You’re going to love the ease of making fresh homemade applesauce in the Instant Pot! Totally hands-off, this flavor-packed 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, cinnamon, and your Instant Pot.
How long it takes: 50 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: pressure cooker (Instant Pot)
Servings: makes 6 cups
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Easy Homemade Applesauce In the Instant Pot
- 3 Why You’ll Love This Applesauce Recipe
- 4 Applesauce Ingredients
- 5 Which Apples Should I Use?
- 6 How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
- 7 Tips for Success
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Make This Applesauce Your Own
- 10 Ways to Serve Instant Pot Applesauce
- 11 How to Store Homemade Applesauce
- 12 More Instant Pot Recipes
- 13 Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Applesauce
Easy Homemade Applesauce In the Instant Pot
This recipe for warm Instant Pot applesauce brings all sorts of warm feelings, too. Growing up, my family always made applesauce in the fall. We’d fill all our biggest pans and cook fresh orchard apples (peels and all) on the stove. Oh, the smells of all those apples simmering!
Fast forward to the present, and the pressure cooker makes the whole process much less labor-intensive.
Why You’ll Love This Applesauce Recipe
- Full of flavor. 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 the flavor-packed quality of homemade.
- Hands-free. Nothing beats the convenience of the Instant Pot. There’s no watching to make sure 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.
- Perfect for snacking. This Instant Pot applesauce is Whole30 compliant, vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, non-fat, and low in calories. It’s so delicious, your family will love it!
You need only 3 ingredients to make perfect homemade applesauce in the Instant Pot. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full ingredient measurements and recipe directions.
- Apples – I make my applesauce with a mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples, but you can really use any variety you have on hand (see below). Peel, core, and chop the apples into chunks before you start.
- Cooking Liquid – This can be water, or you can use apple juice or apple cider for even more flavor.
- Spice – Cinnamon is a given, or you can use any blend of warm spices like nutmeg, ginger, or apple pie spice. You can also skip the spice altogether if you prefer.
Which Apples Should I Use?
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!
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
Making applesauce from scratch is as easy as peeling and cutting up your apples, adding them to the pressure cooker with a bit of cooking liquid, turning it on, and forgetting about it for a while. Here’s a quick step-by-step:
- Combine the ingredients. Add the apples to the Instant Pot along with water or juice.
- Cook. Seal the lid, and set the IP to cook on Manual/high pressure for 5 minutes. Note that the pot will take an additional 10 to 15 minutes to come to pressure first.
- Finish and serve. Once the cooking time is up, leave the pot to naturally release the pressure for 20 minutes. Afterward, vent the remaining pressure before lifting the lid. Stir in your cinnamon, and serve!
Tips for Success
This Instant Pot applesauce is great for any pressure-cooking skill level, even beginners. Keep these tips in mind for best results:
- Do you need to peel the apples first? If you happen to own a food mill, you can make this recipe using unpeeled apples instead. Simply process the apple mixture with the food mill after cooking to remove the peels, seeds, and cores.
- Use a natural release. After the 5 minutes of cooking time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for 20 minutes. The first time we made this recipe, we did a quick-release of the pressure right away and it resulted in an applesauce geyser coming out of the valve of the Instant Pot!
- For an even smoother applesauce, puree the pressure-cooked mixture with a stick blender (immersion blender).
- 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). You don’t need to adjust the pressure cooking time. The pot will take less time to pressurize.
- For a sweeter applesauce, stir in white or brown sugar after cooking. You can also use a natural sweetener, like honey or maple syrup. See below for more variation ideas.
This Instant Pot applesauce recipe takes only 5 minutes to cook at high pressure. You’ll also need to budget about 20 minutes for the pot to pressurize and a 20-minute natural release after cooking.
If your cooked applesauce turns out a bit watery, fix it by whisking in a bit of cornstarch or flour. Tapioca and arrowroot powder are good gluten-free alternatives.
Make This Applesauce Your Own
Once you have freshly cooked applesauce on hand, you’ll find loads of easy ways to adapt this recipe to suit your tastes. Here are some ideas:
- Experiment with different varieties of apples. See the ingredients section above for details.
- Add cinnamon or other spices. After the applesauce cools a bit, stir in a teaspoon or two of your choice of spice. Cinnamon and apples are an obvious pairing, but try adding different spices like nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom. Pumpkin pie spice is also a blend that works perfectly with applesauce.
- To peel, or not to peel. Again, your preference. If you leave the peels on, you might want to blend the applesauce with an immersion blender to break up any larger bits.
- Combine the apples with other fruits. For an easy variation, add more fruits to your sauce such as cranberries, blueberries, pears, or cherries. In the spring, try easy rhubarb sauce.
- Make it in your slow cooker. If you prefer, make crockpot applesauce instead. It’s another easy, hands-off method that turns out perfectly every time.
Ways to Serve Instant Pot Applesauce
Our family eats this applesauce by the bowlful when it’s fresh, and we also freeze it to have homemade applesauce all year long (see the section below for storage tips). We especially love it as a topping on pancakes with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar or a drizzle of caramel sauce. For another easy sweet breakfast idea, bulk up this applesauce with spiced pecans or homemade granola. It’s also a wonderful snack on its own, or serve it with graham crackers for dipping.
How to Store Homemade Applesauce
- Refrigerator. Once the applesauce has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate it in a covered container. It will keep for at least a week. There’s also the option to can this applesauce or freeze it (see below) for longer storage.
- Freezer. If you want to keep it longer, applesauce freezes well. Store it in a freezer container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw the applesauce overnight in the fridge so it’s ready to eat the next day.
- 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.