Sweet and tangy, homemade unsweetened applesauce recipe with just one ingredient is a delight all year round, and the perfect fall treat! This easy homemade applesauce is better than store bought (by a mile!).
Maybe you're like me, once September or October roll around, it's apple picking time! We have already made it out to the orchard this year-- and have more than our share of apples to eat.
Homemade applesauce is the perfect way to use up lots of fresh apples. Similar to baking with overripe bananas in banana muffins or banana bread, you can even use apples that are a little past their prime. While they may not be good for eating out of hand, they will work just fine for sauce.
You may see other applesauce recipes that have added sugar, and you can if you would like! Depending on the time of year and apple variety, the apples will probably be sweet enough without it. This is a great healthy applesauce recipe, because all it has in it is apples! I love being able to taste the fruit without any additives. For more apple recipes, try homemade apple cider muffins and apricot apple rose tart.
Apple varieties best for sauce
Sweet apples for sauce
- Golden Delicious Apples
- Fuji Apples
- Honeycrisp Apples
- McIntosh Apples
- Jonagold Apples
- Granny Smith Apples
Tart apples for sauce
- Jonathan Apples
- Cortland Apples
- water (optional)
How to make homemade applesauce
Step 1. Peel apples and slice around the core
Step 2. Cut into big chunks.
Step 3. Repeat until all apples are peeled and sliced.
Step 4. Add apples and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Step 5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until apples are soft.
Step 6. Mash or puree to your desired thickness. I use an immersion blender for a very smooth applesauce. A regular blender can also be used, you just have to work in stages.
- Use a variety of apples for best flavor. Truly any apples will work for this recipe and it will come out delicious! I like to use a nice variety of sweet and tart apples.
- You don't have to peel your apples if you don't want to. Want to make this recipe even easier? Simply wash and chop your apples without peeling them. By cooking them down, they will get very soft, including the skin. If you puree the applesauce with an immersion blender, you won't even notice the skin.
- Apples will cook down a lot. Take this into consideration when deciding how many apples you want to peel and chop. The final product will be a lot less. If you are planning to can or freeze, you may want to double or triple the recipe.
- Do not underestimate the time it will take to peel all the apples! That's the hardest part of making homemade applesauce. It's not difficult, just time consuming. Try pulling up an episode of your favorite tv show or calling up a friend and you will get it done in no time.
Ways to flavor homemade applesauce
- Add cinnamon. Try a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to start out and adjust as needed. You can add will the apples are cooking or after pureeing.
- Add berries. Berries, like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, add a beautiful color and flavor to the sauce. Since berries are soft, add them in 5 minutes before the cook time is up so that they don't overcook. I like to add just a cup or two so as to not overpower the apples or mess with the texture.
- Try a squeeze fresh lemon juice to the applesauce to brighten up the flavor.
You have a few options here. You can simply use a potato masher. As long as the apples are soft enough, this works great. The more you mash-- the smoother your sauce. I prefer to use an immersion blender, as it works quickly for a very smooth sauce. A regular blender can also be used, you will just have to work in stages depending on the size of your machine. A food processor with also get the job done.
Store fresh homemade applesauce in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Just make sure to keep it in an airtight container. Applesauce also freezes really well and will last for months that way.
If you tried this Unsweetened Applesauce Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love to hear from you.
Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce (no added sugar)
- 3 lbs. apples peeled, sliced, and cored
- ½ cup water
- Peel apples and slice around the core, cutting into big chunks.
- Add apples and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until apples are soft.
- Mash or puree to your desired thickness. I use an immersion blender for a very smooth applesauce. A regular blender can also be used, you just have to work in stages.
- Serve warm or chilled.