Southern skillet fried apples is an easy, old fashioned soul food that’s often served at breakfast.  Butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg are cooked in a skillet with Granny Smith apples to create this mouthwatering treat—just like Grandma used to make.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
holding a bowl of fried apples
Dessert, Side Dishes

Southern Skillet Fried Apples

If you’re a fan of the fried apples from Cracker Barrel Restaurant, you might be wondering how to make them at home.  Fortunately, you only need basic pantry ingredients to make this delicious treat!  This versatile side dish can be served with biscuits at breakfast, pork at dinner, or on its own for dessert. 😋

spoonful of fried apples

What are the best apples to fry?

A tart baking apple, such as Granny Smith, is the best kind of apple for fried apples because they hold their shape very well when cooked.  Softer apples like McIntosh and Fuiji will break down much more quickly.

holding a bowl of fried apples

Can you freeze fried apples?

Yes, you can freeze fried apples.  Just put them in an airtight container or a zip-top freezer bag and use within 3 months.

How to Make Southern Fried Apples

Gather all the ingredients: apples, lemon juice, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

ingredients for fried apples

Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

apple slices in a bowl for fried apples

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.

melted butter in a skillet for fried apples

Add the apple slices and cook until the butter has thickened and the apples begin to soften.

apple slices in a skillet for fried apples

Stir in the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and cook until the apples are fork tender.  Taste and adjust spices as desired.

fried apples in a skillet

Pro Tips

  • Choose the apples wisely. Use a tart baking apple such as Granny Smith that will hold its shape when cooked.
  • Peel the apples.  The skins will affect the texture of the fried apples and will make them harder to eat.
  • Cut the apple slices the same thickness.  This will ensure that the apple slices cook evenly.
  • Use real butter for the best flavor.  Oil or butter spreads won’t have the beautiful flavor of real butter.
  • Be careful not to overcook the apples.  No one wants soggy, mushy fried apples!
  • Adjust the amount of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to your personal taste.  The sweetness of the apples you use will affect the final dish, so make sure to taste and adjust accordingly.

bowl of fried apples

Satisfy your apple cravings with these other apple desserts.

holding a plate of apple cranberry crisp with a spoon Hereford apple dumplings on a plate upside down apple cake on a plate

Did you make these Southern fried apples?  Share how you enjoyed it by leaving a recipe rating below.

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holding a bowl of fried apples

Southern Skillet Fried Apples


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 31 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1/2 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Southern skillet fried apples is an easy, old fashioned soul food that’s often served at breakfast.  Butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg are cooked in a skillet with Granny Smith apples to create this mouthwatering treat—just like Grandma used to make.


Ingredients

  • 3 large Granny Smith apples (1 1/2 lbs or 680g)
  • 1 large Fuji apple (5-6 oz or 141-170g)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (115g)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed (135g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (55g)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the apples, then peel, quarter, and core them with a sharp knife.  Cut each apple into sixteen slices, then toss them with the lemon juice so they don’t turn brown.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until bubbly.  Stir in the apple slices to coat with butter, and cook until the juices have thickened slightly and the apples are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir well.   Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the apples are fork tender.  Be careful not to overcook.
  4. Taste and adjust the spices as desired, then serve immediately.

Notes

  • For firmer-textured fried apples, use 100% Granny Smith apples.  I used 1 Fuji apple in this recipe to add a different texture and flavor; however, this kind of apple will turn into applesauce if it’s overcooked.

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