Homemade Apple Pie Filling

4.66 from 38 votes

Homemade Apple Pie Filling – this easy recipe takes just a few minutes and tastes so much better than canned pie filling! Keep it in your freezer for when you want pie filling ASAP!

You never need to buy the can of pie filling again – just whip up this easy recipe to use for your pies or an easy side dish.


Homemade Apple Pie Filling - this easy recipe takes just a few minutes and tastes so much better than canned pie filling! Keep it in your freezer for when you want pie filling ASAP!

Every week I have a list of things I’m going to bake or cook. At the beginning of the week, usually on Mondays, I make a list of what I have to bake/photograph/video for the week, do an inventory of my pantry, and make a shopping list. Then, as is also normal, by Wednesday when I’m actually doing the recipes, I change my mind 10 times or add a few new recipes to the mix. Last week was no exception to my rule: I decided I needed apple pie filling for a recipe (coming Sunday!)

I never buy apple pie filling unless it’s for a recipe, because in all honesty, I don’t really like canned pie filling very much. Sure, I use it, because it’s easy and makes things like dump cake or slab pie even easier than normal, and you all love easy recipes. So of course, on a random Wednesday when I decide to make an apple recipe using pie filling, I don’t have any in my pantry. And because, by Wednesdays, I’ve been to the store usually 3 times already, I don’t want to go again.

But then I realized something: I can make my own apple pie filling. It will taste better, be fresher, and I can use it in so many recipes (like the best apple strudel recipe or crockpot apple dump).

I don’t know why it’s taken me 7 years to make my own pie filling, but I’m glad I finally came around to the other side of things. Homemade apple pie filling is better tasting and better for you, I’m sure. Plus, it’s good in so many recipes!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is an easy apple recipe that tastes better than from a can!

Remember back in the day when we’d eat TV dinners? My dessert half the time was cinnamon apples. I never liked them much, but it dawned on me that homemade apple pie filling is really just the same thing as those cinnamon apples. (Also: those TV dinner makers were so cheap, they were giving us apple pie filling but didn’t want to spend a few extra pennies for a crust?)

This easy recipe is a cooked apple pie filling, made on the stovetop, and is perfect to use immediately, eat over the week, or freeze for later. Normally we make crockpot applesauce after we go apple picking, but this year we’re also going to make more apple pie filling too!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is an easy recipe that is better than canned and goes so well in so many fall recipes.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Tips for perfect apple pie filling:

  1. I like to slice my apples in chunks. I don’t know about you, but the canned filling you get at the store has apples that are too big to eat! Chop them how you like to eat them.
  2. The good thing about making this homemade is that you can add or reduce spices as you like. Love cinnamon? Add a touch more, or reduce it if you prefer it plainer.
  3. You can also use your favorite kind of apples. I used a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji because it was what I had in my fridge.
  4. I know some people prefer making apple pie filling without cornstarch, but find it’s the easiest way to make it and you probably have everything already on hand.
  5. Them mixture thickens as it cools so even though it looks loose after it’s done, it’ll thicken up quite a bit.

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Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Homemade Apple Pie Filling - this easy recipe takes just a few minutes and tastes so much better than canned pie filling! Keep it in your freezer for when you want pie filling ASAP!
4.66 from 38 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 cups
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 4 cups apples peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  • Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  • Place water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Once the mixture boils, boil it for two minutes. Add the apples, turn to a simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring often, until the apples soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Pour into jars to cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Sodium: 50mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, pie

If you’re looking for other things to make with Homemade Apple Pie filling be sure to check out more of my recipes below, plus Apple Pie Dumplings, Deep Fried Apple Pie Bars, and Apple Pie Poke Cake from my fellow bloggers!

Easy Apple Strudel

Easy apple pie strudel.

Crockpot Apple Dump Cake

Crockpot apple dump cakes in a glass bowl with title.

Pumpkin Apple No Bake Dessert

Pumpkin apple no bake dessert lush on a white plate with a fork, graphic title.

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88 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. Would this be good for using in a slow cooker?? I tried a recipe from somewhere with cherry pie filling but was wanting to try making my own filling and I have a ton of apples on hand; also, would flour work in place of cornstarch?

  2. This pie filling was just wonderful! My mom always made fried apple pies and for some reason, we wrote down her crust recipe but not the most important part-the filling. This one tastes just like her’s. She always used Jonathan apples for everything, so I did the same thing. I made a big batch and actually canned the majority. I’m going to buy more apples this weekend while the Jonathan are still in season in Arkansas, just so I can put up some more of this for the winter. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Rather than freezing this, can you can it?! Im looking at making some canned apple pie filling and this recipe looks amazing!!! Id rather have cans though over more in my freezer if I can 

    1. Im looking for the same thing.  Flour is not recommended in safe canning. Im looking for sure gel recipes for safe canning apple pie filling for recipes!

    2. I slice apples storing in lemon water until enough for 3 pies. then mix apples & dry ingredients together in saucepan, add no liquid. Heat just enough to melt sugar/flour/spice mixture. (Dont boil) Fill 3 hot quart jars. Water bath 20 min.

  4. Yum! Just made this tonight. I am a macaron baker and was looking for a simple apple pie filling for my caramel apple pie macarons. This one fits the bill. At first I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough apple flavor with all the water, but I was wrong, this one is reminiscent of the TV dinner apple whatever…LOL. I think next time I may sub in some apple cider for 1/2 the water, just to see what I will get.

  5. Great recipe. I used the filling as a topping on Belgian Waffles and pancakes. I chopped the apples in 1/2 inch chunks for filling in 4 inch double crust pies. Perfect with French Vanilla ice cream and sharp Cheddar cheese.

    This recipe is a keeper. Thank you for sharing.

    1. it literally says the recipe is for filling, not a whole pie. There’s going to recipes for pie and pie crust on this blog, it’s not hard to search for them.