| | | | |

Easy Apple Chips Recipe

Looking for a simple zero-waste after-school snack for kids? This simple homemade dried apple chips recipe is a cinch and a fan favorite among the littles in our house. Check out all the details and the healthy apple chips recipe below!

dried apple chips recipe

This post contains affiliate links.

dried apple chips recipe

Every afternoon, after a long day at school, my boys scramble to the kitchen for an after-school snack. Undoubtedly, they want junk, and I want them to eat something nutritious and delicious.

My older son really likes apple chips, but they come in such small packages and are so expensive! Relying on store-bought apple chips felt like too much plastic and financial waste. Then I realized I could make my own apple chips for a lot less money.

Local Seconds Apples for Homemade Apple Chips Recipe

With our Excalibur dehydrator, we landed on a perfect compromise. Homemade dehydrated apple chips. Additionally, we get periodic food deliveries from a company that delivers from local farmers and growers. In the fall during apple season, I can order a half bushel of seconds apples (or apples with a few nicks and bruises or that are too big or small to meet traditional grocery store shelving standards) for far less than I pay for regular apples at the grocery store.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a half bushel of Honeycrisp apples for $24 (57 apples in total). So I paid $0.42 per apple compared to nearly $2 for the same type of apples at my local grocery store. That’s a savings of $90 just for the apples!

When I factor in the cost of purchasing apple chips compared to just the ingredients for apple chips, I paid about 1/10th the price for all these apple chips that my son takes in his lunch and eats after school nearly every day.

Making this apple chips recipe doesn’t take all that long either (in the grand scheme of a snack that lasts quite a while in our house when we make such a large batch at once). I used about 11-12 apples to make a month or so worth of apple chips. It took me maybe 30 minutes of active preparation and clean-up time (though the apple chips sit in the dehydrator for about 10 hours).

All in all, I got apple chips with no single-use plastic waste for a fraction of the price I would have paid at the store. I supported a small local delivery business and a local orchard. And we returned the box to the orchard and donated the plastic bag to our local food pantry for their participants to use for grocery shopping.

Go Apple Picking For This Apple Chips Recipe

You could also go apple picking as a family and make part of the experience of making this dried apple chips recipe the adventure of choosing the apples straight from the apple trees. U-pick farms are a great way to support your local orchards, reduce the transportation footprint of the food you eat, and help your children understand how food where food comes from, something that can be really hard to do at a grocery store. Here are a bunch of reasons u-pick produce is great for sustainable living.

dried apple chips recipe

These homemade and zero-waste dehydrated apple chips are super simple to prepare, and my boys devour them regularly. They consider these homemade dried apple chips a snack, while I secretly indulge in the fact that they’re eating healthy, whole foods.

I know some dried fruits can have an increased concentration of sugar, but this homemade apple chips recipe feels like a great compromise between a sweet indulgence and a healthy snack. There is no added sugar, so it’s just a simple apple for the win.

Many apple chip recipes call for cinnamon sprinkled on the apple chips. While I’m sure cinnamon apple chips are delicious, my boys prefer what I’ll call naked apple chips (no sugar, no cinnamon, no lemon juice, no extras); just plain and pure apple chips.

Low Waste Products for Making Apple Chips Recipe

Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator

Making this homemade dried apple chips recipe as a great zero-waste snack is super easy. I have this Excalibur dehydrator that works perfectly for this zero-waste snack. I simply slice the apples, lay them in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, and let the dehydrator do the hard work for about 6 to 8 hours.

Mandoline Slicer or Apple Corer

I use a mandoline slicer to slice the apples into apple rings, but you could slice them manually if you prefer or if you do not have a mandoline slicer at home. We also have an apple corer (something my grandmother got for me) that also takes the skin off the apples. If you have one of those, it could also work. You would just end up with apple chips in the shape of half-apple rings instead of full circular apple chips.

Silicon Baking Mats vs. Parchment Paper

I don’t use parchment paper on the dehydrator trays; the apple slices don’t really stick them too much. I would probably choose silicon baking mats instead of single-use parchment paper if I were baking them in the oven.

