Homemade Applesauce Recipe (Fall Favorite!)

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Homemade Organic Applesauce
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I may not have as much time to make things from scratch as I once did (six kids, homeschooling, and a business will do that!), but when apples are in season we always find time to make homemade applesauce.

Unlike some other canning adventures of mine, I always feel like homemade applesauce is well worth the effort, plus it makes the house smell great!

A word of caution though … your family will never want to eat store-bought applesauce again! Mine won’t!

How to Make Applesauce from Scratch, Step by Step

Homemade applesauce is out of this world. There’s seriously a night and day difference between homemade applesauce and the store-bought versions that are bland and watery in comparison. (And I’m just skipping over the vices of sweetened store-bought applesauce entirely… )

While it’s super easy to whip up a small batch as needed and serve it fresh, in our family we usually need to make a larger amount and so we can or preserve.

Here’s what we do…

Step 1: Make a Plan to Can

Making and canning applesauce probably works best on the weekend if you have littles underfoot like I do. We usually pick a good fall weekend and make it a family event. (Extra hands make light work and all!)

We usually reserve Saturdays and Sundays for family time so it works to head out together to a local farm or farmer’s market to get our apples. The kids get to take in the sights and sounds (and tastes!), and we often score some decently priced organic local produce to take home.

Step 2: Estimate Quantity

How much to make will vary by family of course, but it’s an important step to consider. Nothing kills the joy of cooking from scratch and canning like taking on too much at one time. (Ask me how I know…)

In my experience one bushel of apples yields roughly 15-16 quart jars of applesauce, so I usually go for 2 bushels to last our family of 8 for 4-6 months.

Some equivalents that are helpful to remember:

-21 lbs of apples = about 7 quarts of processed applesauce (one water bath canner full)
-1 bushel = 40 lbs of apples

Of course it doesn’t hurt to buy extra for snacking, baking, or dehydrating. We love to make seasonal dishes with them like apple cinnamon muffins, sausage stuffed apples, bacon apple chicken, or apple pork chops.

Step 3: Buy Apples (preferably local and organic)

Making homemade applesauce may not save time, but it does save money. The first year I tried making applesauce I was able to get a bushel of organic apples from our CSA for only $20. (A crazy good deal!)

The key is to ask for “seconds” (the not-so-pretty apples with small defects in appearance). This is no problem for applesauce since the apples will be cooked down and blended anyway. We get different kinds of apples each year depending on what is available from the farmer and experiment with what we like best, but Macintosh, Jonathan, Gala, Fuji, and Ida Red are some of our regulars. The key is to use 3 or more varieties and mix them together, rather than just using one kind.

The cost for my homemade applesauce usually breaks down something like this:

  • Cinnamon: ~$.50
  • Organic apples (per bushel): ~$20-25
  • Canning lids: ~$4.50
  • Canning jars and rings: already own

In the end, it all comes out to roughly $1.60 per quart … much cheaper than most store-bought applesauce (especially organic) and much better quality!

Step 4: Wash and Prep

Although I usually confirm with the farmer that the apples are free of pesticides and wax, I recommend soaking the apples in the sink in some vinegar and water, just to get off any dirt or debris from harvesting. After soaking, rinse well with plain water.

organic apples used for applesauce

Homemade applesauce recipes call for different preparations, but I prefer to leave the skins on. (We’ll make them disappear in one easy step later!) I cut the apples into quarters, cut out the cores, and then they are ready for the next step.

(If you have a KitchenAid mixer, there are attachments that do the slicing and coring quite beautifully … )

slicing apples for applesauce

Step 5: Cook Until Soft and Blend

Using a crockpot, Instant Pot, or even just a large stock pot, simmer apples covered and on medium heat with a little bit of water (less than a cup) in the bottom of the pot. I usually add a few tablespoons of cinnamon for each pot full of apples.

apples in crockpot for applesauce

Since I leave the skins on the apples, once the apples are soft I use an immersion blender to blend them smooth right in the pot. A large blender or food processor could work here as well. The point is to get the skins blended in so they’re not even noticeable and the sauce to the preferred consistency.

Step 6: Freeze, Can, or Just Eat Applesauce!

At this point, the applesauce is ready to eat! This is a great time to dish out some warm applesauce to any kitchen helpers before moving on to the next steps if you’re canning and preserving.

If you’re new to canning, this helpful FAQ might be a good place to start.

Here’s to a new fall tradition! I hope you love it as much as we do!

canned homemade applesauce

Homemade organic applesauce recipe

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

Make your own applesauce with this simple homemade method.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Calories 105kcal
Author Katie Wells




  • Soak the apples in vinegar and water in the kitchen sink for a couple of hours to remove any dirt or chemical residue. Rinse well after soaking or there will be a slight pickle taste to your applesauce. This step is not as necessary with organic apples, but is still a good way to clean them.
  • Quarter and core the washed apples. I leave the skin on because we blend the applesauce later in the process and no pieces of skin are even noticeable, but feel free to peel if preferred.
  • Put all the apples in a Crock-Pot, Instant Pot, or similar sized pot on the stove with a little bit of water (less than a cup) and cinnamon to taste. I usually add a few tablespoons of cinnamon for each pot full of apples.
  • Cook the apples on medium heat until soft. Time varies, but expect at least a few hours. The house will smell great all day as they cook!
  • When the apples are soft and skins are starting to fall off, turn off the heat and let the apples cool to closer to room temperature so they can be blended safely. Use either a blender or hand blender (not hand mixer) to puree the apples until smooth. You could also use an hand mill for this, but I have never tried it. The applesauce is now ready to eat! If storing fresh, pour into clean quart jars, top with lid, and store in refrigerator.
  • For hot water bath canning: Reheat the now smooth applesauce to boiling and then turn off heat. Immediately put into very clean jars and can according to your canner instructions.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Applesauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 105 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Sodium 5mg0%
Carbohydrates 27.6g9%
Fiber 4.9g20%
Sugar 24.6g27%
Protein 0.4g1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


One bushel of apples will make about 15 quarts of applesauce, but this recipe is easily adapted to smaller or larger batches. The key to delicious applesauce is to use a variety of apples, rather than just one type. 

