Easily make the BEST Instant Pot Applesauce with this 15 minute recipe! Peeled and cored apples are softened in a pressure cooker with just a few simple ingredients then mashed into a naturally sweet snack. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on this no sugar-added applesauce just before serving for a delightful Fall dessert!
Homemade applesauce in the Instant Pot is THE recipe you need to make this Fall.
If you are a pressure cooker newbie this is a great foolproof recipe to start with. (And make sure to check out this post and learn How to use an Instant Pot!)
Even if you’re a seasoned pro, you’re going to fall in love with this simple snack!
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 sugars are naturally released resulting in perfect sweetness.
This recipe is also super adaptable. Add extra cinnamon or apple pie spice, or leave it out completely if you prefer a plain version.
Enjoy some as a snack, then use the rest in recipes! Make up some Applesauce Muffins or substitute it for oil in other tasty baked goods.
The simple ingredients you need to make Instant Pot applesauce include:
- Apples. For one batch of applesauce, you’ll need 3 pounds of apples, or about 5 to 6 large apples. The type of apples will affect how sweet or tart the flavor will be, read more on this below.
- Water. You will only need ⅓ cup of water. The apples release quite a bit of their own moisture while cooking and will make up the difference.
- Spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most common ground spices to use in applesauce. 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 is optional, but it will extend the shelf life for a few days. The citric acid also helps to keep the applesauce from browning and oxidizing too quickly.
Preparing the Apples
Before you can start whipping up that applesauce, you need to prepare them to be cooked.
To do this, first peel the apples using a vegetable peeler. (Step 1 above.)
Then 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
These are the steps to follow to make this Instant Pot applesauce recipe:
- Add cut apples to a 6-quart Instant Pot along with the water and spice(s) and cook for 7 minutes.
Cover the Instant Pot with a lid and ensure the pressure release valve is sealed. Using the manual mode, cook at high pressure. 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.
This is where you can mix in fresh lemon juice, if desired.
- Serve immediately while warm.
If you prefer it cold, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. And then add a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra flavor.
Best Types of Apples
The types of apples you use have a large impact on the finishing taste and sweetness of your applesauce.
You can use only one type, but it’s best to use a mixture of apple varieties for the best taste. You also want to use softer 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 – Slightly 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.
Expert Tip: The best combination to use for homemade applesauce is a mixture of honeycrisp, granny smith, and gala apples.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Make a big batch and enjoy all week long.
- To Store: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.
- To Freeze: Add applesauce to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4-6 months.
- To Reheat: Warm defrosted applesauce in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Homemade applesauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days, or in the freezer for 4-6 months.
Using a combination of honeycrisp, granny smith, and gala apples is recommended for the best flavor.
Approximately 1 ½ apples results in 1 cup of applesauce. This recipe uses 5-6 apples and makes 4 cups.
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.
Applesauce makes a great lower calorie and lower fat alternative to oil in many baked good recipes. Replace half of the oil for the best taste and texture in 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.
When applesauce is made with no sugar added it is a relatively healthy dish to snack on. Most applesauce recipes are 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.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Mix it up. Use different varieties of apples to change up the taste.
- Similar in size. Cut the apple into uniform pieces so they cook evenly.
- Apple pie spice. This spice blend gives a complex flavor.
- Squeeze of lemon. Extend the self life of the applesauce by adding lemon juice.
- Satisfy the sweet tooth. Make it sweeter by adding in natural sweeteners.
More Apple Recipes
Plenty of apples on hand? Try these other recipes:
Healthy Baked Oatmeal <– Use applesauce in place of the banana!
Instant Pot Applesauce
Easily make the BEST Instant Pot Applesauce with this 15 minute recipe! Sprinkle some cinnamon on this no sugar-added applesauce just before serving and enjoy!
- 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.