Best Applesauce: The 7 Best Applesauces to Savor With a Spoon

The best applesauce is sweet, fruity, and slightly tart. Here at Sporked, we also think good applesauce should have texture instead of being as  smooth as baby food. This delicious treat is also convenient—those little individual cups of the stuff are excellent additions to any school (or work) lunch, and they’re also good for staving off hunger pangs in a pinch. 

For this taste test, we sourced 19 different applesauces. I actually found myself getting quite fatigued by the end of this test. I mean, a grown man can only eat so much applesauce before he starts to feel infantilized (goo goo gaga, etc.). Applesauce is best when it strikes a balance of sweet and tart. There shouldn’t be so much added sugar that the applesauce is saccharine or lacks natural apple flavor. Added notes of cinnamon and other blended fruits were welcomed in this tasting, but not absolutely necessary. Finally, I looked for applesauce with a good texture: Nothing watery and goopy. Bottom line: Applesauce should taste and feel like it’s made of apples. These seven scored high marks.

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best applesauce 365 organic

Best of the Best

365 Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

Simply put, this applesauce does everything right. Whole Foods’ applesauce doesn’t have a ton of added sugar, so it’s not cloying like many other name brand applesauces. The texture is also just wonderful—coarsely blended so that it resembles something homemade. No, you can’t suck this through a straw, and that’s a good thing! This applesauce is just so versatile: It would be great as a snack, as a side to pork chops, or delicious dolloped on some latkes. Whole Foods proves that you don’t need anything besides delicious, organic apples to make a stellar applesauce.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best applesauce trader joe's

Best Tart

Trader Joe’s All Natural Unsweetened Applesauce

This is another unsweetened applesauce that’s big on apple flavor. Its tartness and fruitiness gave me big Granny Smith vibes. There’s no added sugars, but the sauce itself is still sweet enough that it feels like a treat. The texture also achieves that pleasant, somewhat chunky feel that we adore. Not too smooth and not too sugary—that’s what makes a good applesauce, and that’s what Trader Joe’s does so well here.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best cinnamon applesauce

Best Cinnamon

Good & Gather Cinnamon Applesauce

This is the applesauce we kept eating around the office after the taste test was over. Target’s brand of cinnamon-spiked applesauce comes in delightful little cups, which makes it ideal for packing school lunches or bringing to work. The flavor is the perfect balance of sweet and tart; you can still taste apples even with the added sugar. The cinnamon accents the apple’s sweet and tart taste very well. The consistency is on point, too, which is huge for a nationwide store like Target. This could easily could’ve taken the top spot on our list, but we realize that cinnamon isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely the best for a packed lunch, that’s for sure. It’s so sweet and fragrant that it feels like dessert. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best mango applesauce

Best Fruit Combo

Trader Joe’s Apple Mango Crusher

This comes in a little squeeze pouch, so there’s no spoon needed here. That’s either convenient or weird, depending on how you feel about sucking applesauce out of a pouch. To me, there is something a little strange about drinking this like a Capri Sun, and because this applesauce is meant to be ingested like a liquid rather than a solid, the texture is just a bit too liquidy. Still, the convenience here is pretty incredible; packing spoons is a pain in the ass. Plus, the flavor of this apple-mango blend has an extra bit of fruity and citrusy sweetness.

Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best mott's applesauce

Best Mott’s

Mott’s Unsweetened Applesauce Cups

Mott’s is the most recognizable brand on the applesauce market, but we think they absolutely fall short in terms of providing the best overall product. The problem with Mott’s is that the consistency is just too smooth, thin, and soupy. That said, are you in the hospital with some terrible injury? Are you a baby? If so, you’re probably drinking applesauce that’s this consistency. Still, the taste is pretty good, and if you feel comforted by a smooth and liquidy applesauce (as many people do), go for it. 

Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best applesauce for kids

Best for Kids

GoGo Squeez Fruit on the Go Variety Pack

This variety pack features apple, apple banana, and apple strawberry squeeze pouches of applesauce. The texture of the squeeze pouch applesauces are all liquidy, but the flavor here is still quite good. The banana and strawberry add some fruity diversity to what can oftentimes be a bland, repetitive food. These were definitely meant for children, and I think they nail that aesthetic both in packaging and flavor. I would absolutely buy these for my niece and nephew. Hope you kids like applesauce for your birthday!

Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best budget applesauce

Best Budget

Good & Gather Unsweetened Applesauce Cups 

Target makes good applesauce, man. The consistency of all of their products is just perfect: Viscous, not soupy, and a coarse texture you can savor. Plus, we just like applesauce that doesn’t have a ton of added sugar. To me, cups of applesauce are still the most convenient form of the product—great for school lunches or to keep around the fridge at home. Applesauce’s greatest contribution is that it’s a healthy, ready-to-eat food you can keep stocked at all times. There’s value in that, and there’s awesome value (and flavor) in Good & Gather’s applesauce cups. A well-made product that stands out, in our estimation.

Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Sprouts, North Coast Organic Strawberry, Kirkland, Tree Top, Tree Top Cinnamon, Mott’s Granny Smith, Mott’s Cinnamon, Good & Gather Homestyle, 365 Strawberry, Santa Cruz Organic, Musselman’s Cinnamon, 365 Cinnamon.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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