14 Uses For A Jar Of Applesauce

Applesauce is a pantry staple, found in miniature plastic cups in elementary school lunch bags across the country. It's often recommended as a safe food to eat when you're suffering from the flu or a stomach bug. From a baby's first food to a traditional side for pork chops, applesauce plays many different roles in the American kitchen. But sometimes you find yourself with most of a jar of golden sauce left over in your fridge and you want to use it up before it goes bad. Other than just dishing it into a bowl and going to town, we've come up with a list of unique ways to get the most out of your applesauce. As simple as applesauce is, the rich flavors open up whole worlds within other recipes, imparting depth and dimensions that can truly change the dynamic of a dish.

Use applesauce as an oil or egg substitute in your baking

Whether you're making something for a vegan friend or you forgot eggs or butter on your last shopping run, applesauce is the answer to your baking conundrums. Substituting applesauce for other essential baking ingredients is a well-known kitchen hack to the point where you might think of it as magical. Eggs are commonly used as binders in most baking recipes, which can be replicated with applesauce. The fruit also keeps the baked goods soft. However, don't rely on applesauce to provide the same leavening properties that eggs usually impart. If your recipe needs lift, you'll want to lean on baking powder and baking soda.

Applesauce can also replace oil or butter in a recipe, with the apples providing moisture and texture. Be aware, however, that applesauce can make the end result denser than a traditional recipe that contains eggs and butter. However, this heavier texture tends to play well with the warming flavor that the applesauce imparts to the recipe.

Use apple sauce in waffle or pancake batter

Nothing completes a weekend morning quite like a stack of pancakes or waffles. Much like with baking recipes, applesauce can be used in place of oil and butter when you're making your batter. If you have kids, it's an easy way to get an additional helping of fruits into their diet by sneaking the applesauce into their pancakes without them even knowing it. Folding the applesauce into the flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, and salt adds both flavor and a sturdy binder. Using applesauce also helps to lighten up the recipe, cutting down on calories if you are looking for ways to reduce your fat consumption.

Using applesauce is also a great way to reduce the amount of refined sugar that you use in your pancake and waffle recipes. The sweetness of the fruit satisfies the sugar cravings without setting you up for a crash later in the morning.

Spread it on top of waffles, pancakes, or even toast

Once you've made your pancakes and waffles with the applesauce, be sure to save some and spread it over the top of your stack. It differs from the standard butter and maple syrup that usually tops your brunch staples. The applesauce plays the same role as syrup by adding gooey moisture to every bite, and it's a great texture change. Then sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top of the apples to add another dimension of flavor.

Homemade applesauce tends to be on the thicker side, so if you have some leftovers from your batch, dollop it right on top of your next round of waffles. It will act like a fruit confit on your breakfast and it will bring that apple pie vibe to the table. You could also mix it in with some sweetened cream cheese and make stuffed French toast.

Make this incredible applesauce cake

Not only is this applesauce cake bursting with apple goodness, but it's a one-bowl recipe! It's super easy and saves you the pain of washing a ton of prep dishes. This cake is perfect for a weeknight dessert, a BBQ with friends, or to whip up on a lazy Sunday afternoon and snack on while you're binging your favorite drama. The honey cream cheese frosting brings the right amount of sweetness without overpowering the fruit-forward flavor of the cake.

You could skip the cream cheese frosting altogether if you wanted to lighten this dish up and instead just drizzle some honey over the warm cake. Honey and apples are a traditional Rosh Hashana pairing, so this cake is the perfect addition to a holiday meal. You can also make the cake ahead of time and wrap it tightly in plastic, then either refrigerate or freeze it. It's the perfect snacking cake to pull out if you have unexpected guests and need a nosh for the table while everyone has coffee and a chat.

