Apple Nachos are the no bake dessert you can eat with your fingers! With tart apples covered in caramel, chocolate and crunchy nuts, this easy recipe turns regular apple slices into a sweet and gooey treat.
Raise your hand if you like caramel apples? Yeah, me too! Apple Nachos were born from a lifelong love of biting into a crisp apple surrounded in gooey caramel.
The biggest drawback about caramel apples, for me, is the mess. They’re messy to make and messy to eat.
And as anyone with kids knows, they have the borderline ability to make messes exponentially bigger. So, especially when my kids were little, I was in no hurry to make homemade caramel apples.
The first time I made Caramel Apple Slices, I was thinking of a way to make my kids’ afternoon snack of apple slices more exciting.
Adding caramel, and some of our other favorite candy apple toppings like nuts, seemed like an ideal choice.
I was under the delusion that what I call “Apple Nachos ” would somehow be easier to eat than a traditional caramel apple.
Spoiler alert: They’re not. These are gooey and messy and . . . totally delicious.
A few sticky fingers now and then is worth it. Or, you could eat them with a fork to keep things on the cleaner side.
The kids loved these and they’ve since become a regular feature in our snack time routine.
We don’t make them every day as they’re a bit too rich for that. But every now and then it’s a great way to add some decadence to your fruit!
What kind of apples to use
Green apples just look so pretty arranged on a serving plate.
Granny Smith apples are my preferred apple to use for caramel apples and other apple desserts.
The tartness is important for balancing the super sweet caramel, chocolate and marshmallows that go on top.
If you can’t get Granny Smith, Pink Lady apples make a decent substitution. Just avoid super sweet apples here if you can!
Sweet Caramel Apple Nachos
I could have just sliced up some apples, covered them in caramel and had a delicious snack. However, I wanted to make these truly “nacho” like! That meant, I needed a sauce to be the “cheese”.
Enter marshmallows. I made a creamy sauce by melting butter and marshmallows together.
Then, in a separate bowl I melted together lots of unwrapped caramel candies or caramel bits. (You can swap out the caramels for caramel ice cream topping if you prefer)
Next, I drizzled both sauces over a plate of sliced apples arranged in a spiral.
Finally, I added some swirls of chocolate syrup, a sprinkle of peanuts and some mini chocolate chips. (You could also swap out the syrup for melted milk chocolate chips).
Thanks to the layers of drizzle, every bite of apple had a slightly different balance of chocolate to caramel to marshmallow flavor. The salty crunchy peanuts add the perfect finishing touch.
How to keep apples from browning
Whenever I share a recipe with sliced uncooked apples, I’m often asked, “How do you prevent your apples from browning quickly?”
Depending on your environment, those pretty apple slices can turn to an unpleasant brown color within a few minutes. While they’ll still taste fine if this happens, they definitely lose some of their visual appeal!
If you’re not eating the apple nachos right away, here are a few techniques I like for preventing browning.
- Salt water: Soak apple slices in a cup of water with 1/8 tsp of salt. After 5 minutes, drain and rinse the apples well before proceeding with the recipe.
- Lemon juice: Squeeze a little lemon juice onto the sliced apples while you prepare the other apple nachos ingredients. This will delay the browning, but will add a hint of lemon flavor to the apples.
- Honey: A quick way to prevent browning is stirring a spoonful of honey into a bowl of water, then submerging the apples in the mixture for 30 seconds. Remove the apples and proceed with the recipe.
The recipe I’m sharing below is the staple version of caramel apple slices we make and enjoy most at our house.
As a simple dessert or fun snack option, kids love the apples with marshmallow, caramel and chocolate!
Feel free to mix up the apple nachos based on what you’re in the mood for. Here are some other great options to change it up:
- White chocolate – Sub the mini chocolate morsels for white chocolate chips, or go half and half!
- Other nuts – Chopped walnuts and almonds taste great with caramel.
- Toffee – Heath toffee bits would be a delicious addition reminiscent of toffee candy apples.
- Sprinkles – What kid is going to say “no” when you give them the optioon of a snack with sprinkles?
- Candy- sprinkle on some M&M’s, chopped peanut butter cups or Snickers candy bars, or Reese’s Pieces for a delicious candy apple treat!
- Peanut Butter – melt some peanut butter morsels, or warm up some creamy peanut butter and drizzle over the top with chocolate syrup!
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More Easy Dessert Recipes
It’s all the great taste of caramel and candy apples sliced up on a plate. Go ahead and make snack time a little ooey-gooey with this easy Apple Nachos recipe!