Make Ahead Apple Sauce Recipe

Homemade Stovetop Applesauce Recipe (with Flavor Variations)

Hello, fellow apple sauce enthusiasts! My name is Chef Jim, and I have been passionately making apple sauce for the better part of two decades. I can still remember the warm, inviting aroma of apples bubbling away on my family’s traditional wood stove, the fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the air.

Those delightful childhood memories have shaped my culinary journey, and I have made it my mission to perfect the humble apple sauce (and apple pie), also one that can be made ahead of time for large events.

After countless experiments and adjustments, I am beyond excited to share my Make Ahead Apple Sauce Recipe with you all.

You can also make an apple cranberry sauce.

Not only that, I have a table below of a scaled recipe for between 12 – 100 people.

Make Ahead Apple Sauce Recipe for a Crowd

Make Ahead Apple Sauce Recipe For A Crowd

Batch Cooking Apple Sauce: A Make-Ahead Marvel.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Amercian
Keyword: applesauce
Servings: 3
Calories: 561kcal


  • 5 lb apples
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp salt


  • Start by prepping your apples. Peel, core, and slice the apples into small apple chunks. Try to use a variety of apples for the best flavor and texture in your homemade applesauce.
  • In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, combine apples, water, apple cider vinegar, and a dash of salt. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the apples have softened and broken down.
  • Once the apples are soft, you can use a potato masher or immersion blender to achieve your desired consistency for the applesauce. For a chunky applesauce, use the potato masher, and for smoother applesauce, use the immersion blender or a food processor.
  • To enhance the flavor, add your choice of sweetener (granulated sugar, maple sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup), ground cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick), fresh lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons), and lemon peel. Stir well and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Taste the applesauce and adjust the sweetness or spices to your preference. You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract for a touch of creaminess. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on medium-low heat to allow the flavors to blend.
  • Remove the applesauce from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, you can serve it immediately or store it in mason jars for later use.


Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 145g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 114g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1mg

This recipe yields approximately 6 cups of applesauce. Depending on the serving size, it can serve between 12 to 18 people. If you’re using it as a side dish or topping, a serving size of 1/3 to 1/2 cup per person should suffice. For larger crowds, adjust the recipe proportions accordingly – see the table below.

Serving Suggestions For Apple Sauce

  • Enjoy your homemade applesauce with pork chops for dinner or as a topping for a warm apple crisp.
  • Mix in a dash of cinnamon and serve hot applesauce over vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert.
  • Stir in a tablespoon of unsalted butter too make a rich and creamy applesauce.
  • Can or bottle your applesauce for preppers storage. Of course, you can store in the fridge of freezer for extended times.


  • This recipe is versatile and allows you to experiment with different varieties of apples, sweeteners, and spices. Customize the texture and flavor according to your preferences.
  • If you have extra apples from apple season or leftover apples from a visit to the apple orchards, this simple recipe is a great way to put them to use.
  • Homemade applesauce makes for a comforting and delicious dish, perfect for both baking and enjoying on its own.
The Essential Guide to Prepping Delicious Apple Sauce in Advance
The Essential Guide to Prepping Delicious Apple Sauce in Advance

Here is a table with the scaled recipe for 20, 40, 60, and 100 people of Homemade Apple sauce:

Ingredients20 people40 people60 people100 people
Apples8.3 lbs16.6 lbs25 lbs41.6 lbs
Water0.8 cups1.6 cups2.4 cups4 cups
Apple cider vinegar0.8 cups1.6 cups2.4 cups4 cups
Granulated sugar*0.8 cups1.6 cups2.4 cups4 cups
Brown sugar*0.4 cups0.8 cups1.2 cups2 cups
Maple syrup*0.4 cups0.8 cups1.2 cups2 cups
Lemons2 lemons4 lemons6 lemons10 lemons
Ground cinnamon1 tbsp2 tbsp3 tbsp5 tbsp
Vanilla extract1 tsp2 tsp3 tsp5 tsp
Unsalted butter*To tasteTo tasteTo tasteTo taste
Apple Sauce Recipe for 20 to 100 people

*Please note that the amounts for granulated sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and unsalted butter are optional and should be adjusted according to your taste preferences.

Remember that these measurements are approximate and may need slight adjustments depending on the specific apples you use and your desired taste and consistency.

Can I use white sugar instead of brown sugar or maple sugar in the recipe?

Yes, you can use white sugar as a sweetener in the applesauce recipe. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar based on your taste preferences and the sweetness of the apples you are using.

What Types of Apples Work Best for Making Homemade Applesauce?

Using a variety or range of apples, such as sweet apples like Pink Lady, and tart apples like Granny Smith, will yield a more flavorful and balanced applesauce. However, any apples you have on hand or are in season will work, just use your taste to adjust the spices to get the taste you want.

Can I add other spices to the applesauce?

Absolutely! You can experiment with other spices like nutmeg, allspice, or cloves, or even use a cinnamon stick instead of ground cinnamon for a subtler flavor. Just be sure to add the spices gradually and taste the applesauce to find the perfect balance.

How do I store leftover homemade applesauce?

You can store leftover applesauce in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, consider canning the applesauce following proper canning procedures.

Master the Art of Flavorful, Time-Saving Apple Sauce
Master the Art of Flavorful, Time-Saving Apple Sauce

Can I make applesauce without any added sugar?

Yes, you can make applesauce without any added sugar. The natural sweetness of the apples should be sufficient, especially if you use sweeter apple varieties. However, you can also add a touch of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or other natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey to adjust the taste as needed.

How can I use applesauce as a substitute in baking?

Applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil, butter, or eggs in many baking recipes. To replace oil or butter, use an equal amount of applesauce. To replace eggs, use 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg in recipes such as muffins, pancakes, and quick breads. Note that using applesauce as a substitute might alter the texture of the final product.

Can I serve applesauce with savory dishes like pork chops?

Yes, applesauce pairs wonderfully with savory dishes like pork chops. The sweetness of the applesauce complements the richness of the pork, providing a balanced and flavorful meal.

What is the best method to achieve a smooth consistency for my applesauce?

A: To achieve a smooth consistency, use an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender to process the cooked apples until the desired texture is reached. If you prefer chunky applesauce, use a potato masher instead.

In conclusion, making big batches of apple sauce using my make-ahead recipe is a fantastic way to save time and savor the comfort of homemade goodness.

Preparing apple sauce in large quantities ensures you always have a delicious, versatile accompaniment at your fingertips for countless meals and snacks.

Whether you’re spooning it over pancakes, stirring it into oatmeal, or simply enjoying it by itself, you’ll be glad you have a generous supply of this delightful concoction in your kitchen.

Moreover, you can always share the joy of homemade apple sauce with friends and family by gifting them a jar or two.