Get (apple) saucy.
This easy, chunky homemade applesauce recipe 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.
Why a Homemade Chunky Applesauce Recipe Is Better Than Store-Bought
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 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.
Homemade Chunky Applesauce vs. Jarred
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 chunky, easy 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 steps:
- 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.
- 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.
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 no added sugar to this applesauce recipe is needed. 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.
How long will homemade applesauce last?
Unless you go through a full canning and preserving process, this fresh applesauce will keep in the refrigerator for a little over one week or so.
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Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce (No Sugar!)
- 6 medium apples, such as McIntosh or Honeycrisp, washed
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt
- ¾ cup water
- ½ lemon, juiced (optional)
- Pat of butter (optional), to finish
- Chop the apples into a medium dice. Discard the core.
- Place the apples in a pot with the water, salt, and cinnamon and bring 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. The apples should cook at a steady simmer.
- Add the lemon juice, if using. Stir vigorously to emulsify everything into a sauce and taste.
- Serve warm, topped with a pinch of cinnamon and a pat of butter.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
I am embarrassed that I never knew how easy homemade applesauce was. This is simply delicious and I will never buy again.
This is so easy and I love how it tasted.
This recipe worked very well and I love that you don’t need added sugar.
Yep! A keeper. Love the cinnamon and apple flavor. Thanks for the great recipe!!! 🙂
This is a great, basic recipe for applesauce and could not be more easy. I do not use lemon juice; I think it tasted just right without it.
Honestly, I never tried to make homemade applesauce but we went apple picking this past weekend and have so many, and then I saw this! It is so simple and tasted delicious. I am making homemade from now on!