Thin foods cook faster. Pork medallions get better browning than a whole tenderloin; potato slices get crispier than wedges. Thinly sliced apple, fennel, and shallots absorb more vinaigrette without losing crunch.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Not all apples hold up well in the oven, but there are still dozens of ways to use fall's favorite fruit without heat. 

Arielle Weg
October 27, 2017

It's apple picking season: Time to head to the orchard, grab some large plastic bags, and excitedly daydream of all the delicious desserts you'll concoct. Perhaps you plan on making a delicious Apple Pie or a few Better-Than-Pie Recipes to Make After Apple Picking, so you pick apples and fill your bag until it's overflowing with crisp fruit. 

But when you head to the checkout counter, the farmer mentions all the apples you picked are Fuji, a delicious apple for snacking and salads but not one that's particularly tasty in baked dishes. Some apples just aren't destined for pie or warm dish because they get mushy and don't hold their shape.

Don't worry: There's no need to toss the apples. Before you head out of the farm (or supermarket), ask the staff if your favorite apple is baking friendly. If it's not, here are some of our favorite no-bake ways to use up apples.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Make Homemade Applesauce

The first thing we think of for a no-bake apple recipe is applesauce. Try this classic Rustic Applesauce, or add some extra fruit or flavor, like we do in our Spiced Apple-Cranberry Sauce

Photo: Randy Mayor

Create Elaborate Decorations

Get the kids involved in a fall-themed apple decorating party. Dip apple slices for an interactive activity, like these Chocolate-Granola Apple Wedges. You can also go topping-heavy and put whole apples on a stick for easy decorating. Dip apples in our base caramel and top with tons of goodies like any of these 5 Craveable Caramel Apples

Photo: Rachel Johnson

Spiralize onto Yogurt

Break out the spiralizer and introduce it to something new: the apple. This makes a pretty, delicious breakfast or dessert in our Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt recipe. 

Build Apple Nachos

The perfect dessert treat is our Apple Nachos. Simply drizzle peanut butter, chocolate, and granola over a layer of the freshly sliced fruit for a stunning apple display. 

Photo: Greg Dupree

Sip Them 

It's 5 o'clock somewhere, so whip up a drink! Use apples as a garnish and flavoring in this delicious Honeycrisp-Maple Sipper or add some to your new favorite batch cocktail, Apple Sangria.

If you're not into cocktails, try something fresh to start your morning off. Honey, apples, apple cider vinegar, and cilantro bring our Double-Apple Morning Elixir together. 

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Blend into Soup

Some apples don't hold their shape well when heated through, so it's best to just run with it. Blend your apples into soup with other delicious, fall ingredients. We love this Apple Parsnip Soup, but you can go a little more subtle with apple flavor like this Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup

Photo: Gentl & Hyers

Slice into Salsa

Mango salsa has some new competition. It's time to try Fresh Apple Salsa as a topper for roasted chicken or pork. If fruity salsa brings memories of fish tacos beach side, these Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa are a great fall alternative to the summery plate. 

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Top Off a Salad 

The classic no-cook use for apples is spreading chunks of the crunchy fruit all over a delicious salad, like our Ultimate Fall Salad. We also love them thinly sliced and sprinkled over leafy greens like this Kale, Apple, and Almond Chicken Salad.

If lettuce isn't your thing, our Celery, Apple, and Almond Salad  or Tart Apple-Hazelnut Chicken Salad are great picks. If dinner calls for something more filling, try our Seared Tuna with Shaved Vegetable Salad or Apple-Sunchoke Salad With Smoked Trout and Cider Vinaigrette

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Stir into Slaw 

Our Broccoli-Apple Slaw is a veggie-forward dish that brings bites that are a little crunchy and a little creamy. If you want to go beyond a simple side, try our Pork Medallions with Fennel-Apple Slaw that pull dinner together on one gorgeous plate. 

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Layer on Toast

Move over avocado toast, because Apple-Tahini Toast is here to take breakfast by storm. Tahini has a similar flavor and consistency to nut butter, so it pairs perfectly with apples and a drizzle of honey for sweetness. 

Photo: Victor Protasio

Stuff It in a Sandwich 

You can make apple sandwiches for every meal of the day. Start off your morning with a Sausage, Spinach, and Apple Breakfast Sandwich, then take a lunch break with this Apple Almond Cheddar Sandwich. Finally, end your day with family friendly Turkey Sliders with Crunchy Green Apple Slaw

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Melt into Apple Butter 

Just in time for the holidays, gift your family and friends jars of delicious, homemade Overnight Apple Butter. It's perfect smothered on an English muffin, biscuit, toast, or even in a savory dish.