When it comes to cooking, apples are mostly closely associated with desserts like pies and crisps. However, their sweet-tart flavor also lends itself to savory dishes. From salads to stuffed pork, we’ve rounded up our favorite savory apple recipes.
Cut into matchsticks, fresh apple can add crunch and fruity tartness to a variety of salads. Fuji or gala apples work well in a kohlrabi and watercress salad with a sumac-infused yogurt dressing. Granny smith apples are a good choice for a Waldorf-style Brussels sprouts salad with guanciale.
Pairing apples with pork is a classic combination. Try them in the Saxon dish székelyalmás, or pork with a marjoram-scented apple and cider cream sauce. Red Holland chiles give the dish just enough heat. Or try wrapping pork loin around sinner stuffing, a decadent mix of apples, dried apricots, and prunes doused in bourbon.
Apples are a fall fruit, so it makes sense to incorporate them into your Thanksgiving dinner. No Thanksgiving is complete without stuffing. Apples add a touch of sweetness to our simple sage and sausage stuffing. For a twist on a traditional cranberry sauce, try our sweet-tart apple cranberry relish with sautéed garlic and onion. Of course, the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table is the roast turkey. We incorporate apples into turkey three ways—we roast the bird with them and use apple cider and brandy in the gravy.
Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of savory apple recipes.
At the Brooklyn, New York restaurant Emily, Brussels sprouts are fried whole until crispy and then tossed in an umami-rich dressing of fish sauce and lemon juice spiked with chile oil. A shower of salty Pecorino cheese, sweet-tart Granny Smith apple, nutty sesame seeds and fresh minced chives tops off the addictive appetizer.
Sautéed garlic and onion, plus a little bit of salt, add a savory note to this sweet-tart relish, which gets its body from the natural pectin in the poached, puréed cranberries. A twist on Thanksgiving’s traditional cranberry sauce, the recipe was given to us by Michael Sandoval, executive chef of Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, California. His staff prepares it as part of the restaurant’s annual Thanksgiving meal for veterans and their families. Get the recipe for Apple-Cranberry Relish »
Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad
For a twist on the classic Waldorf salad, try tossing sweet apples with crisp watercress and nutty kohlrabi in a sumac-infused yogurt dressing.
Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Fennel
Babette Hayes shared her recipe for this succulent roast, which is cooked alongside apples and fennel, perfumed with garlic and rosemary, and has a sweet-tart crust from a glaze of red currant jelly and pomegranate molasses. Ask your butcher to partially expose the shank, which you can use as a sort of handle for easier carving. Get the recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Fennel »
Crisp Apple-Roasted Turkey with Cider-Calvados Gravy
The turkey in this recipe, from Lynne Rossetto Kasper, is deeply infused with the aroma of apples. “I’m a great believer in repeating seasoning themes at different stages of cooking to build depth,” she says, “which is why I use several expressions of apple—the fruit itself, cider, and apple brandy—in this recipe.”