Zucchini Apple Crisp


Zucchini Apple Crisp is a delicious fall treat. This easy dish is warm, cozy, and perfect for a chilly evening. It is similar to apple crisp but made with zucchini instead. Autumn is here, the leaves are starting to change color and fall. Crisp, brisk days have arrived and before you know it winter will be knocking on your door.


This easy and delicious low-carb keto apple crisp doesn’t use any apples! To keep it keto-friendly, the recipe is made with zucchini but your taste buds will never know the difference!

keto apple crisp featured image.

Sweet and tender pieces of sliced zucchini can have the flavor of apples by adding a sweetened spice blend. You’ll get all the taste you love without the unwanted carbs.

The delicious keto apple dessert is a simple and easy way to enjoy the crunchy, sweet flavor of apples on a low-carb diet. It’s also a tasty way to get in your daily dose of vegetables.


You only need a few basic ingredients and a little time to make this low-carb apple crisp recipe. In fact, you may already have everything you need right in the kitchen!

keto apple crisp recipe ingredients.

Mock apple mixture

For the low-carb apple pie crisp filling, you’ll need the following:

  • zucchini
  • lemon juice
  • keto sugar substitute
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

You can also add a keto-friendly thickener like xanthan gum to make a thicker filling and apple extract for a stronger apple flavor.

Apple crisp topping

I use a nutty topping for the zucchini apple crisp. It’s just a blend of these ingredients:

  • Chopped pecans
  • Almond flour
  • Oat fiber or coconut flour
  • Granulated keto sweetener
  • Cinnamon
  • Melted butter


  • Keep the zucchini slices at least a quarter inch thick. If you cut them too thin, the squash will get soft and mushy when cooked.
  • Use coarse almond flour. Low-carb baked goods are generally better with fine almond flour, but for an apple crisp, a coarser grind works best. You can even use an almond meal with the skin still on.
  • Add apple extract. The lemon juice provides a fruity taste to the zucchini but you’ll get a more believable taste if you add in a little apple flavoring.
  • Use a ball-shaped squash. There are round-ball varieties of zucchini that you can grow yourself. The shape and size are more like an apple.


To make the recipe, simply prepare the zucchini mixture then add the crumb topping. Then simply bake it in the oven. That’s it!

Mock apple filling

Before using the zucchini, it needs to be peeled and sliced in half lengthwise. Then the seeds need to be removed using a spoon to scrape them out.

Cut the zucchini into half-moon slices to look like apple slices. The summer squash pie filling will look just like apples!

Once the zucchini is sliced, it’s mixed with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweetener, and optional apple extract. Then it’s poured into a baking dish.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle the topping over the filling and bake until the zucchini is tender. It takes about 45 to 50 minutes to cook completely.


This keto zucchini apple crisp is perfectly served warm or cold. When warm, it tastes great with a scoop of keto vanilla ice cream on top. Topping off with some whipped cream is also a great option.


It’s easy to modify this recipe into a keto mock apple pie. Just add my almond flour crust or coconut flour crust and bake in a pie pan. You’ll end up with a low-carb Dutch apple pie!

If you’d rather have a traditional apple pie, add a top crust too.


Before getting to the printable recipe card, here are some answers to questions people have asked about the keto apple crisp dessert.

Are apples keto-friendly?

Apples are avoided on a keto diet because even a small apple can have over 20 grams of carbs. That’s twice the limit for what’s recommended for each low-carb meal and it’s likely to knock you out of ketosis!

What can be used for low-carb mock apples?

I’ve made various keto apple recipes using chayote squash, jicama, and yellow squash in addition to zucchini. I use chayote in my keto apple pie uses chayote and I use jicama in my keto apple pie filling.

Zucchini Crisp

Use up your zucchini with this Zucchini Crisp recipe, a delectable dessert with apple flavoring and lots of delicious ingredients. We’re talking brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon!

So you have a few zucchini lying around, and you’re not sure how to use them. I have just the recipe for you — Zucchini Dessert Crisp! This unique and delicious treat is the perfect way to use up your veggies and enjoy true culinary magic.

Grab your complimentary cookbook full of our favorite hidden vegetable treats! SEND IT TO ME!

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Zucchini is sort of like tofu and eggplant. It can stand alone and be great, or you can do a bunch of sneaky cooking things to it and transform it into something else. Today we’ll turn the humble, healthy zucchini into apples…zucchini apples, that is! 

Ingredients In Zucchini Dessert Crisp

To turn our zucchini into an apple-tasting dessert, we’ll be using everything from sugar and lemon juice to rolled oats and butter. It’s an interesting combo, and it works! 

