Indulge in a delicious twist on classic apple pie with a plate of mouthwatering apple pie nachos! Crispy baked cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips loaded with spiced apples and a dollop of whipped cream, then finished with a caramel drizzle.
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This dessert is all your favorite flavors, such as apple pie and churros, but with an extra crunch! These apple pie nachos with tortilla chips are a quick and easy treat. It’s made of just four simple components: baked chips, sauteed apples, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. Make the entire dish from scratch, or mix and match with store-bought items if you’re short on time.
Typically, tortilla chips for nachos are deep-fried. Instead, I use a simple oven-baking method to achieve a similar crispness. Diced apples are sauteed with sugar and spices, adding a tasty glaze. Fluffy whipped cream and a caramel sauce drizzle complement the tender fruit and crunchy chips. This sweet spin on nachos is a fun and festive dessert to share.
- Apples: Use firm apples for sauteeing. Granny Smith apples add a welcoming tart flavor. Honeycrisp or Fuji have a balanced sweet and tangy taste. I like to use a mix.
- Tortillas: Use flour tortillas and purchase fajita size, about 6 inches in diameter.
- Butter: The melted fat helps to crisp up the tortillas. It also adds a sweet, milky taste to the chips and apple topping.
- Sweeteners: Granulated sugar is sprinkled on the tortillas to caramelize and harden. I also add sweetness to the apples and whipped cream. Brown sugar adds a molasses flavor to the fruit.
- Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg to add a baked aroma to the apples. Cinnamon is mixed with the sugar to create a churro-like texture on the chips.
- Cream: Heavy whipping cream contains at least 36% milk fat, creating a light and fluffy topping.
- Caramel Sauce: Apples and caramel are an ideal pairing. Make my homemade caramel sauce or use store-bought products.
Prepare the tortillas
Look for 6-inch-sized tortillas. Smaller taco or larger burrito sizes can be used; adjust the cuts and amounts used. Use a chef’s knife or pizza cutter and slice the tortillas into eight wedges.
I season them with butter, cinnamon, and sugar for a sweet version of the typical salty tortilla chips. Lay them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Brush each side with melted butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake the tortillas
Bake the seasoned tortillas at 400ºF (204ºC) for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chips are ready when the edges are golden brown, and the surface feels dry.
Let them cool on the sheet pan to dry the tortilla gently. They will become super crunchy as they cool down. If you like Mexican buñuelos, you’ll love these quick and easy chips!
Cook the apples
This fruit topping is inspired by my apple pie filling recipe. Cut the apples into 1/2-inch dice. They can be sliced into wedges instead if you prefer larger pieces. You’ll need 2 ¼ cups, which will shrink to half the amount after cooking. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the fruit with brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
The stovetop tenderizes the apples in just 5 minutes. They will have a nice brown sugar glaze on the surface. I recommend chilling the fruit briefly in the freezer until they are warm or cool instead of hot. The heat will melt the whipped cream.
Make the whipped cream
I use my homemade whipped cream recipe to add richness to the apple pie dessert nachos. In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream and granulated sugar until medium peaks form, similar to the consistency of Cool Whip.
The texture makes it easy to scoop and add on top. You can flavor the cream with vanilla or spices. I wouldn’t make the cream too sweet because the other components contain sugar.
How to make apple pie nachos
Once all components are prepared and assembled, it’s time for the fun part! Grab a serving plate and stack the churro chips on each other. Add on the spiced apples, followed by some whipped cream and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. I like to sprinkle cinnamon on top as well. Dig in and enjoy!
There are various ways to switch up the flavor of apple pie nachos. Here are some tasty ideas to try:
- Apple Varieties: Try Fuji, Honeycrisp, and tart Granny Smith apples. Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and McIntosh are tasty options. Mix them up for a more complex flavor.
- Chips: Gluten-free tortillas like cassava tortillas can be used, or make homemade flour tortillas. You could also make pie crust chips, pita bread, or naan.
- Spices: In addition to cinnamon and nutmeg, add ginger, allspice, or cardamom. Alternatively, use pumpkin pie spice. A little bit of lemon juice will enhance the sweet taste of the apple topping. Add spices to the whipped cream, too!
- Nuts and Oats: Add your favorite types of nuts, like chopped pecans, walnuts, peanuts, or almonds. Add granola on top with oats.
- Sauce: Besides caramel, add melted white chocolate, dark chocolate, magic shell, or melted nut butter.
Frequently asked questions
It’s best to use firm apples that hold their shape after cooking, like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. Avoid apples that turn mushy in texture, like red delicious.
If you like a slight chew from the fibrous apple skin, you can keep it on. It also adds some fiber to the dessert.
For the lightest and crunchiest texture, use flour tortillas to make the sweet chips. Pie crust is also a great option to roll out, slice, and bake. Pita chips, graham crackers, or buñuelos can be used for a shortcut.
Yes! The chips store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The apple topping and whipped cream can be prepared and refrigerated 2 days before.
Bake the chips at a high temperature
Baking the sugar-coated tortillas at 400ºF (204ºC) has multiple benefits. The soft tortillas dry quickly in the high heat. The elevated temperature melts the sugars so that they harden and become brittle for a snappy texture. Cooking the sugars also develops a better flavor, as caramel notes emerge when the sugar reaches 320 to 350ºF (160 to 177ºC). The chips only bake for 10 minutes so that the sugars don’t burn in the oven.
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Apple Pie Nachos
- Heat Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 400ºF (204ºC). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the Topping – In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
- Prepare the Tortillas – Cut the tortillas into triangles, about 8 per tortilla. Add the tortillas to the prepared baking sheet. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, and brush on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Flip the pieces, brush with butter, and top with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake the Tortillas – Bake the tortillas for 5 minutes. Flip and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Cool the chips on the sheet pan set on a wire rack until crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Prepare Apples – Peel, core, and cut the apples into about ½" dice. Measure 2 ¼ cups for the filling.
- Cook the Apples – In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the diced apples, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg. Saute until crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer apples to a bowl and freeze until cooled down, about 10 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the Whipped Cream – Add the heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar to a medium mixing bowl. Slightly tilt the bowl and vigorously whisk until medium peaks are reached.
- To Serve – Add the baked tortilla chips to a platter. Top with cooled apple topping, whipped cream, caramel sauce, and cinnamon.
- Apple Pie Filling Yield: About 1 cup
- Serving Size: 4 chips plus toppings
- Storing: Store the chips in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate the apple filling and whipped cream for up to 2 days.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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