Recipes / Applesauce


By The Editors

Published January 19, 2024

Most people think of applesauce as sweet, but I prefer a neutral approach that allows for savory seasonings. See the list that follows for some ideas.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
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A food mill is the easiest way to go and produces the best applesauce, because the peels lend both their flavor and color, and there’s no need to do the up-front work: If you don’t have one, you must core and peel the apples before cooking.

Make as much applesauce as your time and the size of your pot allow by doubling or tripling the quantity. Applesauce freezes well and is handy when packed in small containers.

Other fruits you can use: pear, peach, quince.


Make The Recipe!


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Makes about 2 quarts 1x

Time about 1 hour, mostly unattended

Units Scale


  • 5 pounds apples (preferably a mixture of varieties)
  • Salt


  1. Cut the apples in half or, if they’re very large, in quarters. If you don’t have a food mill, peel and core them. Put about 1/2 inch water and a pinch salt in a large pot and add the apples. Cover and turn the heat to medium.
  2. When the water begins to boil, uncover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat if the mixture threatens to burn on the bottom, until the apples break down and become mushy, at least 30 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  3. If you have a food mill, pass the mixture through it, discarding the solids that stay behind. If not, mash if you like with a fork or potato masher. Freeze or refrigerate.

9 Flavorings for Applesauce:
Just put any of the following ingredients into the pot along with the apples. Start with a teaspoon or so per 5 pounds apples, then taste and add a teaspoon at a time as needed.

1. Black pepper
2. Ground cumin, coriander, or caraway seeds
3. Minced fresh chile (like jalapeño or Thai), red chile flakes, or cayenne
4. Chipotle chiles, dried, or canned, with a little of the adobo sauce
5. Chopped fresh ginger (good with savory or sweet)
6. Roasted Garlic
7. Any spice blend
8. Granulated or brown sugar
9. A little grating of nutmeg, or ground cloves or allspice

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition

Recipe variations

Peel-On Applesauce:
More fiber, and with red apples, you’ll get a slight rosy color, too. Core the apples without peeling in Step 1, then cut them into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Proceed with the recipe, mashing them as described in Step 3.