Instant Pot Applesauce is the easiest, most rewarding thing you'll make all month. This pressure cooker method is the easiest and quickest way to make applesauce and will be your new go-to method. No added sweeteners, no peeling, no canning required!
I'm gonna guess that apples just might be the most universally loved fruit in the world.
They are cheap, sweet, crunchy, and portable – what more could you ask for from a perfect palm size gift from nature.
And is there any human in the world that doesn't like or at least tolerate applesauce? I'm gonna take a wild guess and say no, there absolutely is not.
Applesauce is one of those foods that just tastes better homemade. Even the sugar-loaded store brands don't hold a candle next to good ol' homemade, sweetener-free applesauce.
For years I picked apples from my mom's trees and made my applesauce in the slow cooker, but if you own a pressure cooker, that and the stovetop method are straight-up preposterous.
The only reason I can possibly imagine for why you would want to drag on the process all day long is so that your house can smell like it all day long, AND THAT, is a good reason.
It's also the reason I still pull out my slow cooker once a year to make super thick apple butter. Mmmm, nothing like it.
But today is about pressure cooking applesauce so let's get on with it!
FYI: If you want a killer homemade stovetop version, try my sister Cami's version here. I can smell it from her house to mine when she makes it. Mmmm.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE
- It screams apple flavor! You will wonder what that jarred, diluted, watery stuff is that you've been eating your whole life.
- Takes baked goods to a whole new level of good. Swap some of the fat for this applesauce, works every time!
- When you make it homemade, you decide the flavors. Add spices, vanilla, honey, even other fruit for a really fun spin!
- The smell, oh the smell. When you flip the pressure release knob your house will be filled with sweet Autumn memories.
- Use whatever apples you can get your hands on! I have some favorites which we'll discuss below, but from my experience, you really can't go wrong.
- Applesauce freezes and thaws like new. For the ambitious canners out there, there is that option too, but I'm definitely not the girl to ask on that one. I'll be happy to refer you to my mother who is a seasoned pro.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE
- Core and rough chop your apples (more on the peeling subject in a sec)
- Throw everything in the pot
- Cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes
- Remove vanilla bean (if used) and simply stir for a chunky applesauce
- For a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender right in the pot or blend in batches in a high-speed blender
- Smooth, silky applesauce, sigh.
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE
- You'll need a little liquid to get the sauce going and I strongly suggest using apple juice or cider as not to water down the flavor of the end product.
- Use a mix of sweet and slightly tart apples. My favorite is a mix of Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious.
- Don't use lemon juice. I know most people do, but I don't add any sweetener to my applesauce so making it sour with lemon juice just doesn't make sense.
- If you want your applesauce to be reminiscent of eating a slice of apple pie (who doesn't?), add spices and vanilla (my suggestions below)
- If you plan on peeling your apples, use this Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer contraption. Seriously, the inventor of this deserves to be a billionaire.
TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL
This concept is new to me, I would have never considered not peeling my apples for applesauce, but guess what, in the pressure cooker, IT WORKS!
The high-intensity cooking softens the peels so nicely that they blend right up.
Bonus: you are getting all the fiber and nutrients from the peel and saving yourself a lot of prep time.
The downside to not peeling however, the color isn't as pure (which isn't a big deal if you're adding spices that will color it anyway) and if you are planning on leaving it chunky vs pureeing it, the texture will be a bit off.
If you plan on leaving your applesauce chunky, I HIGHLY suggest peeling the apples first.
If you are going to blend it, go ahead and leave those peels on!
BEST APPLES FOR HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE
- Short answer: Whatever apples are growing on your tree, are at the Farmer's Market, or are on sale at your grocery store.
- Long answer: I prefer sweet and sweet-tart varieties with a soft skin like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, etc.
- I do not like Red Delicious (no flavor) or Granny Smith (sour and tough skin).
WAYS TO USE YOUR HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE
- Swap it for the butter or oil in your favorite baked goods
- Top your homemade yogurt (so yummy)
- Warm it up and top it with granola and whipped cream for a healthy, amazing dessert
- Use it to naturally sweeten breakfast like this Instant Pot Blueberry Oatmeal or this Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE
- Yogurt: I love to serve my kids unsweetened Homemade Yogurt and add a swirl of applesauce to sweeten it.
