Homemade Applesauce

How to make applesauce from scratch, offering control over the apple varieties, the texture, the amount of sweetness (we like it best without added sugar!) and added flavorings like lemon or vanilla. It's plain in appearance but vibrant in flavor. For a festive bright-red homemade applesauce for the holidays? Add cranberries!

How to Make Homemade Applesauce, another simple seasonal recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. No added sugar!

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Budget Friendly. Just One Ingredient! Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep. Easy DIY. No Added Sugar. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

Delicious Homemade Applesauce Is Seriously Easy

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights. You can do this!

THE SHORT VERSION Chop up some apples and cook with a little water until soft. That's it! So short, right? And so-so easy! But here are a few more tips.

  • Try blending apple varieties – sweet and tart, firm and soft, for example.
  • When apples are plentiful, make extra batches for freezing.
  • I usually do three or four pounds of apples at a time. A pound of apples yields about a generous 1.5 cups of applesauce.
  • If you like, peel the apples – just know that it’s unnecessary and adds texture to the end product. Besides, applesauce may turn a very pretty pink when cooked with the skins on! The one exception? Granny Smith apples should be peeled first, the skins are just so tough.
  • Start off by washing and coring the apples, then chop the apples into bite-size chunks, no need to worry about prettiness. Drop the apple pieces into a saucepan, it should be big enough to allow room for a little swelling and stirring. Add a bit of water, about 1 cup for four pounds of apple. The apples will secrete additional cooking liquid, so you don't need much water. Over medium heat, cover the saucepan and cook the apples until they soften, stirring occasionally. If the pan seems to run dry, add a little more water.
  • Decision time. Leave the apples "au natural" or turn smooth with an immersion blender. I usually do something in the middle, inserting the immersion blender just to break up a few of the chunks.
  • Now give the applesauce a taste. If you like, for a little more dimension, after cooking the apples, stir in the zest of a lemon and maybe a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. If you like, add a spoonful of honey if you'd like it a little sweeter. (I never do but my husband and father like things a bit sweeter ...). Another idea? Stir in a half teaspoon of cinnamon or ginger.

That's it! That's how you make Homemade Applesauce! So easy, right?

Applesauce Color

How to Make Homemade Applesauce, another simple seasonal recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. No added sugar!

Some times you get lucky and the applesauce turns out a pretty pink color. But even red apple skins don't always produce pink applesauce.

Honestly? I haven't figured out which apples turn out pink applesauce ... any ideas, anyone?

For Beautiful Bright-Red Applesauce

How to Make Homemade Applesauce, here with cranberries ♥ KitchenParade.com.

Just add cranberries! Cranberries are sour so you'll need to add sugar too but the color is just glorious, especially for the holidays.

Roasted Applesauce with Raspberries ♥ KitchenParade.com, the raspberries add glorious color and brightness.

Or raspberries! The technique for Roasted Applesauce with Raspberries is a bit different but the concept is the same, using another fruit for color and lively flavor. My friend Maxine even uses blueberries instead of raspberries!

Parfait Pretty!

Homemade Cranberry Applesauce in Yogurt Applesauce Parfaits ♥ KitchenParade.com, a simple, healthy fruit dessert.

Just look how pretty! And so useful, too.

During the winter months when fresh fruit is, well, let's just say that it's winter so good fruit is hard to come by. But applesauce? Swoon.

A couple of night a week, I'll layer yogurt and applesauce in tall glass coffee mugs or even in small clear bowls. Parfaits! [pronounced PAR-FAY]

It's a formula more than a "recipe".

  • Full-fat yogurt with a little honey in a larger portion for my sweet-loving husband who needs extra calories.
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt in a smaller portion for me, it's Weight Watchers friendly and oh-so-good.
  • For something naturally sweetened and airier, some times I run the yogurt and ripe banana through a mini food processor, one banana is plenty for two or even four parfaits.
  • Sometimes I use chopped fruit (apple, banana, tangerine sections) in one layer instead of applesauce.
  • Some times I top it off the parfaits with some extra texture, Maple-Glazed Pecans or Sweet Pumpkin Seed Crumbles or at Christmas, Gingerbread Granola.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If homemade applesauce resonates, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...
How to Make Homemade Applesauce, another simple seasonal recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. No added sugar!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes plus occasional attention throughout
Time-to-table: 1 hour
Makes 6-1/2 cups
  • 4 pounds (1800g) apples, different varieties are good, one variety is great too
  • 1 cup water
  • Sprinkle salt
  • Zest of a lemon (my favorite)
  • Juice of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • Honey to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ginger

Wash the apples, there's no need to peel the apples but you may if you prefer; one exception, Granny Smith apples should be peeled first. Cut the apples into quarters, then cut out the cores and chop the quarters into bite-size pieces.

Collect the chopped apples and water in a large pot. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, cover and let simmer until the apples soften, about 40 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to make sure the pot doesn't run dry (if so, add water and reduce the heat).

Once the apples reach the desired softness, turn off the heat. Decide whether to leave as is, to purée just a bit (my favorite) or to purée completely.

Now taste the mixture and decide whether to add a bit of salt and/or a touch of lemon zest and/or lemon juice. To sweeten, add a little honey. For a spiced applesauce, stir in cinnamon or ginger.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, will keep for about one week.

Freezes well.

TIMING TIP It takes about an hour, start to finish, to cook the applesauce. The hands-on time is all up front, chopping the apples. After that, just stay close to stir every so often.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Homemade Applesauce is good both warm from the stove (yum ...) but also chilled. It also freezes well!

ALANNA's TIPS To core an apple, cut the apple in half right through the center from the stem end to the blossom end, then cut each half in half again. Then cut out the core of each apple quarter with a V cut. To puree just a bit or completely, just an immersion blender inserted right into the pot. Otherwise, transfer to a food processor and puree there, then return the mixture to the cooking pot.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 61 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 3g Fiber; 12g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 0 & myWW green 0 & blue 0 & purple 0
Homemade Cranberry Applesauce in Yogurt Applesauce Parfaits ♥ KitchenParade.com, a simple, healthy fruit dessert.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes plus occasional attention throughout
Time-to-table: 1 hour
Makes about 7 cups
  • 12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 4 pounds apples, unpeeled (except for Granny Smith) but cored, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and simmer until the fruit turns soft. Cool, then run through a food processor until smooth.

Freezes well.

ALANNA's TIPS Cranberries make for season-perfect ruby-red applesauce, slightly sour, beautiful color. I especially love to serve it with Greek yogurt, usually just barely stirred together but some times fancied up in glass coffee mugs, pretty parfait layers. If you like, throw in a little fresh ginger too. Using Granny Smith apples? I recommend peeling first for the skins are some tough and escape the Cuisinart's blade.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 106 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium; 28g Carb; 4g Fiber; 22g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.