Keto Friendly Applesauce

Keto Friendly Applesauce

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Keto Applesauce Recipe

Sugar-Free Low Carb and Apple Free

Imagine the scent of cinnamon sticks and citrus filling your home.  Doesn’t that sound like Fall to you? I know for me some of my favorite foods include Fall spices.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spices, and especially apple take me away to such a very happy culinary space. This keto substitute for applesauce is no exception!

Before we go over the recipe, let’s look a little further into applesauce and keto.

Is applesauce keto?

In 8 ounces of a “typical” store-bought sugar-free applesauce, there are 24 grams of carbs, with 23 grams of sugar. In a sweetened applesauce you can easily expect 45 grams of carbs per cup, 36 of those are from sugar.

Based on these numbers is applesauce keto approved?

The short answer is no.

I am a huge proponent for keto being a metabolic state. I do not believe that foods are keto or not keto. With that being said some foods are just impossible to fit into keto macros. Applesauce happens to be one of those foods. The typical target for any keto daily carb intake hovers around 20-30 net carbs. Most following a low carb regime eat around 40-50 net carbs daily.

If you calculate your macros using the carb manager app unsweetened applesauce is a Keto Grade: F (Avoid). In their description of food grades, F means avoid entirely.

To put it simply following “strict” keto macros do not allow much room for homemade applesauce, which is exactly why this recipe is apple free.

Per serving this recipe contains 13 total carbs and only 7 net carbs.

My personal keto macro goals

For the better part of my ketogenic journey, I did not calculate macros. In fact, I successfully lost 100 pounds not tracking my food at all. However, once I hit that huge milestone my weight loss stalled completely for months. It is because of this that I began to research keto macro calculators. My favorite calculator at this time is designed by Ruled Me. Since I began tracking macros not only have I broken through my plateau, but I have also felt better than ever.

My personal daily carb goals are to stay as close to 20 total carbs as possible, but I do calculate net carbs on most foods. I achieve this by limiting foods that may have a low net carb, but a high total carb amount. So for me personally I will not eat applesauce, so I needed an applesauce substitute desperately.

Do you want an applesauce replacement?

Have you been worried about being able to enjoy your favorite fall foods now that you’ve committed to a ketogenic lifestyle? Or are you just simply missing applesauce?

If you answered yes to either of these questions — then this recipe was created for you!

The story behind this recipe:

This keto-friendly sugar-free applesauce has a story:

My grandfather made some of the best applesauce EVER… and my dad made it just as delicious—in fact, it was even better. For all of my life, I have enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Some of my favorite Fall memories growing up involved apple-picking with my dad and then watching him make grandpa’s delicious applesauce. The secret ingredient for me has always been the whole lemon – yes, I mean rind included.  

A few weeks ago my husband and I took our daughter apple-picking, and I had every intention of cooking up this family recipe for her to fall in love with too.  

After a fun-filled day of apple picking, we headed home to make apple sauce. So naturally, my keto recipe wheels began to turn as well, and this keto-friendly applesauce was born.  

How to make keto applesauce

Now that you know the family history behind this recipe, we can finally discuss the keto recipe details.

This main ingredient in this apple free applesauce is peeled and chopped ZUCCHINI. I used regular zucchini, however, I am sure that other varieties would work just as well.  

You may have seen some delicious recipes available for jicama apples, or chayote squash apple filling. However, neither apple replacement lends the smooth texture of applesauce when blended.

This is exactly where zucchini shines. The end result of this keto-friendly apple free applesauce is a nice thick and a very creamy sweet apple-like treat. 

You will also need:

  • lemon
  • cinnamon sticks
  • butter
  • apple flavoring (more on this below)
  • sugar-free maple syrup
  • stevia

Cooking Tip:

Because we are using squash for this recipe the longer cooking time is essential to cook out all the water in the zucchini. Do not try and skip this step, and do not try and rush by using a higher cooking temperature.

My favorite part of the longer cooking time was how delicious my house smelled while this mock applesauce cooked and reduced. I promise it smells just like the real deal! 

To achieve a true apple flavor, but also keep this recipe keto-friendly I used One on One’s Baked Apple flavor concentrate. These flavors are my secret weapon, and you will see I use them in the majority of my recipes. I love being able to flavor my keto foods and spare myself the carbs that it would otherwise take to develop that flavor profile. In my opinion, their flavors have a much more realistic flavor profile then store bought extracts. For a link to their site, you can follow my affiliate link below. For 25 percent off your order use my code Brilliantly-25.

You can always use flavor extracts for this recipe, you will just have to use them to taste. I can only speak for the amounts of One On One flavorings that I use in my recipes.

Affiliate Disclosure

Yield: 6

Keto Friendly Applesauce

Keto Friendly Applesauce

No need to skip the applesauce -- this recipe is apple free and keto compliant.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 3-4 small or medium peeled and cubed zucchinis (approximately 550 grams)
  • 1/2 lemon or 1 whole lemon cut up into very small cubes.
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 20- 40 drops of One on One Flavors baked apple flavor concentrate
  • 2-4 tbsp. sugar-free maple syrup
  • Stevie to taste


  1. Start by melting the butter on medium-low heat. 
  2. Once the butter is melted add in the zucchini, lemon, and two cinnamon sticks.  Place the lid on the pot and keep a close eye that you do not have the temperature high enough to burn any of the ingredients.  The goal is to cook the zucchini slow enough that it releases all the water. Stir the contents occasionally to avoid burning, and to allow for nice even cooking.  zucchini applesauce ingredients before cooking
  3. When the zucchini is nice and soft, and the pot has filled with the liquid from the zucchini-- approximately 30-45 minutes of cooking time -- you now remove the lid. The goal of removing the lid is to now cook off all the liquid that was the result of cooking the squash.  To make stirring easier, I recommend removing the cinnamon sticks now. Continue to cook on medium-low until all the liquid has cooked off.  zucchini and lemon water cooked out
  4. Remove the cooked squash and lemon from the heat. Add the cinnamon and One on One Flavors baked apple concentrate.  
  5. Empty the contents into a blender, or use an immersion blender and blend until your desired consistency is reached.  I used my Blendtec blender to achieve a nice smooth creamy applesauce consistency.  
  6. I recommend adding the sugar-free maple until the mock applesauce is sweetened to your liking.  I used 2 tbsp. because I prefer a subtle sweetness, and then added 10 drops of liquid stevia. Once the applesauce is as sweet as you like, refrigerate.  
  7. The consistency changes as the "applesauce" cools and becomes more and more apple-like.  For this reason, I recommend making this 24 hours before enjoying it.  


The lemon is truly the secret ingredient for this recipe. I know that using the rind may make some people nervous, but I promise it will not bitter up the applesauce. The lemon is in fact what makes this recipe so special. If you want less lemon and rind this is exactly why the recipe calls for half a lemon. I personally used a whole lemon in mine. Cut the lemon up small enough that it will cook down, and then blend easily.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 16Total Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gProtein: 0g offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from multiple online calculators. Although all attempts to provide accurate nutritional information have been made, these figures are only estimates as products and ingredients macros vary.