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8 Delicious Ways to Use Up a Budget Bag of Apples

So you’ve recently purchased a bag of apples at the supermarket to get more bang for your buck. Good for you! Except now that you’ve brought a five-pound bag of apples home, you suddenly have no idea what to do with them. After all, it’s not like you can bake a pie every day. Luckily, we’ve solved your frugal fruit dilemma with a quick recipe round-up of all the delicious ways to keep your budget bag of apples from going to waste.

Ah, pre-bagged produce—a complete time and money saver, especially when you want to eat healthy at a relatively low cost. As much fun as it is to pick out your own apples separately and bag them yourself, that individual selection can come with a hefty price tag, particularly if you’re buying a bunch of different types. And with plenty of ripe and juicy offerings to choose from other than the cafeteria staple, the Red Delicious, a mixed bag (about 15-20 small apples per bag or 8-10 large apples per bag) of Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Jonagold apples can come in handy. 

But, a pre-packaged bag of apples can also be a burden and complete waste if you don’t have a set plan on how to eat all them, beyond snacking and baking a pie. Fortunately, you can rely on these eight ways to use up an entire bag of apples, bringing new life to the phrase “waste not, want not.”  

Apple Pie

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Let’s start with the most obvious choice first. An apple pie will always be a classic go-to dessert during fall and winter. You can even go a step further by freezing your homemade apple filling in bags to have on hand when you need to quickly fill a pie crust during the hectic holiday season. We also love these mini spiced apple tarts as a bite-sized appetizer for parties.

Apple Pancakes

These apple pancakes kind of resemble a soufflé, but they have the texture of potato latkes—only much sweeter. Apple flapjacks are certainly one way to use up all those apples and definitely worth waking up for.

Apple Snack

Photo: Katherine Flynn

It doesn’t get any less fussy or more delicious than biting into a plain apple. Whether you pair it with cheese or peanut butter, it makes for the perfect grab-and-go snack. However, try stepping your snack game up with these apple pie bites for a re-energizing pre-dinner or post-workout snack.

Apple Crisp

Looking for an apple dessert that’s less complicated than making an apple pie? Well, look no further than this light and crumbly apple crisp. In a fraction of the time (and work) you’d spend rolling and kneading pie dough, an apple crisp comes together quickly using a whole bunch of apples and a few simple ingredients. All of the flavor, none of the hassle—it’s really as easy as pie.

Apple Butter

Katherine Flynn

Who needs fattening butter or super sweet jelly, when you could have a healthier spread instead? With just a little simmering and puréeing, you’re well on your way to having a rich, naturally-sweet apple butter spread to slather on toast, muffins, or bagels for breakfast.

Candy Apples

Not just for Halloween, candy apples are a fun, sweet treat. When it comes to adding color and crunch to your dinner table, it doesn’t get much better than apples coated with hard red candy, caramel, chocolate, or nuts.

Baked Apples

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Warm baked apples are satisfying enough on their own with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top, but you can also serve them over a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, instead of traditional fruit like bananas or strawberries. Better yet, just go ahead and bake them Hasselback-style with a dollop of ice cream on top for a flavorful dessert.

Applesauce

Thought the fruity sauce was only for kids? Think again. Not only is homemade applesauce a nutritious choice for a mid-morning snack (keeping in mind the amount of sugar added), but it’s also a great way to use up a lot of apples in one sitting. Bonus tip: Let the sauce pull double duty as a healthier substitute for oil and/or egg whites in cake recipes.  

Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt
If somehow you still have a few apples left over after using them in these recipes, and you simply can’t bear to bring another one to work as a snack, canning, freezing, and drying are always helpful options. Just wash, peel, slice, core, and store to enjoy your apples months from now.