Instant Pot Applesauce is the easiest way to make homemade applesauce, without any added sugar. With the electric pressure cooker, you can press a button and walk away!
Applesauce is the perfect way to use up an abundance of apples in your kitchen, even the ones that look bruised. It makes a delicious snack or side dish for kids and adults, and it will leave your home smelling like Fall.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The type of apple you use will determine the overall flavor of your applesauce, so make sure you use a sweet apple if you want the flavor to be sweet. Honeycrisp apples will give you some of the sweetest results (it’s seriously like dessert!) but you can also use McIntosh, Gala, Golden Delicious, or Fuji apples with similar results.
For a more tart flavor, use tart apples like Granny Smith. You can also add in any extra flavorings you love, like ground cinnamon or a squeeze of lemon juice.
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
If you want an applesauce with a slightly chunky texture, similar to the kind you’d buy at the store, take a moment to peel the apples. (You can skip peeling them if you plan to blend the applesauce into a smooth puree later.)
Cut the sides off of each apple so you can easily remove the core and seeds. Slice the apples into pieces about a 1/2-inch thick, or cut them into 1-inch chunks. The smaller you cut them, the easier they will be to mash later.
Add the apples to the stainless steel bowl of your Instant Pot, along with a 1/3 cup of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Secure the lid on the pot and move the steam release valve to the Sealing position.
Use the Manual or Pressure Cook button on your machine to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. The machine will take roughly 8 to 10 minutes to pressurize, so the screen will read ON until then.
When the cooking cycle is complete, move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve in the lid drops, you can safely remove the lid.
Use a potato masher or immersion blender to briefly mash the cooked apples until they reach a consistency you love. Taste the applesauce and add more spice, if you like. If the applesauce isn’t as sweet as you were hoping for, you can add a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup until it tastes right to you.
Store applesauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. (It will thicken when chilled.) You can also freeze applesauce for up to 6 months, but be sure to leave a little extra space in the container to let it expand in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Apples contain pectin, which is primarily found in the skin. Pectin is what makes cranberry sauce and fruit compote thicken naturally. To avoid watery applesauce, you can cook unpeeled apples, then blend until smooth for puree-style applesauce that will thicken when chilled. It’s also important to avoid adding excess water to your applesauce. For an even thicker result, add more apples to this recipe, without adding extra water.
Yes, applesauce is delicious warm, especially if you taste-test it straight out of the Instant Pot. Serve it warm as a topping for waffles, oatmeal, or pancakes. When chilled, it’s also a tasty addition to yogurt and granola.
You should be able to fit 6 pounds of apples into a 6-quart Instant Pot when the apples are thinly sliced or cut into 1-inch chunks. They will shrink down considerably when cooked, so feel free to double this recipe.
Instant Pot Applesauce
- 3 pounds apples (see notes)
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- Peel the apples, then slice the sides of the apple off to remove the core and seeds. Cut the apples into 1-inch chunks, or slice them into ½-inch pieces to promote even cooking. (See the notes to skip the peeling process.)
- Place the cut apples, water, and cinnamon in the stainless steel bowl of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to "Sealing." Use the Manual or Pressure Cook button to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take the pot 5 to 10 minutes to pressurize, so the screen will read ON until then.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, which means you don't have to do anything until the screen reads L0:10. Then move the steam release valve to "Venting." When the floating valve in the lid drops, it's safe to remove the lid.
- Use a potato masher or immersion blender to blend the applesauce until it's as smooth or as chunky as you'd like it to be. Keep in mind that it will thicken when chilled. Transfer the applesauce to a large mason jar with a lid and store in the fridge until you're ready to serve it. (It's also delicious when served warm if you'd like to enjoy it right away.) Applesauce will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.
If you try this Instant Pot Applesauce recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.