Instant Pot Applesauce is so easy to make with numerous apple varieties and a bit of cinnamon and spice. You won’t need any additional sugar in this recipe since the apples are naturally sweet on their own. Simply peel and core the apples, pop them into the pressure cooker, and then watch as your homemade applesauce is magically ready in less than 15 minutes!
Instant Pot Applesauce
Making applesauce in the Instant Pot is one of THE recipes you need to make this Fall.
Whether you’ve been using your Instant Pot for years, or are a pressure cooker newbie, you’re going to fall in love with this quick and easy recipe.
There’s something magical that happens when you dump a bunch of apple chunks into the pot. Within 10 minutes those firm apples turn into mush and are super soft, tender, and absolutely delicious!
Not to mention, if you pick the right apple varieties to use you won’t even need any additional sugar! The pressure of the Instant Pot cooks the apples down until their natural sugars are released – making it MORE than sweet enough all on its’ own.
This recipe is also super adaptable. Feel free to add as much cinnamon or apple pie spice as you’d like or leave it out completely if you prefer a plain applesauce.
And if you can’t finish up the entire batch (it makes close to 4 cups!) then you can use the rest in these Applesauce Muffins or substitute it for oil in other baked goods.
One of the reasons this recipe is so simple to make is because you will only really need a few basic ingredients.
- Apples – For one batch of applesauce, you’ll need 3 pounds of apples, or about 5 to 6 large apples. The best types of apples to use varies with how sweet or tart you want your sauce to be. Read below for more information on these varieties.
- Water – Unlike most recipes that call for a cup of liquid to prevent burning in a 6-quart Instant Pot, you will only need 1/3 cup of water. The apples release quite a bit of their own moistures while cooking and will make up the difference.
- Spices – Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most common ground spices to use in applesauce. My recommendation is to use an Apple Pie Spice blend for the most complex flavor profile. You can also leave the spices out if you prefer a plain applesauce.
- Lemon Juice – Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice after cooking the applesauce is optional, but it will extend the shelf life of the applesauce for a few days. The citric acid also helps to keep the applesauce from browning and oxidizing too quickly.
Best Types of Apples
After making a few test batches, I found that the types of apples you use has a large impact on the finishing taste and sweetness of your applesauce.
While you can definitely use all of one type, it’s best to use a mixture of apple varieties for the best taste. You also want to use soft apples that will break down easily when cooked.
The types of apples that are best for making applesauce include:
- Honeycrisp – A very sweet apple that breaks down easily when cooking.
- Granny Smith – A bit tart and will help balance out any sweet varieties.
- Gala – Right in the middle on sweetness, but also has a wonderful texture when cooked.
- McIntosh – These have a similar level of sweetness to gala apples.
- Fuji – Another common type that is easily found at grocery stores with a mild sweetness.
Cook’s Tip: The best combination to use for homemade applesauce is a mixture of honeycrisp, granny smith, and gala apples.
Preparing the Apples
Once you’ve selected the apples you would like to use, you’ll then need to prepare them to be cooked.
To do this, you’ll first want to peel the apples using a vegetable peeler. (step 1 above)
Next, core and cut apples into large 2-inch chunks. (steps 2-4 above)
If you need additional information, you can learn more about how to cut an apple.
How to Make
The process of making applesauce in the Instant Pot, or any other pressure cooker, is rather quick and easy.
Add cut apples to a 6-quart Instant Pot along with the water and spice(s). (step 1 above)
Cover the Instant Pot with a lid and ensure the pressure release valve is sealed.
Using the manual mode, set the Instant Pot to High pressure and cook for 7 minutes.
Quick release the pressure valve as soon as the timer goes off.
Mash applesauce using a potato masher until it is to your desired consistency. (step 2 above)
- Mix in fresh lemon juice, if desired.
Serving and Storing
Homemade applesauce can be served warm or chilled with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
To store leftovers, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.
If freezing, add applesauce to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 4-6 months.
Can I add sweetener?
This recipe is already naturally sweet, but you can always add more sweetener if you’d like. Pure maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, and coconut sugar are great natural sweeteners to add. Regular white sugar and brown sugar may also be used.
Can I replace oil with applesauce?
Applesauce makes a great lower calorie and lower fat alternative to oil in many baked good recipes. If substituting oil for applesauce, only replace half of the oil for the best taste and texture. This substitution works best for breads and muffins. Cakes and cookies are a bit more technical and will need to be individually tested.
If you’d like to make baked goods with no oil at all, try out these Applesauce Muffins.
Is applesauce good for you?
When applesauce is made with no sugar added it is a relatively healthy dish to snack on. Since most applesauce recipes are made with only apples and a few spices, it is completely gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and Whole30 approved. Avoid applesauce if on a low-carb diet since it has a lot of carbohydrates even without any sugar added.
Instant Pot Applesauce
Instant Pot Applesauce is so easy to make with numerous apple varieties and a bit of cinnamon and spice. You won't need any additional sugar in this recipe since the apples are naturally sweet on their own. Simply peel and core the apples, pop them into the pressure cooker, and then watch as your homemade applesauce is magically ready in less than 15 minutes!
- 3 lbs. apples mixed variety, about 5-6 large apples
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. lemon juice optional
Peel the apples using a vegetable peeler.
Core and cut the apples into large 2-inch chunks.
Add cut apples to a 6-quart Instant Pot along with the water and spice(s). Cover the Instant Pot with a lid and ensure the pressure release valve is sealed.
Using the manual mode, set the Instant Pot to High pressure and cook for 7 minutes. Quick release the pressure valve as soon as the timer goes off.
Mash applesauce using a potato masher until it is to your desired consistency. Mix in lemon juice and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.
- You can also use ¾ teaspoon of apple pie spice instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg or leave the spices out completely.
- A mixture of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Gala apples is recommended.
- Add 1-4 tablespoons of sweetener (honey, maple syrup, sugar) if you would like to sweeten the applesauce.
- One serving is ~½ cup of applesauce.