Homemade applesauce is so easy you may never go back to store bought applesauce again! Apples provide their own sweetness and create such a delicious side dish that is perfect for the holiday season menu.
And when you make your own, you can have chunky applesauce or thinner (great for babies!).
Why you will love this Applesauce Recipe
Tons of apple varieties means tons of flavor combinations: Fall is apple season and there is never a better time of the year to make sure you have all your recipes ready to go apple picking. Even if you are not lucky enough to have an orchard near you, most farmers markets and local grocery have tons of apple varieties that help making simple homemade applesauce easy and a treat.
Texture variations: No matter whether you want a simple old fashioned chunky and rustic applesauce or a thin sweet version that is perfect for kids, you can mash or food process to the consistency of your liking. As a side dish we like slight pieces of fresh apples or even the smooth taste that you get from the jarred variety, but as a topping for ice cream, we leave it nice and thick and FULL of apples.
For the best applesauce, you really only need a few ingredients for a much more natural and healthier alternative to preservatives.
- Gala apples – There really are a ton of great apple types to use in applesauce like this. While we prefer the sweeter Gala apple, the flavor profile is up to you. I have listed an entire list of apples that work great in the information box below.
- ground cinnamon – Cinnamon and apples are as common peanut butter and jelly and work great for the traditional taste you are looking for. That being said, you can use other spices like allspice, nutmeg or even pumpkin pie spice to change the overall taste.
Best Apples for Applesauce
What I love about working with apples is how many kinds of flavors and textures there are! I think we all have our favorite kind of apple, whether those are red, yellow, green or a mixture.
Certain apples have a traditional flavor we can count on for our applesauce, ciders, crumbles and more but my favorite apples for applesauce are as following:
- Gala (as is used in this recipe)
- Golden Delicious
These apples provide a variety of sweet and tart flavors and don’t be afraid to mix them up to create your own side dish unique to your menu!
Expert Cooking Tips
Slice apples in thin slices: I use an apple slicer and get 8 slices and then I take a knife and cut those pieces into even thinner slices. This helps to cut down on the cooking time and I highly recommend it.
How to make Applesauce on the Stove
Make sure to check out the printable recipe card for full step by step instructions and ingredients.
- Peel and slice apples and add apples into a saucepan. If you make your apple slices too chunky, it takes a lot more simmering to make them mashable. You can peel them and slice down into thin slices for a faster cooking time.
- Add water to saucepan.
- Add ground cinnamon to saucepan. Mix together.
- Heat apples over medium low until mixture begins to boil, which is usually very quickly, 2-3 minutes. If you walk away, you may burn the bottom of your apples because once on heat, that water goes quickly. Cover your apples and reduce heat to simmer. Cook apples for about 20 minutes or until apples are tender and mushy.
- Mash apples with a potato masher until desired consistency – leaving as chunky applesauce or thinning out with a food processor if preferred.
- Stir in brown sugar and serve!
Makes 2 cups of applesauce and tastes delicious served over ice cream and with some candied pecans for crunch.
How to store Applesauce for Freezing?
If you are going to freeze your applesauce, here are a few ways to help keep it fresh and delicious.
- Canning jars (Do not overfill)
- Plastic Gallon Bags
- Covered containers
- Mason Jars
You can freeze homemade applesauce! Typically your fresh applesauce will last about 7-10 days in the fridge but usually there is so much left over that you do not want to waste!
You can also freeze your homemade applesauce and it will keep for about 2 months in a freezer. Simply store safety and freeze and then let thaw in your fridge when you are ready to eat. Once defrosted you should eat within a few days.
This recipe works fine for babies although some parents may want to keep the brown sugar out.
Just be careful of too many chunks and it’s recommended to add your cooled ingredients to a food processor to be sure there are not choking pieces prior to serving your fresh homemade applesauce to a baby or child.
You can really control the sugar content of the applesauce. In this recipe, I specifically used cinnamon and brown sugar because I love the sweetness it brings to the tart of the apples. However, you could leave out the sugar if you wanted.
When you make your own recipe, the world opens up on spices. This recipe uses the basics – brown sugar and cinnamon, however, you could also add nutmeg, clove, allspice or apple pie spice.
Put in air tight container for 2-3 days.
The great thing about fresh making applesauce is eating it warm off the stove. Pour right over some vanilla ice cream and dabble with some pecans and perfection! But applesauce will keep 2-3 days in fridge and can also be reheated OR served cold.
Need more fall friendly side dish recipes?
- Air Fryer Cinnamon Apples
- Southern Fried Apples with Pecans
- Peanut Butter Apple Dip
- No Oats Apple Crisp
- Snicker Apple Salad
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Homemade Chunky Applesauce
- 6 large Gala apples - (also 12 small galas work)
- 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- Using an apple slicer, cut apple into 8 pieces. Then peel off skins and continue to slice down apples into thinner slices. See article for image. Place all thin apple slices into sauce pan.
- Add 1/4th cup water and ground cinnamon and mix well.
- Heat sauce pan on medium low until mixture begins to boil, which takes just a few minutes so do not walk away from the pan.
- Cover apples with lid and reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook apples for about 20 minutes or until apples are mushy. Depending on how large your apples are, this could take up to 30 minutes or so.
- Stir in brown sugar and mash with a potato masher to make a chunky apple sauce or vitamix blender or food processor if you would like it to be creamier
- Makes 2 cups.