Easy Unsweetened Applesauce

November 18, 2014 Diane Homan

A simple unsweetened applesauce recipe you can make in the crockpot. Cinnamon joins the natural sweetness of the apples to create a deliciously simple and healthy snack!

Unsweetened Applesauce

Nothing beats a bowl of homemade applesauce. This recipe elevates the dish from the mushy flavorlessness of store-bought Motts to a complex set of flavors — the sweetness of the apples, tang of the lemon juice, and the richness of cinnamon and nutmeg.

This applesauce can work as a snack or a side dish. Serve it on it’s own or with with pork, chicken, or turkey dishes. It also goes well mixed into yogurt or on top of pancakes!

This recipe does not contain any added sugars — it’s a completely natural, unsweetened applesauce recipe. This means that nutritionally, it’s not that different from the apple itself. It’s full of fiber, vitamin C, and phytochemicals that promote health. And it’s low-calorie at only 85 calories per serving. If you have a craving for a sweet snack, this is an excellent go-to!

What do I need for unsweetened applesauce?

Apples: This recipe has been tested with Fuji apples, Granny Smith apples, and the unknown variety that grows on my backyard tree. Other apples that work well for applesauce include Gala, Pink Lady, McIntosh, Braeburn, and Golden Delicious. Each of these will give you a slightly different flavor!

Lemon Juice: This keeps the apples from browning. It also helps maintain the acidity of the apples. Apples lose a little of their tang and flavor as they cook down. The lemon juice brightens the flavor and brings out the sweetness of the apples. If you don’t like lemon juice, you can replace this ingredient with the same measurement of lime or orange juice.

Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg are optional, but I highly recommend them. Their flavors compliment the apples perfectly and give this recipe a warm richness.

Water: This helps your apples to soften and keeps everything from burning during the long cooking time.

How do I make applesauce?

Unsweetened Applesauce Instructions

Start by peeling and coring your apples.

Next, toss your apples in the crockpot and cover them with the water. Add the other ingredients and give it a good stir.

Then, you get to leave things alone. The applesauce will cook on low for 2 hours. The apples will begin to soften, and your house will smell heavenly.

After a couple hours, you’ll need to give the applesauce a good stir, then turn the crockpot to high. You’ll leave it to cook on high for 2 more hours. This finishes softening the apples, allows the flavors to get friendly, and yields that gorgeous golden color.

When your applesauce is done cooking, you can mash it with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. If you like really smooth applesauce, you can throw it in a food processor or blender and blend until you get the consistency you want.

Storing unsweetened applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It will set up while it sits in the fridge, so while the fresh product will be slightly watery, after an hour or two in the fridge, it will be pretty well set up.

Can you freeze applesauce? Yes! It will keep for about 6 months in the freezer. Make sure that you are using a freezer-safe airtight container to keep it fresh and avoid freezer burn. When you’re ready to use the applesauce, you can take it out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge to thaw.

Simple and Healthy Applesauce

Variations on Unsweetened Applesauce

More Fiber: You actually can make this with the skins still on the apples — you will just have more fibrous pieces in the finished product. If that’s something you think you’d like, you can skip the peeling.

Add Extracts: You can add vanilla, almond, maple, or orange extract for an easy change!

Fruit Flavored Applesauce: Try adding other fruits to your applesauce to create new flavors:

  • Peach Applesauce: Add 2 pitted and chopped peaches
  • Strawberry Applesauce: Remove the tops from 1 lb of strawberries and add them. I prefer this version with Granny Smith apples because the tartness of the green apples balances the sweetness of the strawberries.
  • Mango Applesauce: Add 1 cup chopped mango (Frozen mango chunks work too!

Unsweetened Applesauce

Delicious homemade applesauce with no added sugars!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 85kcal


  • 8 medium apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg


  • Peel, core, and chop apples.
    8 medium apples
  • Put apples into crockpot. Cover with water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice.
    1 cup water, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Stir to evenly coat apples.
  • Cook on low for 2 hours.
  • Stir, then cook on high for 2 hours.
  • For smoother sauce, mash with a potato masher, or use a hand mixer or food processor.
  • Serve either hot or cold!
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I have yet to made homemade applesauce…I know, shameful, lol. It looks like I just might give it a try. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration! ~Blessings~

Diane Homan

It’s so easy and delicious! Good luck 🙂

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