Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce Recipe

August 20, 2021

This delicious homemade Crock-Pot applesauce recipe is only three ingredients!

The first time I made this wonderful homemade applesauce, I thought it would be a long, laborious process involving smashing 25 apples by hand or something like that. I was OH so wrong.

My friend Cristina shared this easy Crock-Pot recipe with me years ago. When I asked how she made it, she was all, "Oh I just throw the apples in a pot with some cinnamon, it’s totally easy" and my mind was BLOWN.

I had no idea! So I did a little research and found she was totally right. (Not that I didn’t believe her of course.) You can make it even easier than I did -- check out some of my tips later in the post. 

This is my favorite recipe to make after a fall trip to the apple orchard! Here’s the recipe I use in my Crock-Pot – I throw it all in and have delicious applesauce a few hours later. 
See my tips for types of apples to use later in the post! 

Three ingredient homemade crockpot applesauce 

Ten to 12 apples -- peeled*, sliced, cored
1/2 cup sugar*

Jonathan apples crockpot applesauce

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The first step is the only one that takes time – peeling, coring and cutting up the apples. 

Thankfully I have an apple peeler/corer/slicer:
Peelota apple peeler slicer corer
This one is called the Peelota. Ha! I don't think they're made anymore, but this apple peeler is beautiful and will hold up even better than my plastic one.

easy apple slicer corer
It makes quick work of getting the apples cored and peeled. 
You do NOT have to peel apples for applesauce! It will turn out just as delicious with peels intact.

The apples looked like this when I was done peeling and slicing:
peeled and cored apples

I just cut the apples in half from the top. If you don’t have a peeler, you’ll want to slice them up or cut into large chunks.

This slicer/corer is super handy for cutting apples into easy pieces:
Handheld apple slicer/corer

What apples are best for applesauce?   

Almost any apple is fine! It depends on your preference -- sweet or tart? 
  • If you like tart apples go with a Granny Smith. 
  • I prefer sweeter sauce so always go with an apple like Jonathan, Fuji, Gala or Honeycrisp. 
  • Softer apples will cook up faster -- varieties like Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Fuji will make the process go quicker. 
  • Mix two or three varieties in homemade applesauce for great flavor!
Red Delicious apples don't heat well and will not turn out as well in applesauce.
All you do is dump the apples in the crockpot and sprinkle on as much cinnamon as you like:
simple crock pot applesauce
I add a couple dashes of nutmeg too -- YUM! 

The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, but I find you can use less and it's just as delicious. You may not even want to add it -- taste test the applesauce a couple hours in to see if you want to add some sweetness. 

No need to stir while cooking -- just pile them in, put the lid on and set the Crock-Pot to cook on high for four hours. If you like thinner applesauce, you can use a potato masher to mash out any chunks. 

The smell while these cook is AMAZING! Who needs candles? Just make applesauce every day!    

We like it chunky (name that movie) so I call it done after about four hours. If you like thinner applesauce, you can use a potato masher to mash out any chunks. 

Watch yours to see when to take it off of the heat: 
easy chunky applesauce recipe
It is especially delicious warm right out of the slow cooker. It's like a dessert really -- have you ever heated up your applesauce? 

Variations on this homemade applesauce recipe: 

  • Add more spices to give it a bit of a kick -- clove, allspice and my nutmeg addition are all perfect.
  • Pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice are also delicious! 
  • If it's too watery for your taste, strain the juice and keep for apple cider. (Add brown sugar, cook for a few more hours and then strain.)
  • Make this recipe much faster with a pressure cooker!
  • If your kids like to "dip" their foods, try it with cinnamon graham crackers.
This simple applesauce is SO GOOD and so easy:
Simple crockpot applesauce ingredients
And not too horrible for you either!

What to do with extra applesauce:

  • If you let it keep cooking and add brown sugar, you'll end up with slow cooker apple butter! 
  • Eat with vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert. 😋
  • Pile on warm crepes or waffles.
  • Use it to make donuts or apple bread (replace the pumpkin in this recipe with applesauce).
  • Jar the applesauce for lovely fall or holiday gifts.
  • Warm and add to the top of your oatmeal at breakfast. 
  • Use it instead of apple slices in my amazing Mountain Dew apple dumplings!:

There you go – have I blown your mind? Or all you all, duh Sarah…it’s totally easy. 

I really had no idea. Now go get some apples and cook it up! You will thank me. :) 

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  1. Sounds amazing! Is this something you could make a large batch of and then freeze?

    1. Yes! I'm planning on making even more next time. The batch I made isn't going as far as I thought it would!

  2. We made our own baby food back in the day and yes, you can freeze it.

  3. Hey Sarah, I'm so jealous you used that machine :( it's not fair! ;)
    So glad you did a little research cause my cooking abilities are really poor and now I know an even easier way to make it :)
    Thanks for the shout out.

