For most people, baked apple is a classic American dessert. It’s also a great way to enjoy seasonal fruit during the fall and winter months. Baked apples are usually served with ice cream, but you can also choose from a variety of toppings such as cinnamon, vanilla, or caramel sauce.
You can’t go wrong with baked apples.
A sweet, cinnamon-y treat that’s made even better by being served hot and fresh out of the oven, these are the perfect way to end any meal.
But what if you could make this treat even better?
Well, we’ve got your back.
Whether you’re looking for a light snack or a more substantial side dish to go alongside your baked apples, we have great ideas for you.
And the best part is, they are all easy to make!
Just toss them together quickly while your apples are in the oven, and you’ll be ready to go when it’s time to sit down and enjoy your dessert.
Here are our top picks for side dishes that make baked apples even more delicious!
What to Serve with Baked Apples: 22 Best Sides
Baked apples are a delicious dessert that is always served with a variety of sides.
The most common side dish to serve with baked apples is a simple, warm bread pudding.
The sweet flavor of the bread pudding pairs well with the tartness of the baked apples.
However, if you’re looking for something a little different, you can opt for a savory side dish like mashed potatoes or fried rice.
Both dishes will provide that extra bit of saltiness that will complement the sweetness of the apples.
12 Savory Sides to Serve with Baked Apples
While baking apples is a great way to enjoy them, it’s also fun to add some savory sides to serve with them.
Toss cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt, then roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Mash the sweet potatoes and mix in butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Top with toasted pecans.
2. Farro Salad
This easy salad is a perfect side dish year-round.
It’s great in the summer, when tomatoes and corn are at their peak, and ideal in the fall, when apples and cranberries are in season.
3. Rice pilaf
Rice pilaf is a great side dish.
I created one recently with some sauteed onion and celery, a bit of thyme, and some sliced mushrooms.
You can also add nuts such as pine nuts or walnuts.
I’ve served baked apples with roasted root vegetables, especially beets and potatoes.
I’ve also tried it with roasted fennel (which I was pleasantly surprised by).
The sweet and savory work nicely together, and the vegetables make for a more filling meal.
The way I do the vegetables is to just cut them up, toss them with some oil, salt, pepper, and herbs or spices of choice (rosemary goes well with beets, dill goes well with potatoes), and roast at 400F until they’re done.
If you’re looking for a side dish to go with baked apples, macaroni and cheese is a good one.
The reason it works is that the creamy, rich cheese sauce complements the sweet apple slices.
This combination can work in two ways.
First, you can simply serve the macaroni and cheese alongside the baked apples.
Or, you can incorporate some of the apple slices into your macaroni and cheese recipe.
Either way, it’s a great pairing.
A green bean casserole is a very simple dish to make.
It’s similar to macaroni and cheese in that it has a lot of carbohydrates, but it also has a lot of protein as well.
You can also add onions or garlic to the green bean casserole to give it an additional flavor profile.
7. Potato salad
Baked apples are sweet and savory, filling, and lightly spiced.
Potato salad is also filling, has a creamy texture that contrasts with the baked apples, and is the perfect side dish to complete the meal.
Potato salad is delicious when made with crispy bacon or ham and sweet onions.
The side dish is light enough to prevent overindulging in the meal, but still filling.
Potato salad can be served warm or cold.
It’s sweet, but savory. And it’s a great base for baked apples.
I love freshly made apple pie and apple tarts, but they’re often too sweet, and you need something to balance that out.
A hearty soup like this goes well with baked apples.
One of my favorite side dishes with baked apples is steamed veggies.
I don’t just mean any old steamed veggies. I mean steamed veggies that are tender-crisp and well seasoned.
Here’s how I do it:
- Cut up the desired veggies into bite size pieces and place them in a saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (about 1/4-1/2 inch deep).
- Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes or until veggies are bright colored and tender-crisp.
- Drain water and drizzle with melted butter, toss to coat, then sprinkle on salt, pepper, garlic powder and/or nutritional yeast (if you want) and toss again.
Make sure to use a good quality butter if you can find it.
Kerrygold is my favorite brand but there are others available at Whole Foods or your local health food store.
You can add any seasonings you like – nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc., but my favorite combo is simply salt and pepper.
You’ll be amazed at how much flavor you can get out of such simple seasonings!
10. Pasta Salad
Pasta salads usually go very well with baked apples.
I like to try different combinations of ingredients to vary the flavors and textures of the salad.
I like to use pasta that has been cooked slightly al dente, since it will be sitting in the dressing for a few hours before serving.
I use a simple vinaigrette for a base dressing, and add any combination of summer vegetables, cheese, herbs, and nuts.
I also like to include fruit, like raisins or dried cranberries.
It’s nice to have something sweet in there that goes well with the baked apples.
Zucchini Casserole is a good side dish to go with baked apples because it is a very sweet and savory dish.
It includes zucchini, yogurt, and other sweet ingredients.
The sweetness from the dish mixes well with the sweetness from the apples.
12. Quinoa Salad
Cook quinoa according to package directions.
Combine cooked quinoa with chopped cucumber, crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh mint leaves.
Toss with red wine vinaigrette dressing.
10 Sweet Sides to Serve with Baked Apples
Baked apples may be a sweet treat, but they need a little something to bring the flavor out.
Serve up these 10 delicious side dishes with your next apple dish, and your taste buds will thank you for it!
A handful of candied pecans on top of the baked apple slices can make a delicious side dish.
The crunchy texture, and sweet taste will complement the smooth and soft consistency of the baked apples.
Vanilla ice cream is a great sweet side dish that goes well alongside baked apples.
This is because the apple is still hot, and the ice cream is cold.
The ice cream melts on to the apple and it becomes delicious.
Another reason that vanilla ice cream is a great side dish for baked apples is because of the vanilla taste in the ice cream.
Vanilla and apple are 2 very good flavors that can go well together.
3. Pecan pie
Pecan pie is a sweet pastry with pecans and syrup or molasses.
Originally made popular in the Southern United States, it has become a popular dessert across the country.
A filling of eggs, sugar, and pecans is baked in a flaky pie crust.
Variations of the filling may include white or brown sugar, sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or honey.
The pecan nut meat is used as a topping or in the filling.
Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe.
Pecans are in season during the fall, so they are likely to be at their freshest.
If you make your own crust it’ll be even tastier, and really give you that homemade feel.
Blueberry cobbler is a great dish to serve with baked apples.
The cinnamon in baked apples pairs well with blueberries.
Baked apples are not overly sweet, so the fruit in the cobbler can be sweetened to taste (no sugar added, if desired).
The blueberry cobbler can also be served warm or cold, making it a great dish for any time of the year.
5. Apple pie
A classic sweet side dish that goes well with baked apples is apple pie.
It’s a great way to get people to eat more fruit, and it can be eaten either warm or cold.
Apple pie is a traditional American dessert that was made from a variety of apples.
The filling usually contains sugar and cinnamon, which makes it taste delicious.
There are many different ways to make apple pie, but most recipes call for butter and milk or cream.
Some versions use other ingredients like lemon juice instead of milk or cream.
Other versions are made with nuts such as pecans or walnuts.
The best way to enjoy this delicious dessert is by making it yourself at home!
I love the idea of pairing the sweetness of baked apples with a tart lemon cookie.
The sweetness of the apple and the tartness of the lemon would make for a great balance.
As for why, I believe that these two ingredients pair well because they are both sweet and tangy.
Chocolate pudding is the perfect dessert for apple pie.
It’s creamy, rich and sweet, so it will pair well with the tartness of the apples in the pie.
You can make chocolate pudding from scratch or buy it premade at most grocery stores.
Because baked apples are a dessert, cheesecake is a great choice for a sweet side dish.
Cheesecake also has an element of tanginess that nicely balances the sweetness of baked apples.
I like the contrast of sweet and savory, and apples and chocolate are a classic combination.
There are lots of appetizer-sized brownies, so you can get two or three bites of each, or one bite of each — just right for a small plate.
10. Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin pie is a classic fall dessert, and it tastes great with apples.
The pumpkin flavor goes really well with the apples, and you can easily make both desserts together.
4 Benefits of Serving Side Dishes Alongside Baked Apples
Baked apples are a delicious and healthy dessert, but you can enjoy them even more by adding a side dish.
Some of the benefits of serving side dishes alongside baked apples include:
1. It Gives Your Guests More Options to Enjoy
Well, for starters, it gives your guests more options to enjoy.
Plus, serving a side dish alongside baked apples helps cut back on servings per person.
While each apple is a single serving, adding on sides can help you stretch your recipe further and save money.
2. It Makes the Meal More Filling
I’m a big fan of side dishes. They’re what turn a meal of baked apples into an apple crisp, or roasted chicken into a feast.
Side dishes are more than just the garnish on a main dish; they’re what can make it filling and satisfying (and even less expensive to prepare).
In many cases, they’re the most flavorful part of the meal, whether they’re fresh vegetables or carbohydrate-heavy accompaniments like potatoes, pasta and rice.
Some people may think that adding side dishes is “gilding the lily” — that if you have a delicious entrée, there’s no reason to go beyond it.
I couldn’t disagree more strongly. If you want your family (or yourself) to eat better, it’s vital that you serve hearty and well-balanced meals for them.
That means making sure there’s enough food for everyone to enjoy themselves without feeling hungry afterward.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions from readers who are struggling with the idea of portion control — especially when it comes to serving large families or guests at home.
The truth is that side dishes are a great way to make sure everyone gets enough food without breaking the bank.
3. Create Balance
Pairing baked apples with other side dishes makes them more interesting and balanced.
Side dishes can help balance out the sweetness of baked apples by adding crunchy textures or salty flavors.
Baked apples are made with sugar and spices, which can create a very sweet dish. Other side dishes can help balance this sweetness by adding contrasting flavors and textures.
4. Increase Variety
Serving baked apples alongside side dishes creates variety in your meal, making it more interesting and satisfying.
You can serve simple side dishes alongside baked apples, such as butter and sugar or scoops of ice cream, but there are also many creative options for sides that will add flavor and texture to your dessert.
What to Serve with Baked Apples: 22 Best Sides
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Farro Salad
- Rice pilaf
- Roasted root vegetables
- Macaroni and cheese
- Green bean casserole
- Potato salad
- Butternut squash soup
- Steamed veggies
- Pasta Salad
- Zucchini Casserole
- Quinoa Salad
- Candied pecans
- Vanilla ice cream
- Pecan pie
- Blueberry cobbler
- Apple pie
- Chocolate Pudding
- Pumpkin pie
- Pick your favorite side dish on this list and serve it alongside your baked apples.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Enjoy your meal in no time.