You can always wash one and take a bite as is, but why not add an apple or two to recipes for a delicious and nutritious twist?
While there's no denying apples taste great sweet (mmm, warm pie and cinnamon overnight oats), they also work amazingly in savory dishes, lending your aromatic dish major crunch and health benefits.
"Savory recipes are a great way to take in-season apples beyond just a snack," Maggie Michalczyk, RD, tells LIVESTRONG.com. "Using the apples you just picked in savory ways adds more nutrition to different meals and capitalizes on apples' different flavor profiles like sweet, tart, crisp and bright — elevating any autumn dish."
You can pair apples with cheese, nuts, dips and even meats for a savory recipe that has nice acidity and crunch. And there's no better time to enjoy apples than during peak season when they're ripe and extra affordable.
If you're tired of your usual lunch salad or sandwich, try these delicious savory apple recipes you'll look forward to eating.
1. Apple and Swiss Quesadilla
Cook these quesadillas for Mexican night at home. "This makes for a great, quick meal, and the apple goes together perfectly with the Swiss cheese," says Michalczyk. "I like that this recipe provides whole grains, protein and a serving of fruit." You can always use a different cheese if you're not too keen on Swiss, so feel free to experiment.
Get the Apple and Swiss Quesadilla recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Chicken, Apple and Cashew Salad
Ditch the croutons and get some healthy crunch in your salad with chopped apples! "This perfectly balanced salad with apples, cashews and chicken will fill you up in a fun and delicious way," says Michalczyk. Chicken and cashews are two savory ingredients that pair well with apples for a high-protein meal that's also packed with healthy fats for extra satiating power.
Get the Chicken Apple and Cashew Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Fall Kale Apple Walnut Salad
Another nutty salad, this pick is perfect for a seasonal lunch or light dinner. "This filling salad provides the textural elements you crave along with the balance of flavor to keep you satisfied," says Kelly Jones, RD. "The healthy fats from the nuts and antioxidants in each ingredient support a healthy body for the cooler months, and the fiber supports good gut health," she adds.
Get the Fall Kale Apple Walnut Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Turkey Green Apple and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Build a better grilled cheese sandwich by using whole-grain tortillas for extra fiber. "These tortillas keep your grilled cheese feeling a bit lighter, and the apples add a fun crunch and sweetness. They're the ultimate lunch to warm you up and energize your afternoon," says Jones. Plus, the Granny Smith lends this meal a tart punch.
Get the Turkey Green Apple and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Acorn Squash Soup With Green Apple
Stay warm on a chilly autumn evening with a hearty bowl of soup. "Everyone loves squash soup, but the tart apple flavor adds another dimension while the onion ensures it's still a savory dish," says Jones. "The carotenoids from the squash and phytonutrients in the apples are great for skin and gut health, too," she adds.
Get the Acorn Squash Soup With Green Apple recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Turkey-Apple Sausage Mini Patties
Whether you try this for breakfast, lunch or brunch, you'll get a solid dose of protein in with this easy dish. "l like this savory apple recipe because it adds flavor and nutrition to turkey sausages," says Michalczyk. "The tart apple taste gives them a little bit of sweetness plus more fiber and vitamin C per bite." Not to mention, the egg and greens add more protein and brain-boosting choline.
Get the Turkey-Apple Sausage Mini Patties recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Autumn Apple and Avocado Guacamole
OK, this isn't technically a lunch recipe, but who can refuse a bowl of guacamole alongside their midday meal? Apples are the secret ingredient in this savory dip, which will complement your Taco Tuesdays so well. "Apple guacamole is such a fun fall spin on everyone's favorite dip. This recipe is the perfect appetizer for fall get-togethers and packs healthy fat from the avocado, and fiber and vitamin C from the apple," says Michalczyk.
Get the Autumn Apple and Avocado Guacamole recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Creamy Avocado, Apple and Asparagus Smoothie
There's nothing like a green power smoothie to wake you up in the morning or give you that immediate pre-workout fuel. This sweet-and-savory smoothie packs in healthy, filling fat from the avocado as well as fiber and antioxidants from the asparagus and apple, says Jones. "The apple balances the flavor well for a nutrient-dense snack or light breakfast under 300 calories."
Get the Creamy Avocado, Apple and Asparagus Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.