Vegan Sautéed Cinnamon Apples

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best fall topping for fresh pancakes or waffles. They’re also fantastic on ice cream or perfect all on their own. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!


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T here, friends. You know I like my simple tasty breakfast recipes. And these vegan sauteed apples are EXACTLY that. 

I originally made these warm cinnamon apples as a topping for some waffles one weekend morning. B, however, quickly realized they’re also tremendously diverse and can work at ANY meal.

With just a few simple ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time, you’ll have the tastiest topping, most splendid side dish, or delicious dessert.

5 Reasons We Love Sauteed Cinnamon Apples:

  1. They are simple to make and taste like warm apple pie without the crust!
  2. You only need 5 simple ingredients.
  3. The recipe comes together in under 15 minutes (Maybe not as easy as opening a can, but much more fulfilling…and fun.)
  4. They are a great way to use up a bunch of apples.
  5. They’re ridiculously versatile.
These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

Vegan Sauteed Apples Ingredients

This quick and simple cooked apples recipe only requires 5 ingredients.

Apples – I like to use a firmer, sweet apple like Gala or Honeycrisp for these sauteed apples. Stay away from “mushier” apples (e.g. Red/Golden Delicious). If you’re looking a bit of tartness to off-set the sweet, I’d go with a Pink Lady or Granny Smith. If you don’t know much about the variety of apples, Google “apples tart to sweet.”

Vegan Butter – We like to use Earth Balance or Country Crock vegan butters for these cinnamon apples. Both have vegan butter that come in sticks which makes measuring super easy! 

Sugar – Use either light brown sugar or coconut sugar (for a less intense sweetness). You could also use a combination of the two!

Ground Cinnamon – An apple’s best friend!

Water – Optional, but this helps create a saucier version of the dish. You can adjust this amount based on how much of the cinnamon sugar sauce you want! 

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

Substitution Options for Dairy-Free Cinnamon Apples

Can you use different fruit? This dish is also easily made with peaches or pears! It’s a particularly great way to use firmer, slightly underripe fruit. If your pears or peaches are ripe and already soft, decrease the cooking time and add the sugar and liquid in the beginning with the fruit when you put it in the pan.

For the vegan butter: You can decrease the amount of butter or use coconut oil you use in these vegan cinnamon apples (make sure it’s refined coconut oil, so it doesn’t add coconut taste!). 

Can you make vegan sauteed apples oil-free? We have not tried an oil-free version, but you can soften the apples by subbing the butter or oil with about two or three tablespoons of water to steam the apples. Then, just follow the directions as written.

For the sugar: These come out like apple pie filling as written, but you may want to lower the amount of sugar you use if you’re making these for an everyday purpose like oatmeal! You could also try some date syrup or maple syrup as a sweetener.

Optional spices (flavor variations): A small bit of fresh grated nutmeg or lemon zest would be a nice addition if you want.  ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract or almond extract also works wonders in amping up the flavor of these already flavorful apples. If you want to get outside the box a bit, powdered or fresh fennel or crushed star anise can be a wonderful addition (in small amounts). 

For the water: If you want these vegan cinnamon apples a little less saucy, you can skip the water. Also, if you’re feeling a little frisky you can replace the water with whiskey. Bourbon or cognac also work great, but those didn’t rhyme as well. If you choose this option, be careful of the possible flame-up when you add the liquor…meaning the pan may catch fire for a few seconds, like Cherries Jubilee does. Proceed with caution.

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

How to Make Dairy-Free Stovetop Cinnamon Apples

These warm stovetop cinnamon apples could NOT be easier to make. They’re easy enough for a lazy Sunday morning but taste fancy enough for a holiday table!

Here’s what you’ll do:

Step 1: Heat a medium to large saute pan over medium-high heat and melt your vegan butter. 

Step 2: When the butter has melted, add your chopped apples and stir (or gently toss) to coat them.  Cover and let them cook for 5 minutes. 

Step 3: Finally, you’ll add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and water. Then, cover and let the apples cook again for 7 minutes or until soft, making sure you are stirring often. 

