Apple season has arrived, and Savory Warm Apple Dip is a perfect way to celebrate it! Sharp cheddar and cream cheeses, toasted pecans, chopped Hatch green chile complement fine diced apples, while cinnamon and cumin bring vibrant Latin flavor to this eclectic dip. Serve as an appetizer with toasted flatbread or crackers at your next holiday party!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Savory Apple Recipes
It's fall, and apples are at their best! Going back to my formative years, apple pie and sharp cheddar were a celebratory party of my early life, and I wanted to experiment with creating a savory dish that combined the two in a new and unique way.
Beyond Mere Sustenance focuses on "Healthyish Latin-Inspired" and mostly seasonal food. August and September is Hatch chile season, and I've been on a roll with Hatch green chile in recent weeks...
Does the combination of apples, cheddar, and Hatch green chile sound odd or delicious? It's hard to explain, but it just works!
What Apples are Best?
My "go to" apple for cooking/baking is the granny smith. They maintain their structure (you don't want apple mush!), and their sweet-tart flavor almost always works well in a cooked apple application. With this savory, baked apple dip, the tartness plays really well with the other flavors!
My second choice is Honeycrisp. I love them for eating raw and snacking, but they hold up well when cooked. For more on baking apples, see The Best Apples for Baking from Food and Wine...
Enter Hatch green chile. Say what? That's right! This unique Savory Warm Apple Dip includes Hatch green chile, and the support "cast" includes cumin, cinnamon, and scallions.
Why add Hatch green chile?
I love a challenge, but I really had no idea how I was going to marry New England-inspired sharp cheddar and apples with Hatch green chile and Mexican spices. Trial and error did the trick!
What Cheese is Best in my Apple Dip?
Well, this is a New England themed post, and Vermont cheddar is renowned. If you can't get Vermont cheddar? No worries! Find a good quality sharp or extra sharp cheddar. The bold flavor is essential to balance the flavors of the dip!
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- apples - Granny smith or honeycrisp are my personal favorites for this recipe!
- Hatch green chile - Substitute other green chile (like poblanos) with a bit of heat.
- chopped pecans - Substitute walnuts or hazelnuts if you prefer.
- softened neufchatel or cream cheese - I use reduced fat neufchatel to cut calories and fat.
- sharp cheddar - Vermont sharp cheddar is a treat!
- ground cinnamon
- ground cumin
- Sea salt
- Prep the ingredients - While the oven preheats, you should be able to prep all the ingredients. Set the neufchatel or cream cheese out to soften. The order doesn't really matter. The ingredients will be combined and spread into an ovenproof baker. Reserve a little sharp cheddar to melt on top at the end. The tools shown below make the process more efficient. After using the apple slicer/corer, I use the large dice insert from for the food chopper to make quick work of the apple(s). You want a fairly small dice - for both getting it cooked through and making it easier to scoop up on the flatbread or cracker. Grate the cheese, and chop the scallions.
- Bake the apple dip - Add all the ingredients to an appropriately sized bowl, and combine. I find a silicone spatula works well. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, press it into a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Place it in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until apples are tender), then top with some additional grated sharp cheddar and return to the oven to melt. I find turning the oven off and leaving the Savory Warm Apple Dip until I'm ready to serve works out perfectly!
- Serve - Serve your warm apple dip with toasted pita, flatbreads, or crudité.
I think it's good the next day, but I wouldn't recommend keeping it beyond that. Gently reheat by covering with foil and placing it in a 325° oven.
🧂 Useful Stuff
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🍏 What to Serve with the Apple Dip?
Initially, we tried these Pecan Nut Thins. While we liked the flavor combo, the dip needed something a little sturdier and bigger.
I landed on doing an herb flatbread. In fact, I found that an ultra thin whole wheat pizza crust was the perfect dipper for my Savory Warm Apple Dip!
As soon as the dip goes in the oven, brush the flatbread with olive oil, then sprinkle with fresh herbs (thyme and rosemary are great!) and fine sea salt. Using a pizza cutter to cut pieces approximately 2 x 3 speeds up the process. Lay them out in a single layer, and bake them with the dip. Remove them when they begin to brown!
What are your favorite fall foods? I love the change of seasons even though I live in south Texas with year 'round summer. Pumpkin (especially savory), apples, pears, and Hatch green chile welcome the season at Andersen casa.
Savory Warm Apple Dip
- 4 ounces neufchatel or cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups fine diced apples - see notes
- ¼ cup toasted and chopped pecans
- ¼ cup chopped green chile - optional
- 2 scallions - chopped
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar - grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Set the neufchatel or cream cheese out to soften.
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Prep the other ingredients.
- Add the neufchatel or cream cheese and grated sharp cheddar to a bowl. Combine.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.
- Spray a smallish oven proof baking dish (see photos above) with cooking spray. Add the apple mixture, using a spatula or wooden spoon to press evenly across the bottom.
- Cook 25-30 minutes (varies according to how thick it is in your pan). You may want to test a piece of apple. It should be just beginning to brown and apples should be soft. Add grated cheese as desired, and bake an additional 5 minutes or so until melted.
- Serve warm with toasted flatbread (my preference), pita chips, or other dipper.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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