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Once you make my Slow Cooker Applesauce, you will never want to buy applesauce from a jar again! It comes together in minutes, and your crock pot does all the work. My homemade applesauce is like apple pie in a jar!
Easiest Slow Cooker Applesauce
Living in Florida, I’ve never had the chance to pick apples with my kids, but I’ve always loved the idea. Picking fruit with your family is a great way to teach your kids how to use fresh, seasonal ingredients, and it’s so much fun!
The best part about picking fresh fruit is using it in recipes, and my homemade applesauce is the perfect dish for making with freshly picked apples. If you’ve picked apples recently, or just want to taste some good old-fashioned comfort food, crockpot applesauce is the way to go.
My favorite thing about this slow cooker recipe is that you can make it overnight while you’re sleeping, or during the day while at work, without having to worry about it at all.
Not to mention the secret ingredient: apple pie spice! A little dash of apple pie spice adds a comforting quality to my homemade applesauce that makes it taste like apple pie in a jar. Seriously! It doesn’t get any better than that.
Before using old apples to make applesauce, cut away any bruised parts of the apple.
To make homemade applesauce on the stove, combine all ingredients in a large pot and cover and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes is up, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 2 hours. Finally, transfer apples to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Homemade applesauce lasts up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or longer if canned or frozen.
Allow freshly made applesauce to cool, then transfer to freezer bags. Label with the date and store flat in the freezer for up to 6-9 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Applesauce can be frozen in mason jars if at least 1½ inches of space is left at the top of the jar to leave room for the liquid to expand.
Best Apples for Applesauce
- Red Delicious – sweet flavor with a crumbly texture
- McIntosh – soft flesh, juicy, fresh, sweet and bright
- Honeycrisp – extremely juicy, sweet, and crunchy
- Pink Lady – mild flavor with lots of crunch
- Golden Delicious – mild and sweet, with juicy flesh, similar in taste to Red Delicious
- Gala – crisp, juicy, and fairly sweet
- Granny Smith – tart and crisp
- Fuji – dense, crisp and very sweet
- Braeburn – a balance of sweet and tart
If you’re not planning on adding any sugar to your applesauce, choose apples that are more sweet than tart like Fuji, Gala, McIntosh, or Golden Delicious. For this particular recipe, I used a mixture of apples, including Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh.
I added brown sugar to sweeten the sauce. Spices are optional, if you want to stick with a plain but classic apple sauce. And if you’re up for it, a little bit of homemade apple pie spice can really kick things up a notch.
How to Prepare Apples for Applesauce
Prepare the apples for slow cooking by washing, peeling, and slicing into thin slices between ¼ an inch to ½ an inch. Cut around the core, then discard it.
You don’t have to worry about cutting them super even, and a little bit of peel left is okay, too. The slow cooker will take care of all that for you.
How to make Applesauce
- Wash, peel, and core the apples, then cut into ¼” to ½” slices.
- Add sliced apples and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Give it a quick mix, then cook on low for at least 6 hours to up to 10 hours.
- Mash the applesauce with a spoon for a slightly chunky sauce.
Or, process in a food processor for a smoother consistency.
- Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
It takes about 6 hours in a crockpot on low to soften and turn the apples into applesauce. But with a crockpot set on low, you don’t have to worry about burning your apples or scorching your pan while you’re doing other things. If you leave it longer, the mixture will just continue to cook and thicken slightly into almost an apple butter.
- Cook the apples with the lid on the slow cooker the entire time to keep the liquid from evaporating. This will thicken the sauce into an apple butter.
- Once done, the apple pieces should be soft enough that you can just mush them with a wooden spoon and keep it just like that for chunky applesauce.
- If you prefer a smooth applesauce, use a food processor for a super smooth texture and an apple-butter-like sauce.
What to Serve with Applesauce
This slow cooker applesauce is super versatile and beyond being a sweet treat, try serving this with some of our savory recipes using applesauce as well!
- Best Sous Vide Pork Chops with Bacon
- Grilled Baby Back Ribs
- Easy Baked Pork Chops with Apples
- Best Grilled Pork Butt Recipe
- Buttermilk Scones
Best Apple Desserts
Try these recipes using apples…
- Apple Dump Cake with Fresh Apples
- Ina Garten Apple Crisp
- How to Make Candied Apples
- Sliced Baked Apples
- Caramel Apple Empanadas
Did you try my slow cooker applesauce? Let me know what you think in the comments below and with a rating! I love to hear from you.
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Best Slow Cooker Applesauce Recipe
- 3½ lbs apples 8 medium apples
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- ¼ cup brown sugar more to taste
- Wash, peel, core the apples and cut into ¼” to ½” slices.3½ lbs apples
- Add sliced apple and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker, give it a quick mix and cook on low for 6 hours and up to 10 hours.½ teaspoon orange zest, 1 Tablespoon orange juice, 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, ¼ cup brown sugar
- At this point the apple should be very soft that you can mash it with a spoon to get a slightly chunky sauce.
- For a smoother consistency, transfer to a food processor and blend.
- Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
Photography by Trang Doan.