This apple and cranberry appetizer features fruit sauteed with red onion, fresh sage, and a little brandy. Serve on crackers or crostini with Parmesan.

Apple Cranberry Appetizer

Apples are all over at the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market here in Indy, and Alex and I have been working on a few seasonal recipes with this crisp and delicious fruit! What a better pairing with the apple than cranberry? These tart berries have the perfect tang to play off of sweet apples. Since we love savory around here, we’ve been playing with the concept of savory apple recipes instead of sweet. This was the genesis of this apple cranberry appetizer, now one of our favorite fall recipes for entertaining. Keep reading for the recipe!

Making this apple cranberry appetizer recipe

This apple and cranberry appetizer recipe turned out to be a wonderful blend of sweet and savory. The apples and cranberries are sauteed with red onion, fresh sage, and for some complexity: a little brandy! While the brandy is optional, it adds a nice subtle flavor. The Parmesan cheese was also a great compliment to the overall flavors, though it could be omitted as well, or substituted with other cheeses like cream cheese or Brie.

Here are the steps to this apple cranberry appetizer recipe:

  1. Saute minced red onion in olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add diced apple, dried cranberries and fresh sage, and cook for about 10 minutes until the apples are soft.
  3. Add a splash of brandy and remove from the heat. Allow to cool, and add a pinch of kosher salt to taste.
  4. Serve on crostini or crackers! Top with optional Parmesan cheese.

Looking for apple or cranberry recipes?

Outside of this apple cranberry appetizer, here are a few more recipes using apples and cranberries:

This apple cranberry appetizer recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (served with gluten-free crackers). For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the Parmesan cheese.

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Apple Cranberry Sage Bites

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bites 1x


This apple and cranberry appetizer features fruit sauteed with red onion, fresh sage, and a little brandy. Serve on crackers or crostini with Parmesan.


  • 1 large red onion (1 cup minced)
  • 4 medium apples (5 cups chopped)
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped sage (or 4 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese (or your favorite cheese: blue cheese, aged cheddar, Brie, or cream cheese)
  • Crackers, bread, or pita wedges for serving


  1. Mince the red onion. Core the apples and chop them into bite-sized chunks. Chop the sage.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add apple, sage, and the dried cranberries. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy. Allow to cool slightly, and add a bit of kosher salt to taste.
  4. Serve over crackers or crostini, garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cranberry Appetizer, Apple Appetizer, Crostini, Cranberry Crostini, Sage Recipes, Fall Appetizer

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. These look and sound wonderful. Sadly, my crazy schedule has kept me from getting to the BR Farmer’s Market at all this year. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can change that!

  2. These look so delicious! I’ve been searching for a new appetizer to try for Thanksgiving, and I think this will be a wonderful precursor to dinner! A great palate-primer!

  3. Great versatile recipe. Made it yesterday for a dinner party. I served it on home made wheat thins spread with a little goat cheese. Big hit. Then this morning on pumpkin waffles and for dinner over pork chops! Yum.