Chicken with Apples and Maple-Lime Sauce is a quick and easy one-pan, 30-minute restaurant-quality dinner that a whole family will love! This fast and easy, family-friendly weeknight meal features savory chicken and sweet fresh apples. It's dairy-free, gluten-free, and high in protein.
30-minute one-pan weeknight dinner
Chicken with apples is a delicious 30-minute dinner recipe made entirely in one pan! This quick and easy, family-friendly weeknight meal combines savory, sweet, and tart flavors. The chicken is seared to perfection and is tender, juicy, and moist. The sweet red apples (I used Fuji) are roasted in olive oil and then caramelized with maple syrup and lime juice and topped with fresh thyme. The apple sauce has a sticky and syrupy texture, like a glaze. I recommend using sweet red apples with a firmer texture, such as Fuji, Honey Crisp, or Gala. This is a must-make chicken dinner to make in late Summer or in the Fall when the apples are in season and have the best texture! You might also like pan-seared pork chops with caramelized apples.
Why you'll love it
- The clean-up is a breeze since you have only one pan to clean! A perfect choice for a busy family weeknight dinner! Your family will love bold flavors and vibrant colors in this delicious 30-minute chicken dinner.
- Chicken with cooked apples is a well-balanced one-pan meal that combines protein (skinless boneless chicken tenderloins) with fruit (apples). This recipe is high in protein, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
What kind of chicken to use
- Chicken tenders or tenderloins. That's what I used in this quick recipe.
- Skinless and boneless chicken thighs - the dark meat of chicken thighs is juicy and tender and is very forgiving to cook.
- Skinless and boneless chicken breasts tend to dry out faster, so be sure to watch your cooking times closely, ensuring that the chicken is cooked all the way through quickly, without drying out.
- What about bone-in chicken? I do not recommend it as it takes much longer to cook.
How to choose the best apples for cooking
- Use sweet red apples. This recipe works best with sweeter apples, such as Gala, Fuji, or Honey Crisp. You can make this with more tart apples (such as Granny Smith green apples), but you will have to add more maple syrup to the sauce to add sweetness.
- Choose a firm texture. Choose a fruit that's firm and crisp. Avoid overripe apples that are easily indented when touched. Firm apples will hold up the best and not fall apart when cooking.
Great for meal prep
This easy 30-minute one-pan meal is perfect for meal prep, making ahead, preparing on a busy weeknight, or freezing for the future! The whole recipe uses just a few ingredients and takes only 30 minutes.
- Do not overcrowd the pan when cooking the chicken. Creating space between the chicken tenderloins will allow the chicken to sear nicely instead of steaming. Use a large enough pan to accommodate your chicken, or work in batches. The cast-iron pan works the best!
- Use fresh, firm red apples. They work great for presentation purposes. The firm texture will hold up under the heat of cooking. This recipe is perfect to make in late Summer and Fall when the apples are in season and are at their best.
- Do not peel the apples. Keep the apples' skin on - not only does it add color and vibrancy to the dish, but it also helps keep apple slices together. Also, the skin has a lot of fiber - you want to keep it. Be sure to wash apples thoroughly in warm running water to remove any dirt and debris.
- Use fresh herbs such as thyme to add more flavor to this sweet and savory dish! Fresh herbs always pair beautifully with the chicken and fruit combination. Fresh basil is another herb that will work well in this recipe.
Storage and reheating tips
- Fridge. Store the leftover chicken with apples in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezer. You can freeze this dish for up to a month.
- Reheat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Check and reheat for 30 seconds more or longer.
- Reheat on the stovetop. You can also reheat the leftovers on medium heat in the skillet on the stovetop. When reheating, add a small amount of olive oil to the skillet.
What to serve with chicken and apples
- Roasted spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to regular pasta. You can also combine spaghetti squash with other veggies as in this popular recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Bacon, and Pine Nuts.
- Wild rice is a great Fall-inspired side dish to pair with chicken and apples. Season the wild rice generously with salt and pepper as wild rice can be bland. Or make my wild rice pilaf.
- Roasted vegetables. You can add roasted Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, green beans, onions, and mushrooms - all those will complement chicken and apples.
- Pasta. Prepare a simple side of pasta coated in garlic and olive oil sauce or butter. Angel hair pasta, fusilli, or farfalle (bow-tie pasta) work well.
- Cauliflower rice. You can use fresh or frozen (defrosted).
- Quinoa. Cook quinoa in chicken broth to add richness. Then toss with garlic and fresh herbs.
Other chicken recipes with fruit
- Chicken with Peaches
- Chicken with Apricots
- Chicken Dinner with Red Currants, Apricots, and Honey-Lime Sauce
Chicken with Apples and Maple-Lime Sauce
- Season chicken thighs with paprika, chili powder (not spicy kind), Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a large, high-sided, 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. This allows the cast-iron skillet to heat through.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add seasoned chicken tenderloins. Cook the chicken on medium heat for 5 minutes on one side without moving it.
- Flip the chicken thighs over, reduce heat to low-medium, and cook for about 5 more minutes or longer until thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken from the skillet to a plate or a bowl.
- To the same, now empty, skillet, on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sliced apples and cook them for 5 minutes per each side (10 minutes total). They should get soft and pliable. Remove from heat.
- Add maple syrup and lime juice to the skillet with cooked apples and stir to combine.
- Add cooked chicken to the skillet with cooked apples and reheat on low heat, stirring everything together.
- Add more maple syrup and lime juice to taste, if you like.
- Top with fresh thyme. Garnish with fresh lime slices.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.