Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Fried apples are a classic side dish that generations have enjoyed. But if you’ve ever tried to replicate the delicious flavors of Cracker Barrel’s famous fried apples, you know it’s not easy! Whether a novice or a pro, these tried-and-tested recipes are guaranteed to help you get that classic fried apple flavor you crave. Read on to learn the secrets behind perfect fried apples every time! You are going to love this Cracker Barrel apple recipe.

Homemade Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in a serving dish.

Delight your family with a delicious fried apple recipe from Cracker Barrel.

These skillet-fried apples are lovely when served with pork chops, but this becomes my easy apple dessert recipe when it is apple season. I know you will love serving this up just like the Cracker Barrel restaurants do, and when you make it at home, you can serve it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This copycat Cracker Barrel recipe is an easy recipe. Who doesn’t love a delicious treat from your favorite restaurant?

What makes this the best copycat Cracker Barrel restaurant recipe? 

Hands down, this is one of my family’s favorite apple recipes. These apples have the perfect blend of spices. Tender apple slices are perfectly cooked and wonderfully seasoned. These delicious fried apples can be served as a great side dish or as a dessert with a dollop of whipped cream. This is our go-to recipe for enjoying apples when it is apple season. 

Southern Fried Apples

If you have never had fried apples, you will want to try this classic Southern side dish immediately. If you enjoy the taste of apple pie filling, this will soon be one of your favorite ways to enjoy apples.

In the restaurant, they aren’t made fresh, but you can make a copycat of their fried apples using fresh ingredients at home. These apples are delicious if you enjoy them as a side dish or a dessert.

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make fried apples:

  • Bacon drippings or butter
  • Golden delicious apples – or other tart apples
  • Lemon juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
Ingredients for homemade Cracker Barrel fried apples

How to Make Fried Apples Cracker Barrel Style

  1. Core, peel, and slice apples.
  2. In a large skillet, melt bacon drippings or melt butter.
  3. Spread sliced apple evenly over the skillet bottom.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar and salt over the apple mixture.
  5. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, and stir them occasionally. Cook until the apples are fork-tender and juicy.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, and serve.
  7. You can add a squeeze of lemon at the finish for enhanced flavor.
  8. Serve these with a slotted spoon.
Homemade Cracker Barrel fried apples in a skillet.

To Peel or Not to Peel Apples

You can leave the peels on the apples or take them off, which is entirely up to you. I think you can deviate from the recipe a bit if you want to use different types of apples in the recipe. You can get a delicious flavor by using a couple of other apples.

Please note the video below features apples that are not peeled. You can peel the apples if you want them exactly like they are at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant.

Homemade Cracker Barrels fried apples in a serving dish next to 2 apples and cinnamon sticks.

What are the best apples to use for cooked apples?

Cracker Barrel uses the Golden Delicious type of apple, but many other apples have a better flavor when you cook them. I recommend different kinds of apples over golden delicious. Here are a few of my recommendations.

  • Granny Smith apples have a citrusy-tart flavor and are very firm, so they don’t get mushy when cooked.
  • Jonagold apples have a sweet honey flavor that holds up well when baked.
  • Honeycrisp apples are sweet and tart with a hint of berry.
  • Pink lady apples are sweet, and tart apples, they are also slow to brown.

Want to get the best flavor imaginable? Make this recipe with a few different types of apples

How to Serve Fried Apples

My favorite thing about this recipe is this apple recipe can be served as either a delicious side dish during the main course or a dessert. If you make them as a side dish consider adding a little less sugar. If you want to serve them as a dessert, consider serving them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Fried Apples

You can store this fried apple recipe by simply placing the leftover apples in an airtight container. They will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to five days.

Fried apples can be reheated in the microwave for 2 to 5 minutes on medium heat depending on the quantity you have to reheat.

A great way to enjoy these leftover apples is to heat them and add them to your morning oatmeal.

Can Cracker Barrel Fried Apples be frozen?

