Apple Pie Filling takes less than 15 minutes to make and has a great homemade flavor.

  Tender chunks (or slices) of apples are perfectly sweet-tart simmered in a simple cinnamon sauce. They take just minutes to prep and taste so  much better than canned!

They can be used in pies or tarts or replace a can of apple pie filling in any recipe.  Scoop it over ice cream, yogurt, or cake for an easy treat.

A jar of homemade apple pie filling with cinnamon sticks

Homemade is Best (and SO easy!)

I looooove Apple pie filling but not just for filling pie crust! It’s great over anything from yogurt to cake to oatmeal.

  • Homemade always tastes 1000x better! Delicious apple flavor with a hint of warm spices.
  • The apples come out tender and not soggy.
  • Making this apple pie filling is less expensive than canned (and has a homemade flavor).
  • Needs just a handful of ingredients.
  • Ready in about 10-15 minutes, it’s so easy to make.

The Best Apples for Pie Filling

Much like when baking apple pie, you’ll want apples that stand up well so you don’t end up with applesauce! We think granny smith apples are the best for pie filling because they have a tart flavor which means the filling isn’t overly sweet.

Try any of the following: braeburn, golden delicious, honeycrisp.

Other ingredients needed in this recipe are sugar, water, spices and cornstarch (this makes the sauce portion).

ingredients in the pan to make Stove Top Apple Pie Filling

How to Make Homemade Apple Pie Filling

You’ve heard the saying as easy as Apple Pie, this recipe is exactly that!

  1. Peel and chop apples: apples are peeled and sliced and simply added to a pan with a bit of water, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Thicken: once tender, I add a bit of cornstarch to thicken up this apple pie filling. Any of the juices released from the apples make the “saucy” part.

Replace the Can

This easy apple pie filling recipe makes the equivalent of 1 can of apple pie filling and takes just about 10 minutes.

It’s perfect to substitute for a can of apple pie filling (and tastes so much better than the store bought)!

cooking Stove Top Apple Pie Filling in the pan


  • Chop the apples or make apple slices instead.
  • Swap out white sugar for brown sugar to add a caramel flavor.
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • I use ground cinnamon but you can use apple pie spice, a pinch of nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or your favorite warm spice mixture.

How to Freeze Apple Pie Filling

This apple pie filling is delicious and can be used right away. We mainly make it to replace cans of pie filling in recipes, if I am making an actual apple pie from scratch, I don’t pre cook the filling. If you do make this filling you can of course freeze it.

Simply cook as directed and cool. Freeze in a freezer bag. Once ready to use, defrost overnight in the fridge and use as you would from fresh!

A tall jar of apple pie filling with a white towel

Ideas for Apple Pie Filling

We love this on its own or served over ice cream but this easy apple pie filling works perfectly in the recipes below!

A jar of homemade apple pie filling with cinnamon sticks
4.96 from 350 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Quick Stovetop Apple Pie Filling! This easy recipe replaces 1 can of apple pie filling and is so much better than the store-bought filling!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 4 medium apples
  • cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Peel, core, and chop or slice apples*.
  • Melt butter and cinnamon over medium heat. Stir in apples, sugar & water.
  • Cover and cook stirring occasionally for 4-6 minutes or until very slightly softened.
  • In a small dish combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add to the pan while stirring and continue to cook until apples are soft (not mushy) and filling is thickened.
  • Let bubble 1 minute. Cool.


Cut apples into 1/2-inch cubes or 1/4-inch slices.
Different varieties of apples may need less (or more) cooking time. Cook just until tender crisp checking the apples with a fork. 
Some apples are juicier than others. If you would like your filling thicker, combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Add a little at a time while the mixture is boiling until you reach desired consistency.
4.96 from 350 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 109 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert, Pie
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. My secret:
    If you don’t have brown sugar ( and I don’t buy it anymore) Just measure out the amount of white sugar called for and stir in a tablespoon or 2 of molasses! It turns the sugar a beautiful color and tastes SOOOOO good you won’t believe it!!! No more rock hard brown sugar in the cupboard! Your welcome :)5 stars

    1. Hi Flo, I don’t have these available in grams. I would suggest using an online converter for accurate conversion amounts. Enjoy the recipe!

