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 354 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 354 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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About the author

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. Okay, so… this is wildly easy!! It took me just over 10 minutes to do the whole thing. I chopped the apple slices into smaller chunks and made mini apple tarts out of them. They came out delicious! Will definitely be using this recipe again. Thanks!!5 stars

  2. Great use for the apples I needed to use. This way the pie is not so juicy and runny because you never know how much juice the apples are going to produce. Pie is in the oven now. Lots cheaper and better than buying pie filling. Now for all the other kinds of fruit. Lol5 stars

  3. This is my first time ever making apple filling. This Apple Pie Filling recipe is easy, simple and exquisitely delicious. I could not resist and scooped some vanilla ice cream then topped it with some of this filling while still warm and it was sooo good it was ridiculous! This recipe is a 5*s mega hit!5 stars

  4. Superbly easy with fantastic results! Love it! I added a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor. Can’t wait to make some apple pies with the filling!

    Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  5. This is the fastest, easiest, most delicious apple pie recipe I have found! I absolutely love it! Adding a drop or two of food grade lemon essential oils with water into the bowl, as you slice the apples, gives that extra bit of tart!
    I love having freshly jarred apple pie filling on hand for a quick pies & toppings. It is also a perfect gift for loved ones while on a budget.5 stars

  6. It was easy and perfect! I folded it in a cresent dough sheet and braided across the top. Yummy and pretty.5 stars

  7. I’ve made many of your recipes now, and most have become family favorites. I am a Dad (caregiver for a cancer patient, too) who’s just learning the kitchen, and have mucho mucho fun doing it. I usually look first for any recipe you publish, they usually involve ingredients i have on hand, and are easy to follow. In this time,that’s a godsend. Thank you and know i will be watching!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Jeff, I’m so glad you’ve found some recipes to enjoy! Happy Thanksgivng to you and your family.

  8. Thank you for such a great recipe! So good and, so easy! I substituted half of the butter with some browned butter that I had in the fridge. Made apple crumble and it was delicious. Looking forward to trying your other recipes.5 stars

  9. Thank you! Thank you! BEST RECIPE EVER!!!! When apple season comes around I use this recipe with the apples we pick to make and freeze your homemade apple pie filling. Delicious!!!

  10. Great recipe I have made it several times. With the leftover pie filling we put on pancakes warmed up. It was a great success my boys loved it.5 stars

  11. If I make the pie from scratch, do I just mix all the ingredients together and put in an unbaked pie crust? How long do I bake it and at what temp?

    If I make and freeze the pie filling to be used later, do I put the precooked pie filling in an unbaked pie crust and bake? For how long and what temp?

    Why does the pie from scratch use unbaked pie filling and the other doesn’t?

    1. If making apple pie from scratch, I usually use this apple pie recipe.

      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.

  12. Loved that it’s easy and yummy. Though I substituted 1 Tbsp. of water with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.
    I used this apple filling for the Baked Apple Pie Roll Ups. I was able to make 2 batches.
    Thanks for sharing.5 stars