But if single-use is what’s available to you, there are great options for compostable parchment paper that doesn’t have any chemicals in it so it can go right into your home compost bin or your community composting bucket. You can buy it at many grocery stores. Just be sure to look for the certification showing that it’s been verified as compostable. I’ve shared a bunch more information about everyday compostable kitchen items like parchment paper and how to identify certifications in this post.

My boys eat these homemade apple chips as mid-morning snacks, after-school snacks, and as part of a zero-waste snack tray. We’ve also included them on our low-waste leftover charcuterie boards for lunch and dinner. 

If you do not own a dehydrator and think that you would use it regularly, I highly recommend buying one. We use it once every few weeks and love the healthy, low-waste snacks it provides.

Can You Make Apple Chips Without A Dehydrator?

If you don’t want a dehydrator or it’s out of your budget (they are a bit expensive and a little large if you have limited space), you can also make baked apple chips in your oven on a baking sheet at a very low temperature for several hours. Many recipes say that baking apple slices at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 4 hours will do the trick.

Even in the dehydrator, I check on the drying apples periodically because drying time can vary. The length of time to dehydrate varies depending on how moist the apples are and the humidity of the environment in which the apples are being dehydrated (though 10 hours seems to do the trick for me).

Are Apple Chips Healthy?

Eating the whole fruit is probably the best option, but as long as you don’t add a bunch of sugar or other processed ingredients to your recipe, crispy apple chips are a great, healthy snack. The recipe below doesn’t include extra sugar, so it’s just the simple apple and almost as good as a full serving of fruit.

What Type of Apple is Best For This Apple Chips Recipe?

Any apples will work to make dried apple chips. Your best option to reduce waste is to choose apples you already have, apples from a local farm, or maybe something from an ugly produce box such as Misfits Market. Maybe you could even pick fresh apples from a local pick-your-own apple orchard. That’s such a fun fall family activity.

Alternatively, choose whatever looks good and fits your budget at the grocery store. Our favorite apples are Honeycrisp apples, but any apple will taste great when dehydrated or baked to make homemade apple chips. Sometimes the half bushel of seconds apples that we get from the orchard has a variety of apples, and when that’s the case, we just whichever varieties of apples are included in the half bushel.

How do you store apple chips?

We store our dried apple chips in an airtight container. This OXO container has been holding strong for many years. Sometimes we just use a zip-top plastic bag too when we are traveling or just need the chips to take up less space.

We store them at room temperature

Can you compost apple scraps?

After making this homemade dried apple chip recipe, you’ll probably have a bowl of apple scraps left over. I ate some of the miscellaneous chunks of apples while I sliced the apple chips, but there are also some odds and ends you won’t eat (including the seeds, which do not make a great addition to the chips).

You can use these scraps to make apple cider vinegar if you’d like. Grab one of your repurposed glass jars (I’m a big fan), and mix with the right ingredients for a great vinegar. But if you’re not in need of some ACV, or even after you’ve made it and no longer need the apple scraps, don’t throw them in the trash! You can probably compost them!

We’re big fans of composting around here and have a bunch of resources for you. To learn more specifically about whether or not you can compost all those apple scraps and apple cores, check out the full post with all the details.

If You Like Homemade Apple Chips, You Might Also Like

Homemade Dried Apricots

Low Waste Baking | Pumpkin Cherry Muffins

7 Zero or Low Waste Homemade Popcorn Recipes

Jen Panaro

Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and advocate for sustainable living for modern families. To find her latest work, subscribe to her newsletter, Stepping Stones.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

Homemade Dried Apple Chip Recipe

Homemade Dried Apple Chip Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes

Simple, homemade dried apple chips make a great back-to-school snack.


  • 11-12 apples, any variety (we prefer seconds apples to save money)


  1. Slice apples into 1/8" thick slices. It's easiest to use a mandolin slicer but you can cut the slices manually as well. 
  2. Lay apple slices on the dehydrator trays without overlapping them.
  3. Set the dehydrator to temperature as noted in the appliance instructions for fruit. Our Excalibur dehydrator suggests dehydrating at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a corresponding setting for this temperature noting it's for fruits on the dehydrator. 
  4. Allow dehydration for 8-10 hours, checking periodically, until the apples are quite dry.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, Honestly Modern earns from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.