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Homemade Chunky Applesauce (No Peel)

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Get (apple) saucy.

This easy recipe for chunky homemade applesauce has no added sugar, letting apple’s natural sweetness and color shine. It’s a chunky, cinnamon-kissed applesauce that will spoil you forever and doesn’t even require peeling the apples. 

chunky homemade applesauce recipe

Why a Recipe for Chunky Applesauce Is Better Than Store-Bought Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is so easy and so many flavor leaps and bounds above anything sold in a jar that it seems unfair to even compare the two. In fact, it is easier to say what you do not need in a homemade applesauce recipe: no peeler, no list of ingredients, no length of time, no sugar, no masher, no stress.

This sweet but gently tart homemade chunky applesauce recipe cooks itself in no time. It needs only a dash of cinnamon to make it otherworldly good, no sugar necessary because you’ll chose the right apples. The apples break down naturally into thick, soft chunks, which makes for a much more satisfying result than thin, processed applesauce.

best types of apples for making easy applesauce

Recipe for Chunky Applesauce vs. Buying the Jarred Stuff

We all know bad applesauce: the mushy, grainy, flavorless blob that sits in the plastic container with the foil top. This applesauce is the stuff of school lunch plates, the color reminiscent of expired silly putty or industrial sand before it gets mixed into cement.

But let’s focus on this easy recipe for chunky homemade applesauce — applesauce that’s so naturally sweet and satisfying it’s closer to apple pie filling than side dish.

Making Applesauce from Scratch

Homemade chunky applesauce requires little more than the following easy recipe steps:

  1. Cut the apples into chunks. No need to peel. The skins will make the applesauce color beautiful and ruddy, and the skins will soften enough in the cooking process to not be tough. Exception: You’ll want to peel tough-skinned Granny Smith or Red Delicious apples.
  2. Add a splash of water and cinnamon, and cook in a pot, partially covered, until very soft. Stir well, add a dash of cinnamon to the top, maybe with a pat of butter, and enjoy.

If you choose the right apples, you do not even need any added sugar.

homemade chunky applesauce recipe

What kind of apples are best for making homemade applesauce?

Choose the right apples for your homemade applesauce. Apples very greatly in texture, skin thickness, and flavor. It’s important to choose the best apples for making applesauce.

The best and worst apples for this chunky applesauce recipe

  • The worst applesauce apples: Avoid Red Delicious (the exterior is too leathery) and Granny Smith (too green and tart for applesauce, though I love Granny Smith for pie).
  • The best applesauce apples: Choose a crisp, sweet-tart seasonal apple with a pretty pink skin such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady, McIntosh, or Macoun.

No Sugar Apple Sauce Recipe

If you choose from the apples suggested above, you should need no added sugar in this applesauce recipe. I add only a pinch of salt and some cinnamon. But if you taste it and think it could use a little sweetening, add light brown sugar one teaspoon at a time.

platter of pork tenderloin with side of homemade chunky applesauce, salad, and biscuits

How long will homemade applesauce last?

Unless you go through a full canning and preserving process, this fresh chunky applesauce will keep in the refrigerator for a little over one week or so.

Love this cozy, chunky homemade applesauce recipe? You’ll also like:

homemade chunky applesauce recipe

Homemade Chunky Applesauce (No Peel)

No added sugar, no peeling, no fuss. Here's your ultimate easy recipe for homemade chunky applesauce: thick, naturally sweet, and topped with a pinch of cinnamon.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, english, French
Keywords:: apples, applesauce, fall recipes, no sugar, side dish, unsweetened
Servings: 5 to 7 people as a side dish
Print

Ingredients

  • 6 medium apples, such as Macintosh or Honeycrisp, washed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pat of butter (optional), to finish

Instructions

  • Chop the apples into a medium dice and add them to a pot. Discard the cores.
    PRO TIP: The best apples for unsweetened applesauce are naturally sweet ones, such as the ones suggested above. Apples like Granny Smith, while great for pie, will be too tart.
  • Add the splash of water, salt, lemon juice, and cinnamon and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very soft and melted, but still have a chunky appearance. The apples should cook at a steady simmer.
  • Stir to emulsify everything into a thick sauce and taste.
    PRO TIP: If you want a less chunky applesauce texture, use a potato masher, immersion blender, or food processor to mash or blend the applesauce to your desired consistency.
  • Serve your chunky applesauce warm, topped with a pinch of cinnamon and a pat of butter.

Notes

Making homemade applesauce can be done in no time, with little more than a knife, cutting board, and a pot. Once you try this, it's hard to go back to store-bought kind.
Your chunky applesauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days, and can also be stored in the freezer for several months. 

16 comments

  • 5 stars
    Do you ever can your applesauce?

    • Unpeeled

      You certainly can, but I tend to just make it and eat it right away (usually with pork tenderloin!). I am not a canner myself, but there are many wonderful canning resources online that will give proper directions about sanitizing, and so on. All the best of luck!

  • It’s more time consuming than your method, but I cut the unpeeled apples into chunks and don’t remove the core and pips either, then press the thoroughly cooked down apples through a mesh sieve. There’s lots of pectin in the core to help “set” the sauce.
    I’m also more inclined towards adding a small length of cinnamon stick to the pot and then remove it before pressing through the sieve.

  • 5 stars
    Easy, good recipe. It is nice that I did not have to peel the apples, which made a very nice color and much easier for me to make.

  • Going to try this. What happens to the skin in this process? Since pesticides are mostly in the skin, does this neutralize any that might be there?

    • Unpeeled

      Good question. If pesticides are a concern and you are not using organic apples (which is what I prefer to eat), just peel the apples ad proceed. Rinsing the apples well will remove some percentage of the pesticides, but not all. Cooking will not remove the chemicals, sadly.

  • I was wondering if you could do the apple sauce in a slow cooker?

    • Unpeeled

      Hello and absolutely. It should work out fine. Cook it on medium for about 5 hours, more or less, stirring once or twice during the process. Enjoy!

  • If I made a few batches of this could I place in mason jars for the freezer?

    • Unpeeled

      Absolutely! As long as the mason jars are freezer-safe, the applesauce will freeze well. Let them thaw in the fridge, and stir to re-emulsify in case of any separation.

  • 5 stars
    I am embarrassed that I never knew how easy homemade applesauce was. This is simply delicious and I will never buy again.

  • 5 stars
    This is so easy and I love how it tasted.

  • 5 stars
    This recipe worked very well and I love that you don’t need added sugar.

  • 5 stars
    Yep! A keeper. Love the cinnamon and apple flavor. Thanks for the great recipe!!! 🙂

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