preheat a large sauté pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs to the pan and cook for about five to seven minutes on each side, or until deeply browned. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set aside.
  3. To the same pan, add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook until translucent, about three to four minutes, scraping any leftover chicken pieces from the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. (If things are sticking too much, add a splash of water and lower the heat.)
  4. Once the onion is tender, add the rice. Toss to coat rice evenly. Add the broth and bring to a steady simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Then add the apples and spinach and stir to combine. Nestle the chicken thighs into the pilaf, cover, and continue cooking for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the rice is tender and fluffy.
  7. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Gluten-Free Apple Cobbler

apple cobbler made with biscuits

Makes 12 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 15 minutes


  • 6 to 8 medium apples (Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Jonagold, or a mix), cored and diced, about 6 cups
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice 


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 6 tbs. cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 2 tbs. raw cane sugar, plus more for topping


  • 1 tbs. butter to grease the pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9-x-13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil and cook for about five minutes, until the apples are slightly softened.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the water, cornstarch, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into the boiling apples and stir, then cook until the mixture has thickened, about two to three additional minutes. Transfer the apple mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Prepare the biscuits. Add the oats to a food processor and blend into a powder. Transfer to a large bowl and add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter to the bowl, and use your fingers to quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in pea-size pieces.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and sugar. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Use your hands to divide the dough into roughly ⅓ cup portions, then distribute them evenly over the apples. Sprinkle the biscuits with additional raw cane sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Photography: Terry Brennan, Food Styling: Betsy Nelson
Maddie Augustin

Maddie Augustin is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer.

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