Dietitian’s Simple Apple Crisp – Is it Breakfast or Dessert?

This simple apple crisp is the perfect mix of nutrient density and indulgence. It’s a favorite fall dessert…that sometimes makes its way into breakfast! 

A LOT of “healthy” recipes go straight to removing all of the butter, sugar, dairy, flour, etc. and start reaching for some wild specialty products. I approach recipes the exact same way that I coach clients – how can we find a middle ground between that all-or-nothing mindset? What better way to show you what I mean than with this simple apple crisp. Yes – there is butter, sugar, and real flour. No, that does not mean it is off-limits, unhealthy, or bad for you…unless of course you’ve fallen for the latest fad-diet-trend.

When having this recipe for dessert, I usually have the crisp alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For breakfast, I make sure to pair it with a protein source. This helps prioritize that body composition goal of gaining or maintaining muscle and keeps hunger at bay. I typically use plain greek yogurt with a touch of honey or a pre-mixed vanilla flavor.

The Apple Filling

I’m all about efficiency so the skin on the apple stays. Peeling apples sounds like a time-sucker, so I decided to skip it as a whole. Instead of slicing the apples thin, I like to chop them into chunks. This is key if you’re keeping the skin on because it’s already bite-sized.

Mix the apples with a little bit of sugar, flour, and cinnamon. I only used 2 tablespoons of sugar in the filling (that’s about half of what some traditional recipes might use). The flour is needed to help the filling thicken. Don’t leave it out unless you want a watery filling. I’m just warning you.

Simple apple crisp filling ingredients

The Crisp

I’m going to revisit my thought on efficiency. If I have to look at a recipe 400 times to remember all of the measurements of different ingredients, I’m going to end up frustrated. So to keep things simple, you’ll need 1/2 of all of the crisp ingredients – 1/2 cup of flour, oats, and brown sugar – 1/2 stick of butter – 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. I can still feel the sigh of relief I took when this worked.

Simple apple crisp

Simple Apple Crisp

This simple apple crisp is the perfect balance of nutrient density and indulgence. You could have it with breakfast…but you might also crave it for dessert.
Print Recipe
simple healthy apple crisp


Apple filling

  • 5 whole apples cubed
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon


  • 0.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 0.5 cup oatmeal, dry
  • 0.5 cup brown sugar not packed
  • 0.5 stick salted butter melted
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Prepare filling: chop apples into bite-size cubes & add to large bowl with sugar, flour, and cinnamon to combine
  • Transfer apples to 9in pie dish – it's going to be crowded!
  • Prepare crisp topping: combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl
  • Cover with foil and bake for ~30 minutes or until apples are tender
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown


Nutrition facts are estimates and will vary depending on exact products and amounts used. 


Serving: 0.3cup | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 12 1/3 cup
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Olivia Goldin