How to Make Homemade Applesauce (No Sugar Added)

A bowl of Homemade Applesauce on a woven mat with a spoon and apples.

Want to know how to make homemade applesauce (no sugar added)? It's easy to do! Plus, it's much better tasting than store-bought applesauce.

It's terrific in your lunchbox. Or as an after school snack.

Think it takes hours to make? On the stove, this recipe for homemade applesauce no sugar added takes 30 minutes to cook. How easy is that!

This homemade applesauce recipe comes with three cooking methods: stove top, slow cooker, and Instant Pot.

How to make homemade applesauce (no sugar added) on the stove top

Make this super easy stove top applesauce recipe in under an hour.

1. Wash and cut up the apples. Add them to a large pot or Dutch oven.

2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples. Toss to coat with a wooden spoon.

3. Add juice, brown sugar substitute, and spices.

4. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

4. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until apples are tender.

5. Remove the cooked apples from the stove top.

Processing a bowl of cooked apples into applesauce with a potato masher.

6. Process the applesauce to the desired consistency to get rid of the apple chunks. The masher will give you chunky applesauce while a food processor or blender will give you a smoother texture.

Using a hand blender gives you a smoother consistency. But you have the option of going chunky with it since it's a slower, more controlled method.

7. Serve the unsweetened applesauce warm, room temperature, or after you've chilled it in the fridge.

8. Store in an airtight container or glass jar with a lid.

A spoon of homemade applesauce with cinnamon over a bowl of applesauce with apples, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks in the background.

What equipment do you need to make homemade applesauce?

You'll need the following to make homemade applesauce (no sugar added):

What are the best apples for homemade applesauce?

What apple variety should you use in this homemade applesauce ( no sugar added ) recipe?

It depends on what you prefer or the types of apples you can find at the store, so here's a guide.

For a sweet applesauce cook with apples such as:

  • Fuji
  • Crispin
  • Golden Delicious apples
  • Gala Apple
  • Pink Lady

For a tart applesauce use apples like

  • McIntosh
  • Gravenstein
  • Granny Smith
  • Rome

What apples should you avoid? Red Delicious! Save these for snacking.

Chunky or smooth applesauce?

For a smoother texture, use a high-speed blender or an immersion blender to purée the cooked apples.

If you like chunky applesauce, use a potato masher. That way you leave some nice chunks when making this recipe.

A bowl of applesauce with cinnamon with a serving spoon on a straw mat with apples, a tea towel, cinnamon sticks, and whole nutmeg.

Making a sugar free homemade applesauce

This recipe contains no added sugar. However, there is no such thing as sugar-free apple juice or apple cider since apples do contain natural sugars.

You can use water instead of juice or cider if you want to lessen calories and feel that the apples you’re using are sweet enough.

The brown sugar substitute should add plenty of sweetness, too. But it’s entirely up to you.

What are the best brown sugar substitutes?

Everyone loves the taste of brown sugar sweetened applesauce no matter what type of apples used in the recipe.

The best way to do that and keep this sugar free is to use a brown sugar substitute.

I like natural, no-calorie brown sugar alternatives like Swerve Sweetener, Brown.

You can also try:

How do I make homemade applesauce (no sugar added) in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can use your pressure cooker to make this homemade applesauce recipe. Here's how:

1. Add apples to your Instant Pot.

2. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the apples. Then toss to coat with a spoon.

3. Add juice, brown sugar substitute, and spices. Stir to combine.

4. Secure lid on the Instant Pot. Cook on manual (High heat) for 8 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release.

5. Process the applesauce to the desired consistency right in the Instant Pot if using a masher or hand blender.

Closeup of a bowl of homemade apple with a serving sppon with apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg and a dishtowel in the background.

Can I make this homemade applesauce in the slow cooker?

You can easily make this applesauce in your crock-pot. Here's how.

1. Add apples to the slow cooker. (Line yours with a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup.)

2. Squeeze the lemon over the apples. Toss to coat with a spoon.

3. Add juice, brown sugar substitute, and spices. Stir to combine.

4. Set your slow cooker to High and cook for 4 hours.

5. Process the applesauce to the desired consistency.

What can I do with all this applesauce?

Besides eating the applesauce plain, serve some with vanilla ice cream, potato pancakes, or overnight oats.

Or serve it as a side dish with savory dishes like Herb & Pork Loin Marinated Roast or Crock-Pot Ribs.

Or use it when making an apple pie or baked goods like applesauce muffins.

Applesauce would make also make a terrific homemade gift for the holidays in cute glass jars with a recipe card.

Can I freeze homemade applesauce?

Yes, you can freeze the applesauce in freezer-safe airtight containers for 3 to 4 months.

Some people like to pour the applesauce into freezer bags and stack the bags flat in the freezer to save space. This is a terrific method if you're making a lot of applesauce.

How to pour applesauce into freezer bags:

1. Place the freezer bag into a bowl. (If you have a tall bowl, all the better.)

2. Cuff the bag over the edge of the bowl.

3. Ladle the applesauce into the bag.

(You can also have a helper hold the bag for you if this method is too tricky.)

4. Carefully press out the air, seal, and date the bag.

Overhead shot of a bowl of homemade apple with a serving spoon with apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg and a dishtowel on a woven mat.

Is homemade applesauce healthy?

I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, so I don't don't give nutritional advice.

However, it goes without saying that apples have all kinds of health benefits. This means that sugar free homemade applesauce is a naturally healthy snack.

Since most of the nutritional value of apples is in the peel, we remove that natural goodness and fiber when we peel apples.

Still that doesn't mean that applesauce isn't a good-for-you snack since apples have many health benefits such as:

Fiber: applesauce has fiber from pectin, which helps you feel fuller longer and aids in digestion.

Vitamin C: apples are high in vitamin C as is applesauce.

No fat and low calorie: this homemade applesauce (no sugar added) is naturally no-fat and low in calories. So you can feel good about serving it to your family.

Probiotics: applesauce is rice in polyphenols that can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut.

Read why apples are the best probiotic.

Applesauce is a good for anyone who has braces or sensitive teeth, can't bite into an apple, but want all nutritional benefits of apples.

Plus, this wholesome snack is naturally gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and vegetarian!

A large bowl of applesauce with a black and white dishtowel, apples, and cinnamon sticks.

More wholesome snacks

Muffins are terrific snacks and make a delicious, convenient breakfast. Try this Banana Oatmeal Muffins Recipe or Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins Recipe.

I love these Homemade Granola Bars as an on-the-go snack.

Baked Plantain Chips and sugar free Candied Pecans can be used in other recipes like trail mix or mixed into your popcorn.

Homemade Yogurt Bites and Greek Yogurt Popsicles are frozen treats that use yogurt.

You’ll love making these Homemade Peanut Butter Cups with the kids. And they can be made sugar free!

Yield: 6 SERVINGS

Homemade Applesauce (No Sugar Added)

A spoon of homemade applesauce with cinnamon over a bowl of applesauce with apples, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks in the background.

Learn how to make homemade applesauce no sugar added. This recipe for homemade applesauce no sugar takes 30 minutes to cook.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup 100% apple juice or 100% apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar substitute, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Clean and cut apples and add to a large pot.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples and toss to coat.
  3. Add juice, brown sugar, and spices.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until apples are tender.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Process the applesauce to the desired consistency with a potato masher, food processor, high-speed blender, or a hand blender.
  8. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
  9. Store in an airtight container or glass jar with a lid.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 89gFiber: 12gSugar: 70gProtein: 1g

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.

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