As soon as the first early apples started making their appearance I made plans with a friend to take the kids to our favorite orchard for a day of apple picking. To me, nothing feels like fall quite as much as spending the day walking through rows of apple trees in the bright sun as the kids laugh and run through the grass, arms full of juicy apples.
The first apples also mean apple cider and donuts. Throw in a hay ride and the’re just about nothing better! I love arriving home with a bag full of apples and sleepy children ready to pile on the couch with some hot cider.
Is it ever possible to go apple picking and come home with just a few apples? Because I always promise that I will, then somehow wind up with the extra large 30 lb bag. Sure, part of it is how much the kids love the actual apple picking activity, but part of it is also because I over-estimate my love of apple pie. Don’t get me wrong – I really love apple pie – but my jeans can only handle me eating it so often before they put up a fight. Now I’m left with 20 lbs of apples and kids who don’t really buy into that whole “apple a day” thing. So I’ve been hunting around for new ways to use up our apple picking haul, testing new recipes and ideas for using up our apples in crowd pleasing ways. Here’s 11 of our favorite pie-free apple recipes to inspire you after your next trip to the orchard!
11 Delicious Pie-Free Apple Recipes
This Vermont Fall Salad is so easy to put together and it really captures the flavors of fall. Make this as a quick lunch, or serve it before Thanksgiving dinner!
This Cinnamon Apple Sauce is the perfect side for your favorite fall dinner. My kids eat it as an after school snack with some crackers and cheese too.
Speaking of kid friendly – these Apple and Cheddar Quesadillas are a favorite in our house! Serve them up during playdates for a delicious and easy to eat lunch!
I just love seeing those first cranberries at the farmer’s market. I love cranberry sauce and usually make enough in the next month to can and last the entire year. I put it on everything from turkey to pancakes (it’s good, trust me). This Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Orange puts an extra fun spin on a traditional side!
I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I’m including it here because it is very. very high up on my list. Gingerbread Apple Pancakes sound like just the kind of breakfast to help you recuperate from a weekend of apple picking!
And here’s a truly savory recipe – Mussels with Apple and Bacon. This is a perfect for a quiet fall dinner.
Here’s an Apple and Blackberry Crumble that brings together two of my favorite fruits. With a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, this would be a hard dessert to beat.
Now here’s a way to enjoy apple pie flavors with a twist – Apple Pie Enchiladas are easy to make and so kid friendly. Make a big batch for a crowd and watch them disappear!
Fried apples are truly one of my favorite recipes. We eat them on the side of roasted chicken or as a topping for waffles and pancakes!
This Apple Pie Dip is so, so good. Serve it with homemade chips, on top of ice cream or alongside waffles for some seriously delicious apple pie taste.
These waffled use the apple pie dip as a filling to make scrumptious Apple Pie Filled Cinnamon Sugar Waffles!
Finally, this Baby Arugula and Butternut Salad incorporates juicy apples and maple vinaigrette for a yummy fall inspired lunch!
There you have it – 12 delicious apple filled dishes without the crust! What are some of your favorite fall traditions?