How to make unsweetened strawberry applesauce

How to make unsweetened strawberry applesauce

Question: what are the first things one does when given two boxes of apples? Answer: 1) create a list of delicious things to cook and bake and 2) make applesauce. This unsweetened strawberry applesauce is naturally colored and sweetened by the strawberries, which are perfect right about now.

Disclosure: those boxes of HunnyZ apples were a gift from the folks at Gee Whiz. About a month ago, I wrote a post about late season apples and discovered how much I loved this new apple, which is a cross between a Honeycrisp and Crimson Crisp apple.

The apple recipes you’ll see in the next few weeks won’t require any specific apple. Please use what apples you love and can access. And you’ll have to try a HunnyZ for yourself.

How to prepare apples and strawberries for this recipe

A series of four pictures showing a whole apple, cored apple, peeled apple, and apple chunks

I find it easiest to prepare apples for applesauce by first coring the apple with a corer. I then peel the apple (if peeling is desired). To chop, I cut the apple in half from top to bottom and then cut large chunks. Smaller apple chunks will cook in a shorter amount of time, if that is your preference.

A series of six pictures from whole strawberries, to how to remove the stem, removing the core with a paring knife, and roughly chopping them

I recently discovered an easy way to core and chop a strawberry. If you gather the leaves and stem in your hand, you can easily separate these from the berry. It becomes much easier to remove the core using a paring knife (be careful here not to cut yourself – always try to cut away!). Chopping strawberries becomes simple.

FAQs about unsweetened strawberry applesauce

How would you eat this unsweetened strawberry applesauce?

I would eat it with a spoon. Or it would go well with potato latkes or sweet potato latkes, over waffles, or with yogurt and/or granola. Or you could always bake muffins!

Do I have to peel my apples for applesauce?

No, feel free to skip peeling your apples if you don’t mind having some texture in your applesauce. Just be sure to wash the apples well to remove the dirt, wax, and anything else that might be lingering.

What else can I add to this applesauce?

You could add cinnamon or lemon juice or any variety of things. You can, of course, always add sugar if you want to increase the sweetness.

What are the best apples to use for applesauce?

The best apples are always the ones you want to eat, but I would avoid using a tart apple (e.g. Granny Smith, Pink Lady) unless you add some sugar.

Can you freeze applesauce?

Yes. Applesauce freezes very well in air-tight containers.

Can I use frozen strawberries for this applesauce?

Yes, frozen strawberries would work, but I would always prefer fresh over frozen if available.

Can I scale this recipe up? Can I scale this down?

Go for it!

a pot containing apple and strawberry chunks

Unsweetened strawberry applesauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 5 medium sized apples
  • 5 large strawberries
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • Core, peel, and coarsely chop the apples. Put them in a medium sized pot (larger if you are scaling up the recipe), and add enough water to cover the bottom. You can turn the heat on at this point if you want.
  • Wash, core, and coarsely chop the strawberries and add them to the pot.
  • Add the vanilla and any extras (see FAQs) and stir to mix.
  • Cover and cook the applesauce on low (it should be bubbling but not vigorously), stirring and mashing occasionally with a spoon or potato masher, until the apples have softened so much they are falling apart and mash easily, ~45 minutes give or take, depending on your apples.
  • Remove from heat and puree in a blender or food processor, if desired.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Applesauce can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or so or frozen for 3-6 months.

What’s next?

If you make this unsweetened strawberry applesauce or have a request for an apple recipe, please leave a comment and/or share a pic!

Check out other apple recipes from the uglyducklingbakery, like this strawberry apple pie or oven-dried apple rings.

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a blue bowl containing yogurt with unsweetened strawberry applesauce on top
a blue bowl with unsweetened strawberry applesauce mixed into yogurt

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