If you’re bored with pie, some imaginative and out-of-the-box apple recipes may be just what you need to liven up your seasonal bounty. With the right understanding and prep, you’ll be tossing apples in everything from breakfast to dinner to dessert.
Using up your plethora of apples—whether they’re from pick-your-own days at the orchard or grocery store trips—doesn’t need to be complicated. Just keep a few things in mind so your homemade creations can be as tasty as the store-bought ones.
First, think about the unique characteristics of your fruit, which vary depending on its type, Stephen Chavez, a chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, tells SELF. For example, apple varieties like Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Fuji are great for baking and cooking projects because they’re firm and won’t turn to mush as soon as you heat them up, Chaves says. On the other hand, kinds like Cortland, Honeycrisp, and SnowSweet are perfect for salads because they don’t brown as quickly, he says. In terms of flavor, tart ones (like Rome Beauty or Elstar) work well in desserts since they won’t become cloying when you add sugar, he explains. And those that have more of a juicy, sweet profile (like Gala or Redcort) lend themselves better to eating on their own or paired with savory cheese in a charcuterie board.
There are thousands of varieties of apples, making them a versatile fruit that can go in practically all dishes during any part of the day, Chaves says. So if you’re in a breakfast mood, mix them into fluffy pancakes or creamy overnight oats. For lunch, try tossing them into a hearty salad or sheet pan stir-fry, he says. Bake them into crispy chips or moist muffins if you need a snack. For dinner, combine them into comforting soup or savory stuffing. As for dessert, the same sweetness that makes them perfect for pies also does wonders in rustic cobblers or spongy cakes, he continues.
Apples are abundant in the fall, and luckily, so are ideas on how to use them. To give you a head start, we’ve rounded up 23 apple recipes that are anything but boring. They’re perfect for those cozy fall days when you want to bake something comforting, the special moments hosting when you want to impress friends, or strategic meal-prepping sessions when you’re ready to batch-cook some seasonal dishes for the week. Scan the options below; you’ll be excited to get going in the kitchen.