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Savory apple recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Entrees starring apples

The beginning of fall marks the beginning of apple picking season. Fresh-picked apples certainly make delicious desserts -- apple pie, apple cake, and apple crisps quickly come to mind -- but apples can also be a star ingredient in savory meals, ranging from soups and salads to mouthwatering meat dishes.

Apple Squash Soup

Types of apples

Take a stroll through the farmers market or grocery store produce aisle and you'll find a veritable variety of apples. Some apples are best eaten raw, others shine in baked goods and main course meals, while others are ideal for applesauce.

Some of the most popular apples you will see in the fall are McIntosh, Gala, Cortlands, Golden Delicious, Empires, Honeycrisps, and Fuji. They can be used in a number of ways:

  • McIntosh are excellent for applesauce or nibbling raw.
  • Gala work well in applesauce, baking, cooking, and eating raw.
  • Cortlands, Empires, Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, and Honeycrisps are best for baking and cooking.
  • Red Delicious and Fuji apples are best eaten raw.

Firmer apples will hold their shape better when they are baked or cooked in other dishes. Juicier apples will release more apple flavor into recipes. You can use sweet or tart apples in recipes to give the same dish a different flavor profile. Regardless of the apple you choose, you'll be bringing the taste of fall to your family dinner table.

savory Apple recipes

Squash and Apple Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 medium Golden Delicious apples, plus 1 for garnish, peeled and diced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans vegetable broth
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
Chili powder to taste
Half-and-half or heavy cream for garnish

Directions:
1. Saute onions in melted butter until golden in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add squash and cook until just about tender. Add apples, broth, sugar, salt, ginger, chili powder, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

2. Lower heat, cover pot with lid, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until squash and apples are tender. Take pot off of heat and let cool for a few minutes.

3. Transfer apples to a blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth). Transfer puree back to the pot and heat again for a few minutes.

4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of heavy cream and a bit of diced apple.

ABC Melt (Apple, Bacon, Cheddar)

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 slices thick hearty bread
4 slices thick bacon, crisped
4 slices cheddar cheese
1/2 Fuji apples, cored, sliced

Directions:
1. Combine basil, egg, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Begin pureeing and drizzle oil into mixture in a slow steady stream until a thick sauce has been made. Set aside.

2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spread basil mixture onto both slices of the bread then top with 2 slices of bacon, 2 slices of cheese, 4 slices of apple then 2 more slices of cheese, 2 slices of bacon and the second piece of bread.

3. Place sandwich on hot grill pan and heat until cheese melts, flipping to brown both sides. Slice in half before serving.

Apple Smothered Pork Tenderloin

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup hot water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Saute onions in oil in a skillet until golden. Take onions out of pan and reserve.

3. Season tenderloin with salt and pepper and place in skillet and brown on all sides.

4. Remove tenderloin and place in a baking dish. Top with cooked onions and apple slices.

5. Stir together brown sugar, cloves, and water and pour over tenderloin. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until tenderloin is cooked through.

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