No pish-posh—this Instant Pot Applesauce is autumn bliss! Made with a mix of apples, cinnamon, and a touch of optional sweetener, it’s one of the simplest, most rewarding things to make with your fall apple haul.
I will be the first to say that not every ingredient is necessarily better to make from scratch (puff pastry, I am looking at you).
Homemade applesauce, however, is worth it every single time.
The fresh, unadulterated autumn-ness of homemade applesauce sings in a way that packaged applesauce, locked away on a shelf, simply cannot.
Every year, I pick far too many apples at our orchard, a self-fulling prophecy I have absolutely zero plans to thwart.
With the Apple Bread, the best ever Cinnamon Apple Crisp in The Well Plated Cookbook, and Fresh Apple Cake to go around, why limit the supply?
Fall baking is a wonderful place to start, but when you have more apples than you know what to do with, it’s time to call in the big-batch apple recipes: Apple Cider, Slow Cooker Apple Butter, and today’s splendid Instant Pot applesauce.
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
I adapted this pressure cooker recipe from my Crockpot Applesauce recipe.
- Like the original, it uses a full 3-pounds of apples, makes a fantastic healthy snack, side, or even dessert.
- You can make it with sugar or without sugar depending upon your preferences.
- Making applesauce in the Instant Pot makes the entire process fast and easy.
Just 8 minutes cook time are all you need for Instant Pot applesauce!
Peels On or Peels Off
Whether to make Instant Pot applesauce peel on or peels off is personal preference depending on how you (or your kids) like their applesauce.
- If you want a chunky applesauce, peel your apples. Since the applesauce will be mashed instead of blended, it’s important the peels are removed or the texture will be off.
- If you want the fastest possible prep, don’t mind a darker colored applesauce, and don’t mind pureeing the sauce until it’s very smooth, make your Instant Pot applesauce with peels on. The peels do have bonus fiber and nutrients, so this can be a good route. You’ll want to blend the sauce until it is VERY smooth, so the peels completely break down.
- Apples. Naturally sweet and juicy, apples are a fan-favorite fruit. Applesauce is one of my favorite ways to use apples, as it celebrates their flavor and is nutritious. Apples are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Lemon Juice. Since the apples will lose some of their natural acidity during cooking, lemon juice helps make the applesauce taste its best.
- Spices. A little pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon will give your applesauce a boost of flavor.
- Sweetener. While adding a sweetener is optional, it is certainly delicious! You can use honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar.
- Add the cut apples to the Instant Pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the sweetener).
- Cover, seal, and cook on HIGH for 8 minutes, then vent.
- Mash the applesauce or puree it with a blender. Stir in sweetener (if using) and additional spices to taste. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate applesauce in an airtight storage container for up to 10 days.
- To Freeze. You can freeze homemade applesauce. Freeze leftovers (once cooled) in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Meal Prep Tip
Prepare the applesauce as directed, then let it cool completely. Pour the applesauce into freezer-safe glass jars or storage containers. Store the jars in the refrigerator or freezer for easy applesauce on demand.
Ways to Use Instant Pot Applesauce
- Baked Goods. Enjoy your applesauce in Applesauce Cake, Vegan Zucchini Bread, Cornbread Muffins, Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins, Honey Bars, and all these other recipes.
- Fritters. Applesauce on potato pancakes is classic! For a similar pairing, try it on these Potato Fritters with Zucchini.
- Soups. Applesauce works wonderfully as a sweet addition to savory soups like Acorn Squash Soup.
- Oatmeal. For a delicious breakfast, stir some applesauce into your Steel Cut Oats, Pumpkin Oatmeal, or Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats.
- Pancakes. Swap out the maple syrup (or add it too!) for applesauce on these Banana Oatmeal Pancakes, Gingerbread Pancakes, and Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes.
- With Pork. Applesauce is a perfect side dish for Grilled Pork Chops or Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
The Best Instant Pot
Prepare your favorite meals in a fraction of the time with this appliance. It has seven different functions.
I’ve run out of reasons not to make Instant Pot applesauce from scratch. Haven’t you?
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is possible to cook your applesauce for too long. After so long, the apples will start to lose some of their flavor. If you follow the cook time listed in this recipe, your applesauce will turn out perfectly cooked.
If the mention of pumpkin pie spice has you dreaming of this all-star pairing, you can certainly make it happen! Stir in 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling) in with the sweetener. Add additional sweetener and spice to taste (pumpkin is pretty bland, so you will likely need it).
While I haven’t tried canning this recipe myself, I think it would work well. (You can find some tips for canning in the blog post for my Crockpot Applesauce.)
- 1 1/2 pounds tart apples roughly 4 large apples or 6 smaller apples, such as Granny Smith
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet apples roughly 4 large apples or 6 smaller apples, such as Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, or Pink Lady
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- Optional sweetener: 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup honey, pure maple syrup, or brown sugar
Peel and core the apples. Cut into 1-inch chunks and place in the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot.
Add the water, lemon juice, and pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon).
Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH/Manual pressure for 8 minutes, then vent to release the remaining pressure (if you forget to release it right away, no biggie).
With a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash up the applesauce.
If you’d like it smoother, puree with an immersion blender, or transfer to a regular blend and puree in batches. Stir in sweetener to taste. If you’d like it spicier, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon additional pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Enjoy warm, cold, or at room temperature.
- Adapted from Crockpot Applesauce.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate applesauce in an airtight storage container for up to 10 days.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers (once cooled) in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 119kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 1gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gPotassium: 246mgFiber: 5gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 123IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 0.3mg
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