The air fryer is the easiest way to make your own apple chips. Ready in just minutes, these flavorful chips are a much healthier alternative to processed snacks. Made with just three simple ingredients: apples, maple syrup and cinnamon, apple chips are perfect for school lunches and adult snacking alike!
I’ve been making apple chips for years come this end of summer/back to school time of year.
It’s something I’ve always done in the oven but with the arrival of an air fryer in my kitchen arsenal this year I switched up my normal method.
And now I’m quite sure I’ll never go back.
The air fryer makes incredibly quick work of apple chips that would either take hours upon hours in a dehydrator or not quite as long but necessitate a more hands on approach in an oven.
WHAT ARE AIR FRYER APPLE CHIPS?
Air fryer apple chips are a healthy and wholesome snack perfect for fall, back to school or a midday work snack.
If you want a more decadent treat, make this microwave apple crisp instead.
Made by simply slicing apples into rounds and “air frying” until the moisture evaporates so that a crispy fruit chip results, they have the highly sought after “crunch” factor of any chip in a much more nutritious fashion.
They’re a great alternative to processed potato chips and other commercially produced higher calorie/higher fat snacks.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE NEEDED TO MAKE APPLE CHIPS?
For this maple cinnamon apple chip recipe, you’ll need 3 ingredients: an apple, maple syrup and cinnamon.
However, apple chips can literally be made with just an apple.
Because we’re using the air fryer, there’s no oil required for this recipe either.
The convection of the air fryer is what “dries” out the apples and eventually makes them crispy.
CAN YOU MAKE DRIED FRUIT IN AN AIR FRYER?
In the past, making dried fruit at home would usually require a dehydrator.
And at the time, I thought it was a genius countertop appliance.
But the advent of air fryers really puts the good old dehydrator to shame. Read “what is an air fryer” for all the details on this magical kitchen tool.
Air fryers allow you to make dried fruit like these apple chips in literally just minutes and the resulting texture is far superior to other more cumbersome methods.
HOW DO YOU SLICE APPLES FOR APPLE CHIPS?
The easiest and most consistent way to slice apples to make apple chips is by using a mandoline.
While I usually get by with a sharp knife and careful attention, using the mandoline to make these air fryer apple chips was definitely handy.
From oil sprays to muffin cups and from pizza pans to racks, we've got them all, and they make fantastic Christmas presents, too!
That said, you absolutely can use a sharp chef’s knife being careful to cut the slices to as similar a size as possible.
It’s not necessary to core the apples before slicing to make apple chips but if you prefer to do so, use a simple apple corer, not a corer + slicer.
The apple slices should be about 1/8″ thick and all approximately the same size so that they cook for the same duration.
HOW TO MAKE APPLE CHIPS IN THE AIR FRYER
It’s best to procure organic apples when making apple chips as they’re a highly pesticide sprayed fruit.
Regardless, wash and dry the apple(s) well before slicing.
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the apple into rounds about 1/8″ thick.
Spread the apple slices out in a single layer on a flat surface and lightly brush each with maple syrup.
Sprinkle the desired amount of cinnamon on top.
Other spices like nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, etc. can also be used.
Arrange the apple slices in the air fryer either on the trays or in the basket depending on your model in a mostly single layer.
The apple chips will shrink as they air fry so it’s ok if they overlap slightly around the edges.
Air fry the apple chips at 350°F for 15-18 minutes flipping each chip every 3-5 minutes (and rotating the trays half way through if you have an oven air fryer model).
The apple chips are done when they’ve lost most of their moisture, started to crimp around the edges and turned a nice golden brown.
Some may be done before others so keep an eye on things the last 5 minutes of air frying.
Remove each chip to a flat surface to cool. Don’t be alarmed if they seem a bit soft coming out of the air fryer.
The apple chips will crisp up considerably as they cool.
Enjoy as is or dip in maple syrup for some extra sweetness!
ARE APPLE CHIPS HEALTHY?
Apple chips are essentially just like eating an apple – so yes, they’re healthy!
They’re big on flavor since all the natural sweetness of the apple is condensed into a chip with the moisture removed.
But calorically, they’re the same as eating an apple.
This recipe uses a very light brushing of maple syrup (1 tablespoon in total) to enhance the flavor but it’s optional if you’d rather forego added sweetener.
The best part is, unlike when drinking juice, you get all the health benefits of the fiber in apple chips as well.
They make great snacks to school lunchboxes, work lunches in the office or just an afternoon sweet craving.
I love them dipped in some creamy nut butter too. Can’t beat the classic peanut butter and apple combination!
TIPS & TRICKS TO THE BEST AIR FRIED APPLE CHIPS
- The color of the final apple chip will vary based on the type of apple and the amount of cinnamon (or other spices) used.
- If you have varying thicknesses of apple slices, air fry in batches based on thickness similarity so similar sizes cook together.
- It’s ok if each slice isn’t a complete “round”. You’ll likely have lots of half circle/half moon shapes even if using a mandoline. Those “imperfect” rounds still make delicious apple chips!
- If you slice thinner or thicker than the 1/8″ suggested, adjust the air frying time accordingly.
HOW TO STORE AIR FRIED APPLE CHIPS
If you need to store the apple chips, make sure they’ve cooled completely then place them in an air-tight container.
Store at room temperature for up to 5-7 days. If refrigerated, they will become soft.
Apple chips do not freeze well.
WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES TO USE FOR APPLE CHIPS?
I recommend a sweet tart apple for making apple chips. They’re my favorite kinds of apples for anything actually – best of both worlds!
Varieties such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji or Gala are great choices.
Granny Smith is also a good one if you like more tart varieties.
Regardless of variety, make sure to use fresh apples free from any soft spots or blemishes.
VARIATIONS ON APPLE CHIPS
Apple chips can easily turn into pear chips if you prefer.
Follow the same recipe and method for making pear chips instead.
HOW TO SERVE THESE
Besides enjoying as they are (as an addictively crunchy apple chip!), you can add these to cereal, trail mixes and even a nut-free granola if you choose.
Dipped in nut butter, however, is my idea of the perfect snack.
Wholesome carbs + healthy fats = a satiating and delicious snack!
MORE APPLE RECIPES TO TRY:
Air Fryer Apple Chips
- 1 sweet tart organic apple such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Wash the apple well then slice into thin even pieces (about 1/8" thick) using a sharp knife or preferably, a mandoline.
- Lay the apple slices out flat in a single layer and brush lightly with maple syrup. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
- Place the apple slices into the air fryer in a relatively single layer either on trays or in a basket depending on model.
- Air fry at 350°F for 15-18 minutes, flipping each slice every 3-5 minutes. Some apple chips may be ready before others. They’re finished cooking when most of the moisture is cooked off and they start to curl around the edges and turn golden brown.
- Remove from the air fryer as they finish and place on a surface in a single layer to cool. They will crisp up considerably as they cool.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.