- Pork: Apples go great with pork! Try it alongside any or these Instant Pork Recipes.
- Pancakes: For a healthier topping, use applesauce on pancakes, waffles, and french toast instead of maple syrup.
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE
- Refrigerator: Store in a sealed container (I like mason jars) for a week or so
- Freezer: Add a cup or 2 to freezer-safe ziplock bags, label it, then lay flat to freeze. When frozen flat, it stores well and thaws quickly.
- Can: Again, I'm a total novice, but my sister does this every year and I'd give anything to have my shelves lined with it! Here is a great reference on canning.
VARIATIONS OF INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE
- Spices: Browse your pantry and get creative! Apple Pie Spice, Pumpkin Spice, Ginger, Allspice, cloves, etc. Any warm, spices that go well with baked goods will taste amazing.
- Fruit Flavored: We've all bought the containers of flavored applesauce from the store so let that be your inspiration. Throw in different fruits to create different flavors. Some ideas include: berry (of any variety), mango, banana, pear, cherry, etc.
MORE INSTANT POT APPLE RECIPES
- Instant Pot Caramel Apple Cheesecake (HEAVEN!)
- Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
- Instant Pot Caramel Apple Pie (no added sweetener)
- Instant Pot Cranberry Apple Sauce
- Instant Pot Apple Fig Compote
- Instant Pot Hasselback Apples
- Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Instant Pot Healthy Cinnamon Apples
INGREDIENTS/TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE
- Instant Pot
- Immersion Blender or
- High Speed Blender
- Apple Peeler
- Vietnamese Cinnamon
Instant Pot Applesauce – No Peel!
Instant Pot Applesauce made in minutes in the pressure cooker. Peeling is totally optional!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 10 large apples – about 3 pounds (I like a combination of Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, and Pink lady, but anything except Granny Smith will work)
- ¼ cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean, split, and seeds scraped from pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional for a sweeter applesauce: 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup maple syrup, or 7 pitted dates
- Peel the apples – Note: skip this step if you are going to blend the finished apple sauce until smooth
- Core the apples and cut into large chunks (about 2 pieces).
- Add apples, apple juice, cinnamon, vanilla pod and seeds (or vanilla extract) to the pressure cooker pot and stir to combine. Stir in sweetener of choice, if using.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for 5 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
- For a thicker applesauce, use the sauté feature to simmer until desired consistency is achieved.
- Remove vanilla bean pod. Simply stir for a chunky applesauce or for a very smooth sauce, blend in pot with an immersion blender (or transfer to a high speed blender in batches).
- If blending in a high speed blender, do it in batches and throw a towel over the lid to prevent getting splattered with hot liquid. Start the blender on slow then slowly turn to high.
- If you don’t plan on blending the sauce with a high speed blender or immersion blender, I highly suggest peeling the apples for the best texture
- Applesauce freezes well. Separate into freezer safe containers and label. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Homemade applesauce takes baked goods such as muffins and bread to a whole new flavor level!
Keywords: Instant Pot Applesauce, homemade applesauce, no peel applesauce
Fantastic dish! I used a mixture of green and red apples, as well as one teaspoon each of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Having the skin removed saves so much time.
Really yummy! Next batch I’d like to add fruit flavours. Can you give guidance as to how much other fruit to add?
Terri, hmm…I’ve never really measured, just threw in a little bit of this and that depending on what fruit I needed to use up. I’d say go with a cup or 2 depending on how much you want the flavor to stand out.
How much is 3 lbs, in approx. cups ? I have apples with lots of big holes from bugs and bird pecks.
Julie, I’m not sure how many cups it would be, but I hardly even measure anymore, I just fill it to the top. If you do that, just add extra cinnamon and I promise you’ll love it!
I used dates to sweeten it, as suggested, plus I had a couple of red pears that were very ripe, so I added them in, too. It was wonderful! My new-foods-wary husband loved it and said to make sure I put this recipe in the “keeper” file.
Next, I’ll be trying the blueberry baked oatmeal recipe, and using some of this wonderful applesauce.
Kay, My husband has an imaginary “keeper file” haha! I just have to remember which recipes he puts in that “file”. Using homemade applesauce in that oatmeal is a game-changer, I’m excited for you to try it!
