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A bowl of applesauce with apples behind it.

Applesauce Recipe

This classic homemade Applesauce Recipe is super easy to make and can last for a long time by freezing or canning (we included instructions for both). The sugar is optional depending on the sweetness of your apples, too.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16 servings (1/2 cup each)
Calories 256kcal


  • 7 pounds apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (see note 1)
  • 1 cup water plus more if needed (see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar optional, or more or less to taste (see note 3)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice required for canning, (see note 4)


To make the applesauce:

  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the apples with enough water to prevent the apples from sticking (I use about a cup). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat and gently boil, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to break down and become tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Process the mixture in a food processor, working in batches, and puree until smooth.
  • Return the mixture to the pan, add sugar (optional, to taste) and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Season to taste with extra sugar if desired.

To can the applesauce:

  • Prepare canner jars and lids.
  • After returning the mixture to the pan and bringing to a boil in step 3, reduce heat to low. Maintain a gentle boil while filling jars, leaving a 1/2 inch air gap to the top of the jar.



  1. Apples: For the smoothest possible applesauce, peel your apples. For a pinkish hue, add a few large pieces of red apple peel to the pot while simmering (and remove them after cooking). While some cooks insist on using soft apples, I've found that a mix of tart and sweet apples, regardless of firmness, make the best-tasting applesauce.
  2. Water: The purpose of the water is to keep the apples from sticking to the pan. 
  3. Sugar: Add sugar according to your personal taste and considering the varieties of apples you used (i.e., sweeter apples may require less sugar). It's okay to omit the sugar entirely, too.
  4. Lemon juice: This is required if you are canning the applesauce (instructions below). It doesn't taste lemony but just ensures the sauce is acidic enough to be safe for canning. If you are not canning the applesauce, you can omit the lemon juice.
  5. Yield: This homemade Applesauce Recipe makes 8 cups of applesauce which fills 1 quart jar or 2 pint jars.
  6. Storage: Store homemade applesauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.


Serving: 0.5 cup | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg