Applesauce is super easy to make from scratch with a slow cooker. Toss in apples and a bit of water. A few hours later, give it a stir and season to taste with cinnamon and sugar. It’s that easy!
Growing up I wasn’t too fond of applesauce. Usually, Mom purchased the jarred variety and I wasn’t crazy about the texture. It wasn’t until I was in college that I tasted the real deal.
I had broken my jaw and couldn’t eat solid foods for about six weeks. At the time, I worked for the university catering company. A co-worker came by with homemade applesauce. I was stunned. It was so good!
It definitely made my newfound “diet” a little easier to swallow. Well, that was just the beginning. My friend had opened a whole new world for enjoying apples. And you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make!
How do you make homemade applesauce in the slow cooker?
Making applesauce in the slow cooker is super easy and hands-free. This delicious, lightly sweetened applesauce practically cooks itself, freeing you up to do other things.
- Peel, quarter, and seed your apples. Check out these ways to slice an apple to make the process easier.
- Pile them in the crock of a slow cooker and add 1 cup water.
- Cook until the apples start to disintegrate and foam, 2 to 4 hours.
- Remove the lid, and stir the mixture down.
- If needed, break up larger bits with a spoon or potato masher. You can also blend the sauce with an immersion blender for a smoother puree.
- Season to taste with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Serve the applesauce hot, warm, or cold.
- Store leftover applesauce in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for longer storage.
What can you do with slow cooker applesauce?
Homemade applesauce is delicious as a snack or side dish, but you can also use it in recipes, such as these:
- Cinnamon Applesauce Waffles
- Chocolate Oat Breakfast Cakes
- Applesauce Walnut Bread with Cinnamon Orange Glaze
- Raspberry Baked Oatmeal (Freezer-Friendly)
- Easy Apple Turnovers
- Cinnamon Apple Oat Cakes
- Breakfast Cookies
- Simplest Apple Sorbet
What apples should you use for applesauce?
Not all apple varieties are created equal. In fact, some are better for eating fresh while some are best for cooking. And some, you guessed it, are better for making applesauce.
I learned this the hard way when I made applesauce with apples that weren’t for saucing. They practically disintegrated when cooking. There was hardly anything left!
Be sure to use apples that are suited for slow cooker applesauce, such as:
- Granny Smith (pictured for this recipe)
- Pink Lady
- Golden Delicious
DO NOT USE: Red Delicious.
Is it cheaper to make your own applesauce?
Homemade applesauce can be a lot more affordable than purchased applesauce, especially when you can find the apples for free or cheap. Be sure to ask your local apple grower if they’ve got “seconds.” These not-so-pretty apples are just fine for saucing, just not that pretty for other uses.
There are 2 to 3 apples per pound. Here’s how this recipe pencils out when you can buy apples for $1/pound or less:
- 6.5 pounds of apples (about 16 medium) = $6.40
- brown sugar = $0.09
It costs about $6.49 to make 10 cups of sauce, or 80 oz. That works out to be about $0.08/ounce.
The cheap (read: not very tasty) brand of applesauce at the store also costs $0.08/ounce. Price-wise, it’s a wash, but the flavor of homemade applesauce can’t be beat.
If you can get your apples for less than $1/pound, you will come out the winner on both counts.
Can you freeze slow cooker applesauce?
Slow cooker applesauce is great to freeze! Simply chill the sauce, divide into 1- or 2- cup freezer-safe containers, label and date the containers, and stash them in the freezer.
To serve: just thaw and eat. My kids love having it in that slightly slushy stage. Such a fun, easy dessert!
Slow Cooker Applesauce
- 16 apple peeled, cored and cut into quarters
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup brown sugar optional
- ground cinnamon to taste optional
- Place the apples and water in the crock of a slow cooker. Cover.
- Cook on HIGH for about 4 hours or on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. The apples have softened and darkened slightly.
- Mash the apples with a potato masher to the desired consistency. Stir in brown sugar and season to taste with cinnamon, if desired.
- Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
This post was originally published February 1, 2010. It has been updated for content and clarity.
I used gala apples and added some honey and cinnamon. YUM! Where have you been all my life?
