This Instant Pot Applesauce is autumn bliss! 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!
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). Homemade applesauce, however, is worth it every single time. The fresh, unadulterated autumn-ness of homemade applesauce sings in a way that packaged applesauce, locked away on a shelf, simply cannot.
- SO Fast. Making applesauce in the Instant Pot makes the entire process fast and easy. Just 8 minutes cook time are all you need for Instant Pot applesauce (if you have more time, my Crockpot Applesauce is also delish)!
- Incredibly Versatile. Applesauce is one of those magical things that can be served any time of day. It’s wonderful at breakfast with Pumpkin Pancakes 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
- 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 in Applesauce Cake, Vegan Zucchini Bread, Cornbread Muffins, Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins, Honey Bars, 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.
- Pasta. Applesauce is an excellent side dish for fall-flavored pasta dishes. Pair it with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Brussels Sprouts Pasta with Brown Butter, or Pumpkin Pasta Sauce.
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.
- Make it Your Own. 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 Right Apples. We enjoy using 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) for the best homemade applesauce, but you can use any variety you enjoy. Just make sure they’re ripe and juicy.
- Peel the Apples (Or Don’t). If you want a chunky applesauce, peel your apples. Since the applesauce will be mashed instead of blended, it’s important the peels are removed or the texture will be off. If you want the fastest possible prep, don’t mind a darker-colored applesauce, and don’t mind pureeing the sauce until it’s very smooth, make your Instant Pot applesauce with peels on. Plus, the peels have vitamins!
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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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is possible to cook your applesauce for too long. After so long, the apples will start to lose some of their flavor. If you follow the cook time listed in this recipe, your applesauce will turn out perfectly cooked.
If the mention of pumpkin pie spice has you dreaming of this all-star pairing, you can certainly make it happen! Stir in 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling) in with the sweetener. Add additional sweetener and spice to taste (pumpkin is pretty bland, so you will likely need it).
While I haven’t tried canning this recipe myself, I think it would work well. (You can find some tips for canning in the blog post for my Crockpot Applesauce.)
Whether to make Instant Pot applesauce peel on or peels off is personal preference depending on how you (or your kids) like their applesauce.
– If you want a chunky applesauce, peel your apples. Since the applesauce will be mashed instead of blended, it’s important the peels are removed or the texture will be off.
– If you want the fastest possible prep, don’t mind a darker colored applesauce, and don’t mind pureeing the sauce until it’s very smooth, make your Instant Pot applesauce with peels on. The peels do have bonus fiber and nutrients, so this can be a good route. You’ll want to blend the sauce until it is VERY smooth, so the peels completely break down.