Easy Healthy Apple Pie Filling Recipe

A bowl of healthy apple pie filling with spread cheer serving knife.

Here's an easy healthy apple pie filling recipe that's ideal for recipes like apple pie, cobbler, and even as a topping for ice cream!

It’s so tasty that no one will realize that it’s sugar free.

Why this recipe works

What’s terrific about this recipe is that it doesn’t require special equipment. No stockpot and canning equipment. Not even an Instant Pot or slow cooker.

You cook it up right on the stovetop in only 10 to 15 minutes.

All you need are apples, lemon juice, salt, spices, sweetener, water, and corn starch.

Since there's no flour and no butter, this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

Ingredients

  • cooking apples
  • lemon juice
  • Swerve Sweetener, Brown
  • corn starch
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground cardamom
  • sea salt
  • water

How to make healthy apple pie filling

1. Place the chopped apples, lemon juice, and 1 cup water in a bowl. Toss to prevent apples from browning.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sweetener, corn starch, spices, and 1 cup water until well blended.

3. Add the chopped apples to saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture starts to boil.

4. Turn down the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently to get rid of any lumps. Cook until the apples are tender but not mushy. If the mixture gets too thick, stir in 1/2 cup of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

5. Allow apple pie filling to cool before using in most recipes.

6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Overhead view of a bowl of apple pie filing with a serving knife on a white plate.

FAQ

Can I make apple pie filling without cornstarch?

Yes! If you need to avoid corn products, here are some options:

Use rice starch or fine rice flour. Both are terrific, gluten-free products that can be used to thicken stews and gravies.

Try tapioca starch. I’ve read that you use twice as much tapioca starch than cornstarch, so 1/2 cup in this recipe.

That sounds like a lot, so maybe start with 1/4 cup and work your way up.

If the thickener is making the apple pie filling too thick, add more water.

Is this sugar free?

Yes, this is a sugar free apple pie filing recipe because it uses Swerve Sweetener, Brown.

It's a natural, no-calorie sweetener that tastes great with no funky aftertaste.

If you’re not comfortable with using a no-calorie sweetener, use regular brown sugar.

Flavor variations

You can adjust the spices in this filling recipe to your personal tastes.

If you like ginger, add more! Dislike cinnamon? Leave it out.

Add some lemon zest or a pinch of cloves.

A bowl of healhty apple pie filling with a spoon on a large white plate.

Best cooking apples

I choose Gala apples to make my pie filling recipe. Since they’re naturally sweet, I knew I could use less sweetener.

Use this handy guide of the 12 best apples for baking from Midwest Living. Here are five of the most popular:

  1. Jonathans
  2. Honeycrisp
  3. Granny Smith
  4. Golden Delicious
  5. Gala

How to peel, core, and chop apples

What equipment do you need?

To make this fruit filling recipe, you’ll need:

a cutting board

a paring knife,

a chef’s knife,

and a vegetable peeler.

Using an apple corer makes life much easier when cutting up a bunch of apples, too.

Watch this video from LifeHacker on How to Peel an Apple for some handy apple chopping tips.

Size of the apple pieces

For my Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold Filled Cupcakes, I cut the apples into small pieces.

For a homemade apple pie recipe, cut the apples into larger pieces.

A Soread Cheer serving knife with apple filling on a white plate.

Can you freeze apple pie filling?

Yes. Cool the filling in the refrigerator. Then pour the filling into a freezer bag, squeeze out the excess air, then seal.

Label and date.

To thaw, place the bag in the fridge overnight.

Use healthy apple pie filling in these recipes

Here are some serving and recipe suggestions using cooked pie filling:

homemade apple pie, of course

yogurt parfaits

ice cream a la mode served with warm apple pie filling

handheld apple pies, also called apple hand pies

on bowls of oatmeal

stuffed pork chops

stuffed muffins

Crockpot Apple Cobbler

stuffed crescent rolls

and more!

What will you use your batch of sugar free apple pie filling in?

Yield: 7 SERVINGS

Easy Healthy Apple Pie Filling Recipe

A bowl of healhty apple pie filling with a spoon on a large white plate.

This sugar free apple pie filling is easy to make. This healthy apple pie filling can be made without cornstarch.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, cored, and chopped cooking apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cups packed Swerve Sweetener, Brown
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (rice starch can also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups water (room temperature), divided (plus extra if needed)

Instructions

  1. Place chopped apples, lemon juice, and 1 cup water in a bowl. Toss to prevent apples from browning.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn starch, and spices, and 1 cup water until well blended.
  3. Add chopped apples to saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture starts to boil.
  4. Turn down heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently to get rid of any lumps. Cook until apples are tender but not mushy. If the mixture gets too thick, stir in 1/2 cup of water at a time until you reach the consistency desired.
  5. Allow apple pie filling to cool before using in most recipes.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

7

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on February 26, 2016. Updated with new pictures.

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