Unlike others who have posted I grew up on homemade applesauce. With 2 apple trees my mom made apple pies and apple dumplings all fall. And she canned enough applesauce to last until the next year. She cooked it on the stovetop and probably used more sugar than most. One thing she did was cook the apples cored but with the peel on. She used a metal thing with holes and a wood pestle to separate the cooked apple from the peel. This made the prettiest pink applesauce that was so delicious
I love that strategy. My friend Kate makes it with the peels and then blends it with an immersion blender. I can rarely get organic apples, but will try it that way next time I do. Thanks!
My granny and I would get up after Papaw went to bed, warm us some applesauce and put a small tab of butter on top to melt. She’s been gone for 14 years now, but I remember the whole sneaking out of bed and being quiet as a mouse, like it was yesterday!
We’re vegan and go through a lot of applesauce. I’ve been thinking about making it myself and canning. I’ll give this recipe a go today, getting the kids involved too. Thanks!
How much does this make? I know apples are all different sizes, so an approximation is fine.
It’s going to depend on the type of apple because some cook down more than others. I’d say that if you fill the pot, then it’ll will be about 2/3 that amount in sauce when it’s done.
I made this last night. I used 10 Braeburns (~2.5″ each), 2 red delicious and 3 small Galas (~2″ each). It made 6 cups.
Ooohhh, this is a definite one to try! Task to add to today’s list: Get More Apples!
Can this recipe be canned?
@RG, I haven’t done it, but I plan to. I don’t see why you can’t.
I am very excited as I have just bought a new freezer! I am keen to get cooking, but just had a query before I start. I was wondering how you freeze your apple sauce? Do you put it in ziplocks or into containers? I was thinking it would be a great afternoon tea snack for my kids. I am just not sure which container would be best to freeze it in, for individual portions? Any suggestions? Thanks!
@Fleur, I typically use 2-cup containers. Cool the sauce to room temp and then chill in the fridge before you freeze. My kids like it almost slushy, not fully thawed. Good luck!
Jenn @ TheKishie's Kitchen
You have brown sugar as optional. Do you think I can add it? I’m thinking of making a big batch and using half for snacks and the other half for baking–the latter is probably best unsweetened. Thanks!
It’s a personal preference in my mind. Really depends on your apples. A tart apple, like Granny Smith, may need it.
Kristy @ Almost on Purpose
Like you, I was not fond of jarred applesauce. I had NO idea how amazing homemade applesauce could be, until I started making homemade baby food for my youngest (about 4 yrs ago). I like mine a bit more simple with just some ginger and cinnamon. The ginger is extra calming to an upset tummy. Every time I eat it, it reminds me of apple pie. I haven’t made a huge batch in the crockpot before. My boys go through it so quickly that I really should make a ton of it and freeze it.
I was brought to this recipe from Pinterest but I want the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup recipe that someone else mentioned in a comment. I tried to search the website and didn’t find it. Is that still available on the site? Thanks!
You’d have to show me the pinterest link. I don’t have a greek lemon chicken soup, so but it may have been linked to one of my recipe round-ups?
@Jessica, I clicked on the applesauce recipe on Pinterest but someone commented above about the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. Oh well, it just sounded good…I’ll have to google it. I am going to try the apple sauce though…thanks for the reply!!
@Joann, I see what you mean now that I’m looking in the above string. I think that she just got me confused with someone else and I must not have had time to respond to the comment.
mmm!! Thanks for the recipe! I have it in the crock pot right now, I added cinnamon and I can’t wait to serve it to the kiddos when they wake up from their nap soon! =)
I’m on my second batch. We loved the first one so much and I have a plethora of apples right now! 🙂 Thanks for such an easy recipe. Oh, and I meant to tell you, your Greek Lemon Chicken Soup recipe that you posted ages ago is now one of my favorite soups! So double thanks! lol
Do you have a preference with the apples you use? I have read that some people mix the varieties for better flavor. Thanks it looks awesome!
I usually do granny smith, braeburn, or gravenstein.
I am going to try this one next week. How do you freeze it? Just in a freezer bag? Does it change being frozen?
@Claire, my kids prefer it frozen. I just freeze it in 2 cup containers.
Have this in the crockpot right now, and it smells wonderful!
Ok, so I am 6 months along wit my 2nd child and have been having some SERIOUS apple cravings. That looks amazing, and I am seriously contemplating leaving my house right now to buy some MORE apples. Great post!