Chicken with Apples and Cider

Here’s a delicious and healthy, family-friendly meal to serve for dinner: Chicken with Apples and Cider

Chicken with Apples and Cider

Just as a lot of folks are doing at this time of year, I’m opting to exercise more and eat a little lighter. When I go for that mindset, my family isn’t always totally into it… so I opt to cook meals that are definitely lighter but not noticeably so. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s completely possible to cook a “lighter” meal that is 100% delicious and noteworthy without presenting it as “something that works with your diet” or “low fat.” Some family members might be freaked out by that concept. So I just go ahead and make dinner (a little lighter) and serve it to my family. They never know, the meal is fabulous, and everyone benefits by consuming a healthier dish.  This recipe comes from a cookbook I’ve had on my shelf forever:  Weight Watcher’s New Complete Cookbook.  I’m not on WW (just simply watching my daily calorie intake), but it’s a good resource to draw from when looking for lighter meals.

Chicken with Apples and Cider 1

Preparation of the meal begins with pasta (yes, you can still eat pasta when eating light!)  I chose to use Delallo Whole Wheat Linguine.  It’s the best whole wheat pasta brand on the market because it doesn’t taste overly whole grain and weird.  My family seems to like it, and I know it’s better for us than plain ol’ white pasta.  They have the Delallo brand at my local grocery store (Raley’s) and I have also spotted it at Walmart and Whole Foods.

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While the pasta is cooking, prepare the apples.  They are sauteed in a little bit of oil, then sprinkled with brown sugar until tender.  I wanted to stop right here and eat the apples!

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I had two large boneless chicken breasts.  When I cut them in half, they were about 4 ounces- that’s the serving size for this recipe.  It may seem like a small amount, but I assure you that if you serve it on the pasta and include a vegetable too… it’s plenty of chicken.  My husband and my 5 foot 9″ middle schooler were plenty happy.  The chicken is sprinkled lightly with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

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Now for the onions… I used a red onion.  You can certainly use a white onion too.  The onions are cooked until softened- then add the apple cider or juice and apple cider vinegar too.

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The chicken is added back in (and cooked a little longer until completely done)- and then the apples too!

Chicken with Apples and Cider -
Serve over noodles with onions, apples and sauce drizzled over.  It’s a “lighter” meal to serve for dinner… but your family will have no idea that you’ve “healthified” dinner for sure.  Nutritional information and weight watcher’s points are included in the recipe below.  The cinnamon taste is definitely not overwhelming (that would be weird)- it’s just enough to pair nicely with the sauce and the apples.  Enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Chicken with Apples and Cider


2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
1 medium Granny Smith Apple, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Four 4-ounce chicken breast pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice (no sugar added)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cups hot cooked whole wheat pasta (or any pasta)


1. First things first... make sure your pasta is cooking while you prepare the rest of this meal. Then, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Saute the apple until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cook and additional 3 to 5 minutes, just until tender. Remove apples from the pan to a bowl.

2. Place the chicken on a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and pepper (on one side is fine). Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the chicken 4 to 5 minutes on each side, just until browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and onto a plate.

3. Add the onion to the pan and cook (covered) over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, or until very tender (stir once in a while). Add the cider and vinegar, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is slightly reduced- 4 to 5 minutes (I like to cover the pan here so the chicken can cook more quickly).

4. Return the apples to the skillet and heat through. For each serving, place 1/2 cup noodles on a plate and top with one piece of chicken and 1/4 cup sauce.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 chicken breast, 1/2 cup pasta, 1/4 cup sauce
Calories per serving: 352
Fat per serving: 11g
Saturated Fat per serving: 1g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">273mg
Fiber per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 27g
Cholesterol per serving: 89mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 36g

WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 9 Old Points Program: 8

Source: (adapted barely from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook)

Disclosure:  There are Amazon affiliate links within this post.  Any mention of brands is organic- I tend to mention brands that I enjoy.

19 Responses to “Chicken with Apples and Cider”

  1. postedJan 6, 2014 8:59 AM

    Love the pics of the caramelization process! Yum!

  2. postedJan 6, 2014 9:28 AM

    That looks like the perfect dinner for this time of year!

  3. postedJan 6, 2014 10:00 AM

    Oh man, this is my kind of dinner! I love apples with chicken and especially when you throw in brown sugar! Love how quick, easy and tasty this looks!

  4. postedJan 6, 2014 1:19 PM

    I do the same thing! If I try and tell the family we are eating lighter-I get a huge rebellion. Glad I’m not the only one who tries to do this without them knowing 🙂 Love this recipe. Pinned!

  5. postedJan 6, 2014 8:53 PM

    Such a perfect family dinner. It looks awesome!

  6. postedJan 7, 2014 8:37 AM

    This looks great Lori! I need light and quick meals with my work schedule changing around. Love!

  7. postedJan 7, 2014 8:58 AM
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    Secret healthy meals are the best!

  8. postedJan 7, 2014 9:52 AM

    This is a beautiful comforting dish! I love the caramelized onions! Gotta give this a try.

  9. postedJan 7, 2014 10:13 AM

    What a fun combination!! Bet it’s fabulous! Happy New Year Lori!!

  10. postedJan 7, 2014 11:33 AM

    Chicken dishes that can be made quickly and are healthy and tasty are always a win! Your dish looks scrumptious. Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  11. postedJan 7, 2014 1:30 PM

    Definitely a great idea to just serve something “lighter” but not noticeably so! 🙂 I’m trying to do the same. Happy new year!

  12. postedJan 7, 2014 3:21 PM

    I love when I can serve a “lighter” meal and my husband has no idea! This sounds so good. Must try soon!

  13. postedJan 7, 2014 4:19 PM

    I just have to say – every recipe I’ve made from your site so far my family has loved!! Keep em coming! Trying this one tonight!

    • postedJan 9, 2014 8:18 AM

      Awesome- thank you!

  14. postedJan 7, 2014 4:37 PM

    You just described my favorite type of cooking Lori–lightened up, without telling a soul. Cheers to dinners that are healthy AND delicious!

  15. postedJan 8, 2014 10:41 AM

    This dish is bursting with flavor 🙂 I cannot wait to make this!

  16. postedJan 15, 2014 6:12 PM

    A great recipe! You can leave the sugar out, totally, and its still sweet and better for you!

  17. postedJul 2, 2014 3:54 AM

    Thanks for the tip on a good tasting whole grain pasta. My family is hard to please when it comes to finding a good tasting healthy pasta! This looks delicious and I’m trying it tonight. I have made a similar dish to this with swordfish. My kids ages 3, 7, 10 & 12 will eat it! Just use 1-1 1/2 pounds swordfish steak cut into bite sized pieces, increase the apple cider to 1 cup, increase the apples to 3 (peeled and cut into bite size pieces), and skip the vinegar or decrease it to a tablespoon. I haven’t used onion or brown sugar in it, but I’m sure it would add some nice flavor. We serve it with a side of spinach orzo: prepare orzo according to package directions, place several large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves in the colander before draining the orzo over the spinach, return the orzo and spinach to the pan and stir together with some olive oil. 🙂

    • postedJul 4, 2014 5:04 AM

      Sounds great!

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