Easy, No-Peel Applesauce

You don’t peel the apples?!

No, I don’t peel the apples!  That’s the secret to easy homemade applesauce.  Peeling the apples is time consuming and strips the final product of valuable fiber and vitamins.  Skip it!

To make homemade applesauce, simply wash a whole lot of apples.  Slice them into chunks, making sure to cut out any bad spots.  I move faster with my apple wedger, but if a paring knife is your friend, do what works for you!

Fill your largest stock pot full to the brim with sliced apples.  Mix about ½ cup of lemon juice with about 1½ cups of water, and pour it over the top.

Put the lid on and cook the apples on medium heat until they are soft.  30-45 minutes, maybe?

Once the apples are soft, I attack them with my immersion blender for a few minutes until smooth.  The peels are soft and really do “disappear” into the sauce.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, just scoop them a few cups at a time into your blender.  Give ’em a quick pulse and you’ll have applesauce.

I’m not a canner, so once the applesauce cools, I scoop it 3 cups to a quart bag, flatten and freeze.

We prefer natural, no sugar applesauce, and find it to be plenty sweet, but feel free to add sweetener and/or cinnamon to yours!  For chunkier applesauce, mash the apples with a potato masher or simply blend for a shorter amount of time.

Applesauce can be made in the crock pot, also.  Follow the exact same process, but cook the apples for several hours or overnight.



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  1. yum! We just finished apple sauce, apple butter and apple pie filling on Saturday. It’s just lovely having all the apple goodness put up for enjoying over the next several months.

    • I desperately need to get some apple pie filling made before all my apples are gone! I’ve done 40 cups of sauce and several apple crisps and other desserts that we’ve eaten, but I have no pie filling put away. Oops!

    • All good suggestions. If you are a baked apple lover, you can prepare the apples for making sauce by first coring them and then slicing then in halves or quarters before putting them in a pot. I also add half a lb. of fresh cranberries and a couple of cups of apple cider, half a cup of raw sugar, and the juice of one lemon. I then cover pot and put it in a 350 degree oven for two hours. After the apples have been cooking for one hour I use a potato masker to push the apples on the tope of the pot to the bottom. After taking the pot from the oven I leave it covered on the back porch overnight to cool, unless I am canning them immediately.

  2. Carole Cannon says:

    I cook my apples in the slow cooker. Then because I like my sauce a little chunky, I use a hand held potato masher on them.

    • Anyone wanna a good treat ? Use a cast iron skillet. ( I use my 12 ‘ ) throw in some homemade applesauce , add some cinnamon, if you want. Now take some homemade biscuits (not yet cooked) lay them across the top, completely covering the applesause. Cover with a glass lid. Simmer ON STOVE TOP, unitil
      biscuits are done !
      This will melt in your mouth!
      note: I sprinkle a little extra cinnamon & butter on my biscuits before cooking.

    • I guess if you want chunky apple sauce and use a potato masher, you must peel at least some of your apples to make the chunky part without pieces of peel.

      My parents used to cook whole crab apples (too small to peel!) and then forced them all through a large cone shaped colander with a pestle to separate the pulp from the core and skin. As I recall, they then separated juice from some of the pulp using cheese cloth to make jelly, and made either jam or apple sauce with the rest of the unjuiced pulp.

  3. I never thought to use an immersion blender. Duh. 🙂 Like Carole, I use a potato masher to keep it chunky….but I”ll remember the blender next time!!

    • The potato masher is a great way to keep it chunky. You’ll see/feel the peels a little that way, but that doesn’t bother me. 🙂

    • After cooking I do my unpeeled apples in my nutriblast. It holds just enough for a pint freezer bag, and the peel is just added color and nutrition, just rinse between batches.

  4. Lisa Herman says:

    Thank you for this post! It sure is coming at the right time for me. My husband called me from work this morning and said he has 2 huge boxes of cooking apples for me. So, I will be making and canning applesauce for the 5 of us. And, I’ll get to use my trust boat motor on it (immersion blender).


  5. Tis the season, eh? I love this time of year! I make mine in the crockpot, and like you, this year, I will be making it without sugar due to a new way of eating (no gluten/sugar/dairy). For those who dont want to spend a fortune on apples and dont have their own trees, you can ask an orchard in your area if they have “deer apples.” These are apples that have fallen on the ground, but can be purchased at a fraction of the cost. We have an orchard who is selling their deer apples for $3/bushel. With these apples, we may have a few bad ones that get fed to the chickens or put into the compost pile, but for $3/bushel, we dont mind! I plan on getting 3-5 bushels this year for apple pie in a jar as gifts, applesauce and apple butter. Yum.

    • $3/bushel is an amazing price! Another great reason for no sugar in the applesauce… then you can use it as an oil substitute in baking. 🙂

      • You mentioned using applesauce to replace oil in cakes recipes. I use it to replace EGGS also in cakes , cookies and other sweets. But it tends to give a sweeter taste to all of them.

  6. I grew up with the home made unsweetened applesauce and I rather have it then store bought any day. Only thing I do differently with mine is I use my grandma’s apple grinder thingie instead of a immersion blender.

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe Amy!! I had always stayed away from making apple sauce because (a) I’m lazy and didn’t want to peel all of them and (b) it seemed wasteful not to use the peels when they are full of vitamins and fiber! So gad to know this secret!

  8. I love the no-peel method, but I hate the little tiny pieces of peel in there. I cook mine the same way without peeling them, but then I put them through a food mill. I love, love, love the consistency of them! Just like store bought, except made with local, organic apples with no added sweetener! Can’t beat that! I’m working my way through a bushel of apples this week, and I’ll be ordering more next week! Love the healthy snacks!