Applesauce bread is a great companion to a cup of tea

Move over, banana bread, this applesauce bread is going to be the new loaf in town. With the warming flavors of molasses, cinnamon, and cloves, this snacking bread brings all the most gorgeous autumnal tastes together. Feel free to add your own variations as well. While the recipe calls for golden raisins, you could easily use dried cranberries instead. Chopped pecans or walnuts would add texture and crunch, and toasted pepitas or flax seeds would add a dose of healthy fiber. Butterscotch chips can be added if you want to be decadent. This recipe lends itself to virtually endless customization, meaning you'll never get bored with it.

This bread can also be baked, tightly wrapped, and frozen, as well, meaning that you could make several loaves ahead of time, freeze them, and then thaw them out as the spirit moves you. Pair a slice with some herbal tea, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, and savor the morning.

Stir it into oatmeal

If you're in a rush at breakfast time, throw a few spoonfuls of applesauce into your oatmeal to give yourself a boost of fruit and sweetness while making sure you stay full all morning. Plain oatmeal is a big yawn, but too many pre-flavored instant oatmeal options are just packed to the gills with sugar, which might cause you to crash later in the morning. Keeping it light and simple with applesauce in your instant oats will satisfy you without spinning you up on sweeteners.

A sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg will give your appley oats the apple pie treatment, making your healthy breakfast feel like a treat without the guilt of having dessert first thing in the morning. Applesauce is a great source of vitamins and nutrients to boost the beneficial fiber of your oatmeal, so when you're in a hurry to eat and get out the door, you can still make yourself a healthy breakfast.

Use it to make fruit leather

Let's all take a nostalgic moment to remember the joy of finding that your mom packed a Fruit Roll-Up in your lunchbox. Just because we pack our own lunches now doesn't mean we have to miss out on simple pleasures. Of course, as adults, the neon colors and high sugar content of commercial Fruit Roll-Ups can be a bit off-putting, but that's where applesauce comes to the rescue again. If you own a dehydrator, then your job is already halfway done. Just spread a layer of applesauce on the dehydrator tray and let the machine do the work to make you your delicious (and much healthier) fruit leather version of the childhood favorite.

Don't worry if you don't have a dehydrator, you can achieve the same result by spreading the applesauce out on a silicone baking mat and putting it in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven for 6-8 hours. While it's a slow process, the results are totally worth the wait.

Cook it down with spices to make apple butter

If you have some applesauce, then you're already three-quarters of the way to having apple butter. Apple butter is really just a reduced, ultra-jammy, thick, and gooey version of applesauce. It's eminently spreadable, delightful as a fruit dip, and easy as (apple) pie to make. All you need to do is pour a jar of applesauce into a pot, add your desired spices (think cinnamon, cloves, a splash of brandy, or a spoonful of vanilla extract), and cook it on low until it reduces to a spreadable consistency.

Apple butter, while not containing butter, is a versatile condiment that can be used like a jam on bread, or brushed onto a ham before it goes into the oven to give it a crispy sweet glaze. You can even dollop it onto vanilla ice cream to get that apple pie à la mode flavor without the hassle of making a whole pie. 

Add it to your favorite BBQ sauce recipe to give it a fruity boost

Whether you're making your own BBQ sauce from scratch or reaching for that reliable bottle of Sweet Baby Rays, this tangy condiment can always be improved with a few additions. Mixing in a few spoonfuls of applesauce will bring the sweet earthiness of apple flavor to the smokey zing of the base BBQ sauce. Fruit can be useful in tempering the aggressive tang of vinegar that some people might find too pervasive.

This apple-forward sauce is perfect to mix in with pulled pork or brushed onto grilled pork chops or baby back ribs. Pork and apple are natural compliments, the fruit adding a burst of moisture and sweet flavor to the meat. This dolled-up sauce would also be great on a burger with caramelized onions and smoked gouda cheese. Chicken wings, grilled tofu, even breaded cauliflower nuggets will be right at home with apple-infused BBQ sauce on hand for dunking and dipping. 

