Canning Unsweetened, Chunky Applesauce

Unlike the sweet jams and preserves, applesauce is something that I can without using any sugar. I love that it’s tart, just like the apples. I add lots of cinnamon, but you could leave it out if you don’t like it.  Applesauce is a great food for babies, and my toddler loves it. 

Since I grew up on an apple orchard I love to have home-canned applesauce throughout the year that reminds me of home. Applesauce is also a great way for novice canners to learn about food preservation!


fresh apples
water or apple cider
mason jars, lids and rings
2 large pots
a jar lifter
a small bowl for lids
a funnel that fits in the canning jars
a wooden spoon and a ladle
kitchen towels


  1. Sterilize jars by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. Let them sit in the steaming water until you are ready to use them. Sterilize lids by placing them in a bowl and ladling boiling water from the pot over them.
  2. Make applesauce by peeling and cutting up apples, then cooking with cinnamon and just enough water or cider to keep it from scorching. Cook it and crush apples until it reaches your desired consistency, or for about 20-30 minutes. I don’t measure when making applesauce, I just make what I have. That’s why this is such a great recipe for beginning canners, since you don’t have to worry about adding pectin or testing for the “gel” point. You do kind of have to guess how many jars you’ll need, and I use the rule of thumb that one peck of apples makes about 3-4 pints of applesauce.
  3. Ladle into the sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head space (space at the top of the jar). Place caps on and screw on rings. If you have a half-full jar or more applesauce than jars, store it in the fridge and use it within a few days. Return the jars to the big pot of water, bring it to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Carefully lift the jars out of the water and place them on the kitchen towel or a cutting board to cool. Listen for the “plink!” as the jars seal.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them!

Note: If you have never canned before, I highly recommend Joy of Cooking: All about Canning and Preserving and the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. These books will help you learn about safe canning practices and the equipment you will need.

About The Author: Abbie

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Abbie is a breastfeeding, cosleeping, attached working mother to Joshua, wife to Ed, an environmentalist, educator and blogger.

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