20 Recipes With Applesauce That Are Awesome to the Core
Give a round of apple-ause for these clever recipes that make use of a jar of applesauce. Meatloaf, muffins, cornbread, and curry await with this versatile pantry staple.
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Creamy Pumpkin Soup from Brown Eyed Baker
Apple pie may get the attention, but if there’s a comfort food that embodies democratic ideals, I’m voting for applesauce. Sure, it’s kind of unassuming, but it’s also one of those rare foods that can be enjoyed by babies, centenarians, and most folks in between. Plain, unsweetened applesauce is typically free of major allergens and can even be used as an egg substitute. (Of course, if food allergies are a concern, it’s always best practice to contact food manufacturers directly to ensure that your allergen isn’t present on the production lines or in the facility.)
The funny thing is that if you think about applesauce at all, it’s probably as an emergency toddler snack or as a side dish (if you’re a pork chop fan) or a condiment (if you love latkes). But it can play a supporting role in lots of recipes too, because applesauce knows how to play nice with a surprising array of ingredients.
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Recipes with applesauce:
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Applesauce as an ingredient in cooking
Applesauce is delicious on its own, but it is also a wonderful ingredient in cooking and baking. Learn more about the ways applesauce can be used in recipes.
How to use applesauce as an egg replacer
As a general rule of thumb, use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace each large egg in a recipe. Applesauce adds moisture, and thanks in part to the pectin it contains, it acts as a binder and helps add structure. While eggs are powerful leaveners, applesauce isn’t suited to heavy lifting, so this works best in baking recipes that call for only 1 to 2 eggs. (If you want to experiment with replacing 3 or 4 eggs, consider adding an extra 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe). You may also need to reduce other liquids in the recipe slightly. Consider the type of recipe before making the swap, too. Applesauce won’t cut it in meringues or sponge cakes, but it makes sense for muffins or quick breads, where a moist, tender crumb and denser texture are assets.
Can I use applesauce to make recipes low-fat?
Many recipes lean on applesauce to replace all or some of the original version’s butter or oil. It’s a tactic that can work reasonably well in cakes, muffins, and cookies, though you may end up with gummy or over-sweet baked goods.
Remember, though, that fat plays an important role in satiety, and getting rid of all fat (especially anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids found in certain vegetable oils such as olive oil) in favor of additional carbohydrates can be counterproductive for overall health and weight management. Unless you’re managing a medical condition that requires adherence to a strict low-fat diet (say, recovery from pancreatitis, or management of severe reflux), it may be more beneficial to simply reduce the fat in the recipe by 1/3 to 1/2. If the batter seems too dry, try adding applesauce 1 tablespoon at a time to make up for the missing moisture.
Making and customizing applesauce
When a recipe calls for applesauce, you can buy a jar from the store, or make it from scratch pretty easily. And don’t be afraid to play around with spices and flavors, whether you’re using jarred applesauce or a batch from your own kitchen.
Is it hard to make applesauce?
It's not hard at all to make applesauce! All of the recipes below work with store-bought applesauce (in fact they’re a great way to use up an open jar). But if you don’t have any on hand (or went overboard at the pick-your-own apple orchard), you can easily whip up your own. This basic recipe for Homemade Applesauce offers lots of tips for tailoring the recipe to your tastes, along with helpful information about refrigerator or freezer storage and canning.
How can I customize my applesauce?
Whether you’re starting with jarred applesauce or making your own, there are so many flavors that complement it. Try sprinkling it with warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, or pumpkin pie spice. Or mix in a dash of vanilla extract. If you’re making it from scratch, try simmering the sauce with berries or peaches. If you’re sweetening your sauce, try a little brown sugar instead of regular, or use an alternative sweetener like maple syrup or honey. Leave the skins on your apples for more fiber and texture or go for a longer cook time if you prefer your sauce thicker.
Main dishes with applesauce
These savory main dish recipes leverage applesauce as a marinade ingredient, binder, and flavor enhancer. It’s an unconventional move, so stumbling across applesauce-enhanced entrees was an unexpected thrill.
If you need any assistance making this Korean meal-in-a-bowl, check out the videos that’ll walk you through marinating the meat, cooking the topping components, and assembling this highly craveable bibimbap.
Unsweetened applesauce helps bind together these vegan meatballs, which are made from an herb- and spice-enhanced mix of mushrooms, chickpeas, and panko. It’s also a nice complement to the apple cider vinegar-spiked Dijon mustard sauce.
