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The-Best-I’ve-Ever-Had Chunky Applesauce

This chunky applesauce recipe is so delicious, with notes of cinnamon and a hint of lemon. We never just make one batch–it’s that good!

chunky applesauce with cinnamon and lemon

We’ve got apples coming out our ears right now! Some are from our ridiculously productive dwarf 4-way apple. Some are from the farmer’s market. The best-tasting ones are actually from an orchard our friends gleaned!

I was planning on canning a little applesauce and a little pie filling, but while blog hopping a few weeks ago I found a recipe for chunky applesauce that looked beautiful and sounded like it would be delicious. I ate a whole quart of it by myself yesterday, and I think it has forever ruined regular applesauce. I’m going to make as much of it as I can!

We love this chunky applesauce recipe. It's perfect for canning.

We have a short list of things we make and preserve during apple season: chewy apple leather, spice-filled apple pies that we put in the freezer, dried apple rings, and now this absolutely divine chunky applesauce, scented with cinnamon, lemon, and sweet brown sugar. No matter how many jars we make, they don’t stick around for long!

chunky applesauce with cinnamon and lemon

Chunky Applesauce

Yield: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This chunky applesauce recipe is so delicious, with notes of cinnamon and a hint of lemon. We never just make one batch--it's that good! If you'd rather skip the canning part, you can just make the applesauce, eat as much as you can, and refrigerate the leftovers, covered, for a couple of days.

This recipe is lightly adapted from one on The Farmer's Wife blog.


  • 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 big strips of lemon peel
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


    1. Combine all ingredients in a pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are soft, 20-30 minutes.
    2. Remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Mash apples with a potato masher until desired chunkiness is reached.
    3. Ladle hot applesauce into hot, sterilized quart jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Get out the air bubbles and wipe the rim of each jar. Put on hot, sterilized lids and rings.
    4. Process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.


If you've never canned anything before, get up to speed with these canning tips from Ball.

44 thoughts on “The-Best-I’ve-Ever-Had Chunky Applesauce

  1. this applesauce is a keeper!!!! I too am in love with that green I can not stop staring at that dress…..that green came out so well take a look at new collection on freespirit site under retail put in the word designer in both boxes…and thanks for stopping

    1. Hi Sheryl! I haven’t tried it with less sugar. You could certainly experiment with it and find the amount that you like best. xoxo

    1. Hi Donna! The recipe as it is written is for jarred applesauce processed in a hot water bath, and is shelf-stable. If you want to freeze it instead, I would ladle the applesauce into freezer-safe containers and freeze it until needed! I’ve never tried that, so I don’t know how long it would keep in the freezer, but you can always try it. Good luck!

      1. I always freeze my homemade apple sauce instead of canning (I’m secretly afraid of canning). It keeps for at least 7 months and thaws beautifully. It may keep longer, but we always eat it before finding out!

          1. Hi Autumn. I haven’t tried freezing it, but I think you would cool it first, put it in mason jars or whatever freezer-safe containers you wanted to use, then put them in the freezer.

          2. I always freeze mine. I make it similar to the recipe above. I cook it about 15 minutes and then add cinnamon and sugar and mash with potaoe masher (we like chunky). I go to the farmers mkt. and/or to the mountains and buy a bushel of apples of different varietys for my applesauce. It keeps in the freezer for 12+ months, although it roughly gets all gone before the end of a year. Grandkids go nuts for this.

  2. My grandmother used to make an apple pie that was heavenly, of course no one got her recipe. I am almost sure she must have used something like this applesauce to make the pie,going to give it a try.

    1. Good Luck, Alice! It is really delicious; hopefully it will be close to what you’re looking for!

  3. I have made homemade applesauce for my granddaughter, who loves it! I am going to try this recipe and canning method. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi, it was suggested to me to add red hots to appleaauce as it’s being canned. Have you ever tried that? Would you suggest reducing the amount of cinnamon if this is done? Thank you

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’ve never tried that, but you are welcome to give it a go! I would definitely decrease the cinnamon, I’m just not sure how much to tell you to decrease it by. I bet it will give it a nice, rosy color!

    1. I think it really comes down to personal preference! I like apples with a nice blend of sweet and tart, like Honeycrisp, for flavor. Softer apples like Golden Delicious cook down into a nice, smooth sauce, but I don’t love their flavor by themselves. A combination of apples is a great idea.

    1. Hi Andrea! I’ve never made it in pint jars, so I’m not sure what the time would be for that size. Probably less, but I’m not sure how much less.

  5. I just made NO SUGAR applesauce by doing about 1/2 jonathans and 1/2 Honey Crisp (2 bags, probably about 8 lb). I love it.

    Core and peel, add to large dutch oven with about 1-2 cups apple cider, 1 t-1T apple pie spice (to however you like it). I didn’t measure, just sprinkled over. I used enough apple cider to cover halfway up the pan. Then cook about 20-30 min until apples are soft, mash, and then can or freeze as usual. I’m canning it today, think I’ll get about 4 qts from this.

    1. It sounds delicious, Diane! My husband made applesauce over the weekend with nothing but apples, and then turned it into apple leather in our dehydrator. Delicious!

  6. Love this recipe. But save yourself some time and don’t bother peeling your apples. I have made this twice without peeling the apples and used an immersion blender to break up the peels (which were falling apart by the end of cooking time), but a potato masher would also work fine!

    1. The jar size dictates how long you process the jars for in the water bath canner. Smaller jars = less processing time, although I don’t know how much time to tell you to do for 1-cup jars! You can just do it for the regular amount of time to be safe.

  7. I love this apple sauce! My mother and grandmother used to make it just like this. I have been making it for my kids throughout the years (33) (30) & (17) and now I am making it for my grandkids. I usually use Golden Delicious but this time I used Mutsu that I got from a nearby orchard. Very good apples! I used a peck bag (10 lbs) and got 7 pints and a little left over that I put in a bowl for dinner ?

  8. I just canned your applesauce and, of course, my husband and I each enjoyed a bowl! It’s delicious and such a well written and easy to follow recipe too! Thank you s much!

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