Instant Pot applesauce is delicious and a great way to make homemade applesauce fast. In my family it is a fall staple that we make every year for a sweet and tart side dish!
Applesauce is a basic food that you might have never thought of making from scratch. But homemade tastes so much much better than store-bought applesauce because it has fresh ingredients.
You can customize the flavor by using your favorite apples or adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. And it is very simple to make with only 2 basic ingredients – apples and cinnamon. You don’t even have to peel the apples!
We have apple trees in our yard which makes making it even easier! But whether you are harvesting apples from your own tree, going apple picking at a local orchard or buying apples at the grocery store give homemade applesauce a try!
Why You will Love Instant Pot Applesauce
- The Instant Pot makes this a hands off recipe. There is no stirring or pot watching necessary.
- You can make it with any variety of apples.
- It cooks in minutes in a pressure cooker instead of simmer for hours on the stove or in a slow cooker.
- Applesauce is a healthy way to enjoy a sweet treat since it has lots of vitamins and fiber.
Apples – You can use almost any kind of apples to make this recipe. My preference is to use a mixture, including both sweet and tart apples. Some apple varieties that are excellent are Granny Smith, Cortland, Honey Crisp and Paula Red. But in practice I just use whatever I have, especially apples that have been in the refrigerator a little too long. The apple sauce in these pictures was made from apples I got from a neighbor for free, and I’m not sure what kind they were. But the applesauce was delicious!
Cinnamon stick or cinnamon – A little bit of cinnamon helps flavor the mixture and give it a subtle depth. If you don’t have a cinnamon stick use a little ground cinnamon.
What About Sugar?
Most applesauce doesn’t need added sugar. The sweetness will be determined by the apples that you use to make it.
If you want to add sugar I recommend you wait and add it at after cooking. Then you can taste the applesauce and adjust the sweetness to your taste.
How Much Liquid to Add to Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker needs liquid to reach pressure. But as the apples cook they are going to release quite a bit of liquid.
So if you add too much liquid your applesauce will be soupy but if you add too little it might never reach pressure or give you a burn error.
Using 1 cup of water or apple juice is safe and will be enough to allow the Instant Pot to reach pressure. But using 1/2 cup or even 1/4 cup will also work for many people and result in a thicker applesauce.
So if you are a beginner Instant Pot owner go with 1 cup of liquid. If you have been using yours for a while and know that it isn’t prone to giving a burn error go with 1/2 cup. If you like to live dangerously try 1/4 cup!
If it is too watery after cooking just drain some extra liquid off.
Should You Peel the Apples?
Peeling the apples isn’t necessary, but I usually peel mine for two reasons. First the apples we get from our apple trees or our friends’ trees are not sprayed, so the skin frequently has spots.
Secondly if you don’t peel the apples the applesauce ends up pinkish, and my kids think pink apple sauce is weird. So I peel the apples or actually I make the kids peel them!
We have an apple peeler and corer which works great and makes it simple to peel a whole bunch of apples fast. But if you have less picky children or better looking apples then by all means leave the skin on, core them and just cut the apples into chunks.
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
Wash the apples. Then peel them, or don’t depending on your preference. Slice them into rings or chunks and put them in the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
You can make this with as few as 8-10 apples, or you can keep adding more until the pressure cooker is about half full. I made a big batch of applesauce that used 23 apples in these pictures. Just don’t go over half full in the pressure cooker.
Add anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Then take 2-3 cinnamon sticks and push them down into the apples.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the sealing ring is in place and the valve is shut.
Tip: Sealing rings can absorb odors that linger, even after washing. So make sure the sealing ring you are using doesn’t smell like last week’s beef stew.
Set the Instant Pot on Manual, high pressure, for 5 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for it to reach pressure. Once it finishes you can either release do a quick pressure release or let it naturally release.
Tip: Apple sauce can be foamy, so if your Instant Pot was close to half full let the pressure release naturally for at least 5 minutes.
Take the lid off and fish the cinnamon sticks out of the apples. For smooth applesauce use an immersion blender to blend up the apples or place them in a food processor.
If you prefer the texture of a chunky applesauce use a potato masher to gently mash the apples. Once it is blended to your liking taste it and decide if needs any extra flavor additions.
If it isn’t sweet enough stir in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. If it is too sweet add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. I usually don’t add anything extra to my homemade apple sauce.
How to Serve
I serve applesauce with a bowl of brown sugar and a jar of ground cinnamon. Then everyone can flavor it to suit their own tastes. Instant Pot Applesauce pairs well with any meal and is a standard side dish at my house during the fall.
Here are some of my other favorite ways to use it:
- Stir it into yogurt or oatmeal.
- Use it in baking to replace oil, like these Peanut Butter Banana Muffins.
- Put it on top of pancakes.
This is a very simple recipe, so you can made all kinds of additions to make it tastier. Add some more spices like nutmeg or ginger.
Sweeten it with brown sugar, maple syrup or honey. My mother in law loves to add raisins to her homemade apple sauce after it is cooked. There are lots of possibilities!
This applesauce will keep, refrigerated, for one week. Store it in a glass jar or an airtight plastic container.
The best apples are whichever ones you have! If you are choosing I like an apple mixture including types such as Honey Crisp, Cortland, Snap Dragon, Paula Red, Granny Smith and Envy apples. If you enjoy eating the apples you will enjoy eating applesauce made from them.
Yes, it freezes very well. Put it in plastic freezer bags and freeze them flat on a tray. Then store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw them leave them in the refrigerator overnight.
Find More Apple Recipes
- 8-10 or more of your favorite apples
- 2 cinnamon sticks or 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup - 1 cup water or apple juice * see note
- Wash the apples and peel them if desired.
- Slice them into rings or chunks and put them in the pressure cooker. Don't fill it more than half full of apples.
- Stick the cinnamon sticks down into the apples and pour the water over top.
- Put the lid on making sure the sealing ring is in place and valve is closed. Set the Instant Pot for Manual, high pressure, 5 minutes. It will take 10 minutes for it to reach pressure.
- Once it is done you can do a quick release or let it release naturally. Apple sauce can be foamy, so if your Instant Pot was close to half full let the pressure release naturally for at least 5 minutes.
- Take the lid of and take out the cinnamon sticks and discard.
- For smooth applesauce use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the applesauce.
- For chunky applesauce use a potato masher to blend. If you didn't peel the apples you will probably want to use the immersion blender.
- Taste the apple sauce and decide if it needs added sugar. If it isn't sweet enough stir in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. If it is too sweet add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. I usually don't add either sugar or lemon juice to my homemade apple sauce.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
The apples will release a lot of liquid as they cook, so you might be able to use less than 1 cup of water. But if your Instant Pot has ever had a burn error I'd recommend using the full cup.
Sealing rings can absorb odors that linger, even after washing. So make sure the sealing ring you are using doesn't smell like last week's dinner.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g
Nutrition facts are estimates.