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The aroma of cooked apples and cinnamon that fills your house is enough to want to make this Slow Cooker Applesauce made without sugar time and again. It is an easy dump-and-set recipe that is truly hands-off, other than peeling the apples, then the crock pot works its magic to deliver the best applesauce!

glass bowl of applesauce next to a cinnamon stick.

Homemade applesauce is one of the easiest and best fall desserts I think of when trying to figure out what to do with the local apples we get from the grocery store or ones we get from apple picking!

Well, that and slow cooker apple cider. Ooh, and maybe slow cooker apple crisp.

This easy crock pot applesauce is one of the easiest, hands-free ways of making applesauce without having to watch over a pot or worry about anything burning. It’s cooked low and slow, tenderizing and reducing the apples to their full flavor and the perfect consistency.

Depending on what type of apples you use will determine how tart your applesauce is, so you may want to add some brown sugar to yours. That’s the beauty of making applesauce from scratch, you can control what goes in it and the amount of sugar, if any. 

Once it’s ready and the aroma of apples and cinnamon is wafting through your house, it can then be used to swirl into your yogurt, eat on its own as a snack, or used in baked goods. It also makes the best homemade baby food!

Why you’ll love this Slow Cooker Applesauce recipe

Easy recipe – It’s a true dump-and-set recipe that requires you to step back and relax. Peel the apples, dump them in with the cinnamon, water, and lemon juice and the crock pot does the rest.

Year Round – So yes, it’s a wildly popular recipe during apple season after visiting an apple orchard, however, because this method doesn’t require you to heat your kitchen, you can make it in the summer too! Applesauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Yes, please!

The Aroma – Who doesn’t love the smell of apples and cinnamon? Slow cooker applesauce is mouthwatering, to say the least!

Versatile – Apple sauce with no added sugar makes a great healthy snack for the whole family. It’s also a great egg replacer in baked goods and can be used as a topping or spread on toast, pancakes, or plenty of other treats. You can even preserve some in a mason jar and gift it to friends or neighbors.

overhead shot of a bowl of applesauce.

Equipment you’ll need


Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Apples – I use an equal combination of Granny Smith apples and Fuji apples for that sweet and tart balance. I don’t add sugar to my entire batch, but if anyone finds it too tart, they can always sweeten their own. Peel them, core them, then cut them into cubes.
  • Water & Lemon Juice – The water is the liquid needed to cook the apples so the sugars don’t cause burning. The acid from the freshly squeezed lemon juice will help break down the apples as well as prevent them from browning too much.
  • Ground Cinnamon – A warm spice that adds a deliciously familiar element that always pairs well with apples!
  • Light Brown Sugar – An added option to sweeten your applesauce if you desire. Brown sugar is also a great addition to apples and cinnamon.

Enjoy it warm, room temperature, or cold!

overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make applesauce.

How to make Slow Cooker Applesauce

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Step One: Place the apples in the basin of the slow cooker.
  2. Step Two: Pour in the water and lemon juice and sprinkle in the cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  3. Step Three: Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally if you can.
  4. Step Four: Once the apples have broken down and are soft, use a spoon, potato masher, or meat chopper to break them apart. If you like a bit of texture, leave them like this. If you prefer a smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender to puree it.
  5. Step Five: Do a little taste test and decide for yourself whether you want to add brown sugar.
collage of 4 photos showing the process of making applesauce in the crockpot.

What to serve with Slow Cooker Applesauce

We all know how easy it is to devour a bowl full of freshly made slow cooker applesauce all on its own. However, with the amount we now have, let’s not stop there!

Serve it with granola, yogurt, ice cream, or use it in this apple zucchini quick bread or this apple cinnamon bundt cake.

Tips & Suggestions 🍎🍏

  • To get the right amount of apples you need, the most accurate way to tell is by weighing them after they’ve been peeled and cored. You need 1 1/2 pounds of each type of apple (or 3 pounds total).
  • For more rustic applesauce, you can choose not to peel the apples.
  • If you want to add sugar, I’d say 1/8 of a cup is the perfect amount. If you want yours a bit sweeter, go ahead and make it 1/4 cup.
  • I love brown sugar, but you can use granulated white sugar if you prefer.
  • For a bit of extra flavor from a variety of warm spices, try apple pie spice, pumpkin spice, or a sprinkle of nutmeg.
  • Remember the amount of slow cooker applesauce you get will depend on how long you cook it. The longer you cook it, the more water evaporates, and the more the apples will reduce.

How to reheat and store Slow Cooker Applesauce

How to store leftovers

Allow the sauce to cool completely before covering it in an airtight container.

