As autumn rolls around and apple season begins, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of making your own homemade applesauce. Whether you have a bountiful apple tree in your backyard or you’ve recently gone apple picking at your local orchard, this no-sugar-added applesauce recipe is a fantastic way to put those apples to good use. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of making and canning no sugar applesauce, perfect for enjoying throughout the year. We’ll also touch on various equipment, apple varieties, and tips for successful home canning.

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no sugar applesauce recipe in a bowl with apples in the background
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Ingredients and Equipment You’ll Need for No-Sugar Applesauce Canning Recipe:


The type of apple you choose is crucial. While some people prefer sweeter varieties like Fuji, Golden Delicious, or Red Delicious, others may opt for tart apples like Granny Smith. Experiment to find your favorite flavor. I personally like the more tart apples for making applesauce. I feel like they give it a deeper flavor.

Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice not only adds a zesty kick to your applesauce but also helps preserve its color and flavor.


Cinnamon is optional, but makes is such a delightful compliment to homemade applesauce. It also helps regulate blood sugar, so adding it into a sweet treat like applesauce is helpful for those who are worried about a spike!


A small amount of water could be needed for cooking the apples and canning. This is optional, however depends completely on the water content in the apples. If you are using mealier apples, you will definitely want to add some water to prevent scorching.

Water Bath Canner:

This is essential for safe home canning.

Pint or Quart Jars:

The jar size is your choice. Pint jars are great for smaller quantities, while quart jars are ideal for family-sized portions. I tend to use mostly quart size jars but keep a few sanitized pint size jars nearby for the extra sauce.

Jar Lifter:

A handy tool for safely handling hot jars during the canning process.

Food Mill, Food Processor, or Immersion Blender:

These are all suitable tools for blending your cooked apples into a smooth applesauce. The choice is yours based on your preference and equipment availability. Even a potato masher will do.

Large Pot:

To cook the apples and create applesauce.

Canning Funnel:

For easy and mess-free jar filling.

Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer:

This tool is totally optional, but saves so much time chopping apples. It’s a game changer and the kids LOVE to help with it.

NEW unused canning lids:

You cannot use previously used canning lids, they will not create a successful seal.

Instructions for No-Sugar Applesauce Canning Recipe:

Prepare Your Apples:

Wash, peel, and core your apples. If you have an apple peeler, this tool can save you a lot of time. Remove any bad spots or bruised areas. Once your apples are prepared, save your skins and cores for making Apple Cider Vinegar!

apple peeler slicer corer with a bowl of apple slices

Cook the Apples:

Place the prepared apples in a large pot with a small amount of water, around 1/2 cup for a few pounds of apples. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and easily mashable. This can take around 20-30 minutes.

apples for no sugar applesauce recipe being cooked in a large stock pot

Blend Your Apples:

Use an immersion blender to turn your cooked apples into a smooth applesauce. If you prefer chunky applesauce, use a potato masher.

no sugar applesauce recipe blended in a stock pot

Add Lemon Juice:

Stir in lemon juice to taste. This adds a refreshing tang and helps preserve the color.

Fill the Jars:

Using a canning funnel, carefully ladle the applesauce into hot jars, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace at the top.

Remove Air Bubbles:

Slide a non-metallic utensil (like a plastic or wooden chopstick) around the inside of the jar to remove any trapped air bubbles.

Wipe the Jar Rims:

Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars to ensure a good seal.

Apply Lids:

Place a new lid on each jar and screw on the ring until it’s fingertip tight.

Water Bath Canning:

Place the jars in a boiling water canner with enough water to cover them by at least one inch. Follow the guidelines in the Ball Blue Book or from your local canning authority for processing time based on jar size. We usually boil them in the water bath canner for 20-30 minutes.

no sugar applesauce recipe canning in canning jars on butcher block countertop

Cool and Store:

Once processed, use your jar lifter to remove the jars and place them on a clean towel or cooling rack. Let them cool to room temperature before checking for sealed lids. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and consumed promptly.

Choosing Apple Varieties for No-Sugar Applesauce Canning Recipe:

apple for no sugar applesauce recipe on top of a canning jar with water droplets

Selecting the right apple varieties is crucial when making applesauce. While personal preferences play a significant role in determining your favorite, there are certain apple types that are particularly well-suited for creating the best applesauce. Here are some of the top apple varieties to consider for your homemade applesauce:


McIntosh apples are a popular choice for applesauce due to their sweet and slightly tart flavor. They break down easily during cooking, resulting in a smooth and creamy applesauce.


Jonagold apples are known for their sweet-tart flavor and firm texture, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer chunkier applesauce with a balance of sweetness and tang.


Cortland apples are another ideal option for applesauce. They have a mildly sweet flavor and are known for their white, crisp flesh that holds up well during cooking.


Gala apples have a sweet and mellow flavor, which works beautifully in unsweetened applesauce. Their thin skin is easy to peel, and their natural sweetness reduces the need for added sugar.


Fuji apples are sweet and firm, making them perfect for a smooth and naturally sweet applesauce. They have a pleasing, honey-like flavor that can enhance your applesauce without extra sugar.

Golden Delicious:

Golden Delicious apples are named appropriately; they have a sweet, golden flesh that cooks down into a smooth and sweet applesauce. They are often used in combination with other varieties to create a well-balanced flavor.

Granny Smith:

If you prefer a tart and tangy applesauce like we do, Granny Smith apples are the way to go. Their crisp texture and intense tartness add a unique zing to your applesauce.


