Rustic Cinnamon Apple Sauté for Dairy-Free Breakfast or Dessert


I simply love this easy cinnamon apple sauté. It has a lightly sweet syrup, but is relatively low in added sugars. It lets the apples take center stage, and is delicious as is, or as a filling or topping. I also love how it takes just minutes to transform a crisp apple into tender, juicy slices with a slightly rich, perfectly sweet, and cinnamon-y syrup. I originally shared this recipe over a decade ago, but today I’m updating it with more guidance!

Rustic Cinnamon Apple Sauté Recipe for Dairy-Free Breakfast or Dessert (gluten-free, allergy-friendly, optionally vegan)

Rustic Cinnamon Apple Sauté for Dairy-Free Breakfast or Dessert

Aside from just enjoying it as is, here are TEN ways I like to use this cinnamon apple sauté recipe:

  1. As a filling for dairy-free crepes.
  2. With a scoop of dairy-free ice cream.
  3. Topped with a dollop of dairy-free whip, and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.
  4. As a pancake or waffle topping in lieu of syrup.
  5. With easy homemade crisp topping.
  6. On a bowl of oats.
  7. Atop dairy-free French toast.
  8. To fill hand pies or homemade pop tarts.
  9. On toast slathered with peanut butter.
  10. With a generous sprinkle of granola on top.

You can also use this as an apple filling in various recipes. I recommend peeling and dicing the apples if you want more of a lower sugar pie filling.

Rustic Cinnamon Apple Sauté Recipe for Dairy-Free Breakfast or Dessert (gluten-free, allergy-friendly, optionally vegan)

Special Diet Notes: Rustic Cinnamon Apple Sauté

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, vegetarian, and paleo-friendly.

Rustic Cinnamon Apple Sauté
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I don't peel the apples in this recipe, but you can certainly peel them for a smoother texture. Be sure to use good cooking apples, like Braeburn, Fuji, or Golden Delicious. Non-baking apples can become mushy when cooked.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 servings
  • 2 medium apples (around ¾ to 1 pound; optionally peeled), halved, cored, and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons oil or dairy-free buttery spread
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Generous pinch salt (can omit if using a salty buttery spread)
  1. In a medium sized bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil or buttery spread over medium heat. Stir in the sweetener and vanilla extract. Add the apples and stir to coat them with the sweet sauce. Sprinkle on the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and stir to ensure the apples are evenly coated.
  3. Cover and let the apples cook for 3 to 5 minutes (or until desired tenderness), checking in to stir once or twice.
Cinnamon Pears Option: Use 2 medium pears instead of the apples. Pears are generally softer than apples, so you will only need 2 to 4 minutes of cooking time once covered.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ batch Calories: 163 Fat: 3.8g Saturated fat: .6g Carbohydrates: 34.4g Sugar: 27.9g Sodium: 82mg Fiber: 4.8g Protein: .6g

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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