Healthy Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

A delicious vegan and gluten-free apple crisp that’s made with a crispy, nutty, oatmeal topping and cinnamon apples baked to perfection.

Riddle me this — what do you do when you have four big bags of fuji apples sitting in your kitchen after a fun day of apple picking?!

Well, you can start by eating two to three apples a day, on their own or dipped in homemade date caramel. Hello, apple nachos! They’re so crisp and delicious, I found it quite easy to dwindle down the collection this way. And chopped apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon is one of my favorite after dinner snacks!

Apple crisp with an oat and pecan topping in a baking dish.

If you’re not a big snacker, don’t worry I have plenty of other ideas for you. Try these slow cooker apple cinnamon steel-cut oats for breakfast, make this raw apple date pie filling, a pot of no sugar added apple butter or this fall spinach salad. And if you’re in the mood for a sweet dessert, I highly recommend trying this healthy gluten-free apple crisp recipe. It’s vegan and prepared with natural, wholesome ingredients (as per the usual here on EBF).

The apples are baked to caramely perfection while the oatmeal topping gives the crisp a crunchy texture. I love the apples, but the oatmeal pecan topping is totally what makes the dish. Of course, you have to remember that this is coming from the girl who loves all things crunchy — crispy muffin tops, granola, the edges of bread… bring on that crunch!

Spoon, scooping up some apple crisp with an oatmeal and pecan topping.

Apple Crisp Ingredients:

  • peeled and thinly sliced apples
  • maple syrup
  • lemon juice
  • arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • seasonings and spices – cinnamonnutmeg and sea salt
  • coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • old-fashioned rolled oats – oats are naturally gluten-free but are often cross-contaminated during processing, so if you need this crisp to be gluten-free, make sure you look for oats that say “gluten-free” on the package.
  • almond flour I haven’t tested this recipe with a different flour, but I have a feeling that all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour will work just fine for the topping. If you try it, please let me know in the comments.
  • chopped pecans – you can sub the pecans for another nut like walnuts or almonds. To make the topping nut-free swap the pecans with additional oats.
  • vegan butter or coconut oil – keep the butter or coconut oil in solid form to help make the topping more crumb-like.

A bowl of apple crisp with oat and pecan topping. The baking dish with a serving spoon is behind the bowl.

How to Serve Apple Crisp

Served warm, this apple crisp is absolutely delicious on its own, but if you really want the full experience I recommend serving it with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream. I brought the crisp, along with vanilla ice cream to a dinner and the combo was a huge hit! There were no leftovers. This apple crisp would also be a great dessert recipe to serve for Thanksgiving or a holiday dinner.

A bowl of apple crisp with oatmeal and pecan topping, topped with vanilla ice cream.

More Apple Recipes to Try:

More Healthy Desserts to Try:

If you try this healthy apple crisp recipe be sure to leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for me and other EBF readers who are planning to try the recipe. 

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Apple crisp with an oat and pecan topping in a baking dish.

Healthy Apple Crisp


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A delicious vegan and gluten-free apple crisp that’s made with a crispy, nutty, oatmeal topping and cinnamon apples baked to perfection.


Ingredients

  • 6 cups (about 6 medium) apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I like a mix of sweet and tart apples)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Topping

  • 1 cup organic brown sugar or coconut sugar*
  • 1 cup rolled old-fashioned oats (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup vegan buttery sticks or coconut oil (not melted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Make the topping by mixing together brown sugar, rolled oats, almond flour and nuts. Cut in butter or coconut oil until topping is crumb-like. Set aside.
  3. Add apple slices to a large bowl with maple syrup, lemon juice, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gently toss until all apple slices are coated.
  4. Transfer apple mixture to greased 8×8 square baking dish or a 9-inch round pie pan.
  5. Sprinkle crisp topping over apple mixture.
  6. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the apple filling is bubbly and the top is golden. Check the crisp around 30 minutes in. If the crisp seems to be browning too quickly, cover with foil for the remaining 15-20 minutes.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes and enjoy warm with ice cream or whipped topping.

