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How Long Does Applesauce Last In The Fridge? (Tips for Storage)

Here’s how long applesauce lasts in the fridge (and freezer), the best ways to store it, and smart ways to use it in your cooking.

Applesauce is a popular treat in the Western world, and it’s a favorite of kids and adults, alike.

But, if you make a large batch of homemade applesauce, or just opened a bottle of applesauce from the store, you may wonder how long it will last.

Food safety should always be a priority, so it’s important to understand the shelf life of any foods you eat.

Luckily, we’re sharing everything you need to know about how long applesauce lasts in the fridge, pantry, and freezer.

We also share the best tips for storage and creative ways to use your leftovers!

Applesauce 101

Bowl of applesauce on wood table next to a bundle of cinnamon and fresh apples.

Applesauce is a low-calorie food that’s rich in antioxidants, supports digestion, and may reduce the risk of diabetes.

It’s made from cooked apples (peeled or unpeeled), water, apple cider (or fresh apple juice), and other varying ingredients. The more acidic the apples, the finer the puree.

It’s similar to apple butter, but it’s lighter and more liquid.

Some of the best apples to use for applesauce are golden delicious and granny smith apples. But, any apple you like will do!

You can make or purchase applesauce any time of the year, but it’s especially popular in the fall.

It’s the main ingredient in tasty treats like applesauce oatmeal, muffins, and cake. You can also use it in waffles, pancakes, and donuts.

It also pairs well with savory dishes like pork chops and latkes.

How To Store Applesauce

Several glass canning jars full of applesauce all stacked together.

To get the most use of your applesauce (and stay safe), make proper storage a priority.

In the Pantry

Unopened store-bought or canned homemade applesauce should be stored in a cool dark place and out of direct sunlight.

This could be a kitchen cabinet or a shelf in your kitchen pantry.

Make sure your unopened applesauce is free of leaks or damage before you store it.

In the Fridge

Once you open applesauce, it needs to be refrigerated.

If your store-bought applesauce came in a glass jar with a resealable lid, you can keep it in its original container. The same goes for homemade canned applesauce.

Homemade fresh applesauce (not canned) should be transferred to glass mason jars or another airtight container (preferably glass for best quality).

Store your applesauce towards the back of the refrigerator, if possible, and not in the door. The back of the refrigerator is the coldest spot.

In the Freezer

You can also freeze opened applesauce for longer storage.

For large amounts, transfer the applesauce to heavy-duty freezer bags with as much air removed as possible, or use an airtight plastic or glass container.

Just be sure to leave a little bit of headroom to account for expansion as the applesauce freezes.

The best way to freeze a small amount of leftover applesauce is in ice cube trays.

Simply pour your applesauce into the wells of the tray, freeze, then transfer the cubes to an airtight container or freezer bag.

Shelf Life

Square glass bowl filled with applesauce next to whole and cut apples.

The shelf life of applesauce depends on whether or not it’s opened and how it’s stored.

Room Temperature


An unopened jar of applesauce lasts for a relatively long time.

In general, homemade applesauce that has been canned is good for one year. In addition, store-bought and canned applesauce can last 1-2 years past the expiration date in proper storage conditions.

NOTE: Most store-bought applesauce doesn’t have an expiration date, but a best-by date instead. Meaning that the applesauce is still good to eat after the best-by-date, but the quality may start to decline.


Opened applesauce can last at room temperature for about 2 hours. If you don’t return any uneaten applesauce to the refrigerator or freezer after 2 hours, you’ll need to throw the rest out.

In the Fridge

Opened, homemade applesauce (not canned) should last 4-6 days in the refrigerator. And store-bought or canned applesauce generally lasts 7-14 days. However, this can vary depending on the producer.

When in doubt, check the label!

In the Freezer

Frozen applesauce lasts a couple of months in the freezer for best quality. It’s likely still safe to eat afterward, but it may become more watery or develop freezer burn.

This change in texture doesn’t bother some people. But, if you have a hard time with it, you can use a strainer to remove some of the excess water.

Or, use it in baking recipes like muffins, cakes, and pies.

Thaw frozen applesauce in the refrigerator overnight and use it within 5-7 days.

How To Tell When It’s Gone Bad

Applesauce in jar secured with burlap and twine next to fresh apple slices.

Bad applesauce can lead to food poisoning and serious illness. So, it’s important to check your applesauce before you eat it.

If you notice any leaks or damage to the packaging, it’s a good idea to throw it out.

You should also discard your applesauce if notice:

  • An off odor or unpleasant smell
  • Mold
  • Obvious changes in color (good applesauce is a light yellow-green color)
  • A change in taste

NOTE: Always use clean spoons when handling applesauce. If you put your spoon on a dirty surface or in your mouth and put it back in the applesauce, it will make your sauce go bad more quickly and may cause mold.

How To Make Your Own

Assortment of whole and cut apples on wooden cutting board and in wooden bowls.

Craving homemade applesauce? Here’s an easy recipe to try!


  • 4 apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup white sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 


Combine the apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 -20 minutes (or until soft).

Cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Enjoy immediately, or store in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.


Applesauce in glass jar with mint garnish next to stacked cinnamon pods.
What happens if you eat old applesauce?

This depends on how old your applesauce is and the number of bacteria in the applesauce. You may not notice any symptoms, or you may become seriously ill.

Watch out for food poisoning symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, or fever. If you notice these, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What happens if you don’t refrigerate applesauce after opening?

Opened, unrefrigerated applesauce is susceptible to bacteria growth and should be thrown out after 2 hours.

How long does homemade applesauce last in the fridge?

Fresh, homemade applesauce (not canned) lasts for 4-6 days in the refrigerator.

How long does unopened applesauce last in the fridge?

Unopened store-bought or canned applesauce doesn’t need to be refrigerated. And it can last for up to 2 years past the expiration date if left in a cool dark place.

Smart Ways To Use It

Applesauce in white bowl on rustic wooden table next to two cinnamon sticks.

Here are some smart ways to use your leftover applesauce!

Yummy Apple Recipes You’ll Love!

Glazed Apple Streusel Bars

Seven apple crumb bars on parchment parchment paper lined baking rack with apple slices nearby.

These Glazed Apple Streusel Bars feature a delicious shortbread crust, spiced apple filling, streusel topping, and a sweet glaze. They taste like a piece of Dutch apple pie, but only require half the work!

Salted Caramel Apple Cider

Glass mug of caramel apple cider with whipped cream in front of pumpkins and apples.

This Salted Caramel Cider features warm cider, flavored with spices and syrup and topped with whipped cream. It’s the ultimate cozy drink, perfect for any fall night!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Chopped sweet potatoes in a crock pot recipe in white bowl next to kitchen towel.

These Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes and Apples feature perfectly cooked sweet potatoes, a sweet brown sugar glaze, and tender apples. You’ll delight everyone on Thanksgiving Day with this delicious recipe!

Simple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Oven roasted sweet potatoes on large metal sheet pan with kitchen towel.

These simple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples are the perfect fall side dish. You only need 4 ingredients to make this healthy and naturally sweet recipe.

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