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!
Why you’ll love it: Warm fresh applesauce can’t be beat, and all you need are apples, a splash of water, and cinnamon.
How long it takes: 50 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: pressure cooker
Servings: makes 6 cups
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 washed 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, my mom carefully poured the cooked apples into a cone-shaped food mill and we pushed the apples through. The peelings and seeds would stay in the cone and the smooth warm applesauce would ooze out into a big bowl. My sister and I took turns twirling the wooden press to squeeze the applesauce through the tiny holes of the food mill.
So delicious! Our family ate so much of it fresh but my mom canned 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 Applesauce Recipe
Why cook applesauce in the Instant Pot? For me, convenience is the obvious reason. Peel and cut up a bunch of apples, 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.
Do you need to peel the apples first? If you use a food mill, like I described above, use unpeeled apples and process the cooked apple mixture with the food mill. 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.
For a chunkier applesauce, peel the apples first with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, cut and core them, and then cook them. This results in an applesauce with more texture and does not require a food mill.
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.
Many types of apples will make delicious applesauce. I like a combination, half Honeycrisp and half Granny Smith. My mom prefers to combine Cortland apples with Honeycrisp. A soft cooking apple, like McIntosh, works well, too, and they are extra sweet.
You really can 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!
Since applesauce is 100% apples, it’s a very healthy food. Apples have many health benefits, with antioxidants and polyphenols, (Healthline) and are low in calories. Homemade applesauce doesn’t have added sugar or preservatives.
Once the applesauce has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate it in a covered container. It will keep for at least a week. If it’s not refrigerated, bacteria can grow and it will spoil more quickly.
Make It Your Own
- Experiment with different varieties of apples.
- Add cinnamon or other spices. After the applesauce cools a bit, stir in a teaspoon or two of cinnamon. Yum! I didn’t add any sugar because it simply isn’t needed. Cinnamon and apples are an obvious pairing, but try adding different spices like nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom. Apple pie spice is a blend which works perfectly with applesauce.
- Sweeten it. If you like your applesauce sweeter, add sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
- With peel or without peel? Again, your preference. If you leave the peels on, you might want to blend the applesauce with an immersion blender.
- Combine the apples with other fruits. For a variation, add other fruits to your sauce such as cranberries, blueberries, pears, or cherries. In the spring, try easy rhubarb sauce.
- Make a half batch. We tested this (multiple times) and it works best with approximately 3 pounds of apples and ¼ cup liquid (apple juice, apple cider, or water). Add cinnamon to taste.
Refrigerate/Freeze: 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. Thaw it overnight in the fridge so it’s ready to eat the next day.
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.
More Apple Recipes
Apples are so delicious cooked or raw! Here are more apple recipes for you to try:
- Apple crisp with ginger (you’ll love the unique flavors of ginger and lemon zest in this apple crisp)
- Apple blueberry crisp
- Apple cinnamon muffins
- Cinnamon apple cranberry sauce (perfect for the holidays)
- Salad with apples and cucumber
- Green salad with broiled apples and pecans
- Apple crisp breakfast cookies
- 6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into 1-inch chunks (see note)
- ½ cup water, apple juice, or apple cider
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste (optional)
- Add apples to 6-quart pressure cooker. Pour juice or water on top, secure lid, and turn valve to “seal.”
- Depending on your model, set on Manual (high pressure) or Pressure Cook, for 5 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to pressurize.
- When 5 minute timer goes off, let the 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!) and carefully remove lid.
- Stir well, and add cinnamon if desired.
- Makes 6 cups.
- I like to use 3 pounds of Honeycrisp and 3 pounds of Granny Smith apples but other types of apples are fine. Choose what you like best.
- If you like sweeter applesauce, stir in sugar after the apples have cooked.
- For a half batch, use approximately 3 pounds of apples and ¼ cup of water or apple juice. Cooking time remains the same but it will take less time to pressurize.
- Refrigerate applesauce in a covered bowl after it has cooled to room temperature. It will keep for at least 7 days. It can also be frozen or canned.
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.