Notes

  • Recipe works with brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you’d like for the crisp to be less sweet, feel free to cut the sugar back to 1/2 -3/4 cup instead of 1 cup!
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 34g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: gluten-free apple crisp, vegan apple crisp, healthy apple crisp

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    71 comments
    1. Una
      January 11, 2021 AT 10:53 am

      This is so delicious, it will be my third time to make it! I cut down the sugar to 1/2 cup and it’s still sweet enough. The whole family love it when I bake it. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 11, 2021 AT 9:49 pm

        Woo!! I’m so glad this recipe is a hit. Thanks for the review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    2. JoAnne
      December 13, 2020 AT 10:20 pm

      Hi! I’m looking at making this for my Christmas Eve, do you think there would be any issues with assembling ahead of time and then baking when guests arrive?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 13, 2020 AT 10:38 pm

        No, I think this would be just fine prepping ahead of time. 🙂

    3. Melissa
      December 13, 2020 AT 7:04 pm

      Really enjoyed this recipe. Made it for my family on Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit (with ice cream) and leftovers were delicious with vanilla Greek yogurt! Loved the crunch of the walnuts.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 13, 2020 AT 9:34 pm

        So glad this recipe was a hit with your family, Melissa! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    4. Sue
      December 5, 2020 AT 7:35 pm

      This was so delicious! It was such a hit for dessert on this chilly snowy night.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 8, 2020 AT 1:17 am

        I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thank you for making it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I really appreciate it!

    5. Christy Andrew
      December 4, 2020 AT 6:08 pm

      This was absolutely delicious!’

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 4, 2020 AT 6:21 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Christy!!

    6. Shannon
      November 17, 2020 AT 10:22 pm

      I made this tonight and it is delicious!! I don’t know if I did something wrong or used too much apple though, because there is quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan. Any tips?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 18, 2020 AT 5:03 pm

        It could have been because you used too many apples, how many did you end up using? Did you add any additional liquids to the recipe (i.e. more maple syrup or lemon juice)?

    7. Kate Hession
      November 15, 2020 AT 11:42 pm

      Looking to make this for Thanksgiving. Can I substitute almond meal for almond flour?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 16, 2020 AT 9:35 am

        Yes! That would work fine. Let me know how it turns out for you!

    8. Emily
      November 11, 2020 AT 9:38 pm

      Our household loves this! Last time used half the brown sugar, 3 granny smith and 3 honeycrisp, and butter. This time we’re making it with 5 apples and 1 cup fresh cranberries. I like this better than apple pie. THANK YOU.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 12, 2020 AT 1:59 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you’ve been loving this apple crisp, Emily. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    9. Meredith
      November 9, 2020 AT 4:07 pm

      Pure Yumminess! Made this last night, and husband gave two thumbs way up… “better than the other one” meaning the one with butter and sugar!
      Thank You for sharing this 😀

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 10, 2020 AT 5:24 pm

        Woo!! So glad it was a hit, Meredith!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    10. Becky Smith
      October 16, 2020 AT 6:51 pm

      I made this for a friend who is dairy free and was amazed how delicious a crisp. Oils be without butter (I used coconut oil)!! It was delicious! Will definitely makes again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 17, 2020 AT 3:19 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad this apple crisp was a hit. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it!

    11. Erica
      October 15, 2020 AT 7:29 pm

      This is a MUST make!! I reduced the sugar in the topping to 2/3c and topped it with whipped cream (although it doesn’t need it) as you had suggested and it was a total crowd pleaser! Thank you!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 16, 2020 AT 2:50 am

        Ahh yay!! So glad you loved this apple crisp, Erica. Thanks so much for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    12. Ellen Stiles
      October 13, 2020 AT 2:53 pm

      This apple crisp is delicious and healthier than so many! My family loved it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 13, 2020 AT 5:34 pm

        Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear!

    13. Lisa
      October 12, 2020 AT 3:03 pm

      Wow! This is soooo delicious! We went apple picking this weekend and have WAY too many apples so I decided to give this a try to use some up. I can’t imagine a more delicious result! Bravo to you on a perfect apple crisp recipe! Super easy to put together too! Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 10:52 pm

        Ahh yay!! This makes me so happy to hear, Lisa. I’m so glad you loved this apple crisp. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    14. Samantha
      October 12, 2020 AT 10:52 am

      Delicious! Made it for our Canadian thanksgiving dinner and it was the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Making it again today!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 10:55 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad this crisp was a hit!! Thanks so much for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it.

