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This healthy apple crisp is the perfect fall dessert. It's filled with good-for-you ingredients like fresh apples, oats, and pecans, and it's naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It's easy to make, everyone loves it, and it's ready in just over an hour!
When apple season rolls around, this is the fall dessert we make on repeat. It's cozy and warm with gooey sweet apples and a crunchy oat topping, and it's healthier, too!
This healthy apple crisp recipe is really simple to make with basic ingredients. Since a lot of the cooking time is hands-off, we actually like to pop this healthy apple crisp in the oven while we're eating dinner. The timing works out perfectly so you can enjoy it warm for dessert while it fills your home with the most incredible fall aromas.
Make it on weekends, for casual dinner parties, or as a healthier option on holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. There's no refined sugar or flour so it's perfect for all the eaters around the table. And, of course, kids love it, too.
Why you'll love this healthy apple crisp
- It uses simple ingredients and it's easy to make
- It's healthier so you can feel good about eating it
- The gooey spiced apples are reminiscent of apple pie
- The leftovers taste great the next day!
Healthy apple crisp ingredients
Apple crisp is delicious and a whole lot easier to make than apple pie. Here are the ingredients you need to make the apple crisp:
- Apples – any kind of apple variety works, but the flavor will change depending on how sweet or tart your apples are. We keep the apple skins on for a rustic feel, but you can peel them if you'd like.
- Maple syrup – this natural sweetener won't spike your blood sugar like regular sugar, and adds wonderful rich caramel flavor.
- Corn starch or tapioca starch – to thicken up the juices.
- Salt, vanilla, cinnamon – we use cinnamon, but feel free to add other warm spices like nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, or ginger. Pumpkin pie spice works wonderfully!
- Butter – we use regular butter. But for a dairy-free version, use either dairy-free butter or coconut oil.
This is what you'll need for the crunchy oat topping:
- Oats – old-fashioned rolled oats are what we use but you can use quick oats if that's all you've got. Don't use steel-cut oats for this recipe. For a completely gluten-free apple crisp be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- Pecans – for that perfect nutty crunch. Other nuts like walnuts and almonds both taste great, too.
- Maple syrup – only the real thing will do!
- Butter – regular salted butter is what we use, or opt for vegan butter if needed.
- Cinnamon and salt
What makes this apple crisp healthy?
Wondering if apple crisp is healthy? We think so!
To make a healthier apple crisp, we replace brown sugar with maple syrup for sweetness and use a minimal amount of butter. To make it dairy-free, simply swap the butter for melted coconut oil or a dairy-free butter alternative. There's no flour in this recipe either, so you can easily make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oats.
It's also jam-packed with apples which are naturally high in fiber and antioxidants, plus it has rolled oats and pecans, so you'll benefit from all that goodness, too!
How to make healthy apple crisp
This easy apple crisp is the perfect fall dessert for weekends or laid-back dinner parties. Serve it à-la-mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt. Here's how to make it in a few simple steps:
- While your oven preheats, mix the sliced apples with the maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
- Transfer the apple mixture to a pie pan or baking dish, dot it with butter, cover it with aluminum foil, and bake. Your home will start to smell amazing really soon!
- While the apples cook, make the topping by mixing all the topping ingredients together.
- After about 20 minutes, remove the apples from the oven, give them a stir, spread the topping overtop, replace the foil, and bake again. Towards the end of cooking, remove the foil to give it that nice golden brown top. That's it! Cool slightly before digging in.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Can I prepare apple crisp ahead of time?
Definitely! Make it 2-3 days in advance and store it in your fridge. When you're ready to serve it, warm it up in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes (or until warmed through).
How long do leftovers keep in the fridge?
Store any leftover apple crisp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
What are the best apples to use?
You can really use any variety but pink lady, honeycrisp, golden delicious, gala, and granny smith are all popular varieties for apple crisp.
When to serve healthy apple crisp
Homemade apple crisp takes cozy evenings to the next level. While it's easy enough to make on weeknights, it's also everyone's familiar favorite at dinner parties and holiday dinners.
Since it's easy to make gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free, it's a great option for anyone following a specific diet, and you can feel good about serving it to kids, too.
Our favorite way to serve it is with a generous scoop of our vanilla coconut ice cream.
Favorite Sweet Apple Recipes
- Gluten-Free Baked Stuffed Apples
- Apple Pumpkin Oatmeal with Maple Pecan Crumble
- Apple Lemonade
- Gluten-Free Apple Tart
Cobblers, Crumbles, and Crisps
- Amaretto Peach Cobbler
- Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
- Chocolate Blackberry Crumble
- Microwave Apple Crisp
The Apple Crisp
- 6 apples (cored and sliced)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 2 teapoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter (diced)
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ cup pecans (chopped)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teapoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the apples with maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.6 apples, ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 teapoons vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
- Transfer the apples to a deep-dish pie pan and gently press down. Dot the top with butter then cover with foil and put the pan into your oven for 20 minutes.1 tablespoon butter
- While the apples begin baking, make the topping. In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the topping ingredients together.1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ½ cup pecans, ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teapoon salt
- Remove the apples from the oven and give them a stir. Spread the topping on top of the apples then cover the pan again and put it back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the apples are soft and the oats are golden. Let the apple crisp cool, loosely covered, for 10 minutes before serving.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.