Fried Apples Recipe: A Southern Fried Favorite

Fried apples are a simple Southern favorite that makes for the perfect winter warmer or for a summer party side dish!

This easy-to-make recipe is packed full of sugar and cinnamon and smothered in butter. Okay, fried apples might not be the healthiest way to eat apples, but Southern fried apples are seriously delicious!

Get the apple peeler out of the cupboard because we're about to show you the best way to fry apples. Here's our Southern-style easy fried apple recipe! 

How to make fried apples (Southern-style)

Southern fried apples are super easy to make, and our recipe below will take as little as 15 minutes to prepare from start to finish. This wonderful treat is a little sweet but also a little savory, and so it works well as a dessert or as a side dish for many meat-based dishes, such as pork chops.

The ingredients below will make around 6 servings of fried apples, but it's simple to scale up this recipe for fried apples if you have a serious amount of apples to get through, or a large party to host. 

Ingredients for easy fried apples

  • 4 large apples
  • ½ c of unsalted butter
  • ½ c of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon powder

Directions for fried apples

  1. Start preparing your apples for frying by peeling, coring, and slicing them. Try to ensure that your apple slices are all uniform in size, so they fry well together.
  2. Next, melt the butter in a large pan or skillet. It's got to be large enough to hold all of your apples, so your apple slices don't start to stew rather than fry.
  3. Once the butter has melted, measure out sugar and cinnamon powder and stir into the butter. 
  4. Finally, add your slices of apple and let them fry. It shouldn't take longer than 8 minutes for them to fry. Keep stirring the fried apple slices as they cook.
  5. Once fried, remove the apples and serve hot, or save them for later!

Fried apples recipe FAQ

What are the best apples to use for frying?

The best apples for frying really depend on your own tastes and preferences because this recipe works well for all types of apples. If you've got a bag of Golden Delicious in the cupboard, then give them a fry! If you've got Fuji's, throw them in the pan!

Some apples hold their shape better under high heat, however, and so these are often selected for cooking and learning how to fry apples. 'Cooking' apples include large Granny Smiths or Bramley apples, which are often bigger and 'stronger.' Cooking apples aren't always as tasty (or as sweet) as other apples, though. 

If you have a sweet tooth, then go for sweeter varieties. Likewise, if you prefer the savory elements of Southern fried apples, go for the tarter cooking apples. 

How sweet are fried apples?

Because we're making fried apples with brown sugar and cinnamon, you can rest assured that these apples are going to be sweet when we're finished with them. If you have a particularly strong sweet tooth, then you can add more sugar to the recipe as well. 

Remember, though, that these aren't the healthiest of apples, so if your calorie counting, you'll need to be sparing on the sugar you add. Try to use naturally sweet apples, such as a Fuji, instead of adding extra sugar to the recipe.

You can also add other sweet elements to the dish, too, when the apples are frying. Instead of just pouring sugar in, try using natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup. 

What can I serve with fried apples?

Fried apples are super versatile, and they can be paired with many foods and meals. 

Fried apples can be a dessert, a filling, or they work well as a side dish. If you're preparing fried apples for dessert, then serve them warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream (or any other flavor), or try pouring over single or double cream (or whipped cream!). 

Fried apples can also be served with savory food. They work well as a barbecue side, as they are so easy and quick to cook. You can serve fried apples as a side to your pork chops, pork loin, or any other pork dish. They can also be served in the winter with thick pork stews to add a sweet and refreshing element to the meal. 

Can I use fried apples as a pie filling? 

If you've got lots of leftover fried apples, then don't worry, they can quickly be turned into a pie filling. Fried apples can form the base for your favorite apple pie recipes, or they go really well in an apple crumble or an apple crisp. 

When you're baking, though, remember that fried apples have already been cooked - so you'll need less time in the oven overall. 

Can I freeze fried apples? 

If you've got too many leftovers, then you can also keep your fried apples in the freezer to extend their shelf life. When properly frozen, fried apples can last for up to 6 months. If you've got lots of apples to use up, then fry them, and simply keep them frozen for a few months rather than throwing them out!

You'll need to transfer your fried apples (once cooked and cooled) to a resealable container or a ziplock bag. If you have lots of apples, then divide the fried apples into smaller serving size portions for individual freezing - that way, you only need to defrost as much as you're able to eat in one sitting!

Can I freeze apples and then fry them later?

If you have lots of apples lying around that are about to go moldy, but you aren't quite sure if you want to fry them all, then it's also possible to freeze the apples and fry them later. 

To freeze apples, you'll need to peel them, core them, then slice them up. Place the apple slices into ziplock bags or resealable containers, and ensure they are divided into usable portions (don't freeze them all in one bag, as you'll have to defrost them all at the same time). Place the bag or containers into the freezer, and you can keep them frozen for up to 6 months. 

When it's time to thaw them, let the apples defrost naturally on the side for the best results. If you're in a rush, you can simply throw them into the pan and start frying on low heat first, before turning the heat up after a few minutes.  

This is a great way to save apples, rather than throwing them out, and later on, you can decide to fry them, stew them, turn them into applesauce, or bake them into an apple pie. 

Fried apples: the last tasty bite

Fried apples are a wonderfully versatile dish that can be prepared in a very short space of time. With so few ingredients, this is a great way to use up apples or to prepare a tasty side dish or dessert in bulk. 

Smother your fried apples in cream or ice cream, use them as a delectable apple pie filling, or serve them up as a side at your next barbecue. The choice is yours!

If you've got lots of apples to use, then why not try our Southern fried apples recipe?