A simple Homemade Applesauce Recipe made with just 5 ingredients and ready in just over 30 minutes. Make a big batch and enjoy this easy and delicious applesauce recipe as a simple snack, healthy dessert, or alongside more savory dishes such a kielbasa or pork chops.
Easy Applesauce Recipe
This homemade applesauce recipe remains one of my favorite snacks. Light, healthy, and loved by all ages, applesauce can be enjoyed year-round and is loved by me, my son, and my husband. Every time I prepare a big batch of this homemade applesauce it’s like digging into a big slice of apple pie!
Here’s what makes this applesauce so great:
- It’s made with just 5 simple ingredients! (4 if you omit the sugar)
- Easily made with whatever apples you have on hand
- Big-batch friendly
- and canning-friendly for long term storage
- Super easy to make
- Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
Ingredients In This Homemade Applesauce Recipe?
- Sugar or another sweetener (optional)
- Ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Lemon juice
In other words, you’re eating apples. But that’s the point, right?
And, if you’re like me, a person who has the tendency to impulse buy in large amounts, then this homemade applesauce recipe is just what you needed!
You’ll notice that I made a little note that adding sugar to this recipe is completely optional. I am a person who prefers things that are less sweet. Don’t get me wrong- I love ice cream and cookies (if you love apples, you’ll love these caramelized apple oatmeal cookies) and chocolate, but when it comes to applesauce, I actually really love the taste of apples so I don’t feel the need to drown them in sugar.
If you, on the other hand, prefer sweeter applesauce, then I definitely recommend adding some sugar (any sugar will work, brown sugar, or white granulated sugar).
To this recipe, I added 1/4 cup. I feel like this amount was a great compromise and made everyone happy. So, use that as a guide when deciding how much sugar is right for your own applesauce recipe.
What are the Best Apples For Applesauce?
If you start researching which apples are the best to use in applesauce, you will encounter a million different answers. Each apple variety has a different taste, texture, response to heat, color, etc. Depending on your own personal preference will likely determine which delicious apples you prefer to use.
In general, the type of apple that is best for baking is the worst for applesauce. For fastest cooking, pick softer apples and for best flavor, mix and match a few different types.
- Golden Delicious (avoid Red Delicious)
- Gala apples
- Granny Smith apples
I would like to note that Pink Lady Apples are my personal favorite. I use them for just about everything. Some will argue that they are too firm and not sweet enough, but I find them absolutely perfect.
Mix them, match them, test each one-by-one, it is totally up to you.
To make this recipe you’ll need the following equipment:
- Cutting board
- Paring Knife or Apple Peeler
- Large Pot
- Potato Masher, Immersion blender, food mill, or Food Processor
Nothing fancy or crazy. Promise.
How to Store Homemade Applesauce
Always keep leftover applesauce stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. Leftovers will keep for up to one week (sometimes a little longer) when stored properly. Surprise your kiddos and send them to school with homemade applesauce in one of these adorable and reusable storage pouches.
Can I Freeze Fresh Applesauce?
Applesauce is absolutely freezable.
To freeze homemade applesauce, first, allow it to come to room temperature before transferring to freezer-safe storage containers (freezer bags, jars, containers with lids, etc). Transfer to the freezer for up to two months. Once thawed, do not re-freeze.
Can I Can This Applesauce?
I get this question a lot and the answer is yes, you can definitely can this applesauce for long-term storage using a water canning bath. As will all canning, be sure to follow proper canning protocol to prevent accidental cross-contamination.
How to Make Applesauce
- To make homemade applesauce gather a bunch of apples – whichever apples you want (see above). In nearly all apple recipes I use Pink Lady Apples because they’re tart, crispy and so pink. Basically, the only thing that matters when picking apples. Just kidding…but, that’s how I do things.
- Peel and core the apples. If you’re handy enough with an apple peeler, that will definitely help speed the process along. Unfortunately, I have never been clever enough to figure out how to use mine (true story) so I stick to my favorite paring knife. Peel, core, and slice the peeled apples into large slices.
- Transfer the apples to a large pot. Add the water, lemon juice, sweetener, cinnamon, and salt, and mix to combine. You don’t need a lot of liquid, however, you will need approximately 1/2 cup to help steam the apples and move things along. Some people use apple juice or apple cider (not apple cider vinegar) instead of water, but I just see that as more sugar, so I’ll let you decide.
- Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Now the hard part is over (since, you know, that was super hard). Allow the apples to cook for approximately 25-30 minutes. Your apples should be broken up, but partially intact, and very soft. Remove those sweet apples from heat.
- Make into applesauce. Now, will you mash or puree your cooked apples?
Chunky or Smooth Applesauce?
Once your apples have cooked, now it’s time to decide- will you enjoy chunky or smooth applesauce? Fortunately, there is no wrong answer here. All applesauce is good applesauce. The desired consistency is entirely your own.
To make chunkier applesauce, I recommend using a potato masher. For smooth applesauce, you’ll want to process in a food processor or use an immersion blender.
Uses for Homemade Applesauce
Homemade applesauce is a delicious and healthy snack or side dish enjoyed on its own. But what are some other things you can do with a giant batch of homemade applesauce?
- Enjoy with savory dishes like these Irish Corned Beef Potato Pancakes
- Serve with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel
- Swap oil for applesauce when baking your favorite muffins such as in these sweet potatoes, banana, and butternut squash muffins
- Or into these completely irresistible baked apple donuts.
- Blend into your favorite smoothie recipe
- Or enjoy for breakfast with yogurt and granola or in these apple cinnamon overnight oats
- Swap maple syrup for applesauce with waffles, French toast, and pancakes
In other words, enjoy this perfectly spiced applesauce on, with, or in just about everything.
…especially ice cream.
If you try this Applesauce, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Homemade Applesauce Recipe
- Place the peeled, cored, quartered and chopped apples in a large pot. Stir in the 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, sugar (if using), 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Maintain a low simmer for 30 minutes or until the apples are completely soft and cooked through.
- Once fully cooked, remove from heat. For chunky applesauce, mash the apples directly in the pot using a potato masher. For smooth applesauce, add the apples to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (if using a blender, work in batches and allow time to cool), or use a hand-held immersion blender and blend directly in the pot.
- This applesauce is delicious served warm or cold.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
(originally posted on October 5, 2015)