That’s it! You just made Vegan Stovetop Cinnamon Apples!

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

How to Serve Dairy-Free Sauteed Apples

We recommend serving these warm cinnamon apples hot. (But honestly, they’re delicious cold too!) They’re perfect on their own or in these creative ways:

Waffles and Pancakes: A great way to start your day! If you want them even saucier, add another tablespoon of water. 

How to make it into applesauce: You can use this sauteed apples recipe to make easy stovetop applesauce too. Just dice the apples into smaller pieces before cooking, or cook the recommended-size pieces longer. Either way, decrease the amount of sugar by half and mash with a potato masher for chunky applesauce, or pulse it in the blender for a smoother style.

Holiday Side: Sauteed apples are a wonderful addition to a holiday meal with our Seitan Ham and Vegan Au Gratin Potatoes! If you’re doing this, we suggest decreasing the sugar in this recipe by half. A nice addition is also fresh or frozen cranberries (about ¼ cup, addes with the apples) and some finely grated/minced orange zest (about ¼-½ teaspoon added with the sugar and liquid).

Oatmeal: These cooked apples are great in oatmeal! If you’re doing this, I suggest cutting the sugar in half at least.  You can also add some chopped walnuts, dates, or even vegan whipped cream! This is one of my absolute favorite ways to eat oatmeal.

Ice Cream Topping: These sauteed cinnamon apples are absolutely amazing as a dessert topping over ice cream. They go great over many flavors, but we just love them over a simple vanilla ice cream. It’s like a big old bowl of apple pie a la mode!! Drool!  Our favorite vanilla ice creams come from Oatley or So Delicious (get the cashew-based version). I can also see these being really good on a Salted Caramel ice cream!

Pie or Turnover Filling: These stovetop apples come out just like canned apple pie filling, so they work wonderfully when making a quick pie or some apple turnovers…which are ALWAYS a hit at brunch! You can substitute them for the cherries in our 2-Ingredient Vegan Turnovers.

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

How to Store Leftover Sauteed Apples

In the fridge: You can store vegan cinnamon apples in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.

How to freeze leftover cinnamon apples: Just like you can freeze apple pie, you can also freeze these sauteed apples!  Let the apples cool completely and place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Properly stored, these sauteed cinnamon apples will last 3-4 months. Let them thaw completely before reheating. Apples may come out just slightly mushier after the freezing process.

Can sauteed apples be canned? You can make a big batch of these vegan cinnamon apples and can/jar them to preserve for later use. Canned/Jarred fruits will usually stay for 9-12 months.

How to reheat leftover sauteed apples:

Microwave: Reheat at 75% power for one minute at a time, removing to stir. Heat until warmed through.

Stovetop: Reheat over medium to medium-high heat with about a teaspoon or two of liquid. Stir often and heat until warmed through.

More Vegan Apple Recipes:

If you make these Vegan Sauteed Cinnamon Apples, let us know what you think and alllll the delicious ways you use them! 

Rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your delicious creations on Instagram. If you’re not already hanging out with us there, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”. 

Enjoy!

Vegan Sautéed Cinnamon Apples

These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best fall topping for fresh pancakes or waffles. They’re also fantastic on ice cream or perfect all on their own. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

5 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

20 minTotal Time:

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 6 firm small apples, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1-3 Tbsp light brown sugar or coconut sugar (or a mix of the 2)
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium to large saute pan over medium-high heat and melt your vegan butter.
  2. When the butter has melted, add your chopped apples, stir (or toss) to coat, and cover. Let it cook like this for 5 minutes.
  3. Then, add the sugar, cinnamon, and water. Cover and let them cook for another 7 minutes or until soft, stirring often.
  4. Serve these warm cinnamon apples hot either on their own or used to top everything from pancakes and waffles to ice cream and oatmeal. They also make a great side dish.
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These vegan sauteed cinnamon apples are made on the stovetop and the best topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. These dairy-free sauteed apples are gluten-free, include a low-sugar option, and taste like warm apple pie filling with just 5 simple ingredients. Our favorite way to use up excess apples!

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