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!
AND it’s the last Tuesday of August, and time for Progressive Eats – a virtual progressive dinner with a few of my food blogger pals! You’re sure to be inspired by the variety of recipes!
When Sarah of Sarah’s Cucina Bella chose “A New England Feast” as the theme for this months Progressive Eats, my thoughts immediately went to apples and sharp cheddar. Yes, 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.
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.
But Why Add Hatch Green Chile?
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 chile in recent weeks… I love a challenge, but I really had no idea how I was going to marry New England-inspired sharp cheddar and apples with Southwest green chile and Mexican spices. Trial and error did the trick!
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 Honey Crisp. 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…
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!
Making Savory Warm Apple Dip
- 1-2 apples
- Hatch green chile (or other green chile with a bit of heat)
- Chopped pecans
- Softened neufchatel or cream cheese
- Sharp cheddar
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cumin
- Sea salt
Recommended Tools & Equipment
- Food chopper – I like this one.
- Shallow ovenproof baking dish – I like this one.
- Apple slicer/corer – I like this one.
My Work Flow
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 mentioned above 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.
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!
Ingredients for Savory Warm Apple Dip are combined and ready for baking. Flatbread is ready to be be cut and toasted.
A close up of the Savory Warm Apple Dip ingredients thoroughly combined in a glass bowl before going in the oven!
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!Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is A New England Feast. From lobster and blueberries to Vermont cheddar and pizza, New England cuisine encompasses a lot. Our host this month is Sarah Walker Caron who blogs at Sarah’s Cucina Bella. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our celebration inspired dishes!
A New England FeastCocktails
- New Haven-Style Clam Pizza – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Lobster Benedict – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Weeknight Skillet Shrimp – Shockingly Delicious
- Old Bay Roasted Potato Wedges with Vermont Cheddar Cheese Sauce – From a Chef’s Kitchen
- Boston Cream Pie – Clandestine Cake Club
- 4 ounces neufchatel or cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups fine diced apples (see notes)
- 1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped green chile (optional)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 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.
A fine dice is preferable for the apple. I also made this with very thin slices. It's easier to scoop up if it's a fine dice. A large dice will require more cooking time. I have a new toy that makes this process really quick and easy! Any manual food chopper should work.
I like a super thin whole wheat pizza crust brushed with olive oil, cut in rectangles (pizza cutter works great), and sprinkled with fresh thyme and/or sage. Bake with the dip, but keep an eye on it!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154 Total Fat: 11g Carbohydrates: 10g Protein: 6g