Marinate chicken in applesauce to keep it sweet and moist

When it comes to preparing a successful chicken dish, one of the most important steps that you can take before the meat even hits the pan is to let it sit in a well-flavored marinade for several hours or overnight. Marinating chicken, whether the plan is to grill it, roast it, or bake it, ensures that the meat stays moist and that the flavor permeates all the way through. Making a balanced marinade is the key, ensuring that the liquid has the right amounts of acid, salt, and spices, and you have lots of different options when it comes to crafting your perfect blend.

Applesauce can be whisked with apple cider vinegar to serve as the base acids in your marinade. The enzymes in the fruit will help tenderize the chicken while the apple juice flavors and moistens the meat. Mix it with earthy herbs like thyme and sage to create an autumnal-flavored marinade. Or use applesauce and a dash of whiskey as the tenderizer to create a marinade with a smokey and fruity kick. 

Toss root vegetables in a few spoonfuls of applesauce before roasting

Hearty root vegetables are a delicious and filling side dish that complements almost any meal. Typical root vegetables range from carrots and parsnips to turnips and beets. They have dense textures and they stand up well to the high temperatures of roasting. Making up a tray of roasted root vegetables early in the week will give you lots of options for packed lunches and sides for chicken dinners or pork roasts.

Tossing the veggies in a mixture of oils and spices is essential before they go on a baking sheet in the oven. It's also imperative to take advantage of coaxing out the natural sweetness of this family of vegetables. Throwing two tablespoons of applesauce in with the salt, oil, and herbs will coat the chunky roots vegetables in a mild sweetness that will caramelize in the oven and give your parsnips and turnips a delightful crunch.

Blend it into pureed soups

Pureed soups are a class in and of themselves. Creamy and silky, they burst with the flavor and nutrition of roasted vegetables. You can make a whole meal around a steaming bowl of soup and a heel of crusty bread, all you need to do is roast the vegetables, then buzz them in a blender with vegetable or chicken stock and seasonings until it's smooth. A generous helping of applesauce will add dimension to your soup's flavor. Applesauce works with a variety of different vegetable soups. It brings out the sweetness in pureed butternut squash or sweet potato soups. This carrot and apple soup can be made with applesauce in a pinch if you don't have the whole fruit on hand.

If you want to think outside the box, try roasting celeriac — a criminally overlooked root vegetable with a snappy, herby flavor — then blending it with vegetable stock, applesauce, and a few dashes of curry powder. This combination of bright flavors will have you go back for bowl after bowl.

Make an apple pie smoothie

Apple pie is a national treasure, so you can't be blamed if you want to eat it at every meal. Of course, you might not want to weigh yourself down with three square meals of pie every day, so you improvise. This apple pie smoothie is the perfect solution for satiating that craving for pastry.

The original recipe calls for fresh apples, along with oats, milk, yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup. However, applesauce is an easy substitution and saves you from having to break out the cutting board (a real lifesaver, especially if you're someone who waits until the very last second to scoot out the door). Since applesauce has already been cooked, it will give your smoothie a much richer apple pie flavor rather than using fresh apples, which will taste slightly more tangy. Toss everything in the blender, whirl it up, and enjoy.

Make your own easy turnovers with applesauce and puff pastry

Making batches of breakfast pastries doesn't have to be difficult or labor intensive. The next time you want to treat yourself to a sweet breakfast, you only need a few sheets of frozen puff pastry and some applesauce. The Cook's Pyjamas walks us through the ridiculously straightforward process of simply cutting Pop-Tart-sized lengths of puff pastry, dolloping applesauce and cinnamon in the center, then sealing a second piece of puff pastry on top before baking them. The result is golden, flakey, sweet, and something you'll find yourself making every weekend.

You can do the same thing with empanada or wonton wrappers if you don't have any puff pastry. Before putting the pastries in the oven, brush the tops with eggwash to give them a golden shine. Your friends will swear you ran out to the local bakery to pick these up, whether or not you let them in on just how easy these turnovers are to make is entirely up to you.