  2. I have made this a few times, and everyone has absolutely loved it! I’ve always refrigerated it, but does it truly require refrigeration?5 stars

  3. I was wondering if you would recommend making any adjustments to this recipe if I planned to use it in place of canned apple pie filling to make a apple crumble dump cake. The recipe I’m looking at is a pretty basic dump cake, canned pie filling, boxed cake mix, melted butter and brown sugar oatmeal crumb topping. They typically cook for an hour. And I was concerned that maybe the apples would be overcooked in that time. What are your thoughts?5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but I think this pie filling recipe would work just fine for a dump cake base. The apples are cooked until just slightly tender and should have the same consistency as store bought pie filling. If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out!

    1. I have not tried canning this so unfortunately can’t say for sure. Perhaps a reader with more canning experience will be able to offer some guidance.

    2. I have canned apple pie filling many times. You could use this recipe and then find and follow instructions on a canning site (ie Ball Jars website has instructions).

    1. I haven’t tried this with oil. I would suggest using just a tiny bit of oil and then perhaps apple juice or even a little bit of water.

  4. This is the best apple pie filling! I made it to bring camping and put it on cinnamon swirl bread in our pie makers. After cooking over the fire I drizzled vanilla cookie icing on top! I used Granny Smith apples and followed the recipe as written. This is now our go to recipe! Thanks for sharing5 stars

  5. Great recipe! I used Honey Crisp apples and I reduced the sugar and added a dash of salt as they were a little overly sweet. I also cooked them down about 5 minutes on a low simmer after thickening to fully tenderize.
    It turned out great!5 stars

  6. If I’m making a homemade pie crust, should I blind bake the crust first since I’m already cooking the apples?

    1. You can blind bake the pie crust before filling or if placed in an unbaked pie shell, I would suggest baking at 425°F for 35-45 minutes or until the crust has browned. Enjoy!

      1. When you say to bake at 425 degrees, do you recommend reducing heat to 375 after 15 minutes?

      2. Hi Laurie, you can follow this apple pie recipe for better cooking instructions! But I would reduce it after 15 minutes and continue cooking at 375°F.

  7. Can this apple pie filling be made and then put in the freezer? If so, should it be taken out in advance and put in refrigerator to defrost? Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Joanne, this filling should last 6-8 months in the freezer. I would let it defrost before using it in a recipe!

  8. Sounds wonderful! Can this be water bath canned? In the fall I have a lot of apples and if I could can this it would be great.5 stars

    1. I have not tried canning this so unfortunately can’t say for sure. Perhaps a reader with more canning experience will be able to offer some guidance.

  9. my apples will not get soft and cooked for a long time i used Gala is this the wrong type for baking with ?

    1. Hi Joan, Gala apples are a great choice if you want some extra sweetness without a soft texture. For a softer texture, we love using granny smith or honey crisp apples! Hope that helps.

  10. Quick, easy, and delicious! I was short on time and put all ingredients in a pie pan. Added a dash of vanilla and a little extra butter. Topped it with left over biscuit dough rolled very thin. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Yummy!5 stars

  11. Struggled with watery apple pies. My family told me to stop making them, lol. I found this recipe!! Love it. I use this recipe all the time and finally my family loves my apples pies. Its a no fail recipe and it is delicious.

  12. I used this as a guide for making filling. I’d never done it before. I used granny smith apples, and added a tiny bit of lemon juice and vanilla, and it was so delicious, I think I almost DIED. Thank you for posting this!5 stars

  13. I made this tonight, it is a very good recipe! Thank you. I used it in an almond flour pie crust and it worked great! The almond flour is fragile so pre-cooking this filling worked great since I only cooked the pie for 35 minutes. I’m keeping this recipe. (: