You’re going to love the ease of making applesauce in your Instant Pot! Totally hands off, this Instant Pot applesauce turns out perfectly every time!
Don’t you love the smell of apples cooking? It ranks right up there with the smell of chocolate brownies or yeast bread baking in the oven. Delicious smells like that will bring everyone to your kitchen, checking out what delicious treat you’re cooking up.
Science has proven that the sense of smell is closely connected to memory, more than our other senses. Maybe that’s why warm applesauce brings such warm feelings.
My mom always canned applesauce in the fall. After bringing home a couple of bushels of apples from the orchard, we would wash and cut the apples into quarters. We’d fill all our biggest pans and start cooking them, peels and all, on the stove. Oh, the smells of all those apples simmering!
After the apples softened, we would carefully pour the cooked apples into a cone shaped food mill and push the apples through. The peelings and seeds would stay in the cone and the smooth warm applesauce would ooze out into a big bowl. We took turns twirling the wooden press to squeeze the applesauce through the tiny holes of the food mill.
So delicious! We ate so much of it fresh but my mom would can the rest so we could enjoy homemade applesauce all year long. We especially loved it on pancakes with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.
I’m excited for you to try this Instant Pot applesauce recipe. Hopefully the delicious scent of apples cooking into a delicious applesauce will make “smell” memories for your family!
About this Instant Pot Applesauce:
Why cook applesauce in the Instant Pot? For me, convenience is the obvious reason. Peel and cut up a bunch of apples (I use six pounds!), put them into the pressure cooker with a little water or juice, turn it on, and forget about it for awhile. No watching to make sure the apples aren’t boiling over, trying to adjust the heat so the apples simmer just right, no stirring, no checking for doneness, no messy stove, and only one dishwasher safe pan to wash! It really doesn’t get much easier.
One of the questions I get asked is whether you need to peel the apples first. Like I described above, if you use unpeeled apples, you will need a food mill to process the cooked apple mixture. The end result will be a smooth applesauce. You can also puree it with a stick blender (immersion blender), but it will change the texture of the applesauce.
I like to peel my apples first (with a vegetable peeler), cut and core them, and cook them. This results in an applesauce with a chunkier texture and does not require a food mill.
After the applesauce cools a bit, stir in a teaspoon or two of cinnamon. Yum! I didn’t add any sugar–it simply isn’t needed. Serve it warm, room temp, or cold.
Applesauce is a healthy and delicious dessert or snack: Whole30 compliant, vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, non-fat, and low in calories. It’s so delicious, your family will love it!
If the only applesauce you’ve ever had is the kind you buy in the grocery store, you are in for a wonderful surprise. Store bought applesauce pales in comparison to homemade.
What apples do you use to make applesauce?
I use a combination, half Honeycrisp and half Granny Smith. My mom likes to combine Cortland apples with Honeycrisp. A soft cooking apple, like McIntosh, would work well, too. McIntosh apples are extra sweet, too. Applesauce is pretty forgiving.
You could use any type of flavorful apple; each variety will give your applesauce a unique characteristic. Cortlands will make your applesauce pinker, Granny Smith will make it more tart, McIntosh apples will give you a smoother applesauce, etc. Have fun experimenting with different varieties and find the one that you like the best!
How to make this applesauce your own:
- Like I mentioned above, you can experiment with different varieties of apples.
- Cinnamon and apples are an obvious pairing, but try adding different spices like nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom.
- If you like your applesauce sweeter, add sugar or brown sugar.
- With peel, or without peel? Again, your preference. If you leave the peels, you might want to blend the applesauce with an immersion blender.
- You could add other fruits to your sauce. I would suggest cranberries, blueberries, pears, or cherries.
- Make a half batch! We tested this (multiple times) and it works best with approximately 3 pounds of apples and 1/4 cup liquid (apple juice, apple cider, or water). Add cinnamon to taste!
Applesauce can be stored in a covered bowl or plastic container for up to a week in the fridge. If you want to keep it longer, applesauce freezes well. We tested this applesauce quite a few times to get the timing right (the first time we did a quick release of the pressure and it resulted in an applesauce geyser coming out the valve of the Instant Pot!), so I have a freezer FULL of applesauce right now! Thaw it overnight in the fridge for best results.
Other fall apple recipes:
Apples are so delicious cooked or raw! Here’s some more recipes to use fall apples:
- Apple crisp with ginger (you’ll love the unique flavors of ginger and lemon zest in this apple crisp)
- Cinnamon apple cranberry sauce (perfect for the holidays)
- Salad with apples and cucumber
- Ginger cinnamon apple chips (a baked snack)
- Apple blueberry crisp
- Green salad with broiled apples and pecans
- Apple crisp breakfast cookies
- Apple cinnamon baked oatmeal
- 6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (about 1-inch chunks) - see note
- 1/2 cup water, apple juice, or apple cider
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste
- Add apples to 6-quart pressure cooker. Pour juice or water on top, secure lid, and turn valve to “seal.”
- Set on manual, high pressure for 5 minutes. When done cooking, keep Instant Pot on "warm" and let pressure release naturally for at least 20 minutes (all you have to do is leave it alone!). Release any remaining pressure by turning the valve to “vent” (be careful for steam!).
- Taste and add cinnamon as desired.
- I like to use 3 pounds of Honeycrisp and 3 pounds of Granny Smith apples.
- If you like sweeter applesauce, stir in sugar after the apples have cooked.
- For a half batch, use approximately 3 pounds of apples and 1/4 cup of water or apple juice. Cooking time remains the same.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Husband’s take: Ben loves this applesauce too, especially fresh and warm.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but feel free to add sugar or more cinnamon, or to experiment with different apple varieties.