This Instant Pot Applesauce makes scrumptious homemade applesauce easy and hands-free! 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. Enjoy it for snacks, breakfasts, and even dessert!
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Why You’ll Love This Easy Homemade Applesauce Recipe
- Worth the Effort to Make Homemade. I will be the first to say that not everything is better to make from scratch (puff pastry, I am looking at you), but homemade applesauce always is. The unadulterated autumn-ness of homemade applesauce sings in a way that packaged applesauce simply cannot.
- SO Fast. Just 8 minutes cook time are all you need for Instant Pot applesauce (if you have more time, my Crockpot Applesauce is also delish)! You don’t even have to peel the apples first.
- Goes with Anything. Applesauce is one of those magical things that can be served any time of day. It’s wonderful at breakfast (try it on Applesauce Muffins), as a side dish with Honey Garlic Pork Chops, as a snack, or as a dessert.
- A Fantastic Way to Use Apples. Every year, I pick far too many apples at our orchard. 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, Apple Pie Filling, and today’s splendid Instant Pot applesauce (it uses a full 3 pounds of apples).
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
- Apples. Applesauce is one of my favorite ways to use a bunch of apples. It’s your personal preference if you want to make Instant Pot applesauce with peels on or peels off.
- 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.
- Peel, Core, and Slice the Apples. Add them to the Instant Pot.
- Add the Remaining Ingredients. Don’t add the sweetener yet.
- Pressure Cook. Cook on HIGH for 8 minutes, then vent.
- Mash the Applesauce. 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 as a healthy swap for oil in Applesauce Cake, Cornbread Muffins, and all these other recipes.
- 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, Oatmeal Pancakes, or simple Fluffy Pancakes.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Applesauce
- Pork. Applesauce is a perfect side dish for Grilled Pork Chops, Crockpot Pork Roast, or Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin.
- Fritters. Applesauce on Potato Pancakes is classic! For a similar pairing, try it on these Potato Fritters with Zucchini.
- Chicken. Rosemary Chicken Thighs, Harvest Chicken Skillet, and Apple Cider Chicken are all delicious options to serve with applesauce.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Pot. Ideal for making this Instant Pot applesauce recipe.
- Potato Masher. Use an immersion blender for a smoother applesauce.
- Citrus Juicer. Never juice a lemon by hand again.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t Overcook the Applesauce. Yes, you can overcook applesauce in the Instant Pot! If overcooked, the applesauce will have less flavor. Stick to the cook times listed in the recipe for the best results.
- Spice It Up. While this applesauce is scrumptious with nothing else in it, you can’t go wrong with a little personalization. Add your sweetener of choice, stir in pumpkin puree, or load it up with cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice.
- Pick the Best Apples. For the best, most complex applesauce, use a mix of tart apples (such as Granny Smith, McIntosh, Johnathan, Harlson, and Cortland) and sweet apples (such as Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji, Golden Delicious). Make sure they’re ripe and juicy.
- Peel or Don’t Peel—the Choice is Yours. If you want a chunky applesauce, peel your apples. Since the applesauce will be mashed instead of blended, the peels must be removed or the texture will be off. If you like a smooth applesauce and don’t mind a darker color (the peels will make the applesauce a rich golden brown), leave the peels on, then puree until smooth at the end. Plus, the peels have vitamins!
- Be Careful When Canning. I have not canned this applesauce, so if you do decide to can it, please refer to the guidance online to make sure your applesauce is safe to consume. If you’d like to preserve it without canning, you can freeze it.
Instant Pot 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.
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