All you need for this easy homemade applesauce recipe is 4 simple ingredients, and you’ll get smooth, tasty applesauce with a hint of cinnamon in just 30 minutes! Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan too.
- What is Applesauce?
- Why Should I Make Applesauce From Scratch?
- Why This Recipe Works:
- Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Ingredient Notes/Substitutions:
- How to Make Homemade Applesauce (Step by Step)
- Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks
- Recipe FAQs:
- Other Homemade Recipes You’ll Enjoy:
- Learn to Make These Homemade Basics:
- Homemade Applesauce Recipe (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
What is Applesauce?
While applesauce is probably a common ingredient that most of us know about, not everyone uses it, or even knows what it actually means.
Basically, applesauce (or sometimes also called “apple sauce”), is a sauce made of pureed stewed apples, which can be made with or without the apple skins, and can be sweetened or spiced.
Apple sauce, or apple puree, is commonly fed to babies when they first begin to eat, but it is also commonly served as a side dish alongside meats such as pork chops.
It is also often used as a natural sweetener in baked goods (think applesauce muffins, applesauce cake or applesauce brownies) or even as a binder in many vegan recipes.
You can even eat it on its own as a delicious snack! I mean, what’s not to love about a big spoonful of warm applesauce? So, so good!
Why Should I Make Applesauce From Scratch?
While commercial applesauce is commonplace and you can literally find it in practically any supermarket, I prefer making my own at home because it’s so darn simple to make (just 4 ingredients!) and requires only 30 minutes to make one big jar.
Not only is making your own cheaper than store-bought applesauce (especially when apples are plentiful and in season), the homemade version doesn’t have any of the nasty additives and preservatives that storebought versions come with!
I’ve been making plenty of from-scratch homemade recipes recently, and once you get the hang of it, it’s really simple.
Some of my favorite homemade basics include this easy homemade pumpkin puree (time to use up all those fresh pumpkins!), this homemade alfredo sauce, this 5-minute homemade almond milk (we literally make this once a week), and homemade almond meal (to replace almond flour in recipes).
Why This Recipe Works:
- Simple Ingredients: You’ll only need 4 basic ingredients that are easily accessible at the local grocery store to make your own applesauce (nothing fancy required!).
- Super Easy: This stovetop applesauce recipe is crazy simple to make, and it’s so foolproof that ANYONE can make it!
- Very Adaptable: A great recipe has to be flexible and easily adapted, and this is precisely it. Plus, you can adjust the consistency of this vegan applesauce according to how you like it.
- Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan: The best part if that this easy recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, which means those with Celiac disease or have gluten or lactose intolerances can enjoy it without any worries!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Here’s a visual overview of the ingredients required to make your own homemade applesauce recipe.
(For exact measurements, please scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Which Types of Apples : When making a homemade applesauce recipe, the kind of apples you use really depends on how sweet or tart you prefer your applesauce. However, you can basically use any type of apple that you have on hand, especially if it’s apple season and you have a whole bounty of fresh apples to use up from your trip to the apple orchard. In this case, because I prefer my applesauce to be slightly tart, I like tart apples and we’ll be going with green Granny Smith apples (but you can always use sweet apples if you prefer)!
- Sugar: I used granulated cane sugar in this recipe but you can also use light brown sugar if you prefer. If you are diabetic of insulin resistant, I highly recommend using granulated monkfruit sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute that is zero glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar).
- Cinnamon: I like adding a hint of ground cinnamon (a cinnamon stick will work too) for extra fall vibes and the best flavor. Alternatively, feel free to leave out the cinnamon if you prefer (or if you don’t have cinnamon on hand).
How to Make Homemade Applesauce (Step by Step)
1. Peel, Core and Cut
Start off by peeling the apples with an apple peeler. Next, core and cut the apples into small cubes.
(It’s up to you whether you like having the skins on or not, but I prefer to peel the skins to get an extra creamy texture.)
2. Combine Ingredients in Skillet
Combine the cubed apples, sugar, cinnamon, and water in a large pot, large Dutch oven, large saucepan or skillet. Mix well and bring to a boil, before reducing heat to medium and covering the skillet or pot.
3. Cook Until Soft
Let the apples cook for approximately 20 minutes, until they are soft and translucent and can easily be mashed with a fork or a slotted spoon.
4. Mash to Get Apple Puree
At this stage, when the apples can be easily mashed with a fork, potato masher or the back of a slotted spoon, you can mash them into a puree.
Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks
Here are a few different applesauce variations:
- Sugar-Free Applesauce: Feel free to leave out the sugar from the recipe if you prefer to make unsweetened applesauce free of added sugar. Just note that it will be slightly more tart if you leave out the sugar.
- Plain Applesauce: If you don’t want to use cinnamon, you can leave out the cinnamon stated in the recipe.
- Very Tart Applesauce: If you prefer a very tart apple sauce, feel free to use less sugar (or none at all) and add in 1 – 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar when cooking the apples.
- Chunky Applesauce: If you like your applesauce chunky without further processing, you can certainly use it as is (especially if serving as a side dish to accompany meats).
- Extra Smooth Applesauce: However, I personally prefer a smoother consistency, so I like blending the mashed apples in my high-speed blender (or food processor) until it becomes incredibly creamy and extra-smooth. Feel free to process until you get the desired consistency.
Since homemade applesauce doesn’t contain any preservatives, it will definitely not last as long as the storebought commercial version. However, if you store the cooled applesauce in sterilized glass mason jars or an airtight container, it will keep for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Yes, of course! If you plan to make a whole lot of applesauce at once, and prefer to freeze it for later use, let it cool at room temperature before transferring the applesauce to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you plan to use it, make sure to defrost the applesauce before using it, and the best way to do that is to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, which will make it last a few more days.
You can also make your this DIY applesauce recipe in the slow cooker instead of on the stovetop! Simple place the ingredients in the slow cooker and set it to 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low heat. Once the apples are cooked, mash and blend the apples as stated in the recipe.
You might be wondering – does applesauce have gluten? Fortunately, apple sauce is gluten-free since the ingredients all all naturally free of gluten!
Other Homemade Recipes You’ll Enjoy:
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Homemade Almond Milk (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Homemade Cashew Milk (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Homemade Gluten-Free Bread (Dairy-Free)
- Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Crust (No-Rise, Dairy-Free)
- 5-Minute Homemade Sriracha Chili Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Homemade Almond Meal
- Homemade Buckwheat Flour
- Homemade Cornmeal
- Homemade Brown Rice Flour
- 5-Minute Homemade Cashew Flour
- Homemade Raisin and Seed Chocolate (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Easy Homemade Yogurt
Learn to Make These Homemade Basics:
P.S. If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating below, and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to check out my entire Recipe Index for all the recipes on the blog. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram! Sign up for my Email List to get fresh recipes in your inbox each week!Print
- Peel, Core, Cut: Peel, core, and cut the apples into small cubes.
- Combine Ingredients in Skillet: Combine the cubed apples, sugar, cinnamon, and water in a large skillet. Mix well and bring to a boil, before reducing heat to medium and covering the skillet.
- Cook Until Soft: Let the apples cook for approximately 20 minutes, until they are soft and translucent and can easily be mashed with a fork or a slotted spoon.
- Blend Until Smooth: Transfer the apples to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth (skip this step if you prefer a chunkier applesauce).
Types of Apples to Use: You can use any type of apple for this recipe, as it really depends on whether you prefer your applesauce slightly sweeter or a little more tart. Since I like mine to be a little more on the sour and tart side, I usually use green Granny Smith apples.
Sugar: I used granulated cane sugar in this recipe but you can also use light brown sugar if you prefer. If you are diabetic of insulin resistant, I highly recommend using granulated monkfruit sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute that is zero glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar).
Cinnamon: I like adding a hint of ground cinnamon for extra fall-vibes, but feel free to leave out the cinnamon if you prefer (or if you don’t have cinnamon on hand).
Sugar-Free Applesauce: If you prefer your applesauce to be completely sugar-free and unsweetened, simply leave out the sugar in the recipe.
Plain Applesauce: If you don’t want to use cinnamon, you can leave out the cinnamon stated in the recipe.
Consistency of Sauce: If you like a chunkier consistency, just mashed the cooked apples with a fork or a potato ricer or the back of a slotted spoon. For a creamier consistency, make sure you peel the apples and once the apples are cooked, process them in a high-speed blender or food processor to get an extra-smooth texture.
Freezing Homemade Applesauce: If you plan to make a whole lot of applesauce at once, and prefer to freeze it for later use, let it cool at room temperature before transferring the applesauce to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you plan to use it, make sure to defrost the applesauce before using it, and the best way to do that is to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, which will make it last a few more days.
Adapted from: All Recipes
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Basics
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade applesauce