  4. I'm totally going to make this and post it on my blog - of course, I'll give you all the credit!! :-)

  5. This looks so good, I need to make some. Hugs, Marty

  6. This is how I make my applesauces as well! Just peel, core, slice and dice and throw it in the crock pot. You can also add other spices such as pumpkin spice or star anise to give it a bit of a different flavor. If you use the star anise don't forget to fish it back out and throw it away. I make so much I can them! I also use the juice to make apple cider. You have me in the mood now, I'm off to the farmers market to buy a bushel of apples! Victoria

    1. You can use a mesh bag for the star anise so the "fishing out" will be easier!

  7. I made a big batch of homemade applesauce the other day. The recipe I used was close to the one you used. I ended up making mine in my big electric roaster because I had 12 pounds of apples. I cooked my applesauce on low for 24 hours and then used my hand blender to get rid of the chunks. I canned the applesauce in pint jars in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.

  8. We have an apple tree and we do the same thing every year! It gets eaten up FAST. It’s so good that one night my son chose applesauce for dessert over ice cream. Seriously. And I don’t blame him one bit! :-)

    1. You can also spoon the applesauce over the icecream so he can have the best of both worlds!

  9. Very good timing! I bought a bag of apples and then my mom brought me a huge bag from the farmers market yesterday. I just threw my bag in the crock pot. Thanks for the idea, no bad apples now!

  10. Cook it for a bit longer, add some brown sugar to that recipe and you'll have apple butter!

  11. This is how I make apple butter every year. Add a little light brown sugar and cinnamon, ginger and cloves (sparingly with clove) and put on lo or warm setting overnight or all day. Your house will smell like fall exploded. I have had people tell me it tastes just like the kind you make in a copper kettle!

  12. oh and you can can it, too!

  13. I don't even add sugar. I do send them through my Foley food mill, because I don't like it chunky. A big old' vat of fresh, warm applesauce is delightful and whispers of autumn. I'm about to get to it today and can a bunch more over here.

    1. I don't use any sugar either (just lots of cinnamon) and I put mine through my Foley too. I have never used my crockpot and I don't peel my apples either because I use my Foley. Wonder pink color. We love applesauce made with Jonathon apples.

  14. My kids made it at school in first grade. That's when I had my "wow. this is easy!" moment. They still love to make it now, but on the stove. I had the pampered chef one of those thingys, but you had to have really firm apples. I make applesauce out of the apples the kids disregard as bruised or mushy. The crockpot sounds easy too. I'm the only one here who likes chunky so I use the stick blender to smooth it out.

  15. I make mine the same way. I add the zest of a lemon for a little tartness. And I use brown sugar instead of white. So good!

  16. I just bought a a bunch of apples. I was going to make a cobbler with them, but your recipe has me thinking twice. Thanks for sharing this. My kids love applesauce. We'll have to try it warm.

  17. My kids LOVE applesauce but only if it is homemade. I spoiled them like that ;) Good thing it is so easy. I leave out the nutmeg (my son is allergic to all things nuts) and put some vanilla extract and some brown sugar in mine and it is SO yummy!

  18. I've made apple sauce with my baby cooker, too! Just steam, then puree. So easy! I used sweet varieties like pink lady so I didn't have to add any sugar since I was making it for a baby. Even without sugar, it is so delicious! If they have some sweet varieties next time, you might not even need sugar, just a little cinnamon! (However, we didn't even have to add that since fresh orchard apples are just so delicious on their own!)

  19. Looks delicious! In England my mum would serve hot applesauce over vanilla ice-cream. Sounds weird, but there's something about the cold ice cream with the hot apple sauce that goes really well together.

    1. OH my goodness, that is so weird you say that! I was thinking last night how good this would be with vanilla ice cream! And I'm not a big ice cream person but the hot with the cold sounded so good. Next time I'm trying it! :)

    2. My mom has been canning applesauce for over 70 years and we often have it over vanilla ice cream. Really yummy!

    3. This is just what I was going to say! Hot applesauce over vanilla ice cream is like the awesomest thing in the world!

  20. I love applesauce but don't have a crockpot. Must get one soon. I think I will omit the sugar and just use the cinnamon and nutmeg.
    I think I would like to go apple-picking, it's been a while for me, the last time was over 25 years ago

    1. It's very simple (and faster) to simmer the apples on the stove. Just add a touch of water and stir occasionally.

  21. Now you need to make apple butter. :) My Granny used to make it and give us jars for Christmas with some money taped on top. I never learned to make biscuits like hers, but Pillsbury comes close, and the combo is one of my favorites! :)

  22. I use a machine called a Victorio and it's sole purpose is to make sauces. You don't have to peel or core the apples. Just boil them and then put them in this machine while they are still hot and the crank the handle. The applesauce comes out one side and all the peel/seeds comes out the other side. It's amazing. We've used it for years. Also, many types of apples don't need added sugar but some do so we always test and add as we go (immediately after it comes out of the machine and is still piping hot) and our secret is to add cinnamon candies (red hots). Just a small handful per batch. It gives it a pretty pink color and gives a wonderful hint of cinnamon in the applesauce! Try it!