How long will crock pot applesauce last in the fridge?

It will keep fresh for up to 1 week!

Can I freeze homemade applesauce?

You certainly can! This keeps for 3 months when stored in a freezer-safe container in the freezer.

If you’re freezing some for babies and toddlers, it’s always handy to freeze it in small portions in an ice cube tray. That way you only need to thaw what you’re going to use.

How to reheat it

Low and slow in a saucepan on the stove is a great way to heat it without scorching it. If you’ve only got a small amount, you can reheat it in the microwave. Although truth be told, it’s just as good at room temperature so you may not even need to reheat it.

spoon lifting a scoop of applesauce from a slow cooker.


What kind of apples are best for homemade unsweetened applesauce?

The answer is there is no right answer. Use what you’ve got on hand, or go out and grab whichever are your favorites.
One recommendation I have is to use a variety of them. The combination of sweet and tart will always be a great balance. Macintosh, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp are other great choices.

Do I have to peel my apples?

Not if you don’t want to! I will say that Granny Smith apples are ones I would peel regardless because they have the hardest time breaking down. All in all, by the time the sauce is done, the peels will have softened enough to an unnoticeable texture.

What else can I use to sweeten slow cooker applesauce?

Honey or maple syrup are fun choices that go great with apples and cinnamon.

Crock Pot Applesauce No Sugar Added

Need more apple recipes? Try these:

Apple Pie Dump Cake

Apple Zucchini Quick Bread

Super Easy Apple Nachos

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Click here for my entire collection of apple recipes.

spoon lifting a bite of applesauce from a bowl.
glass bowl of applesauce next to a cinnamon stick.
5 from 5 votes

Slow Cooker Applesauce (no sugar!)

Servings: 6 Cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
The aroma of cooked apples and cinnamon that fills your house is enough to want to make this Slow Cooker Applesauce made without sugar time and again. It is an easy dump-and-set recipe that is truly hands-off, other than peeling the apples, then the crock pot works its magic to deliver the best applesauce!



  • 1.5 pounds Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
  • 1.5 pounds Fuji apples peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ – ¼ cup light brown sugar packed, optional


  • Prep the apples by washing, peeling, coring, and cubing each. You need 1.5 lbs of each variety.
  • Place the cubed apples into the basin of a 6-8 quart slow cooker.
    1.5 pounds Granny Smith apples, 1.5 pounds Fuji apples
  • Add the water, lemon juice, and cinnamon, stir to combine.
    1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cover and turn to LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally if possible.
  • Once the apples are very soft, break them apart with a spoon or meat chopper to leave some texture. If you prefer smooth, use an immersion blender.
  • Taste and add brown sugar, if desired.
    ⅛ – ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • Serve warm or allow it to come to room temperature, place in an airtight container and chill.


  • The amount of applesauce you have will depend on how long it cooks – the longer it cooks, the more it will reduce down.
  • Weigh the apples AFTER they have been peeled and cored. You want 1 & ½ pounds of both varieties.
  • Delicious at warm, room temp, or cold! 
  • You can absolutely not add any sugar if you want, however it will be a little tart, I find ⅛ cup the optimal tart and sweet applesauce, but add ¼ cup if you like it a little more on the sweet side.
  • You can use any variety of apples you like. Granny Smith and Fuji make a fantastic combo. Some other suggestions: McIntosh, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp.
  • Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Add apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or a little nutmeg for a twist.
Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published June 1, 2015

Super simple Cinnamon Applesauce made in the slow cooker! | Persnickety Plates
Super simple Cinnamon Applesauce made in the slow cooker! | Persnickety Plates
Super simple Cinnamon Applesauce made in the slow cooker! | Persnickety Plates

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  1. I make applesauce, but I don’t use sugar or water…..I just sprinkle some cinnamon on the cut up apples and put in slow cooker and cook on low…..until they get tender as I want them….you don’t even have to mash them up…..they just cook all to pieces , I always send my daughter some, she puts them in her oatmeal for breakfast…..

    1. My daughter is 14 months so I went with a smoother texture but yes, the additional water is optional. She probably could have went without the sugar, too, but it’s not much =)

  2. Leave the peels on for a healthier version. I canned over 100 jars of applesauce last year–some with cinnamon, some without. Nothing else added & my kids love it!

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I used organic apples and didn’t peel them. When the applesauce is put in a food processor, the skins dissolve. Many vitamins in the skin, so buy organic and don’t peel. Instead of making chunks, I sliced them. The crockpot is a great way to cook apples! I don’t use cinnamon myself. I prefer a bit of vanilla.