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Ever made applesauce? How did it turn out?

Homemade organic applesauce recipe

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


52 responses to “Homemade Applesauce Recipe (Fall Favorite!)”

  1. Connie Sylvester Avatar
    Connie Sylvester

    Just wondering if conventional apples would be ok to use if I peel them first?

  2. Becky Avatar

    This is my family’s 3rd week trying to be healthier. I LOVE the recipes on wellnessmama and am so grateful to have found this great site. When you are switching from processed foods to fresh, homemade whole foods, it’s quite a challenge but with the help of your site, we get to have tasty, great replacement recipes to use instead of what is sold in the stores, and we know we are eating healthier in the process! Thank you so much!

  3. M. J. Avatar

    5 stars
    We eat very little applesauce, so when my grandsons were very young I just washed and cored an apple or two, cut into chunks, put in the food processor, and gave it a whirl. A little added cinnamon and ginger, and it’s a great, fast side.

  4. Herman Rutner Avatar
    Herman Rutner

    My German recipe for a family of one is to start with one Apple, best Cortlands, for flavor and rapid cooking. Best tree ripened from farmers market. Scrub under cold water with a brush, put in a deep pyrex glass dish, poke holes in apple skin with a knife all around to vent steam, cover loosely with plate. Microwave for 1-2 min until soft, sprinkle on cinnamon, pumpkin spice, brown sugar as needed. Mix and continue until fully soft. Mash and enjoy. I prefer to leave in the core if not moldy. Cortlands, ideally from NYState,also are my favorite uncooked eating apples.

  5. Sara Avatar

    5 stars
    Hi Katie!
    We make apple sauce all the time.
    We use a mix of gala and green organic apples. We peel them, core them, cut them into quarters.
    Put them in pot with water to cover and cook till soft! If u like smooth u just blend it with a hand blender.
    It freezes beautifully and is delicious! We don’t put in any sweetener…

    Homemade apple sauce is a great snack!

  6. Vince Avatar

    5 stars
    The thing I love most is that you can scale the recipe up or down. So, you could create relatively little apple sauce if you wanted, or put the time in to create a large batch.

  7. Susan Avatar

    Just wondering. For a more all natural applesauce (my son doesn’t care for cinnamon), can the cinnamon just be omitted? Or does it have to be replaced with something?

  8. franceska Avatar

    4 stars
    Canning has become a necessity in our large household and applesauce is a staple. I use it to make apple butter, Apple bread, Apple cake and other delicious treats (including great gifts). The only thing that I didn’t see listed is lemon juice. With apples, we must use lemon juice as it preserves the color and assures the acidity for preserving. If you freeze or put in fridge we don’t need to add lemon juice (according to Ball preserving).

  9. Laura Avatar

    Where do you find non gmo vitamon C powder not from China that you can use for canning?

    1. Rebecca Avatar

      There’s a brand on amazon called NutriBiotic. I’m curious what brand she uses though.

  10. Noor Avatar

    5 stars
    I have a pressure cooker. Can I use it in a pressure cooker?
    Do I still have to soak with water and vinegar even if I do not use the peel?

  11. Terry Avatar

    Hi I have made apple sauce and dont use Vit-c tho I read only store in Fridge
    1 week and Yours says up to a Month .
    Id hate to have it Ferment and All so
    Ill have to experiment ,
    I have a Neat way of creating my sauce
    Were i steam cook apples as result i have not only apple sauce tho also end up with Apple Juice , it is great , and this i fell into doing because i have apple trees and had so many again and got tired of making apple chips and the apples were sitting around getting softer n softer so i didnt want to toss them so I core them slice in 3rds , all face down in steamer and when done i peal skin or like yellow apples have thinner skins so harder to hold an peal to clean apple from skins so most stay together , one big thing im so excited about is the water that is used to steam ends up apple flavored so i add lil cinnamon and Tastes like way better then store bought and I know what i Got . Thanks for sharing all that you do …also the sad part of cooking and nutrient is it kills the Nutrients over 110°
    No way around it ,

  12. Chelsea Avatar

    Hello! To start, I have been a silent follower of your site for years; your posts have been quite enlightening and guiding for me on a healthy-lifestyle for my family. So, thank you.
    I have a LOT of North Carolina apples (Florida gal here) and am experimenting with a variety of uses. I’ve never canned applesauce and am not a very schooled canner, but I’ve got the supplies so plan to give this a try.
    My question is: Have you a use for the peels and cores? I have seen apple juice, apple jelly, Apple cider vinegar recipes out there. All but the latter include sugars; I’d like to proceed with as little sweetener as possible. I would love to know your thoughts!
    Thank you,

  13. Lenah Avatar

    My apple sauce taste like pickelish or lemony, I soaked them in vinegar over night and rinsed, put in crockpots with plain 1/4c water and cooked for 20hts, blended and I added 2T cinnimon, just now, but still tastes sour… What can I do, o have second batch in crockpots now a d a whole mother sink full ready to go, o usually put brown sugar in apple sauce but trying to stay away from sugars, any advice on how to save this?! And all my other apples?!!

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