Homemade Applesauce

Homemade Applesauce in a bowl with a spoon

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 5 to 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
138 Calories
0g Fat
36g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 227mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade applesauce is so much better than store-bought, you may never buy it again! Making your own applesauce is super easy, and you are in control of what goes into it and how smooth or chunky it turns out. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher. If you like it smooth, use an immersion blender, food processor, or food mill.

Brown sugar adds rich flavor and color to the applesauce but feel free to use granulated sugar if you prefer, or make it with an alternative sweetener, such as maple syrup or honey. It's easy to adjust with more sweetener or lemon juice before it's done cooking.

Use one apple variety or a mixture. The best apple varieties for applesauce include McIntosh, Braeburn, Fuji, Cortland, and Gala. Granny Smith is a nice variety to add for its tart flavor but should be balanced with sweeter apples, such as Gala or McIntosh. You can always adjust sweet and tart flavors with extra sugar or lemon juice.

"My favorite by-product of apple picking is gathering any leftover, sad-looking apples and making applesauce. I used a food mill for mine; it saves the effort of peeling and coring. Adjust the sugar and lemon to your taste!" —Laurel Randolph

Homemade applesauce tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 pounds apples

  • 2/3 cup apple juice, cider, or water

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Applesauce ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Wash the apples and peel them unless you will be using a food mill. Core the apples and slice each one into 8 wedges.

    Apple wedges in a white bowls

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Transfer them to a large saucepan with a lid, like a Dutch oven. Add the apple juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the apples and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

    Apple slices in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer until the apples are very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cook time will depend on the apple variety; note that apple slices that are not peeled and cored will take longer to cook.

    Apples cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Mash or purée the apples as desired using a potato masher, immersion blender, food processor, or food mill. Taste and adjust the sugar or lemon juice, if needed.

    Homemade Applesauce made by passing cooked apples through a food mill

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How to Use and Serve Homemade Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is a delicious snack or dessert to enjoy plain or with a simple topping of whipped cream or cinnamon sugar. Here are some excellent ways to enjoy your homemade applesauce:

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of brown sugar, use granulated sugar or another sweetener, like maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey.
  • Play with flavors—add a dash of nutmeg or a splash of vanilla.
  • If you are using a food mill, leave the skins on the apple slices and don't bother coring them. Red-skinned apples will add pink color.

How to Store and Freeze Homemade Applesauce

  • Refrigerate homemade applesauce in airtight containers for up to 7 to 10 days.
  • To freeze homemade applesauce, portion it into freezer containers, ice cube trays, or small zip-close freezer bags. Freeze the applesauce for up to 3 months.

Do You Need To Drain the Water When Making Applesauce?

You shouldn't have to drain off the apple juice or water when making applesauce. If you think there is too much water or want to make sure it is very thick, drain the liquids into a cup or bowl. When mashing or puréeing the applesauce, add the liquids back a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.