The sweetness is toned down in this copycat recipe of a food court fave. Applesauce is an ingenious swap for the juice that most similar recipes include.
Veggie-filled turkey meatloaf has retro appeal and makes easy work of weeknight dinners. If you’ve got extra applesauce, serve it on the side along with some steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.
Baking with applesauce
Applesauce has a knack for making baked goods moist and tender, and its flavor is subtle enough that you might not even notice it’s there.
Applesauce is an unusual add to a cornbread recipe, but it helps hydrate the cornmeal, so it’s a great way to ensure a tender, fluffy crumb. You can swap in a gluten-free 1:1 for the flour if gluten's a no-go for you, or adjust the amount of sugar if you prefer your cornbread less sweet.
The subtle tang of applesauce blends beautifully with the lemon zest and yogurt in this simple tea bread glazed in a bright lemon syrup. If you don’t have yogurt, try swapping sour cream. You can also try pouring the batter into a bundt pan and baking it as a cake recipe.
These tasty muffins package a chocolate fix with some whole grain flour, veggies, and fruit (thanks, applesauce), and they’re likely to pass the "Picky Eater Test." Total win.
Applesauce in brunch dishes
If there’s a comfort food Venn diagram, then surely applesauce and brunch foods land in the overlaps. It makes perfect sense, then, that the former belongs in recipes for the latter. If you care to conduct your own research, these recipes will help you test that hypothesis.
This dairy-free noodle kugel starts with whole grain noodles for a fiber and nutrient boost. Applesauce and a generous dose of cinnamon whisked into the eggs make this not-too-sweet casserole perfect for a fall brunch.
These whole wheat waffles have garnered raves; if you don’t have a waffle maker, one reviewer notes that the batter works for pancakes too. Whipped egg whites are the secret to fluffiness, but you’re only dealing with three eggs, so the prep is still quick!
As a stand-in for some of the liquid in this homemade pancake batter, applesauce adds subtle apple flavor (and a little extra fiber) to these cinnamon-kissed flapjacks .
Vegan (and egg-free) recipes with applesauce
If you’ve got an egg allergy, or eschew animal products in general, try these applesauce-as-egg-substitute recipes
These whole grain-based brownies get a double-dose of raspberry goodness with fruit spread and whole frozen berries. Using applesauce instead of eggs and butter makes them vegan, allergy-friendly, and low-fat to boot.
Ground flaxseed and applesauce share the egg-replacement duties in this vegan take on a classic quick bread. Try using white whole wheat flour in place of some (or all) of the all-purpose flour or throw in some chocolate chips.
Whether you like your applesauce muffins simple or loaded with dried fruit and nuts, mini or full-sized, this recipe is deliciously adaptable. You’ll also find suggestions for alternative flours and oil substitutes. You can even top them with cream cheese frosting and call them cupcakes!
These easy biscuits are quick to make if you happen to have leftover cooked sweet potatoes on hand. (If not, a quick stint in the microwave does the trick if you don’t have time to bake one.)
Applesauce in soups and stews
Since it’s essentially a puree, applesauce lends body to soups and stews. Its mild sweetness also adds balance to savory or spicy recipes.
This easy, pantry-friendly recipe transforms frozen cauliflower into an elegant starter with the help of roasted garlic, curry powder, coconut milk, and — you guessed it — applesauce. Don’t skip the optional crispy chickpea garnish!
Here’s another soup recipe that makes fabulous use of pantry staples to minimize prep time while still delivering big on flavor. Be sure to use unsweetened applesauce and plain canned pumpkin (instead of pie filling) so your soup will be savory instead of sweet.
This hearty vegan stew makes a perfect one-pot meal on busy nights. It’s adaptable, too — try edamame in place of the tofu or add fresh snow peas when they’re in season.
Frozen treats that use applesauce
Remember that Goonies moment when Chuck chances on a freezer full of Swensen’s ice cream? Actor Jeff Cohen’s improvisational flavors included the famously improbable apple, but these sweet applesauce-infused treats have us rethinking the concept.
You don’t need an ice cream maker — just patience to wait out the 2- to 4-hour freezing time — for this deliciously simple 5-ingredient ice cream.
If fall flavors are your jam, this applesauce-based smoothie is full of them. You can make it dairy free with soy, nut, or oatmilk. Rolled oats thicken the smoothie and add fiber; yes, it’s okay that they’re uncooked.
Quick, easy, and super-customizable with spices or mix-ins, this pastry chef-crafted sorbet recipe makes brilliant use of leftover applesauce.
Check out more recipes for healthy eats in the Yummly articles below.