  23. Why didn't I think of this? I make applesauce every year (my parents in law have 1000 apple trees in their backyard. Really, it's their job) but I never used my crockpot for that. I know what to do, tomorrow :).

  24. I'm doing this today!!! And getting one of those doo dads. I've been wanting one for years and now I have a great excuse, as if apple pie isn't a great enough excuse! Can you tell me where you got that cool colander?

  25. This looks delicious and super easy. Thank you so much for sharing. Each Monday, I host a meatless meal link up. I would love it if you'd share this recipe with my readers. If you're interested, you can find my blog at www.LittlestSweetPea.com
    Thanks again!

  26. If you have a food mill (it has a hand crank and blade,) you don't even have to peel and core the apples! Just cut up, put in a large pot and season to taste. When it's done, just put through the food mill and the seeds and skin stay behind. Adding some pears can be tasty too!

  27. I take an even easier route.. partly through laziness and partly health (lots of vitamins in the skin!). I just rinse, quarter and take the cores out. The colour is a bit darker if you leave the skin on, but the taste and texture are fine. We eat them for breakfast with granola. Here in NZ our apple season is just starting to finish.. but it has been delicious!

  28. I made apple butter this way last weekend. I didn't peel the apples, just cored them. It was so yummy!

  29. I made apple butter in the crock pot with some left over apples- I thought it was going to make a few jars at least- I had three tiny little freezer containers- probably 1/4 cup in each one. wow, was I disappointed! Next time, I'll get a 20 pound bag and make it worthwhile! Or maybe not, I'm kinda' lazy. :)

  30. For years I have been making applesauce with a food mill which requires no peeling or coring. You get all the good nutrients of the apple and the applesauce comes out a lovely pink! My grandmother taught me to do this and I always use Jonathans (which are hard to come by in AZ). Try without any sugar, I always find it comes out plenty sweet. It freezes very well. Doesn't it make you wonder why anyone would buy applesauce? Yay Fall!

  31. I LOVE homemade applesauce! The house smells AMAZING when it's cooking and it's such a treat when it's done :) We had an abundance of apples recently and had an Apple Tasting Picnic where we tried several varieties with a Greek yogurt & Peanut butter dip (seriously SOOO good!)- such a fun fall activity! :)

  32. Yumm! I've been making apple sauce for the last couple weeks. Here's another twist to try... 7 - 10 apples, peel, core and slice, put in crock or on stove top with 1/2 cup water. Boil down for 15 -n 25 min. When soft and mushy add a heaping Tablespoon of honey and a heaping Tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir together and put through the food processor to blend. Place in canning jars or any container, we eat it up so fast that I haven't had to hot bath it. So good!

  33. Yum! That looks simply divine!!


  34. Sounds interesting; Ima try this method.

    I do the Victorio strainer method. Gala apples are what I've used for several years now, and they do not need sugar. At least in this family's opinion. :)


  35. how long do you cook it in the crock pot?

  36. Made this a couple of days ago and it was very good. I did add a little brown sugar along with white sugar and in my opinion tasted wayyyyyy better the next day. Unfortunately I am the only one in the house that likes applesauce.

  37. I love applesauce. This would be a great way to know exactly what is in my sauce. I'm stopping by from Marvelous Monday & I'm a new follower through Twitter. I hope you've had a great day!

  38. Made this for Thanksgiving! It was so easy and everyone loved it! Pinned your post:)

  39. Love homemade applesauce and this looks amazing! Can't wait to give it a try :-)

  40. Trying this recipe right now with apples I picked at the orchard. My first time ever making applesauce so wish me luck!

  41. The easiest and quickest way to make applesauce is in the microwave. In a microwave safe bowl add peeled, cored and sliced apples. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave 6-10 mins., depending on the amount of apples and the power of your microwave. Stir or use a potato masher, add brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.

  42. I have never thought to make applesauce in the crockpot. This is a game changer!

  43. Sarah, I had no idea that making applesauce was this simple! I can't wait to go NC apple picking soon. Great to have you with us this week!


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