low carb fried apples

Low Carb Faux Cracker Barrel Fried Apples (Induction)

A Dish of Low Carb Fried Apples

I love fried apples. When I was little we used to eat them for breakfast, dinner, and any other time we got a chance. Sweet, tangy apples served piping hot next to bacon (in the morning) or ham (at dinner) creates some kind of magic.

Addictive magic.

These fried apples are sweet, tangy, spicy, and tender. They taste an awful lot like the fried apple side dish at Cracker Barrel with one small difference. You can enjoy them on Atkins ? even on induction.?You see, they aren’t really apples.

A Dish of Fried Apples on a Lacy Doily

It’s zucchini.

Use this as a side dish, spooned over a half a cup of whipped, sweetened cream cheese for a droolworthy take on cheesecake, or keep it simple in a dish with a fluffy dollop of sweetened sour cream. Crumble pork rinds over the hot “apples” and enjoy an apple crisp. When you are further along and can have some low carb ice cream enjoy the faux fried apples hot over a scoop of vanilla. You’ll think of more things, I’m sure.

The zucchini is peeled and sliced into coins, then each coin is sliced into two crescents. I like to saute mine in a combination of butter and bacon fat. It gives the zucchini deeper flavor. You can use all butter if you like. While the zucchini is sauteing you’ll add sweetener, maple flavoring, a bit of bourbon, cinnamon, cayenne or ancho pepper for a zesty kick, and some cider vinegar to create that apple-y tang.


You can use your favorite zero carb sweetener. It’s hard to say how much you’ll need exactly?? add it to your own taste. You’ll want to cook the zucchini until it is soft but not mushy. Just taste every once in awhile until you decide that it’s perfect.

A Forkful of Low Carb Fried Apples

I know. You totally don’t believe me that this tastes like fried apples. Trust me on this, just try it one time.

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Low Carb Faux Cracker Barrel Fried Apples (Induction)

Tangy, sweet, and spicy with all of the flavor of fried apples but none of the carbs. Use this as a side dish or a dessert.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 273kcal
Author Katherine Peters


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 3/4 cup peeled zucchini cut into coins and then crescents
  • 0- carb sweetener to taste I use stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne or ancho or chipotle pepper to taste
  • 11/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon


  • Melt the butter into the bacon drippings.
  • Add the zucchini and saute until it is crisp tender.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until liquid is reduced and nearly gone.
  • Stir very often.
  • Taste and adjust sweetness/seasoning.


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg


28 thoughts on “Low Carb Faux Cracker Barrel Fried Apples (Induction)”

  1. I have made a few tweaks to this recipe and have made it probably 10 times now. It is positively amazing! I have fooled several people into thinking this was apples. Had a salesman at work sit at lunch and go on and on about how he didn’t like any kind of squash. Served this for desert and he raved about how good it was. When I told him what it really was, he called me a name!!! not a nice one either. haha The only thing I do different in your recipe is I use 4 cups of zuc’s, double the rest of the ingredients, and at the end I added 1/3 cup of SF maple syrup. I made some home made cinnamon ice cream and served the apples over it warm, and it is to die for. I’m working on turning this into an apple pie too. Thanks soooooo much for sharing!

  2. You are so creative and I love zucchini! What low carb maple flavor do you use? I have been low carbing 10 months now with 40 down. Love this life! Thanks for all you do!

  3. This looks really good but it says there is 24.5 g protein. I can’t figure out where all the protein is coming from as I don’t see anything in the recipe with substantial protein

  4. I had two zucs that i cut up and it made a lot more than 4 cups so I quadrupled the recipe. I didn’t need to, there was more than enough liquid as I could have added more zucs or doubled it! You weren’t exaggerating when you said it tastes like the Cracker Barrel Fried Apples! YUM-O!!!

  5. Hi, these sound delish! My question is about the bourbon, is it deal breaker in this recipe or can it be substituted for something else? Being a non drinker I am unsure what type of bourbon I’d need.

    1. Just an fyi, when you cook with the bourbon, the alcohol is burned off, so you just have the flavor from the bourbon but no alcohol.
      I can see why you wouldn’t want to buy a bottle of bourbon just for 2 TBs to cook with, but this recipe will probably be a keeper 😀

    2. Susan – I agree… but honestly not all the alcohol is burned off and I know a lot of people who don’t use booze for religious reasons and would be appalled at buying it. 🙂 It is definitely delicious.

  6. Does “cut into coins and then crescents” mean removing the seeds? Definitely going to try this! YUM!

    1. Oh how embarrassing! I was thinking this was cucumbers. LOL! Creating as we “speak.”

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  9. I have to say, I tried this just to see if you’d completely lost your mind. LOL My house smelled amazing while it cooked — just like fried apples would. I thought there was no way it was going to taste as good as it smelled but I was wrong again. It did. I could barely force myself to share it was so delicious but I wanted to see if my boys (picky eaters to the extreme and zucchini haters for sure) would eat it. They had NO IDEA it wasn’t apples and I didn’t tell them either.

    So to sum up a short story made long: THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS and if I hadn’t made it, I would’ve never known it wasn’t apples either!

    1. 🙂 I know. You know where I got the idea? In one of the Little House Books Ma makes an apple pie out of squash or something… and I thought I’d try it.

    2. Ma used a green pumpkin. BTW green tomatoes make a better than apple apple pie. My daughter has Celiac and my son eats keto, he has lost 100 lbs and looks and feels great.. Thanks for the recipe can’t wait to try it.

    1. LOL! Lots of people think I have lost my mind…and I probably have.. but with food? I am a frickin magician. You’ll love the less than 5.5 carb spicy chicken fried rice I am posting tomorrow then!

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