Empire apples offer a harmonious blend of sweet and tart flavors. They hold their shape well during cooking, resulting in a chunky applesauce with a balanced taste.


Honeycrisp apples are renowned for their sweet, juicy, and slightly tart taste. They are excellent for making a naturally sweet, chunky applesauce. Although unless you’ve got access to an abundant Honeycrisp tree, the price point on making applesauce out of these usually isn’t worth it!


Braeburn apples have a sweet-tart flavor and firm texture that makes them a versatile choice for applesauce, offering both a pleasant taste and texture.

Remember that the best apple variety for making applesauce ultimately depends on your personal taste preferences. You can also experiment with combinations of different apple types to create a unique and well-balanced flavor profile. Whether you prefer sweet, tart, smooth, or chunky applesauce, there’s an apple variety that’s perfect for your homemade creation.

no sugar applesauce recipe canned with a bowl of apples next to the jars from overhead

Why You’ll Love This No-Sugar Applesauce Canning Recipe:

Unsweetened applesauce is more than just a delightful treat; it’s a healthy and versatile addition to your homesteading pantry. Here are several reasons why you’ll fall in love with this wholesome alternative:

Healthier Choice:

Traditional store-bought applesauce often contains added sugar, which can contribute to unnecessary calories and an increased risk of dental issues. Sugar-free applesauce allows you to enjoy the natural sweetness of apples without the drawbacks of added sugars.

Control Over Ingredients:

Making your own sugar-free applesauce recipe means you have complete control over the ingredients. You can choose the best apple variety to suit your taste, ensuring that your applesauce is as sweet or tart as you desire. We love adding cinnamon!

Suitable for Dietary Restrictions:

For individuals with dietary restrictions, such as diabetes or those following a low-carb diet, sugar-free applesauce is a fantastic option. It provides a sweet, fruity flavor without causing spikes in blood sugar levels.

Versatile Ingredient:

Sugar-free applesauce can be used in a wide range of recipes. It’s a natural sweetener in baking, a delicious topping for oatmeal or yogurt, and a flavorful ingredient in savory dishes like pork roasts and barbecue sauces. It’s also a great substitute for sugar in various recipes. Try it with our Sourdough pie crust for an excellent apple pie or as a filling in our sourdough crepes!

Perfect for Canning:

When you can your own sugar-free applesauce, you can enjoy the taste of apple season throughout the year. The canning process preserves the freshness and flavor of the apples, ensuring that you have a supply of this tasty, healthy condiment on hand whenever you need it.

Kid-Friendly Snack:

This no-sugar applesauce recipe is a parent’s dream snack for kids. It’s a delicious and nutritious choice that children love, and it’s ideal for lunchboxes, after-school snacks, or a side dish at dinnertime.

Customizable Flavor:

While the natural sweetness of apples is often sufficient, you can enhance the flavor of your sugar-free applesauce with a touch of lemon juice, cinnamon, or even a drizzle of maple syrup if you prefer. This allows you to tailor your applesauce to your personal taste.

No Hidden Preservatives:

Store-bought applesauce often contains preservatives and artificial ingredients to extend its shelf life. When you make your own, you can be confident that your applesauce is free from these unnecessary additives.

This homemade, no-sugar applesauce recipe is a fantastic side dish, snack, or ingredient for various recipes, from apple pie to apple crisp. Making and canning your own applesauce is not only a great way to preserve the bounty of apple season but also to enjoy your own delicious recipes throughout the year. With the right tools, a variety of apple choices, and a little bit of patience, you can create the best applesauce right in your own kitchen. So, get ready for apple season, and start canning your way to apple sauce perfection!

no sugar applesauce recipe canning jars with apples next to them

Easy Sugar Free Applesauce Canning Recipe

Discover the perfect no-sugar-added applesauce recipe for canning. Preserve the natural sweetness of apples with our easy, healthy canning method. Enjoy homemade goodness all year round!
Print Recipe
no sugar applesauce recipe in a bowl with apples in the background
Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:1 hour


  • Apple peeler, corer, slicer optional
  • Water bath canner
  • Jar lifter
  • Quart and Pint sized canning jars wide mouth is our preference
  • New unused canning jar lids wide mouth
  • canning funnel
  • large stock pot


  • Apples
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Water


  • Prepare your apples with the apple peeler, corer, slicer. Place all slices into your large stock pot.
  • Heat up your pot of apple slices on medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed (about a 1/2 cup to a few pounds of apples) to prevent apple slices from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in your cinnamon to taste if using.
  • Add in your lemon juice to taste if using.
  • Stir until all apples are mushy and then blend using your immersion blender. If you prefer a more chunky sauce, you can use a potato masher.

To Can The Applesauce

  • Bring your water-bath canner to boiling
  • Add your empty canning jars to the water-bath canning rack to sanitize for 10 minutes.
  • Remove empty canning jars from boiling water bath and fill them with your applesauce using a ladle and canning funnel.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars and place your new canning lids and rings on top.
  • Screw lids on to just finger tight.
  • Using your jar lifter, add each can to your water bath canner rack until it is full.
  • Lower the canning rack into boiling water-bath and can for 30 minutes.
  • Once 30 minutes is up, remove jars from the water-bath and place on a towel on the counter. Listen to your jar lids pop!
  • Let the jars remain untouched on the counter overnight. Then you may put away to enjoy the rest of the year!
Servings: 10 people
Author: Fallon

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