$5 Dish: Scrumptious Pan Fried Apples

ng_panfriedapplesPennywise Platter is tomorrow!
Surprisingly sweet and rich, these pan fried apple slices are sweetened purely from the apple itself. As it cooks, it continues to sweeten as the apple releases it’s juices and the surface caramelizes.

So simple, yet so good! With just a few pantry items and a few minutes of cooking time you have a tasty treat. It’s also a very frugal dish. When we were on a grain free diet, having pan fried apples gave us a cheap snack/dessert that stretched our budget quite a bit. And it’s apple season around here now too! So it’s the perfect time to enjoy this!

These make a great snack anytime, or a simple dessert (serve with whipped cream). They are also super delicious on top of pancakes or waffles, or ice cream. I got the idea to start making my apples like this from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. It’s been one of those ideas that’s stuck in this family. It’s so nice to have such an easy and healthy sweet snack. It’s also perfect for most of you doing the Sugar Free Challenge!


Scrumptious Pan Fried Apple Slices
You can add spices like cinnamon too, but we enjoy it plain. I would plan for one to one half apple per person.

    2-4 Apples, washed, cored, sliced (peeling them is optional)
    2-4 tablespoons butter, ghee, coconut oil
    Dash of salt

1-In a large saucepan, heat the butter/oil over medium high heat until hot. Add the apples (but don’t crowd, or they won’t brown. Do in two batches if need be). Sprinkle with just a tiny dash of salt.

2-Cook until browned on one side, and then turn over. Cook a few more minutes until browned on the other side and the apple is soft all the way through.

Serve while hot.

Anyone else want to share their favorite fruit sweetened dessert? How is everyone doing on the Sugar Free Challenge? Starting to see results?

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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    • KimiHarris says

      I’ve used a wide variety of apples (just whatever I have on hand). Gala, Pink Lady, Green Apples-They are all a little different in taste, but delicious! The ones pictures above are gala. 🙂

  1. says

    I’ll try these next week. They look wonderful. Almost three days with no sugar. I just have to make it past the brownies at church tonight!

  2. says

    Headache is gone. We are still sugar-free, but we are getting sloppy and lazy in the kitchen because we have a project deadline on Saturday. Everyone is working hard (or occupying little ones) and no one wants to prepare food! This is what happens when we are just living… We need to make some changes.

    We did make some things up ahead, but that will only last so long with eight of us eating them! Anyone have any good ideas?

    • says

      I just mad e big batch of kale stew using the last of our tomatoes (NCal), onions, cannellini beans and rosemary. It will last all week and is so easy.

      Kimi, Apples are my “sweet’ staple this week!

    • KimiHarris says

      I like Cook 4 Seasons idea of making up large pots of soup. I also enjoy roasting chickens, as they are easy to grab and snack on on the run (you can do so many things with cooked chicken meat too!).

  3. Jeanie says

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes. I love apples in butter like this and have also added some of my walnuts to the pan with some cinnamon.

  4. Sono says

    We always had these pan fried apples with French toast or waffles while Joel was growing up, Kimi. We have used many varieties of apples and enjoyed all of them equally. One suggestion, especially if the apples are a little dry, is to add a little apple cider. I would make apple cider ice cubes (we used to make our own cider annually) and throw them in a zip lock bag. One cube would be enough to help a dry apple variety. It does change the outcome because the apples will be more steamed.

  5. Ann says

    I love apples cooked this way. I usually sprinkle some rosemary on them while cooking them for a slightly savory taste.

  6. Alison says

    I just made these for the first time last week and love them! Another dessert idea that I made last week that was really good is yogurt topped with fried bananas.

  7. Krissy says

    I just fixed these. They were really good!!! I sprinkled with cinnamon, and served them with pecan halves sprinkled on top and some coconut milk poured over top (kind of like a cream). Wow this makes a great treat!
    Thanks for the idea:)

  8. says

    Doing great on day three! I experienced my first sweet craving today. I’m at beginner level and am using honey and stevia some, but had a craving for something more intense. It was right after lunch, and remembering a comment posted here yesterday, I realized I was tired, not hungry. So I let myself take a nap on the couch for a bit, and I woke up feeling great! I then took a walk and all cravings subsided. I may just lose those 5-10 pounds if I keep napping and walking instead of eating sweets!

