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 528 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
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  • 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 528 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 used 25 apples (two were rather small) and ended up with 6 freezer bags with around 22 oz of pie filling in each (I filled the bags by weight to keep the amount consistent in each – it’s almost 3 cups by volume). The can of apple pie filling from Walmart is 21 oz, so this recipe does yield the same as a one can of store bought filling. My apples were not super flavorful so I used cider instead of water and added a bit of lemon juice. Since I did this as a batch and my stovetop has some “all or nothing” heating habits, it did take a while to cook on a lower heat (better slow than burned). I usually use apple pie filling to make the “Fruit Magic” recipe from a box of Jiffy cake mix. Excellent pie filling recipe!5 stars

  2. I am getting ready to make the apple pie filling. I am using VA gold apples. I want yo can them. Do you think they’ll be fine in Atwater bath for 20 minutes??5 stars

    1. I have never canned this recipe so I can’t say for sure. Maybe another reader who has more experience with canning can offer some advice.

      1. You must never can an item that was made with cornstarch. Instead, use cook-type ClearJel. It is the only product considered food-safe for canning.5 stars

  3. How much of the ingredients do I use,example,the water,cinnamon and all the other ingredients,and for how long,I really want to make a pie with the apples soft,so please tell me thank you.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, you can use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the post or scroll down to the recipe card for all the ingredient measurements and cooking instructions. I hope that helps!

  4. Delicious apple pie filling, super easy & total game-changer! I turned this into the best Dutch apple pie I’ve ever made or my family has tasted. This is the first time I’ve ever pre-cooked apple pie filling but I will never go back to raw apples again. This recipe was enough for one pie, used a refrigerated pie crust & made Ina Garten’s apple crisp topping (used only half, saved for another pie/which is the most decadent streusel like topping ever) for the crumb layer. Thank you!5 stars

  5. Easy and amazing pie filling. I used it for stuffing perogies and made extra for on top. I have used this recipe sooo many times. I highly recommend!5 stars

  6. I just made this recipe but substituted the white sugar with AGAVE. It came out delicious.
    This one is a keeper… Thank you!5 stars

  7. This was a real good recipe for apple pie filling. I used it and put fillings in a puff pastry shell and drizzled with Carmel sauce. Turned out perfect5 stars

  8. I’m going to make your sugar cookie crust and this pie filling recipe. Do I need to put the pie in the oven once I fill the baked crust? It may be a silly question but I’m asking anyhow.

    1. Both are cooked separately so you should be able to just combine then and serve. You can also assemble and cook in the oven until heated through. I hope that helps!

  9. I love this filling recipe. I have used it for the mass amount of apples my backyard apple tree produced this year and also used peaches from my moms trees with the same recipe. love it both ways. Now my question is is if I can can the whole thing afterwards? Literally have an whole basket in my chest freezer full of pie and streusel filling now and need the room for more garden goodies.5 stars

    1. Hi Lydia, I have never tried canning this recipe so I can’t say for sure. Maybe another ready can assist you.

  10. I want to try this recipe but am somewhat dumbfounded by one of the reviews. One reviewer said she “cut the white sugar to 2 1/2 c. and added 1/4 c. Brown sugar…but your recipe says 1/3 c.? Am I missing part of this recipe? Don’t know how one cuts the sugar if the original amount is so much less.

    1. This recipe makes approximately 2 1/2 cups. So depending on how much apple pie filling is called for in the recipe you are using you might need to do a double batch.

  11. I have always been a big fan of cooking up the fruit filings on the stove before making pies/crumbles. I intend to try this apple recipe but would like to know if you have an idea of the weight of your 4 medium apples. I have some huge ones so don’t know if I should just use 2 or go for 3.

    Maybe I have been fortunate but I have never peeled my apples and the skins always come out soft.