Cracker Barrel Fried Apples


If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel, you’ll already know that they have a really great menu. One of the things that makes it such a joy is the delicious range of sides. One of our absolute favorites is the Cracker Barrel fried apples. They are great with both sweet and savory dishes, and they are full of juicy goodness. Today, we will show you how to make them and give you plenty of handy hints, so they are as good as the original recipe. Let’s get the pan on.

cracker barrel fried apple

How to Make Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

We always want to be upfront with you. So we are going to put our stake in the ground now and share our thoughts. This recipe does use a lot of ingredients, considering it is a Cracker Barrel side dish

Really, like what?

Well, you want your Cracker Barrel fried apples to taste authentic, right? For that reason, we fry them in bacon fat. Ok, so it isn’t the healthiest choice, but we have found this to give them the most authentic taste. If you can’t get hold of any bacon fat, butter works well too!

We also add a few little ‘secret’ extras’. We use lemon juice which really brings out the tartness of the crispy apples. We also add brown sugar. As the apples fry, this caramelizes and gives the apples a slightly smoky burnt toffee taste.

We are all about the seasonings and spices. We add a little salt. This isn’t just for flavor. When you add salt to fried fruit or veg, it breaks down the tiny cell walls within the food. This allows it to release moisture, ensuring that your fried apples are all soft and juicy.

We also add apples’ best friends, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Both of these autumnal spices work really well to make this cracker barrel recipe authentic. 

When it comes to equipment, you aren’t going to need a lot. A sharp knife, a few measuring spoons, and a large skillet are about all it takes. We like to make ours in a cast-iron skillet. We swear they taste better than any other frying pan.

Oh, and before we forget, here’s something that you simply must do.

Make sure to peel your apples before frying them. You can leave them on if you prefer, but this isn’t how cracker barrel does it. And besides, who wants to get apple skin stuck in their teeth. Not us! 

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

4 from 4 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Our Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples will have you coming back for more. With simple ingredients, there really is no excuses to not make this today.


  • 3 tablespoons 3 bacon fat or butter.

  • 6 large 6 green cooking apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons 2 brown sugar

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon 1 powder cinnamon

  • 1 pinch 1 nutmeg

  • A squeeze of fresh lemon


  • Take a large (preferably cast iron) skillet and add the bacon fat or butter. Place over low heat.
  • Add the apple and give the pan a shake so that all the slices are in contact with the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Give the pan a quick stir and shake. Pop the lid on and cook for 5 minutes until the apples turn slightly soft
  • Remove the lid and continue to stir and fry the apples for a further 10 minutes.
  • Once the apples turn a pale golden color, add a squeeze of lemon juice, give it a final stir and then serve in bowls.
  • Enjoy!


  • The lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg are entirely optional, so don’t worry too much if you don’t have one of the ingredients to hand. It won’t taste quite as authentic as the original cracker barrel fried apple recipe, but it isn’t too far away!

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

Serving Size1 servings

  • Amount Per ServingCalories80
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 5g 8%
    • Saturated Fat 3g 15%
  • Cholesterol 14mg 5%
  • Sodium 87mg 4%
  • Potassium 9mg 1%
  • Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
    • Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
    • Sugars 6g
  • Protein 0g 0%

  • Vitamin A 5%
  • Vitamin C 1%
  • Calcium 3%
  • Iron 1%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Tips and Tricks

  • Your choice of apples is entirely up to you. We find that large green cooking apples give the most authentic taste. We tend to steer clear of red or pink varieties as they tend to be a little too sweet, but that is our personal preference. Try different types and see what works for you.
  • If you want to add another twist to this dish, try adding a few slices of chopped pear. This transforms the dish to a whole new level.
  • If you can’t buy bacon fat, plan ahead or use this as a side dish for another main course involving bacon. Just be sure to leave the pan dirty after you have fried your bacon. This is also a super side to serve with pork chops
  • You can use butter to fry your apples if you don’t want to use bacon fat. If you haven’t got butter, you can use a little oil at a push, but it won’t taste quite as rich.
  • Don’t chop and peel your apples until you are ready to cook with them. Apples oxidize really quickly in the fresh air. Essentially, this is a posh way of saying they turn brown. We want our apples to be brown because we’ve fried them, not because they have been left out to go all soft!
  • While we do fry these apples, you have to do it over low heat. Remember, this recipe contains sugar. If you go too hot, you will burn the sugar, leading to an acrid, burned taste. Oh, and it makes the frying pan an absolute nightmare to clean too!
  • Start the cooking process with the lid on and remove it as soon as the apples turn slightly soft. That way, you get a nice mix of juiciness and browning. 


Feel free to store these. They will stay good in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 4 days. We like to serve ours for dinner and have the rest with pancakes the next morning.

Enjoy Cracker Barrel? Try these copycat restaurant recipes!


Baby Carrots

Green Beans

French Toast



This is a pretty simple recipe. Every time we make it, we are reminded of what we love about cracker barrel’s recipes. It’s really homely food. Cracker Barrel fried apples go so well with grilled meats, but they can be served elsewhere too. How are you serving yours? Let us know in the comments! 


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