    I’m still mostly pain-free since starting this on Monday, and that feels great and keeps me motivated. I generally have fibromyalgia-like pain (not diagnosed or anything) constantly, and fatigue, but this challenge has rather dramatically changed that. I had a small headache today, made sure to drink some water and limit my computer time, and it went away. Yay!

  9. Evie Poythress says

    I did the same thing last night, but with bananas. I fired them in a pan, and then topped them with caramel sauce made with honey (which might not fit into everyone’s rules, but we are just doing the beginning level)

  10. says

    Doing good on my 3rd day. Today I had a lot less sugar/coffee/caffeine/snacky cravings!!!! Dinner was homemade chilli & homemade whole wheat sourdough bread. It was hard not to go over board with the bread because it was so good. Our after lunch dessert was a smoothie that was so good with out any added sweeteners. We make smoothies alot & I always add some honey but after how good this was today I don’t see why I usually add honey to it.

    1 Banana
    1/2 cup frozen blueberries
    1/2 cup frozen blackberries
    1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2
    1/2 homemade kifer
    *Blend in blender.

  11. Annabelle says

    Hi Kimi, i was just reading the comments on here and few people mentioned headaches. Does excess sugar cause headaches? Sorry to seem such an innocent but I didn’t realise that could happen to adults, only children!

    • Linda says


      I think it is sugar-withdrawal that people are saying causes headaches. I’ve heard others have headaches when decreasing/eliminating caffeine and carbs too.

  12. Kelly says

    We sometimes pan fry apples with some onions in a little butter, and eat it as a side dish. I know it sounds really strange, but trust me it is really good! We first tried it when my daughter and I were reading Farmer Boy (from the Little House series). It was Almonzo’s favorite dish that his mother used to make for him. Sounded so different that we just HAD to try it! LOL! Now we like it as a great autumn side dish!

  13. says

    I made your pan fried carrots tonight and wow! So yummy! The really caramelized ones tasted like candy, seriously! Thanks for a great recipe, I think I have a new favorite, and I can’t wait to try it with coconut oil, and maybe even some cinnamon. Now I’m imagining dessert. 🙂

  14. says

    I forgot to share my favorite non-sugar treat yesterday. I sometimes just munch on dried prunes when I have a craving at night. But when I’m in the mood for a real “dessert”, I make stewed prunes. They’re one of my favorite foods in the world. You can also eat them on top of plain yogurt, which tastes incredible. I have the recipe here: http://thincrustdeepdish.blogspot.com/2009/04/meeting-my-rock-star.html. Let me know if others have great stewed prune recipes. I’m always in the market for more!

  15. Amber says

    Well I kinda caved last night, it was a very long day and I ate dinner later than usual and then had a sweet attack. I should have just drank a glass of water but instead I heated up some pure maple syrup and let some of the water in it boil away for a couple of minutes. I let it cool a little and then scooped it up on a spoon. As it cooled and I scooped it stuck to the spoon and I ate it like a lollipop. Warning on this if you decide to try it – do not try to bite it off the spoon – that could lead to a visit to the dentist 🙂

    One of Scott Olhgren’s suggestion if you have a sweet attack is to drink 8 – 10 oz of water at one standing. The idea is that your body is really thirsty but so many years of SAD diet can trick your body into thinking it is hungry. Here is the address of his site if anyone is interested: http://www.howhealthworks.com/

    I’m back on the wagon again today – so far this week I have said no to chocolate cake, homemade cookies and I survived walking down the candy aisle of the grocery store – gotta celebrate the little successes too!

  16. says

    Thank you! Now that summer’s over, it’s been difficult to figure out seasonally-appropriate, sugar-free, fruit-based dessert options. This one looks *great*. I can’t wait to make it.

  17. Susanna says

    Made this tonight. Fantastic!! Kids weren’t thrilled, but that’s OK b/c it takes a bit of time to make this, so next time I’ll just make it for hubby and me. Couldn’t believe how much natural sweetness it brought out!

  18. stephanie says

    I’ve been making something very similar for my baby to eat. I cube my apples to suit her little mouth and few teeth, add a dash of cinn. and coconut oil and she LOVES them….she’ll eat an entire apple and half by herself! I’ll put leftovers in oatmeal, so yummy.

  19. reiner says

    you don’t know what you did to me with this recipe! i cook it every day and i discovered that food cooked in butter is so delicious! thank you!!!


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