Applesauce is a versatile sauce that can be sweetly spiced or taste savory to go with meat dishes and desserts.
In some places, applesauce is even used as an alternative to fat or as a replacement for eggs to make something vegan. Preparation involves boiling apples, peeled or unpeeled (it doesn’t matter), in water, or apple cider.
It’s easy to stock up and have leftovers after a rather large roast, or keep it in your fridge and lose track of how long it’s been stored away. If this is you, you might wonder whether it goes bad and, if so, how long it lasts.
Below you’ll find a short guide on how to spot signs of spoilage, and how to store applesauce to keep it fresh for as long as is possible.
Here’s the short story: Check your applesauce for changes in appearance and smell to see if it’s gone bad. It should last about two weeks after opening, provided you store it in the refrigerator.
How Do I Know My Applesauce Has Gone Bad?
Since this sauce is made of apples, and all fruits eventually go bad, you can expect your applesauce to start decaying if left for too long or stored improperly.
As always, the most obvious signs of spoilage are an off-smell, mold appearance, and discoloration (good applesauce is a light yellow-green color). If your applesauce is displaying any of these signs, discard it.
If an opened jar is a week past its best-by date, throw it in the trash. Obvious signs of decay can be slow to appear, so your best bet is to be cautious, especially with foods that need to be refrigerated.
If you’re not sure, taste a tiny bit to check. If it’s okay, it’s good to keep it for a bit longer. But if it’s starting to taste weird, it will definitely be past its prime!
How Long Does Applesauce Last?
Always check the best-by date with store-bought applesauce, as how long it will last differs according to which manufacturer you buy from.
An unopened jar will last throughout the duration of its best-by, plus roughly two to four months past that date, as long as it has remained tightly sealed. Do remember, though, that the taste will gradually degrade after the best-by. For example, applesauce two months past the best-by date won’t taste as fresh.
Once opened, applesauce should last 10-14 days if refrigerated, though this is an estimate. Remember to check the recommendations on the label.
How To Store Applesauce
An unopened jar is usually sold unrefrigerated. It’s easy to store at home—just leave it in a cool, dark place, such as your pantry or kitchen cupboard, where it is less exposed to heat and light sources.
Keep your opened jar in the fridge with the lid tightly sealed to maintain its freshness and prevent mold from getting in early. The same also applies to homemade applesauce.
Can You Freeze Applesauce?
Want to store away your applesauce long-term? Well, you’re in luck!
The short answer to whether applesauce can be frozen is: yes.
But it gets worse — freezing and thawing applesauce will change the texture to a more watery or mushy consistency.
You’ll be pleased to hear, though, that this is not such a big change and taste quality shouldn’t be affected. Here are some handy tips for moving past the mushiness:
- Give it a good stir. Applesauce texture will remain altered but stirring at least evens out the balance of sauce and water.
- Strain the water and use the rest—the taste will stay fine!
- Test by first freezing a small batch. Once thawed, you can try out a little bit of it in your recipe, and if it is too watery for your liking, simply discard it. That way, only a small bit is thrown away.
When it comes to freezing applesauce, be sure to store it in a freezer-safe container. Follow these steps for the best outcome:
- Put your applesauce in a bowl, cover, and leave it in your fridge until it is fully chilled. You can check if it is cold to touch by dipping in a spoon and tasting a tiny bit of it.
- Pour your sauce into a freezer-safe container. This can be a re-sealable freezer bag (if so, remember to squeeze out excess air) or a jar. If you decide to use a jar, don’t forget to leave a 1-inch (2.5cm) space as, when frozen, the applesauce will stick to the jar’s edges, making it hard to open if filled all the way to the top.
- Seal it tight and label it with the initial storage date.
- Keep it in the freezer for up to two months (homemade might last longer, although it’s best to be cautious).
- When defrosting, thaw your applesauce in the fridge if you want it to last for a few days. If thawed outside of the fridge, eat immediately.