  • Zucchini: First up, you’ll need 6 cups of zucchini. You can reach that with about 5 medium-sized zuccs. 
  • Sugar: Next, set aside ½ cup of sugar. We’re making a dessert, remember?
  • Lemon Juice: To add a tangy zest, include ⅓ cup of lemon juice.
  • Flour: 1 cup of all-purpose flour become the base of our crumble topping
  • Rolled Oats: Use 1 cup of rolled oats to add density, protein, and fiber to our crumble topping!
  • Brown Sugar: 1 cup of brown sugar contributes to the delicious flavor. It’s a must.
  • Cinnamon: Including 1 tsp of cinnamon helps to trick your brain into thinking that the zucchini is an apple.
  • Salt: Add ½ tsp of salt, which will actually help amplify the sweet flavors we have going on.
  • Butter: Finally, use ½ cup (1 stick) of butter to bind together the crumble topping. You can also use a vegan type if preferred. Either way, it needs to be cold and cubed.

How To Make Veggie-Packed Zucchini Mock Apple Crisp

The most important part of this zucchini mock apple crisp is cooking the zucchini pieces with sugar until they bring on a delicious, sweet flavor. After that, it’s smooth sailing with mixing the rest of the ingredients and assembling the dish! Total prep time is about 10 minutes and cooking time is 1 hour.

Step 1: Cook the zucchini
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (176ºC). Peel and chop the zucchini into bite-sized pieces (you can leave the skin on for a boost of fiber, but removing that green peel is helpful in tricking your brain into thinking this is an apple!).

In an uncovered saucepan, bring the zucchini, sugar, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the zucchini for about 15 to 20 minutes until it becomes soft and tastes sweet. Once cooked, transfer the zucchini and liquid to a 9×13 inch (or similarly sized) baking dish.

Step 2: Create the crumble
Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add cubes of cold butter to the flour mixture and blend with your hands until everything is evenly distributed. The dough will be very crumbly. Sprinkle it over the zucchini mixture. 

Step 3: Bake
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the juices are bubbly and the top is golden brown.

Can You Make Zucchini Into A Sweet Dessert?

By this point in the recipe, you already know the answer — heck yes! But how does zucchini crisp work? What’s the science?

Well, by adding lemon juice and sugar to chopped zucchini and then cooking it, you arrive at a flavor that tastes exactly like apples. Like if you closed your eyes, you would think of apples. The acidity of the lemon juice turns the chlorophyll in the zucchini to an olive green color so… they look a little like pickles. But I promise you, this is so good. With a crumble crust and a scoop of old-fashioned ice cream on top, oooh Sugar Honey Iced Tea it’s good!

Zucchini Apple Crisp Recipe

The trick to getting the right texture for your mock apple crisp is pre-cooking the zucchini filling.

If you take the time to slow simmer the zucchini slices, they’ll resemble soft-cooked apples. If you are in a hurry and don’t mind the squash “al dente”, you can then simmer time to 10-15 minutes.


  • 8 cups peeled, seeded, and sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend like Namaste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal

To make the filling:

Combine the sliced zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. Let cool to room temperature.

To make the crust/topping:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir flour mixture into sugar and butter mix. Mix in oats.

Flatten 2/3rds of the crust mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 inch pan.

The spread will cool zucchini mock apple filling. Top zucchini mixture with remaining crumb mixture, patting lightly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping starts to turn golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Try your zucchini apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.

How big should the squash be for the zucchini apple crisp?

This recipe works best with large zucchini (the ones that look like clubs). Small zucchini taste too much like vegetables, but the big monsters are a blank slate for flavor.

Can I use other squash instead of zucchini?

Sure, it’s fine to use other types of summer squash, like yellow summer squash or pattypans. You can even use winter squash that didn’t have time to fully mature.

I do advise peeling because the skin tends to get tough as the squash gets bigger. Make sure to remove the seeds, too, as they will be a dead giveaway that it is zucchini apple crisp.

Zucchini Storage Tips

If you have room in the freezer, go ahead and shred or slice and freeze in portions for your favorite recipes. Thaw the zucchini before use, and drain off some of the extra liquid.

I freeze in 2 cups portions in individual bags. A friend freezes one cup of scoops, then puts the scoops into one big bag.

I also like to dehydrate zucchini. Because zucchini has so much water, this is a great way to store more zucchini in less space.

Store the dried zucchini in an airtight container, preferably with a moisture absorber.

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