Surprising Ways to Cook with Apple Sauce and Apple Butter

Apple sauce and apple butter taste great on their own, but they’re also incredibly versatile cooking ingredients — and great staples to keep stocked in your kitchen. What can you do with them? From savory sauces and soups to cookies and cakes, you can do a lot. Here, we share a few of our favorites.

Lighten up. Apple sauce is a great replacement for oil in cakes, brownies, muffins, and quick breads because it adds sweetness and moisture, without packing on calories and fat. Consider, for instance, that ¼ cup of oil in a cake mix adds 480 calories and 56 grams of fat. Simply by swapping the oil for apple sauce, you can reduce your calorie load to just 25 — and your fat intake to zero.

Keep in mind that apple sauce works best in recipes calling for oil, not butter. And for easier serving, allow baked goods to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting — and savoring.

Add some kick. Apple butter lends a rich, sweet-spicy taste to many recipes. Despite its name, apple butter contains no butter and is suitable for both vegan and gluten-free diets. For a sweet-spicy dip that you can make on the spot, stir together two parts apple butter with one part Dijon mustard. Then dip pretzels or sliced kielbasa sausages for a hearty appetizer that kids and grown-ups alike tend to love.

Turn up the heat. Did you know that you can make barbecue sauce with apple butter? Apple butter creates a thick, sweet sauce with just a hint of cinnamon. Make a traditional sauce by whisking together apple butter, ketchup, molasses, and liquid smoke, or dial it up with the addition of chipotle chilies and cilantro. Yum!

Make breakfast better. Stir a little apple sauce into your favorite pancake or waffle batter, and add a teaspoon of cinnamon and some chopped pecans for a hearty breakfast. For chilly mornings, heat apple sauce on your stovetop with a little maple syrup and orange juice. Then enjoy the enticing aroma that fills your house as your breakfast warms.

Stir in some sweetness. Apple sauce pairs beautifully with pumpkin in warm, comforting soups. Combine apple sauce with pureed pumpkin in a saucepan, along with some water, apple juice, or chicken broth. Heat to simmering and stir in a little heavy cream, cinnamon, and brown sugar for a simple, yet delicious, soup. Alternatively, mix apple sauce with boiled sweet potatoes for a nutritious, tasty side dish.

Keep a jar or two of apple sauce and apple butter in your pantry, and turn to them time and again to spice up or sweeten any number of recipes.

Do you have a favorite apple sauce or apple butter recipe? Share it with us on Facebook — we’re always looking for new ideas.