How Long Does Applesauce Last? Does It Spoil?

Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.

If you have young kids at home, then applesauce will probably be knocking around in your pantry. Applesauce is one of the earliest foods introduced to babies, not just because they are nutritious and taste delicious, but it is also very safe and easiest to digest in such young tummies. I remember buying so much applesauce, I bought it in bulk, I bought the pouches, the glass jars and I have even whipped it up at home.

And not just for babies, applesauce is great for settling the stomach, it is especially helpful for people who are old, sick, or recuperating. Besides this applesauce is used in baked goods, desserts, and as fillings in pies and crepes. It is also a great dip for snacks. Now, applesauce is available in plenty, from big brands to small, organic indie labels, to generic brands and they come sweetened and unsweetened, organic, in cups, tubes, jars, bottles, etc. The interesting thing about these applesauce pouches and bottles was that oftentimes, I would open a bottle or pouch and forget about it, then I would have to open another because I couldn’t remember when I opened it, or how long it’s been out, and you never want to take the chance with babies or sick people. It’s one of the reasons we answer all your pressing questions about applesauce and its shelf life and how to get the maximum out of what you have.

How Long Does Applesauce Last?

This is a tricky question because the answer often depends on the manufacturer. Some companies promise that the applesauce will be good, if unopened, for 12-18 months, while others say applesauce lasts for a couple of months after the sell-by date. Similarly, for opened jars of applesauce, the shelf life ranges from one week to 30 days. So, if you are ever in doubt go with what the jar you bought says. It is safest to stick to the manufacturer’s estimates.

But here is a general idea about the shelf life of applesauce. An unopened jar, pouch, or bottle of applesauce can last for 3-4 months after the sell-by or best-by date. This date indicates the timeframe for when the product reaches peak quality, after this, the product will still be good, but the taste and quality will start to decline and won’t taste as fresh. An unopened applesauce bottle will last without a problem in the pantry.

An opened jar of applesauce needs to be refrigerated as soon as possible. And it needs to be consumed within 7-10 days. Do not keep open applesauce on the counter or pantry as it will begin to spoil.

Homemade applesauce on the other hand has a comparatively short shelf life and needs to be refrigerated and consumed within 5-7 days. You can also freeze applesauce as it freezes incredibly well and will last in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Type of ApplesaucePantryFridge Freezer
Unopened jarSell-by date + 3-4 months
Opened jar7-10 days2-3 months
Homemade 5-7 days2-3 months

The above table will give you a general idea of how long you can expect your applesauce to last. This is only an approximation, the actual timeframe may change depending on a number of factors like the date of manufacturing, storage conditions, and the temperature

How To Store Applesauce?

Applesauce is fairly easy to store and maintain. 

  • If you have an unopened bottle of applesauce, you can keep it in the pantry or cabinet ensuring it is cool and dark. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight
  • You can also keep unopened applesauce in the fridge, but it is not necessary as it already has a pretty long and stable shelf life lasting for months after its sell-by date.
  • If you have opened a jar or pouch of applesauce keep it in the fridge as soon as possible. You can store it in the jar it came in or if it is in a pouch or bag, you can transfer it into an airtight container. Make sure the container is dry as moisture will accelerate decay. Your applesauce will be fine in the fridge for 7-10 days.
  • If you have homemade applesauce, let it cool down. Then transfer it into an airtight container before storing it in the fridge. It can be enjoyed for 5-7 days.
  • If you store your applesauce taking all the precautions, then you will be able to enjoy it to its fullest, when it is still fresh and flavorful.

Can You Freeze Applesauce?

  • Applesauce freezes very well, this is because there is no dairy in it, and it can be frozen easily and efficiently. 
  • Now, while you can freeze a new bottle of applesauce, there is no reason to freeze an unopened jar as it has a long life and will taste even better when not frozen and thawed. 
  • For opened jars of applesauce and homemade sauce, first, cool it down and then transfer it into a freezer-safe, airtight container. 
  • If you are planning to use all the applesauce that you are freezing in one go, then you can just freeze it all together in one container. But if you planning to use it in bits, then it is best to portion it out and then freeze it.
  • The best way to do this is to freeze the applesauce in ice trays and then transfer it into a freezer bag. This way, you can just take out what you need without thawing the whole batch.
  • You can thaw the frozen applesauce in the fridge overnight.
  • Once thawed do not refreeze the applesauce.
  • Be aware that thawed applesauce does get very watery, while the taste is diluted, and the texture is often mushier than usual. It still serves its purpose and works well though. You can strain the thawed applesauce in a muslin or cheesecloth to drain the excess water out. 

Does It Spoil?

Despite its long shelf life, this delicious sauce does spoil. Keep in mind, that an opened jar of applesauce will turn brown, this is normal, and this does not indicate spoilage. Just like how apples brown when exposed to air, so too will applesauce. Just stir it up and use it. 

Make sure that every time you scoop out some applesauce, you are using a fresh spoon as double-dipping, or using a dirty spoon will cause mold to grow on it. 

How To Tell If Applesauce Has Spoiled?

Check to see if the applesauce has anything growing on it. If it has black or green spots or a white, spongy grown on it, it has spoiled and needs to be thrown out. Discoloration does not mean it has turned, it is normal and will happen with applesauce. It is still usable.

Next check for weird or unpleasant smells. Applesauce generally has a sweet and mild odor, but if it smells sharp or pungent, then the applesauce is rancid and needs to go.

Similarly, if your applesauce tastes bitter or sour then it is no longer consumable

With some extra care and caution, you can enjoy your applesauce a little bit longer while it is still fresh, full of flavor and sweetness. 

Recent Recipes