Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Fried Apples

These are a favorite of so many. Fried apples make a great addition to any meal. When I was growing up, we had apple trees, and in the fall, we had a lot of fried apples for dinner. Going to Cracker Barrel reminds me of enjoying old-style home cooking, and their fried apples remind me of growing up. One thing is for certain: your house will be smelling fresh and full of apple-cinnamon goodness when you prepare these.

bowl of fried apples

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Please note, the video features apples that are not peeled, you can should peel the apples if you want them exactly like the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. The portion of cooking with the lid on was omitted. You can add a little squeeze of lemon for enhanced flavor.

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Side dish
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: 8
Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples are the perfect side dish to make at any meal. In the fall, when apples are being harvested, I could not think of a more perfect dish for dinner.


  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, or 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced - (video demonstrates this with apples that were not peeled, personal choice should be made).
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • Squeeze of lemon - optional


In a large skillet, melt bacon drippings or butter. Spread the apples evenly over the skillet bottom. Sprinkle the lemon juice over them, 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.

You can find many more copycat Cracker Barrel recipes here at

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  • Ed Rodgers

    How do u Make stewed tomatoes like Buckners family restaurant in Jackson, ga?

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  • Tamron Waters

    Just had cracker barrel this past weekend and the apples were not peeled. Recipe calls for peeled.

    • Stephanie Manley

      Thank you for noting.

  • 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.

  • Gina | Running to the Kitchen

    bacon butter and apples. Sign. Me. Up.

  • Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet

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

  • marye audet

    I love their fried apples!

  • tnredhead

    Why are you adding salt to this recipe? I don’t see the need for it in apples.

  • ItsJoelen

    This looks wonderful and perfect for the coming fall season!

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you very much! I can hardly wait for fall.

  • Andi G.

    Apple and bacon drippings?! I’m drooling over here, Stephanie!

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    These apples look great!

  • 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…

  • Stephanie

    Do these reheat well if I make them the night before?

    • 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.

  • savoryexperiments

    I can’t wait to try this!

    • stephaniemanley

      Let me know how it goes.

  • Becca Torsell

    These would be so good with pork chops! Yummy!

    • stephaniemanley

      That’s the way my grandmother always served them.

  • diane

    This is to funny as I work for cracker barrel for 15 year and these are so wrong.

  • 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.

  • 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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  • Marlene

    corn starch will thicken the syrup

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  • Liz Murray

    Great receipe. In the South we use bacon grease to season everything but had not thought about it with apples.

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  • kristina

    i ate my apples and it was sour what should i do to make it taste less sour?

    • stephaniemanley


  • karen

    This is close to my family recipe. We use 1/8 c butter & 1/8 c bacon drippings. Can put C.B. to shame : )

    • stephaniemanley

      I believe it!

  • Laura

    Made these last night. My husband thought he had died & gone to heaven,,

    • stephaniemanley

      Win! I am happy he enjoyed the apples.

  • Wintersbloom

    MM…Perfect. My live in babysitter, Peggy used to keep a coffee can of bacon greace under the sink…she swore it had majical proporties. LOL..tasted good anyway; ). Thanks for the recipie. Getting ready for Easter dinner and discovering the cheap meats I used when I “had” to are still the tastiest today. The sides , such as these apples make the meal. Happy Holidays!

  • Nancy Brickhouse Pelletier

    Hey Stephanie. I was wondering, do you think that sweet potatoes could be used in the place of apples in this recipe? I have a friend who loves sweet potatoes and I am always trying to find different ways of cooking them.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think they would work well. They don’t have juice like apples do. Now what does go well together is baked apples and sweet potatoes.

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  • Sarah Jean Spanos

    I’m using Granny Smith and I still don’t have a thick syrup. Watery at best :( What can I do?

    • Stephanie Manley

      Turn up the heat, and let everything cook down. Are you using butter, margarine, or bacon grease? If you are using a butter spread it isn’t going to work.

      • Paula Michelson Silvius

        yup, turn up the heat and cook em like Stephanie said. Real butter is a must!

        • Stephanie Manley

          Real butter makes them better 😉

  • Anonymous

    I am not a brave enough person to try canning these. I can can things, but I am not willing to put my limited knowledge of canning to test where it could endanger people. I do not create any canning recipes. I only use recipes from my Ball canning guide.

  • Anonymous

    I would also like to know if it is possible to can apples like this?

  • Lilballerina325

    Is it possible to can this?

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  • Erick

    What type of apples work best? I used Honeycrisp, which were good, but seemed to have a very high water content and I didnt get the thick syrup I expected.

    • Stephanie

      You need to use apples that are meant for cooking, something like a Granny Smith, or another tart apple work best. Honey Crisp are wonderful to eat raw, but I don’t think they cook up very well.

  • Jennifer

    Sounds delish. Instead of bacon drippings, is it possible to use butter?

    • Stephanie

      Yes you can use butter instead.

  • Kitty

    Bacon dripping has always been used to season food in the south. Most had a specific can that set on the stove top to pour the grease in so you could just get a spoon full or two to cook with.

    • Some guy

      Well, yeah. It’s rendered lard.

      • tks

        Rendered lard is cooed down from pig fat you end up with pork rinds bacon grease is the fat remaining from cooking bacon that’s smoked.

  • Sheila

    Bacon drippings are a definite must if you can use it. What goes with pork chops? Applesauce! What is bacon? Pork….trust me on this one, it doesn’t taste like “bacon”.

  • Christy B.

    Very good! We can’t use bacon drippings because of a pork allergy, so used canola instead. Delicious! Thank you!

    • Kitty

      You can use a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke ( Hickory Flavor you can find this at the grocery) in with any oil or liquid to give that flavor without using the actual fat.

      • Stephanie

        Great idea on the liquid smoke. I keep some handy, it is my secret ingredient for when I make my balsamic-vinegar salad dressing.

  • yooperwannabe

    I have to admit to skepticism about the whole bacon drippings idea, but I tried this recipe anyway. OMG!! It is EXACTLY like Cracker Barrel. I would have never, in a million years, expected this outcome. Kudos!! (My 1 1/2 yr. old daughter is pleased as punch, too!!)

  • http://Website(optional) Brenden

    I’m sure margarine can be substituted for the bacon drippings.

  • Ashley

    My grandmother used to make them with bacon grease and the taste of the bacon grease was undetectable. They were delicious.

  • Stephanie

    The last time we tested, and tried this recipe was a couple of years ago. It is possible the recipe has been changed since then. I’ll keep it in mind to review the recipe again in the near future. Thanks for your comments!

  • mwatson

    I didn’t taste any bacon drippings in the fried apples . I would not be able to eat it because of indigestion.Are you sure bacon drippings?? I will probally use canola spray instead.Thanks

  • dutchess

    Are you sure about the bacon drippings? I detect any of that flavor in the apples when I’ve ate them. I’m hesitant to use it.