Learn how to make perfect homemade applesauce! Made with 5 ingredients, this recipe is easy, delicious, and so much better than store-bought.
Every fall, I hear from readers asking for a homemade applesauce recipe. Today, I’m excited to finally share this one with all of you. If you’ve only eaten store-bought applesauce in the past, get ready – this homemade applesauce is on an entirely different level. It’s lightly sweet and warmly spiced, and you can make it chunky or smooth, whichever you prefer.
Until I started making this recipe, I hadn’t eaten applesauce on its own since I was a kid, when I’d often find an individual cup tucked into my lunch box (thanks, Mom!). I loved it then, but as I grew up, the plain, store-bought sauce just didn’t appeal to me in the same way. But this homemade applesauce has won me back over. This fall, I’ve been swirling it into oatmeal, topping it onto pancakes, and, yep, even eating it as a snack. Its fresh autumn flavor is just that good.
Homemade Applesauce Recipe Ingredients
You only need 5 ingredients to make this recipe:
- Apples, of course! I love the flavor of sweet-tart apples in my homemade applesauce. Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh apples all work nicely here, as they make the applesauce plenty sweet without any added sweetener. If you’re using a tarter variety, such as Granny Smith, you may want to sweeten your applesauce to taste with a little honey or maple syrup.
- Apple cider vinegar – It adds a nice brightness to this homemade applesauce recipe.
- Water – It adds moisture to the applesauce and helps the apples steam and soften as they cook.
- Apple pie spice – For warm, cozy flavor. In a pinch, cinnamon will work here too.
- And a little sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Applesauce
If you’ve never made homemade applesauce before, you won’t believe how simple it is to make! Here’s what you need to do:
First, prepare the apples. Peel, core, and chop them, and add them to a large pot or saucepan. Pour in the water and apple cider vinegar, cover, and cook, stirring, over low heat until the apples start to soften.
Then, cover the pot and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Next, stir in the apple pie spice and salt. Uncover the pot and mix in the spices. Return the lid and simmer for another 10-20 minutes, until the apples are very tender and juicy. The tenderer they are, the smoother the sauce will be. If you like a chunkier homemade applesauce, cook them for less time. If you like yours super smooth, cook them longer.
Finally, mash! Remove the pot from the heat and use a potato masher to mash the apples to your desired consistency. If you want the sauce to be smoother, transfer it to a food processor and pulse until it has a texture you like.
Quick note if you’re mashing your applesauce – don’t use a metal masher on an enameled cast-iron, non-stick, or ceramic pot (I learned the hard way!). Instead, mash the apples in a large bowl, or use a silicone masher.
How to Use Homemade Applesauce
This homemade applesauce is a yummy snack, side dish, or dessert on its own, but the ways to eat it don’t end there. Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
- Add it to baking recipes, like my Carrot Cake, Vegan Carrot Cake, or Apple Oatmeal Cookies.
- Swirl it into yogurt, oatmeal, or overnight oats.
- Dollop it onto pumpkin pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
- Dress it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of homemade granola.
How do you like to eat homemade applesauce? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Apple Recipes
If you love this homemade applesauce, try making one of these apple recipes next:
- Apple Crumble
- Baked Apples
- Easy Apple Cake
- Apple Crumble Pie
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage
- Kohlrabi Slaw
- Farmhouse Farro Salad
- Sweet Potato Apple Soup
- 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- pinch of sea salt
- Combine the apples, apple cider vinegar, and water in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the apples start to soften, about 4 minutes.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir in the apple pie spice and salt, cover again, and continue simmering for 10-20 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and beginning to fall apart.
- Turn the heat off and use a potato masher to mash the apples to your desired consistency (Note: don’t use a metal masher on an enameled cast-iron, non-stick, or ceramic pot. Mash the apples in a bowl or use a silicone masher). If you’d like a smoother applesauce, pulse it in a food processor.