Sauteed Apples (naturally vegan, paleo, gluten-free)

These sauteed apples are lightly sweetened with maple syrup and are quick and easy to prepare! They also happen to be gluten-free, vegan, paleo and dairy-free.

I know stewed apples aren’t the most exciting or most popular Thanksgiving side dish, but I’m always happy when I see them on the table. If you’re looking for some more standard recipes, try this gluten-free vegan cornbread or my cranberry sauce with orange juice.

I absolutely love stewed apples but I don’t love how sugary and gloppy they are. Yuck. I want to taste the apples and not a bunch of sugar.

These sauteed apples are lightly naturally sweetened with maple syrup and are quick and easy to prepare! They also happen to be gluten-free, vegan, paleo and dairy-free.

These sauteed apples only use 1 tablespoon of maple syrup per serving (which according to my love of cinnamon apples, is a generous 1 apple per person!) But if we’re being realistic, and this is being served at Thanksgiving, I bet this recipe would be enough for 8 people.

I did want the slightly molasses-y taste that brown sugar adds, so I added a teaspoon of molasses to the apples. It was just enough! You can omit it if you don’t have any on hand.

I used Elstar apples, which are really common over here in Germany, but I think any sweet apple would do. Except Red Delicious, because like I’ve said before in this apple butter post, those are just useless. ;)

These sauteed apples are lightly naturally sweetened with maple syrup and are quick and easy to prepare! They also happen to be gluten-free, vegan, paleo, dairy-free.

Do note that if you use a tart apple, your sauteed apples are going to be tart because there’s not very much sweetener in this recipe.

You can also add more spices like nutmeg, allspice, and cloves – or just make it simple and add apple pie spice to taste. I didn’t add any more spice because Mr. Texanerin is very picky when it comes to fall spices, but he’s always down for cinnamon. I wanted some help eating these so I made them Mr. T friendly.

And these cinnamon apples fit pretty much every diet! They’re naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. I used coconut oil just because I like coconut oil, but you could also use regular butter if you prefer. Bring these to Thanksgiving dinner and everyone will be able to enjoy them! :D

Sauteed Apples (naturally vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 1 reader
Sauteed Apples (naturally vegan, paleo, gluten-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 4 – 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil1
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon molasses, optional
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 sweet apples (810 grams), unpeeled, cored and sliced into 1/8" slices
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a large pan over medium heat, mix together the first four ingredients (coconut oil through cinnamon).
  2. Once the oil is melted, add the apples and mix to cover the apples thoroughly in the liquid mixture.
  3. Cover and simmer the apples for 7 – 10 minutes or until the apples are soft enough for your liking. I did mine for 10 minutes so that they were super soft.
  4. Add in the vanilla and stir.
  5. Remove the apples from the heat and let them sit for 10 minutes and then serve. The liquid will gel a little as it cools. Can also be served at room temperature.
  6. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. I used refined coconut oil, which has no coconut oil taste. If you use unrefined coconut oil (which does have a coconut taste), these sauteed apples might have a slight coconut taste to them. If you're worried about that - use butter! It's delicious in this recipe.

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18 comments on “Sauteed Apples (naturally vegan, paleo, gluten-free)” — Add one!

  • Sara says
    January 3, 2014 @ 2:32 am

    tastes great, esp in whole wheat crepes,from 100 days of real food

    • Erin replies to Sara
      January 5, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

      So happy that you liked them! :)

  • Emily says
    November 15, 2013 @ 2:50 am

    This is a breakfast recipe not a dessert recipe right? ;) Thinking I might bring this into the office tomorrow!

    • Erin replies to Emily
      November 16, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

      Of course it is! :D But really, there’s so little sugar that this is totally okay for breakfast. Way healthier than most of the junk served for breakfast. ;) I hope you and your colleagues enjoyed it if you tried it!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
    November 7, 2013 @ 5:06 am

    Pretty presentation! I don’t think we get Elstar apples out here, I’m going to look that up.

    • Erin replies to Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
      November 16, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Sylvie! And yeah, I love them but I love Gravenstein even more and I think they only have those in the Pacific NW. Boo. :(

  • laurasmess says
    November 6, 2013 @ 12:59 am

    Yum! These sound amazing Erin. Love the fact that they’re cooked in coconut oil rather than butter (I do love butter but healthy options are always a bonus!). I actually do think that the coconut would go well with the apple and spice! By the way, I just read your ‘a day in the life of’ post on Rachel Cooks! Gorgeous post. Love your little shoebox kitchen as it reminds me completely of mine! xx

    • Erin replies to laurasmess
      November 16, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

      Whoops, sorry I missed this comment, Laura! And I agree, butter is great but coconut oil can be even better sometimes. ;) And I think my pictures misrepresented my kitchen. It’s actually pretty huge! Messy and not pretty, but nice and big. :D

  • Suzanne
    November 5, 2013 @ 12:18 am

    Super side dish, and topping for dessert or pancakes.

    • Erin replies to Suzanne
      November 5, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

      Thank you, Suzanne! :)

  • Janet T says
    November 5, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    The picture of your apples is stunningly beautiful. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • Erin replies to Janet T
      November 5, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

      Wow, thanks a bunch for the nice comment, Janet! I hope you’ll enjoy the apples. :)

  • Anna (HIdden Ponies) says
    November 4, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

    I’m with Mr. Texanerin – keep it simple with fall spices :) Who wouldn’t love these apples??

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
    November 4, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    I love these apples, they’d make such a great topper for pancakes or waffles!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
    November 4, 2013 @ 2:10 am

    Excited for all these Thanksgiving sides to come! This looks fab :)


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