Excellent recipe! I used both green and a variety of red apples, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Such a time saver to not have to peel the skin!
Tanya, isn’t it great?! Making apple sauce used to be such a process. It goes so fast now.
Well that was super simple and yummy! I’ve never made applesauce before. Used a variety of apples, cider, and the bean pod. I think it’s perfect. I did get Burn when I first turned it on.. But stopped it, stirred it, and then no problem. Blended you’d never know the peels were a part of it. No fibre lost… A win win! Thank you. Your recipes are my go to first when I want to play with my IP!
Shelley, yay! I’m glad you liked it! Weird about the burn notice, I’ve never had issues with this one, but it seems each pot cooks a bit different. I love how much faster it is too, no peeling!
I told my grandma we were going to try making applesauce without peeling and she looked at me like I was nuts!!! It turned out great though, and it was so easy for my little boys to help! Thank you.
Katie, haha! I thought it was nuts the first time to :). Now I love it. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I used double the chopped, skin-on apples (not sure what kind because they were from my tree), a cup of cider and four dates cut lengthwise and pit removed. That’s it. No burn issues, but I did sauté for a minute to remove some excess liquid. When I jarred it, I took out the dates and put them into another jar with the half cup of the apples that I couldn’t fit in the jars. Then I used the immersion blender just on that. Holy moly! Awesome Apple Butter! Sorry, not sharing. Until next batch. Maybe.
Michele, I’m dying over your apple butter trick! I’m going to try that this week!
Holy smokes this was good! I did make a few changes. 1 tsp. Ground cinnamon and 1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice. Vanilla instead of vanilla bean and did a couple packets of stevia. Turned out perfect! Thank you for the recipe!
Melissa, I love your tweaks, I bet it was amazing!
Kitap Kurdu Kitapları Yeni Çıkan Kitaplar
I have made this several times, just with apples and a 1/4 C of water. Nothing else. I am a purist when it comes to homemade applesauce. I cut the cored apples in half and that’s it. When it’s done, I use tongs to remove the peels which lift out easily. I use the immersion blender just for the peels and mix that back in. That way I can leave alone whatever chunks there are in the applesauce. It’s perfect!
Lindy, That is a fantastic idea! I will try that next time! Thank you 🙂
I used apples from my own trees also. I did peel though. However, I had to add more water (didn’t have cider) as I got the burn message quickly. I had used more water to begin with but it still wasn’t enough. But it turned out well!
Jolan, Dang, I’m glad it worked out though. I’ve never had issues with it but I’m wondering if the juiciness of the apples can make a big difference. Thanks for letting me know!
I tell people I like app!esauce, but truthfully I don’t really. I don’t dislike it, it just isn’t something I choose to eat. This applesauce on the other hand is truly delicious. I didn’t peel the apples so I keep all the amazing taste. I love this stuff!!
Jan, haha! I’m the same way! There’s just something about this one that I love love love!
Oh my goodness! This recipe is a hit! Tasty and easy! I’m super impressed!
Ana, Simplicity at its finest, right?!
Judy Sara says
I followed your recipe exactly but my Instant Pot warned Burn so I had to turn i off.
Amazingly, it was ready! The fastest apple sauce yet! 😉
Judy, oh no, really!? I’ve made that countless times without problems. I’m curious, do you have a newer model of Instant Pot?
Just a friendly piece of advice….Instructions State that you have to use 1 cup of liquid minimum with anything in instant pots or you risk burning and voiding the warranty and screwing up your instant pot, might want to make a disclaimer stating this.
Lea, with some foods they create liquid as they heat up (this is especially true with meat and fruit) and this is enough to build the pressure needed to create a seal. You can definitely add a cup of apple juice if you like though. I would just simmer it a bit after it’s done to thicken the sauce up a bit – it would still be delicious!
Marci, thank you for another awesome recipe! This was so easy in my Ninja Foodi and now we have a healthier snack for our sweet tooth cravings.
Kim, best snack and dessert 🙂
How do you wash your apples considering apples are among the dirtiest with pesticide and wax like coatings?
Marc, well, my applesauce are made with apples from my own trees. To be honest, I haven’t researched that subject much so I’m not much help. What do you do? Do you have any suggestions?
It’s easy- Soak apples in Very warm water with a splash of white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 min and rinse. You’re good to go.