    15. Cori
      October 9, 2020 AT 5:28 pm

      LOVE this crisp!! I added some extra nuts the second time around and it’s amazing.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 10, 2020 AT 7:27 pm

        Ahh yay!! So pumped you enjoyed this apple crisp, Cori. You can never go wrong with adding more nuts. 🙂 Thanks for making my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    16. Celia
      October 5, 2020 AT 10:36 pm

      Very very good crisp recipe. Super easy and delicious. I used coconut sugar and did reduce the amount by about 1/4 c and it was still very sweet. I had walnuts on hand so that’s what I used and the topping was wonderful.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 7, 2020 AT 10:01 pm

        Yay! I’m so pumped you enjoyed this apple crisp recipe, Celia. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    17. Kristine
      October 3, 2020 AT 11:07 am

      Can I sub honey for the maple syrup?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 3, 2020 AT 9:58 pm

        Yes, honey should work just fine!

    18. Brie
      October 1, 2020 AT 4:58 pm

      This might be the best apple crisp I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a LOT of apple crisp. I adjusted the spices on the apples slightly, just to make it more like my apple pie spicing. I used 1/3c coconut sugar and 1/4c organic light brown sugar, walnuts, and coconut oil. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, with a really nice crunchy, crumbly topping. So good and so simple! My 3 year old DEVOURED it. I actually made your Chocolate Baked Oatmeal this morning, as well. We all loved that one too! So happy that I stumbled on your recipes today!

    19. Allie
      September 28, 2020 AT 9:44 pm

      I made this recipe tonight. First time making any type of apple recipe and it was a huge hit! It’s almost all gone! The apples were cooked perfectly and the crumble topping is delicious!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 30, 2020 AT 5:57 pm

        Ahh yay!! So pumped this apple crisp was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    20. Agnes
      September 27, 2020 AT 8:46 pm

      So good! My apples were really big so I ended up making 2 pans of 8×8” pans. There was plenty of topping to go over both! I put my pans on the lowest rack so that the nuts and topping didn’t burn, and it worked well! I love apple crisp/crumble SO much and this simple recipe is so so good.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 28, 2020 AT 2:46 pm

        So glad this recipe was a hit, Agnes! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    21. JENN
      September 27, 2020 AT 8:23 pm

      Made this tonight and everyone loved it! I am so glad with how it turned out. Easy and mistake proof. Thanks, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 28, 2020 AT 2:46 pm

        Woo!! So pumped this apple crisp was a hit. Thanks for making it, Jenn. 🙂

    22. Carissa
      September 23, 2020 AT 7:12 am

      I’d love to make this for a small gathering this weekend. Do you have any substitutes for almond flour? I have a son with a nut allergy. Thanks in advance!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 3:40 pm

        Hey Carissa! You could try all-purpose flour instead. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out. 🙂

        1. Carissa
          September 24, 2020 AT 6:57 am

          Thanks Brittany! Do you think a 1-to-1 gluten free flour would work too? Trying to keep it GF as well 😅

          1. Brittany Mullins
            September 24, 2020 AT 11:25 pm

            That should work just fine! 🙂 Let me know how it turns out for you!

    23. Julie
      September 7, 2020 AT 4:10 pm

      I made this today with a variety of apples (mystery ones picked from Grandma’s apple tree) plus a couple of gala apples from the fridge. It was sooo good! I used a bit less coconut sugar, about 3/4 cup, and we found it perfectly sweet. Only wish I had some ice cream to go with it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 7, 2020 AT 5:35 pm

        So glad you loved this apple crisp, Julie! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    24. Alexis Johnson
      April 30, 2020 AT 4:47 pm

      this recipe is really good!!!! I highly recommend making it! I give it 5 stars!!!! It was very easy to make!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 30, 2020 AT 11:02 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Alexis!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this apple crisp. Thanks for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    25. Lori
      November 26, 2019 AT 6:02 pm

      I’d love to make this recipe for Thanksgiving, but I need to omit oats. Do you already know of an alternate ingredient that works well or altogether different topping recipe you’d recommend? I don’t mind playing around with it, but time is short! Thanks so much!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 27, 2019 AT 2:09 am

        Hey Lori, I haven’t tried making this topping with anything besides the oats. Maybe you could try using more almond flour instead of the oats? I’m just not 100% sure what ratio you’d need and how it’d turn out. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you.

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