    • I honestly don’t even notice the peel, but maybe I just blend the heck out of it? lol Good luck with your bushel of apples! It’s worth it! 🙂

  9. What variety of apples do you use? Also, would a standard mixer work?

    • I use whatever is on my neighbor’s tree. 😉 He says they’re some kind of “delicious” variety, but they are NOT red delicious. I think they taste more like a gala, but I’m really not sure. There are actually two different trees in his yard. I just mixed the apples. My mom was going to try it with her mixer. If she does, I’ll let you know how it turns out. My *guess* (just a guess) is that a mixer won’t chop up the peels as well as a blender, but if you don’t mind a little peel, it should probably be fine.

  10. Now that I have an apple wash that I use to make sure I get all the wax off my apples, I could totally see myself making use of this approach. The DIY apple wash is super simple – http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2012/09/kitchen-tip-removing-apple-wax.html. Yea for applesaucing!

  11. I was ready to not peel the apples last time I made applesauce but hubby said no and he would peel them. I am going to try this sometime. I usually put them in my crock pot for a few hours with no water and then mash them lightly with a potato masher – we like ours chunky!

  12. teresa dixon says:

    LOOOOOOOOOve this
    first time saucer here
    freezing sounds so easy

    MY ONLY Suggestion is – especially for our kiddos
    take timeto get the organic apples
    to avoid pesticides,
    online co ops have bulk organic on the cheap
    sometimes food pantries do toooo

    • Yes! I buy all of mine from Azure in 20 pound boxes. Well, except for the ones I used for the applesauce. Those were off of our neighbor’s tree, so I know they were safe. 🙂

    • If you buy organic apples do you also buy BPA free bags?
      And if so, where do you get them?

  13. How much cinnamon would you add for a pot of apples?

    • Oh, gosh. I’ve never measured. A few tablespoons, for sure.

      • Okay thanks! I used about a teaspoon per blender-ful (made 3 blenders full) and it was perfect! It’s delicious! How long does it keep in the fridge in a covered glass container?

        • Oh, gosh. I’m sure the “rules” are a week or so. But once I open a container, it never lasts that long for us to find out! 😉

  14. I love the fact that all the apple peels don’t go to waste and the fiber is not lost! I added a teaspoon of nutmeg to mine, in addition to cinnamon, as we like ours “spicy”. Thanks Amy for giving us the courage to leave the peels on!

  15. Making applesauce for the first time. Got my first pot going and can’t wait for the house to smell like my grandmothers kitchen oh so long ago.

  16. I love to make homemade applesauce for my kids, but peeling the apples takes forever and keeps me from doing it as often as I would like. This recipe worked great! The peels completely disappeared. I added in a bag of carrots and let them steam with the apples and then blended it all together. I put them in reusable squeeze bags and voila! I have a delicious apple-carrot sauce that my kids love and my 15 month old can feed herself!

  17. Thank you. Perfect for tonight, and the applesauce is fantastic- even without lemons.

  18. I think I am going to do …
    -a pot with peeled and a pot with unpeeled apples
    ( adding the peels from the peeled apples to the unpeeled pot). LOL!!
    -Cook both pots with the same amount of time and method.
    -Then immersion blend the the unpeeled pot and hand mash the peeled pot.
    -Mix them together.
    *The goodness of all the fiber and vitamins from the unpeeled apples (with extral peels) with the chunkiness of the peeled hand mashed apples.

  19. Just finished a batch of apple sauce 36 pints.., the peeling took so much time. I am definitely going to try your peel on method. Thank you.

  20. Great idea. I just made some using the microwave. I microwaved on high with a 1500W unit, 10 minutes at a time, stirring each time, for a total of 60 minutes. I used a Pyrex bowl and covered it with a plate. It came out fantastic. Also no sugar, just cinnamon.

  21. Lisa Hovde says:

    so you just freeze in zippies thanks

  22. This recipe was great thank you. I specifically went searching for a recipe i didn’t have to peel the apples. Kids couldn’t tell!

  23. What a great idea; thanks Amy !

  24. I have 2 question,,, last night I made a crockpots full of unppeled apples and they were yellow delicious, I added no spices only 1/4 C water, and cooked it in the crockpots for 20 hrs (iwas gone…),,,anyways it taste sour, but I tried the apples and there delicious!! Tge apple sauce is really dark looking, omost red, with no cinnimon in it two, which I was confused about, I thought it wound be yellowish? And finally the last time I made apple sauce, at first it was not spicy enough and too watery, then too cinnomony, then too lemony then too salty so this time I onlybdid waters and apple,,,will it be OK without lemon juice?

    • Lenah ~ I apologize. I somehow missed this when you commented. I honestly don’t know about the sour taste, though I suspect it has something to do with the long cooking time. Wish I could be more help!

      The lemon juice helps it keep its color, but if that doesn’t bother you, you should probably be okay without.

      • Lora Sharpe says:

        Hi Lenah, search the internet for the article from Bon Appetite on applesauce, it says that you shouldn’t over cook apples, this will cause loss of flavor. Also, Delicious apples are not the best for cooking.

  25. Vita Lynne says:

    How many apples did you use?

  26. Carole Schiessel says:

    Thank you for this! I was sitting on bushels of apples even after having given bushels away from my Granny Smith tree dreading peeling with my apple peeler-corer I use for pies etc. I knew so much of the nutritive value is with the peels. Such a relief!

  27. after cooking in my slow cooker (peels on a variety of apples) I process in my Vita-Mix to a lovely smooth consistency – some in the freezer in jars and some vacuum sealed – adding strawberries to this batch –

  28. Worked great except I should not have added any water. The sauce is way too thin. It was great not to peel my 100 lbs of apples but next time will peel some so that I can have a chunkier sauce, seems more like baby food this way.


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