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
4.98 from 436 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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.
4.98 from 436 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
jar of Stove Top Apple Pie Filling with a title
cooking Stove Top Apple Pie Filling in the pan with a title
Stove Top Apple Pie Filling in the pan and in a jar with writing
Stove Top Apple Pie Filling in the pan with writing
Apple Pie Filling in a jar with a title



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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. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Sharon. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  1. This a good start but I added some brown sugar and more cinnamon. Maybe because my apples were so tart. Turned out amazing though!3 stars

  2. This is so easy a delicious I’ll never buy canned again. Just make large batches when Apple’s are i n season and freeze.5 stars

  3. Hi! I want to use this filling to make mini apple pies. You mention you don’t precook it when putting it in a pie; how do you prepare it for pie?

  4. This was my first time to make Apple Pie Filling. Had lots of Apples, so I thought beings I had everything on hand I would give this a try.
    I’m here to say, this is the Best Ever. I doubled the recipe, and glad I did. I now have enough to use some and freeze the rest. I always used can Pie Filling, and thought that was the best. It’s good, but not always on hand. Now I know what Good Pie Filling Is. Thanks ever so much.5 stars

  5. Delicious and easy. I’m not much of a cook but this was easy. My husband loved it and mother approved. Now that’s an accomplishment. ((lol)5 stars

  6. I followed the recipe to the tee and I’m no new baker, it just didn’t taste good. I don’t doubt the other reviewers enjoyed their results, I just didn’t have a good experience with this recipe.1 star

    1. If you want to freeze this, I wouldn’t recommend using cornstarch as a thickener because the freeze-thaw cycle damages the starch molecules allowing liquid to seep out thereby leaving you with a watery, separated sauce. Instead, you could use arrowroot, tapioca, or Cleargel. Cleargel is MODIFIED cornstarch and won’t separate when thawed.


  8. I just returned from visiting family in Germany and while walking the dogs through fields near their house we picked a handful of apples that were in the last stages of ripeness. I knew we couldn’t let them sit around so I decided to make an apple pie. Germans do not make pies (at least the one I know lol), so they were excited about me making them an American Apple Pie!! I found this recipe for the apple filling and I am so glad I did. It is so easy and not overly sweet (which the Germans appreciated) and it really made for a delicious treat! I followed the recipe as written and don’t feel it needs anything else! I will be using this recipe for my Thanksgiving apple pie for sure. Thanks for the great recipe!!!5 stars

  9. Such a great flavor! I doubled the recipe and used a whole bag of Granny Smith apples(9 apples). I used it with some Phyllo pastry to make an apple strudel. It was amazing!! I am going to follow the suggestions of making it ahead of time and keep it frozen because it’s so good!!5 stars

  10. I’m making this filling for a cheesecake. I need 21 ounces. This recipe says it makes 8 servings but not sure how much a serving is. I’m wondering if I should double?

    1. This recipe makes approximately 2 1/2 cups Barbara. You may be just shy with this recipe but it should be pretty close! If you want to be sure you have enough you could 1.5x the recipe! I would love to hear how the cheesecake turns out!

  11. If I am making this to be used in pies but I want to freeze some do I leave the apples raw and just freeze it?

    1. To freeze, 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!

  12. I have not made pie fillings many times however I do enjoy baking and I wanted to thank you for this recipe it was very good5 stars

    1. Hi Ami, this pie filling can be eaten as is, used in other desserts or placed in a baked or unbaked pie shell. If placed in an unbaked pie shell, I would suggest baking at 425°F for 35-45 minutes or until the crust has browned.

    1. Apple filling was delicious and very easy to make worked very good put into tortilla and put into quesadilla maker mmmmmm good!