Easy Applesauce Recipe

If you’ve never made applesauce before, you might fear it is a complicated venture.  I’m here to tell you it is one of the easiest things ever!  I posted an approximate recipe a few years ago, but I decided to revamp the post with more specific details for folk who don’t feel confident in the kitchen.  You can do it!!

Use any kind of apple that you want.  Golden Delicious or other soft, sweet apples will cook down more quickly.  Tart apples like Granny Smith will be slower to cook down, but will add a lively bite to your sauce.  Different folks like different combinations to find their ideal sauce. Me?  I almost unfailingly go for what’s most affordable.  Whatever the mix, it always turns out delicious.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 20-30 apples  (or enough cored, peeled apples to fill a 3 to 4 quart pot)


Put water, sugar, and cinnamon into a 3 or 4 quart pot and set the pot over medium heat.   Peel, core and quarter apples, adding them to the pot on the stove one by one as you chop them.  The whole process will go quicker if you have one of those peeler/slicer/corer gadgets, but it is not necessary.

Stir the pot occasionally. Continue to chop more apples until you’ve used up all your apples or your pot is full. I like to enlist my kids to help with apple-peeling. Even a 5 year old can do a good job (and be safe) with a well-designed peeler.

If your sauce starts to stick to the bottom of the pot at any time during the cooking process, turn the heat down a bit and add another half-cup or so of water.  You can do this several times during the cooking process if needed. As the apples cook down, they will break up and soften and make space for even more apples. You’ll be amazed at how many apples it takes to fill a pot.

Depending on how firm your apples are, it will take 45-60 minutes to cook them down into sauce once they’re all in the pot. The final apples into the pot obviously won’t get as much cooking time as the first ones. That’s OK– that will add texture to your sauce.

Once the apples are as soft as you want them to be, there are several possible ways to finish them. If your family prefers a very smooth sauce, you can run part or all of the sauce through the blender.  (It makes great baby food when completely pureed.)  My family prefers a somewhat chunky sauce, so all I do is lightly mash my sauce with a potato masher, leaving some chunks intact.

At this point you can do one of several things:

— Freeze the sauce in individual containers for up to one year.

–Refrigerate sauce and use within one week.

—  Can sauce via boiling water bath. (Canning instructions: While sauce is still boiling hot, pour it into sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes for pints, or 35 minutes for quarts.)

If you’d like to try your hand at canning, but don’t have an official canning pot, no problem. Any heavy pot that allows you to totally submerge your jars in water will work. There should be at least half an inch of water covering the top of every jar. Use pint jars if your pot is not big enough to submerge quarts. Just be sure to start with hot applesauce and use new canning lids and very clean jars. It is a good idea to dip your jars in boiling water before you fill them. A run through a good hot dishwasher will sterilize them as well.

Happy saucing!!

Other canning recipes:

For more easy recipes:


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  1. I have a feeling this is what my counter will look like next year with our garden expansion. I only wish I can the kind of help you do. Not one single child in my house ever wants to help me can!! Perhaps I need to try the bribery trick next time! 🙂

  2. Other peope have also mentioned various types of ricers and strainers you can use to speed up the processing. This way you don’t have to peel or core. I’ve been too frugal to spring for such gadgets– I have plenty of people power! But if you are feeling overwhelmed at doing the job alone, this is a great way to speed up the work.

  3. I don’t have our canning equipment here (in storage in new state we’re moving to!) … can I just cook down and then freeze?

  4. Your blog is fabulous! I love the recipes. I might have to try this one, but what I really want to know is how you do it all. Do you have any time management tips? I only have one baby, and I have trouble getting anything done.

  5. I have fond memories of helping my mom make applesauce using this same basic technique/recipe. She stopped canning when I was in elementary school and switched to freezing and it worked great (as long as you have enough freezer space)! I loved eating the partially thawed applesauce while it still had ice crystals in it. :o)

  6. How many apples do you use for this quantity of water, sugar & cinnamon?

  7. I’m not famous for much, but I regularly get compliments on my applesauce – my grandma and mama taught me to add a little vanilla to suit your taste. Now you know my family secret!

    Also I don’t use any water, but maybe that’s just b/c I have very juicy gravensteins and we like it pretty thick; probably doesn’t affect the flavor much either way.

    Enjoying your blog over here in OR.

  8. Thanks for this. I have been searching for a good receipe, but have not found one that is easy. Thanks!

  9. I have an antique applesauce maker – I can’t remember the proper name for it – but we just cut the apples in quarters, no peeling or coring. Once they are cooked we squish them through maker and voila. It makes the sauce nice and pink too! Have you ever made apple leather?

  10. Love to see all of this. We moved to a farm in the middle of this summer so I didn’t get a chance to plant anything. (Wouldn’t have mattered anyway. We had so much rain nothing is growing this summer.) I’m hoping for a big garden this year and your posts are inspirational. I just don’t have quite the work force you do.
    Anyway, I had a question. In your previous post it looked like your stove if a flat top stove. I had been told that you can’t can on a flat top because it will crack your stovetop. Do you can on a flat top stove or are my eyes deceiving me?

  11. Thanks for the inspiration! ….. we got busy and the outcome was DEEEElicious! 🙂

  12. Hi Mary! I faithfully read your blog and have a few canning questions. I also wanted to get your recipe for korean hamburger zucchini stir fry. Could you please email me privately? Thanks so much!

  13. I made this recipe the other day. It was so good, and easy . Thank you for sharing.

  14. Sue McKinney says:

    My Mom cans tomatoes and applesauce similar to your method but doesn’t put them in a water bath after the applesauce or tomatoes are in the cans and sealed. They always seem to be alright. What could happen if you don’t process them in a boiling hot water bath?

  15. Sue, It would be risky not to do the boiling water bath, as bacteria remaining in the jar would have a chance to survive. Botulism is one serious illness that happens when food is improperly process. Granted, it is less likely in high acid foods like applesauce, but still I think it would be unwise to skip the boiling water bath.


  16. I have a question. Someone told me that I could just can concord grapes in water and after several months pour off the juice and drink in. Okay, I canned the grapes. They are full of juice. Why do I need to wait several months and will the whole grapes in the jar make the juice bitter.. I have the grapes so not much cost involved in trying this just time. Have you ever heard of this method of making juice?

  17. Funny, I made applesauce almost this exact way just the other day. It was SO easy (we had the corer/peeler machine) and my kids thought it was really fun to help out!

  18. Hey there– wondering if anyone can help me with an applesauce canning question!?
    I made some last night, but made it really thick and chunky. I removed the air bubbles before the hot water bath, but now my jars are full of large air bubbles. I am guessing that they are fine since everything sealed OK, but should I be worried. I really don’t want to give anyone botulism!!
    thanks, Taryn

    • Taryn, I personally would keep them close to the front of my cupboard to easily keep an eye on them, and use them within 6 months. Also of course be sure they are tightly sealed when you go to use them, but probably they will be fine.

  19. Thanks for the tips!

  20. Is the peeling actually necessary?

  21. As mentioned in a previous post, we do not peel our apples (good fiber and no waste)-just slice in quarters, cook and put in your jars.

  22. I really recommend using a food strainer like this one: http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/index.htm/Indoor-Living/Housewares/Preserving-Products/Preserving-Tools/Mills-Grinders-Acc/STRAINER-FOOD/_/N-ntjwqZ1z141c5/Ne-ntc74/No-72/R-I4418801?Num=0 They seem quite expensive but for two years now I’ve had to compost/waste hundreds of pounds of apples we worked hard to pick due to the huge amount of time it would have taken to process them other ways, so this year we finally splurged and are really glad. We made 27 quarts of applesauce in a couple of hours start to finish (wash, quarter, cook, and put through this machine.) So fast, and so little mess. We also have a large family and need the speed of processing and less clean-up time. (Still have several more boxes of apples to use.) I will be using the slicer/corer you show, or the press-down apple cutter, for apple pie filling.

  23. Another easy way to make applesauce is in the crockpot. Throw around 20 apples (peeled, cored and sliced) in the crockpot along with 3/4 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. So easy and it makes your house smell heavenly 🙂

  24. LEHMAN’s has a nice food mill. I like turning the crank on the horizontal to save my aching wrist.


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