While you can freeze the leftover apples, I personally do enjoy the texture of frozen fried apples. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Fried apples can be enjoyed as a side dish or even a dessert. There is nothing like Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in the fall! When you make them at home you can enjoy them even more.

Love Cracker Barrel? Check out these copycat recipes!

Here are a few more easy apple recipes your family will love!

Be sure to take a look at my all-time favorite fall recipes and the best Cracker Barrel copycat recipes.

Homemade Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in a serving dish.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

You can make the Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples with any type of apple you have on hand.
4.92 from 12 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cracker Barrel Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 78kcal


  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, or 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 tart apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg


  • In a large skillet, melt bacon drippings or butter.
  • Spread the apples evenly over the skillet bottom.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice over the apples, followed by the brown sugar and salt.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, until apples are tender and juicy.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and serve.
  • You can add a squeeze of lemon at the finish for enhanced flavor, this is optional.



The video demonstrates this with apples that were not peeled. A personal choice should be made when preparing this recipe.


Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Robb

    Just made them and took my first bite. I have found a new comfort food for a chilly autumn day. I’m sure they will taste just as good in hot weather. I’m going to try them out on the family and see if they all say “Cracker Barrel”.

  2. Karen

    Just saw this recipe and can’t WAIT to make it. When you say tart apples, do you mean Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp or something else?

    • Stephanie Manley

      I have made this with granny smith for tart apples, I loved them with granny smith apples. I have also done with this Opal apples, and honey crisp. I honestly like to mix a couple of different apples in here when I make this. I think it brings out the best flavor.

      I typically stay away from the red and the golden delicious apples, I think you can get other apples with better flavor.

  3. Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet

    Ohhh Cracker Barrel Apples are one of our favorites there! Love that you used bacon drippings. Totally my kind of recipe!

    • diane

      5 min is too long mine are always over cooked how do they get them s ceisp? they also sell them in a jar! enevn though they are canned so good!

    • Carroll Faver

      There’s an old rule that says when you make anything sweet, just a dash of salt brings out the taste of all the ingredients. even the apples in this case. It isn’t necessary but it is more tradition. Some cooks wouldn’t leave it out and others don’t even notice! It is entirely up to the cook, as everything really is! I don’t think you could hurt this recipe if you tried…it is just that good!

  4. psw2001

    I never thought to use lemon juice on my apples. I must try it some time. This is a lot like my mom use to make. If she was using bacon drippings, she would first make her bacon, then use that pan for her apples. Yummy…

    • stephaniemanley

      I think this would work well, if you slightly undercook the apples the first time. This way they will finish the cooking during the reheating.

    • Dianne

      Diane: Everybody who says they worked for Cracker Barrel and gives the copycat recipe give ingredients that are not on the 28-oz. jar you can buy at Cracker Barrel. The ingredients on the jar have corn syrup and none of theirs do. Also the Golden Delicious peeling does not get soft like Cracker Barrel’s does. As a former employee, can you shed some light on that?

  5. kirsten109

    Just tried this recipe. Although they are good, I wouldn’t rank them up there with Cracker Barrel. I can definitely taste the bacon grease. I found another recipe that uses apple juice and then thicken it with flour or corn starch. I think I’ll try that one.

    • stephaniemanley

      This one does taste a bit different. They actually reheat prepared apples, so this is what it tastes like when you use fresh apples. I hope you enjoyed the recipe.

  6. Nancy

    Directions in video and written instructions do not match. In video apples are unpeeled and cooked without a lid. And I don’t remember salt being added in video and lemon was added to apples in a bowl before adding to skillet. Not sure which directions to follow.

    • Stephanie

      Great point.
      Yes, I did not peel the videos in the apple. This was an oversight on my part. We did not film the recipe with the lid on, this was a poor choice in editing. And I did squeeze a lemon in the video. I will modify the recipe online for the modifications I made. Video has been a learning process for me, and now that I have shot 200+ videos since this one, I do things differently. I’ll will see if I can reshoot this one in the future.

    • stephaniemanley

      Please follow the written instructions. I had a film editor at the time that would cut out things from time to time. We will see if we can’t reshoot this one sometime in the future.

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