Cold weather is coming, and that means one thing — it’s about to get a whole lot more exciting in the kitchen. Sure, sweet corn, eggplants, and heirloom tomato recipes have their place, but it’s time for spicy muffins, Instant Pot soups, and all the autumn produce we can get our hands on. Apples are the star of early fall cuisine, but don’t just save them for sweet treats and desserts — these 14 recipes show how a little fruit can help balance out even the most savory meals.

1. Roast Chicken, Apple, and Root Vegetable Salad: Tangy green apples help balance out this earthy root vegetable salad. It’s topped with chicken for extra protein. (via Pop Kitchen)

2. Chicken Normandy: Nothing is more satisfying on a cold night than a simmering pot of slow cooked chicken. Add some fruit into the mixture, along with tender sliced onions, and you’ve got a meal that’s the perfect balance of savory and sweet. (via This Mama Cooks)

3. Roasted Pork Loin With Apples and Fennel: Pre-seasoned pork loin is one of the best dinner shortcuts out there. Pair with roasted root veggies for a quick but satisfying meal. (via Kevin is Cooking)

4. Honey Ham, Gouda, and Apple Quesadillas: Don’t settle for a basic quesadilla when it’s so easy to make something more exciting. This one is stuffed with an intriguing mix of ham, gouda, and apples. (via Simple Seasonal)

5. Cider, Apple, and Sausage Casserole: Hearty sausages are braised until juicy and tender in this recipe, along with creamy potatoes. You’ll want to slurp up every drop of the leftover broth. (via Farmersgirl Kitchen)

6. Cabbage Stir Fry: Simple cabbage doesn’t get enough love. Paired with bold ingredients like Spanish ham and caramelized apples, it becomes a meal unto itself. (via Shoot the Cook)

7. Everything Pasta Salad: If you’re used to pasta salad tasting bland, you’re in for a treat. This recipe includes all sorts of goodies, and then tops everything off with balsamic maple vinaigrette. (via Kiwi & Carrot)

8. Apple Cider Thyme Grilled Chicken: Perfect for those warmer autumn evenings, this cider-marinated chicken gets caramelized and smokey on the grill. And when the weather starts to turn, you can make it on the stovetop until it’s warm enough for a barbecue again. (via Sprinkles & Sprouts)

9. Roasted Chickpea, Chicken, and Cauliflower Salad: Nothing hits the spot like a hearty salad, especially one that’s full of protein, veggies, and fruit. Avocado adds a touch of indulgence. (via Ally’s Cooking)

10. Spicy Grilled Pork Chops With Apple Salsa: Apple salsa is hearty enough to make ahead of time, and it adds a sweet crunch to these spicy grilled pork chops. (via Mindy’s Cooking Obsession)

11. Sesame-Crusted Halloumi and Slaw: Halloumi, a firm cheese with a chewy bite, is coated in sesame seeds to give it a golden-brown crunch. (via The Hungry Cook)

12. Baked Apple Pork Chops and Green Beans: We can’t be the only ones who are totally thankful that sheet pan meals are trending. They’re easy to cook, easy to clean up, and even easier to devour. (via Damn Delicious)

13. Butternut Squash and Apple Soup: Topped with bacon, this silky butternut squash and apple soup cooks up quickly in your pressure cooker. (via Two Sleevers)

14. Plum, Apple, and Wheat Berry Salad: Hearty wheat berries make this salad perfect for autumn. Plums and apples add sweetness, while a tangy citrus vinaigrette keeps things balanced. (via Fork in the Road)

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