This Slow Cooker Applesauce is absolutely, positively the easiest you will ever make. It’s just four simple ingredients and freezes well, so you can have a healthy snack whenever you like.
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Whether it’s snack time at home, a side dish for school lunch or a dessert (try adding a bit of vanilla extract and serving it alongside No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream), this recipe has you covered. But I have to warn you: Once you go the homemade route, the store-bought alternative won’t stand a chance.
As I mentioned before, this recipe requires just 4 ingredients—or 3, if you omit the sugar (the natural sweetness of apples means additional sugar isn’t required). The hardest part about this recipe is waiting while the slow cooker does its thing. In fact, the first time I made this recipe I found myself hovering over the appliance, spoon in hand, fetching bite after bite of warm applesauce before it even made it to the bowl.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Minimal ingredients. With just a handful of ingredients, this cinnamon applesauce will keep your shopping list minimal.
- Hands-off. After adding your ingredients to the slow cooker, you just have to wait around while things cook. Set it and forget it at its finest!
- Freezer-friendly. It will keep in the freezer for about 6 months.
- Apples: You’ll use 12 apples for this recipe—the perfect use for your apple-picking stash.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon and apples are a dynamic duo (does anyone else just love apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon?). So, it makes sense to add the spice here!
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds acidity and makes the entire thing taste brighter and sweeter.
- Sugar: Sugar is optional here. If you do choose to add it, you can use granulated or brown sugar or even maple syrup.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Prepare the apples. Peel, core and cut the apples into 8 pieces each.
- Add the ingredients to the slow cooker. Add the apples, cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar (if using) to the slow cooker. Stir until everything is coated.
- Cook. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. Once the apples are tender, mash them with a fork (or a potato masher). Taste and add more cinnamon if you desire.
- Serve. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Pro Tip: For smooth applesauce, you can puree it in a blender or food processor or with an immersion blender after cooking.
- Choose the Right Apples: The best apples for this recipe are Honey Crisp, Gala and Fuji. Opt for a mix of all three varieties for the best blend of flavors.
- Select Your Sweetness: The apples provide natural sweetness, so there’s no need to add additional sugar. Feel free to customize the sweetness to your personal preferences. (Use more! Use none! It’s totally up to you.)
- Low and Slow: If you’re looking to let the applesauce go all day (perhaps while you’re at work!) you can cook it on LOW for 7 to 8 hours.
You can store applesauce in an airtight container for 1 week.
You can also freeze it. Kept in an airtight container, it will keep for up to 6 months. Just let it thaw in the fridge overnight before eating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most apples will be fine. The only apple to really avoid is Red Delicious, since it will become too mushy when cooked and doesn’t have as much sweetness as other varieties.
You can overcook applesauce (it loses some of its sweetness and can also dry out). However, because a slow cooker uses gentler heat and a moist environment, it’s harder to overcook things.
You don’t have to peel apples actually. You can absolutely leave the peels on—it will just make for a more rustic result! The apple’s red skins can also add color as they cook down.
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- 12 apples (See Kelly’s Note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons sugar (optional)
- Peel, core and cut the apples into 8 pieces each.
- Add the apples, cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar to a slow cooker, stirring until the apples are thoroughly coated.
- Cook the apples on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. Once the apples are very tender, mash them with a fork until your reach your desired consistency. (For extra-smooth applesauce, purée the cooked apples in batches in a blender.) Taste and season with additional cinnamon as desired.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- The best apples for this recipe are Honey Crisp, Gala and Fuji. Opt for a mix of all three varieties for the best blend of flavors.
- The apples provide natural sweetness, so there’s no need to add additional sugar. Feel free to customize the sweetness to your personal preferences. (Use more! Use none! It’s totally up to you.)
- If you’re looking to let the applesauce go all day (perhaps while you’re at work!) you can cook it on LOW for 7 to 8 hours.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not republish this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.