Can you freeze store-bought applesauce?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze store-bought applesauce?”, and how to freeze applesauce?

Can you freeze store-bought applesauce?

Yes, you can freeze store-bought applesauce. Whether chunky or smooth, applesauce freezes quite well. If used within the safe time frame of storage, there are hardly any changes in the quality of the frozen and thawed applesauce. 

Freezing an unopened can of store-bought applesauce is unnecessary since it has a shelf-life of about 1-2 years. Many food items in military rations, including applesauce, have a shelf life of 3 years at 26.6˚C (3). However, you may consider freezing the best choice when it comes to saving the applesauce leftovers.

Fruits and vegetables are perishable foods with extremely rapid deterioration; this means that their stability after harvesting and during subsequent storage is critical. Preservation of foods usually involves technologies that prevent microbial growth as well as retard quality degradation reactions. Among such processes, freezing is a proven and efficient method. For vegetables, freezing is widely recognised as the most satisfactory method for long-term preservation (4).

The freezing steps are quite simple. Keep on reading this article to find out what’s the best way to store homemade or store-bought applesauce

Apples are cultivated throughout mainland USA with measurable production in all 50 US states, although Washington State accounted for 60% of domestic production in 2010. The apple industry has been shrinking in many other states since the late 1990s under the pressure of competition and oversupply in the domestic and international markets. This leads to the third point—a substantial amount of apples consumed in the USA are imported (8.4 and 4.1% of the total annual fresh domestic consumption and domestic supply/distribution, respectively, in 2010) (1).

How to freeze applesauce?

You do not need any fancy tools to freeze store-bought or homemade applesauce. The process is simple and only requires some planning and attention. Get your hands on some good-quality containers, freezer bags, mason jars or ice-cube trays to get started. 

Let it cool

If you made your applesauce at home, you need to let it chill before freezing. Transfer the applesauce to a bowl or a large-surface area pan and let it cool in the fridge.

Make portions

Applesauce freezes to a solid and takes a long time to completely defrost. To make you thaw just the right amount of applesauce as needed, divide the applesauce into portions.

The size of each portion depends on how you intend to use it after thawing. It could be as small as half a cup or as big as 2 cups. It all comes down to its intended use.

Consider storage arrangements 

Opt for freezer bags for storing applesauce if you are short on freezer space. Make sure the freezer bags are high quality and do not contain any holes or tears.

Mason jars or air-tight containers are good options for freezing large portions of applesauce. Use a shallow air-tight container if the portion is not that large. 

Keep a safe headspace and avoid half-filling your air-tight containers. This helps minimize the air and moisture contact of the applesauce. 

Last but not the least, opt for ice-cube trays if you are yet figuring out the intended use of the applesauce. Frozen cubes of applesauce work great for making smoothies.

Pour the sauce into the container 

Fill each container with the allotted portion of the applesauce. Squeeze as much air as possible if you are using freezer bags. 

Leave 1/1/2-inch headspace to allow the applesauce to expand. Put a clear label on the container. This helps in the identification of the frozen applesauce whilst helping you keep track of its shelf-life.


Put the container to the back of the freezer where the temperature is the coldest and temperature fluctuations are minimal. If you want, you can transfer the ice cubes of the applesauce from the ice cube tray to a freezer bag.

How long does it take for the applesauce to freeze?

The portion of the applesauce and the storage medium determines the time it takes for the applesauce to freeze solid. If you have multiple freezer bags stacked on top of each other, the middle ones will take longer to freeze. 

Moreover, the performance of your freezer also plays an important role in determining the freezing time for the applesauce.

Storage medium Freezing time (for applesauce)
Ice-cube tray 3-4 hours 
Freezer bag laid out flat (depending on the height)2-4 hours 
Containers and bags that aren’t flat, depending on the amount4-8 hours 

How long does applesauce last in the freezer?

Frozen applesauce is best consumed within 3-6 months of storage. Most fruits will maintain high quality for 8-12 months at 0°F or below (2). The applesauce won’t go bad past the suggested time frame but it won’t quite hit the spot either. 

So, it is better to use it as early as possible while it is still in its prime. Prolonged freezing significantly impacts the quality of any frozen food including applesauce. The impact of the freezing process on product quality is enormous. Fruits have a considerable amount of water in their constitution. This characteristic makes them very sensitive to water phase changes and, consequently, to quality deterioration (4).

How to defrost applesauce?

Ideally, the applesauce should be thawed in the fridge overnight. If you forgot to leave the applesauce for overnight defrosting, there are other ways you can do it right. 

Submerged in water: Place the applesauce container in a bowl full of lukewarm water. Place this setup in the fridge and wait for several hours. Since water is a more efficient heat-transfer medium, thawing takes less time.

In the microwave: Microwave the applesauce on low power or the defrost setting. Check the sauce after regular intervals of 1 minute in the beginning. Shorten the interval time as the sauce sweats. Stir in between the nuking sessions to promote thorough heating.

On the stove: Heat the applesauce in a non-stick pan over low. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Keep stirring the sauce to keep it from burning.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

What can I use Instead of Dark Soy Sauce?

What can I use Instead of Chili Garlic Sauce?

How to thicken the sauce without flour or cornstarch?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze store-bought applesauce?”, and how to freeze applesauce?


  1. Onozaka, Yuko, Wenjing Hu, and Dawn D. Thilmany. Can eco-labels reduce carbon emissions? Market-wide analysis of carbon labeling and locally grown fresh apples. Renew Agric Food Sys, 2016, 31, 122-138.
  2. Freezing Apples. Colorado State University.  
  3. Goan, Eric Calvin. Quality of Applesauce and Raspberry Puree Applesauce as Affected by Type of Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Salts and Chelators under Stress Storage Conditions. 2011. University of Tennessee.
  4. Evans, Judith A., ed. Frozen food science and technology. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
  5. Freezing applesauce. National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  6. Freezing and Food Safety. US Department of Agriculture.