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black bowl of chunky apple sauce
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4.77 from 13 votes

Chunky Apple Sauce (No Peeling Needed!)

This homemade chunky apple sauce is a yummy, no-fuss, healthy comfort food. Just 3 main ingredients and easy to make to suit your tastes - semi smooth, with or without peels, sweet, tart, even low or no sugar.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Condiment, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings (change as needed): 6
Author: Cheryl


  • 6 cups cored, chopped apples (Note 1). I leave peels on. (about 2 1/4 pounds/1 kg or 5 medium apples).
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) brown sugar (or more if apples are tart)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)

Optional for added richness

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter


  • COOK APPLES: Place chopped apples, sugar and cinnamon in a medium or large saucepan. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes until apples are soft and tender.
  • FINISH APPLESAUCE: Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and butter if using. Taste and adjust as needed (e.g. add more sugar or cinnamon; add a few drops of lemon if too sweet.) Leave as is or crush apples with a fork or potato masher to get your perfect chunky consistency. If you like smoother texture (no longer chunky applesauce!), use an immersion blender.
    Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Different variety of apples to use: 
    • Sweet apples (so you can use less sugar): Golden Delicious, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, Ambrosia
    • Tart apples: Cortland, Granny Smith apples, Pink Lady, Empire, McIntosh (MacIntosh tend to break down into sauce, so if you prefer all chunky, leave them out). 
  2. Other variations
    • Sweet or tart
      • Depending on the sweetness or tartness of your apples, add more or less sugar. Or squeeze in a little bit of fresh lemon juice to achieve the sweet-tart balance you like.
      • I prefer brown sugar but you can substitute white sugar or maple syrup if that's what you have on hand. 
    • For a chunky applesauce recipe no sugar
      • Choose a sweeter apple and add no sugar or use a sugar substitute like stevia.
    • Flavors
      • Try a pinch of nutmeg instead of or in addition to cinnamon. Or pumpkin spice.
      • Add extra cinnamon if you like.
      • For added richness, add a pad of butter and/or vanilla extract. 
  3. Make Ahead: Store chunky applesauce in the fridge for 7-10 days or freeze in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months. 
Nutrition values are estimates and include the optional butter and vanilla.
Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg