This recipe makes the very best applesauce, and it’s made quick and easy in the Instant Pot! Perfectly sweetened with tons of flavor and just the right texture, it doesn’t get better than this homemade applesauce.
What Makes Instant Pot Applesauce So Good
- The Instant Pot makes homemade apple sauce unbelievably easy! It’s super quick, too. Just a 5 minute cook time and then a natural pressure release gives you a big batch of rich, flavorful applesauce.
- Instant Pot applesauce is healthier than the store-bought, prepackaged kind. It calls for fresh, whole ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives. You can even make a no-sugar-added applesauce by swapping out the granulated sugar for a natural alternative sweetener like erythritol, monk fruit, or coconut sugar. If you use very sweet apples, you may want to leave out the extra sugar altogether!
- Making your own applesauce lets you customize the flavors and texture so you’ve always got your perfect applesauce. Make it extra sweet or pull back on the sweetener completely. Use all sweet apples or all tart apples, or a combo of the two (that’s what I do!). Add a little cinnamon or apple pie spice. Keep it chunky or blend it until it’s silky smooth.
Key Ingredients for Instant Pot Applesauce
Apples – I use 3 sweet apples and 3 tart apples, but use whatever you like best! Any apples that are good for baking will work here. You don’t want to use McIntosh, Fuji, or Red Delicious. They just won’t stand up well to heat and pressure, and can make the applesauce soupy. Instead, think Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, etc.
Water – Crucial for Instant Pot recipes! If you don’t add a liquid (or enough of a liquid), you’ll get a “burn” notice that will keep your pressure cooker from pressure cooking. For more appley flavor, use apple cider instead of water.
Sweetener – Granulated sugar works really well here, so don’t feel like you have to pick up something extra. Brown sugar or coconut sugar would add a delicious richness and warmth to the Instant Pot applesauce, though. You could also swap out the sugar for granular Swerve or monk fruit, for a no-sugar-added applesauce. You could use maple syrup, but keep in mind that it may give the applesauce a thinner consistency.
- The lemon peel gives Instant Pot applesauce a nice, light brightness that’s unbelievably delicious. It doesn’t make the applesauce taste “lemony” at all, but it does add a complexity that you just won’t be able to get enough of. Don’t skip it!
- For a thicker applesauce, after you remove the lid, set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Let the applesauce simmer on low heat until it’s thickened a little, stirring occasionally.
- Instead of using a potato masher to mash the apples, you could use an immersion blender! Carefully remove the pot insert from the Instant Pot, or transfer the applesauce to another container, then blend until you’ve got your desired applesauce texture.
- Careful not to overfill the Instant Pot! The applesauce will expand as it cooks, so if you start out with the pressure cooker too full, you’ll likely end up with a big mess to clean up later.
Try These Other Instant Pot Recipes, Too!
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Broccoli with an Easy Lemon Butter Sauce
- Moist & Buttery Instant Pot Cornbread
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- The Best Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
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Instant Pot Applesauce
- Instant Pot
- Vegetable peeler
- Silicone spatula
- Potato masher
- 4 pounds apples approximately 6 large apples; peeled, cored, and roughly chopped; see Notes
- 2 strips lemon peel see Notes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup white sugar or less, see Notes
- ½ cup water or apple cider
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients in Instant Pot and stir. Secure lid with valve in sealing position. Set to Manual High Pressure for 5 minutes.
- After cook time is up, naturally release all pressure. When pressure has released, carefully remove lid and stir applesauce.
- Use potato masher to mash apples until desired consistency is reached. Serve warm, or let cool then refrigerate until chilled.
- Lemon Peel: Use a vegetable peeler to peel two pieces of lemon peel, each about 2″ long.
- Sugar: ¼ cup is the maximum amount of sugar I recommend using. Feel free to use ⅛ cup, or for a very sweet applesauce you could go up to ½ cup if desired.
- Consistency: For a thicker applesauce, after removing the lid, set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Simmer on low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Make it Added-Sugar Free: Use ¼ cup granular Swerve or monk fruit instead of sugar.
- Make it Vegan: Make sure your sugar is vegan (some is processed with bone char) or use maple syrup instead of sugar. Note that maple syrup may make the consistency thinner.
- Make it Paleo: Use coconut sugar.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.