Instant Pot Applesauce
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Applesauce is bursting with fresh apple flavor and a touch of cinnamon. This simple recipe is a super easy way to make homemade applesauce!
If you find yourself with an abundance of apples this fall, this Instant Pot applesauce recipe is a delicious way to use them! Making applesauce in the Instant Pot is incredibly quick and easy. You simply add all of the ingredients to the pot, pressure cook for just 6 minutes, and then mash or puree the applesauce to your desired consistency. That’s it! You won’t have to watch a pot on the stove or guess at when your applesauce is done.
This homemade applesauce is a real treat. It has a crisp, bright, fresh flavor that far surpasses any store-bought applesauce I’ve tried. We love this Instant Pot applesauce best with just a bit of cinnamon mixed in. I’ve also used this recipe to make strawberry applesauce and pear applesauce, and you’ll find my notes on how to make these recipe variations below.
This recipe makes unsweetened applesauce, which we find plenty sweet because of the natural sugars in the apples. If you want to add more sweetness, just a touch of brown sugar, pure maple syrup or honey is all you will need. Let’s make some applesauce!
Best Apples for Applesauce
Applesauce can be made with a variety of types of apples. Apples with a soft texture are best for applesauce because they cook down more easily. However, the Instant Pot is really good at cooking down apples so almost any variety can be used in Instant Pot applesauce with good results.
For the best flavor, use a combination of sweet and tart apples. Sweet apples that are good for applesauce include Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden Delicious and Gala. Tart apples that work well include Granny Smith and Braeburn. You can also use apples that are both sweet and tart, such as Cripp’s Pink (often called Pink Lady).
Instant Pot Applesauce Ingredients
- Apples: Different apples will provide different flavor notes in the applesauce. Here I’ve used Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
- Water: The water is necessary to help the Instant Pot reach pressure and it also helps the apples to cook down. You need to only add 1/2 cup of water in a 6 quart pot and 3/4 cup of water for an 8 quart pot. The apples will also release some liquid as they break down, so the pot will have enough liquid to pressurize.
- Cinnamon: Adding a bit of ground cinnamon is optional, to make cinnamon applesauce.
Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
- Peel the apples, if desired. Or you can save a step and leave the skins on for added texture. I usually peel them because my family prefers a smoother applesauce.
- Core the apples and chop them into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the apples, water and cinnamon (if using) in the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Pressure cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Once the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Then move the steam release valve to the venting position to allow any remaining steam to escape. Once the pin drops down, open the Instant Pot lid.
- The apples will be very soft after cooking. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher or spoon to break up the apples a bit more. For smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender to puree the applesauce. Alternatively, you can transfer the applesauce to a countertop blender or food processor and pulse it to your desired consistency.
Instant Pot Applesauce Recipe Variations
- You can add a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice after cooking to brighten up the flavors.
- Sweetened Applesauce: If you’d like to sweeten the applesauce, I recommend doing so after it cooks, to taste. To add sugar, stir in a little bit of brown sugar, pure maple syrup or honey.
- Cinnamon Applesauce: Stir in additional ground cinnamon, to taste, after cooking.
- Strawberry Applesauce: Add 1/2 pound stemmed strawberries to the apples and water. Omit the cinnamon. If the applesauce seems thin right after cooking, it will thicken up as it cools.
- Pear Applesauce: Use four apples and four pears, chopped into 1-inch pieces. You can leave the skins on the pears or peel them. If you leave the skins on, you will need to puree the cooked applesauce well with an immersion blender or countertop blender because the pear skins won’t break down much during the cooking process.
More Apple Recipes
Instant Pot Applesauce
- 8 apples, about 4 pounds, for the best flavor use a combination of sweet and tart apples*
- ½ cup water, use ¾ cup for 8 quart pot
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional, or to taste
- If desired, peel the apples. Then core them and chop into 1-inch pieces.
- Combine apples, water and cinnamon (if using) in the Instant Pot inner pot. Stir.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down.
- Once the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Then move the steam release valve to the venting position to allow any remaining steam to escape. Once the pin drops down, carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
- Stir applesauce and use a potato masher or spoon, if desired, to break up the apples a bit more. If you like your applesauce smoother, you can use an immersion blender to puree it or pulse it in a countertop blender or food processor until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Taste applesauce and add optional flavorings as desired: a pinch of salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, more cinnamon or a pinch of nutmeg. For sweeter applesauce, stir in a little honey, pure maple syrup or brown sugar.
- Serve warm or chilled.
- Sweet apples that are good for applesauce include Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden Delicious and Gala. Tart apples that work well include Granny Smith and Braeburn.
- If desired, you can stir in one or more of these optional flavorings, after cooking, to taste: a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or a bit of honey, pure maple syrup or brown sugar (for sweeter applesauce).
- Applesauce may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 days. Let cool before storing.