This one pan chicken and apples is an easy and rustic dinner option made with healthy vegetables and apples. This dish is the quintessential fall recipe!
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Perfect One Pot Meal for Fall
This time of year apples are in season at the local orchards and I love coming up with recipes using them. This is a savory dish with apples, so it’s completely different than your typical sweet apple desserts. It tastes like all of the flavors of fall and is a complete comfort meal in one pan. Definitely one of my favorite fall dinner ideas!
We eat a lot of chicken in my house, mainly because it’s a healthy protein that all my kids will eat. So this dish starts out with chicken and also includes bacon, too. Because anything with bacon is delicious. :) Then I added in lots of fresh fall vegetables.
The great thing about this apple chicken recipe is that the meat, vegetables and fruit are all cooked in the same pan, making cleanup so simple. It’s a savory fall dinner recipe like my homemade chicken pot pie recipe but it slightly sweet from the apples and cinnamon. It really is hearty, healthy, and so yummy!
Why This Recipe Works
- One pan. It doesn’t get any better than an easy one pot meal. No oven required and the clean up is super easy!
- Sweet and savory. This dish has the best of both worlds! Savory bacon and veggies paired with the sweet apples and cinnamon is a match made in heaven.
- Healthy. Made with simple, good-for-you ingredients. A great meal for the family to load up on lean protein, fruit and veggies.
- Comforting. The perfect dish to cozy up with on a chilly fall night. It’s hearty and comforting without being too heavy.
Here are 5 spotlighted ingredients. Find the full printable recipe below.
- Chicken: I’m using chicken breast because that’s what my family prefers, but you could easily swap for chicken thighs.
- Bacon: The bacon adds great flavor, but if you’re looking to cut cost or don’t have any on hand, you can leave it out.
- Sweet potato: I love using sweet potato for the punch of flavor, but you could easily swap them for baby gold or red potatoes.
- Broccoli: We are big fans of broccoli, but if you’re not you can easily swap this out for green beans.
- Apples: The apples add the perfect touch for this fall chicken recipe. I love using Granny Smith to add the tartness this dish deserves.
This recipe for chicken and apples is easy to customize to meet your needs. Feel free to use other seasonal produce like butternut squash, brussels sprouts or pears. You can also add more fall herbs like fresh rosemary or swap dried thyme for fresh thyme sprigs.
The chicken would also taste amazing cooked in brown butter instead of olive oil for a more nutty and caramelized flavor.
How to Make Chicken and Apples
- Cook the meat. In a large pan, cook the chicken until no longer pink and lightly browned on the exterior. Then remove from the skillet onto a paper-towel lined plate.
- Add bacon. Cook the bacon in the same pan and once cooked through, place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Leave some bacon fat in the pan to flavor the veggies.
- Mix in vegetables. Sauté the broccoli, sweet potatoes and chopped onion in the reserved bacon fat until tender and caramelized. Give it a stir every few minutes so all sides roast evenly.
- Apples. Once the vegetables are tender, add in the apples, garlic, thyme, cinnamon and half of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook until the stock evaporates. Then add the cooked chicken back in, as well as the remaining chicken stock and simmer until heated through. Top with bacon right before serving.
- Bacon grease. Cook the veggies in the bacon grease! It adds so much extra flavor to the dish.
- Cinnamon. The cinnamon adds a nice fall flavor. You could always add in more or less to taste. Apple pie spice is another flavorful option that’s made with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
- Crisp apples. I used Granny Smith apples because they’re crisp and don’t get mushy when cooked. If using a different variety, make sure it’s nice and crisp. Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious are other good options.
Sure! The dish will still be plenty flavorful without, so feel free to omit the bacon completely if preferred. I happen to love the saltiness it adds, as well as the flavor the bacon grease gives to the vegetables, so I always leave it in.
Absolutely. It may seem like an odd pairing at first, but trust me, the two taste amazing together. The sweet and caramelized apples are the perfect compliment to the savory chicken. After trying this recipe, you’ll be on the hunt for even more dinner ideas using apples!
While your dinner cooks on the stove, whip up a batch of my sweet cornbread or cornbread muffins to serve alongside. Talk about the ultimate comfort meal!
How to Store Leftover Apple Chicken
Any leftover apple chicken will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can use the microwave to warm it back up, or heat on the stove for a crispier result. Either way, these chicken and apples taste just as great the next day!
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Chicken and Apples
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast , cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt , divided
- 4-8 slices thick-cut bacon , chopped
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 medium sweet potato , peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium white onion , peeled and chopped
- 2 granny smith apples , cored and diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon , to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock , or chicken broth (divided)
- In a large, nonstick pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Add the chicken, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Leave 1 1/2 Tablespoons bacon fat in the pan.
- Increase the heat to medium high. Add broccoli, sweet potatoes, onion, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the onion is translucent.
- Stir in the apples, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook 1 minute, then pour in 1/2 cup chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook until the stock has evaporated. Add the chicken and remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock. Cook until heated through. Stir in the bacon. Serve warm.
- Swap out sweet potatoes for baby gold or red potatoes.
- If you don’t love broccoli you can omit or swap for green beans.
- While the bacon does give great flavor, you can omit if preferred.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Recipe originally contributed by Katie from Purely Katie for I Heart Naptime.
Definitely delicious, but the prep was about 25 minutes in my house. We are going to try a sweeter apple variety next time or maybe cook them longer? This made so much and my toddler loves the leftovers! This is a great fall meal!
This was so yummy, my husband said it was fantastic. We had plenty of leftovers and stuffed it into a pie crust to bake at a later time. Will make this again.
What a great idea! That sounds so delicious. Happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Christine!
Loved it. I did inadvertently leave out the garlic and lessened the amount of cinnamon and onion. However it was delicious . Personal preferences. It served two. My husband had a few servings. I don’t think it would feed six unless they were little kids. Lol. But it was really good!
Glad you were able to make the recipe work for you, Jackie! :)
Can you make this ahead of time and then heat it up for company? Suggestions?
Yes you could. I would reheat in a skillet or on a baking sheet in the oven until warm.
Great recipe. Love how all of the flavors compliment each other!
I love the sweetness the apples add to this. Thanks for the recipe.
You are so welcome, Taryn :)
This was really good! I’d make it again.
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Stacey :)