Homemade Applesauce Recipe (Cooks in 20 minutes)

Homemade apple sauce is a delightfully healthy treat. Made with a hint of cinnamon and lightly sweetened with either honey or maple syrup. Plus, it cooks in 20 minutes. Serve it warm or cold.

This applesauce recipe is easy to make and will keep for months in the freezer.

I enjoy making homemade applesauce on occasion. You can use it in a variety of ways, it comes together quickly, and you control the ingredients.

Homemade Applesauce Main Ingredients

You’ll want to purchase organic apples as they are found on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.

  • Organic apples- Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Macintosh, Cortland work well
  • Filtered Water
  • Orange Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Natural, Organic Honey or Real Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Optional: Cayenne for some heat.

These simple ingredients meld together to create flavorful applesauce.


A few simple steps will ensure you create applesauce to your taste bud’s liking.

1. Peel First Then Roughly Chop The Apples

An easy way to get the prep work of the apples done quickly is to focus on peeling all of the apples first and then roughly chopping each one. This will make the process go smoothly.

2. Add All Ingredients To Saucepan And Stir Occasionally

You’ll add all of the ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cover. Be sure to stir occasionally as this will ensure the flavors all meld together and the apples cook evenly.

mash apples

3. Use A Food Processor Or Potato Masher To Create Smooth Or Chunky Applesauce

The texture of your final applesauce depends on how you process it. For more chunky applesauce, you’ll want to use a potato masher. If you prefer smoother, a food processor works great.


4. Taste And Add Additional Ingredients, If Needed

Depending on the type of apples you get and your specific tastebuds you may find you need to make some adjustments. For sweeter applesauce, add more honey or maple syrup about 1 teaspoon at a time. For more spice, add more cinnamon or a touch of ground cloves. For more depth, add more lemon and orange juice about 1 teaspoon at a time. For a little heat, add some cayenne pepper.


applesauce in a bowl

Applesauce is so much more than the side dish we were served as a kid. The ways you can use applesauce are many.

  • Ice Cream Topper: Serve warm applesauce over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, topped with pecans or walnuts.
  • Peanut Butter Applesauce Dip or Spread: Combine equal parts applesauce with peanut butter. Mix well. Serve with carrots, celery, apples, or spread it on a piece of whole wheat toast.
  • Great Fat Substitute in Baked Goods: Applesauce works great as a substitute for butter or oil in baked goods such as lemon raspberry muffins or banana bread.
  • Apple Flavored Oatmeal: Add 1/4 cup or more of applesauce to your oatmeal along with pecans or walnuts and chunks of freshly diced apples.
  • Apple Parfait: Create your own parfait. Start with a layer of homemade granola, plain Greek yogurt, applesauce, diced apples, and repeat.


Once cooked, allow the applesauce to cool to room temperature. To store in the fridge, place in an airtight container. Applesauce will keep for up to 2 weeks. To store longer, keep in the freezer in an airtight container for 3 months or more.

homemade applesauce

Homemade Applesauce Recipe (Cooks in 20 minutes)

This homemade applesauce has hints of cinnamon and is lightly sweetened with honey or maple syrup. It cooks in 20 minutes and can be used in a variety of ways. Plus, it freezes well.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 13


  • 3 1/2 pounds organic apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped (about 7 or 8 medium apples- Gala, Fuji, Macintosh, Cortland and Honeycrisp work well)
  • 4 tablespoons filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh or bottled
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh or bottled
  • 2 tablespoons honey or real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Optional Ingredient

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)


  • Warm a stainless steel saucepan on medium heat until the bottom of the pan feels warm about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add peeled, cored, and roughly chopped apples along with other ingredients water, lemon juice, orange juice, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt to the saucepan. Stir everything together.
  • Bring the ingredients to a simmer on medium heat and cover. Continue simmering for 15 to 20 minutes until the apples are tender and falling apart. Be sure to stir occasionally while cooking.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash it up to your desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, a food processor works great.
  • Adjust to taste as needed, adding more honey or maple syrup for sweeter applesauce or more lemon juice and orange juice for depth. You can always add more water if you find you've added too much of something.
  • Serve warm or cold. Before storing, let the applesauce come to room temperature. It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 weeks. You can also freeze applesauce for 3 or more months.


Want unsweetened? Omit the honey or maple syrup
Additional Spices: You can always add ground cloves, nutmeg, a tiny bit of allspice, and even some ginger.
Why Organic Apples? Apples are on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list meaning they are more prone to absorbing pesticides. Avoid adding harmful chemicals to your eating routine and buy organic when possible.
Crockpot Friendly: If you would rather cook in a crockpot, throw all of the ingredients into your slow cooker. Stir them together. Cook for 4-6 hours on low. 
Keyword applesauce, applesauce recipe, homemade applesauce, Megan Sophie

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