How to Use Up Leftover Applesauce

Make the most of that half-eaten jar

Whether it's a batch you whipped up yourself or a supermarket jar you spontaneously bought, all too often applesauce goes forgotten in the back of the fridge. But just like the phone call you owe your mom, that half-eaten container won't go away the longer you ignore it. Instead, give leftover applesauce new life with these five genius ideas.

① Give It a Flavor Boost

Thanks to its relatively neutral taste, it's easy to doctor applesauce with whatever you have on hand. Swirl in spices from your pantry (yes, pumpkin spice blend is fair game), sweeteners like maple syrup, or seasonal fruit like mashed roast pears or puréed summer strawberries.

② Make Your Own Fruit Leather

The next time you want to relive your brown bag lunches of yore, give homemade fruit leather a try: Spread leftover applesauce into a thin layer on a Silpat-lined baking sheet and dehydrate it on your oven's lowest setting until you have your own Fruit Roll-Ups to go alongside your Lunchables.

③ Substitute Ingredients When Baking

When it comes time to bake the season's inaugural loaf of pumpkin bread, substitute applesauce for wet ingredients like milk or water to bolster your dessert's fall flavor. You can also replace up to a third of your recipe's butter or oil—any more than that and your desserts will lack the richness and tenderness fat provides. 

④ Get a Head Start on Apple Butter

If you have a jar of applesauce on hand, then you're already halfway to homemade apple butter. All you need to do is simmer it on the stove—or throw it in the slow cooker—until it cooks down into a thick, darkly sweet spread begging for an English muffin.

⑤ Make Your Own Fall Sorbet

Add a bit of sugar (for sweetness, but also to keep the finished product scoopable) to your applesauce before pouring it into an ice cream maker, and you've got a dessert that will have you "accidentally" leaving more half-eaten jars of sauce in your fridge.