Instant Pot Applesauce

instant pot applesauce in serving dish with cinnamon

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 27 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 7 mins
  • Pressure Build/Release: 27 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

Homemade applesauce made with fresh apples cooks in just minutes in an Instant Pot. This version includes cinnamon, which gives the sauce fabulous apple pie flavor.

If you are short on time, you can skip peeling the cored apples. Just make sure the apples are well washed or organic. When the apples are done cooking, mash as directed or use an immersion blender. To eliminate the skins, put the applesauce through a food mill.

A variety of apples make good applesauce. A few tart Granny Smith or Cortland apples add balance to sweeter varieties like Golden Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh, Jonathan, Gala, and Rome. If you prefer unsweetened applesauce, choose all sweet apples. Or, if the majority of your apples are tart, add a few tablespoons of sugar or a sugar replacement.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds apples (about 8 medium to large apples)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Dash salt
  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (brown or granulated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for instant pot applesauce
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray
  2. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into 1 to 2-inch chunks.

    preparing the apples
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray
  3. Put the chopped apples in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add the water, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and sugar, if using. Toss to coat the apples. Secure the lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select the pressure cook button (high pressure) and set the time to 7 minutes. It will take about 12 minutes for the pressure to build.

    apples in the instant pot with cinnamon
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray
  4. When the time is up, allow a natural release for 15 minutes and then carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position. Mash the apples or use an immersion blender for a smoother sauce.

    mash the apples
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray
  5. Let the applesauce cool and then transfer it to jars or containers. Store homemade applesauce in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or freeze it for longer storage.

    applesauce in jars and serving dish with cinnamon sticks
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Tips

  • Homemade applesauce freezes beautifully. Use freezer containers or bags, or freeze it in wide-mouth glass jars. When freezing food in wide-mouth glass jars, leave at least an inch of headspace for expansion.
  • If the applesauce is runnier than you like, choose the sauté button (low) and cook it uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Applesauce makes a delicious dessert and it goes well with some meats like pork, ham, and poultry.
  • Applesauce can help reduce the fat when added to baked goods, like muffins, quick breads, and cakes. Try replacing all or half of the fat with applesauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the water with apple juice or apple cider.
  • For extra spice flavor, add about 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg to the apples along with the cinnamon.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the cooked applesauce.
  • Instead of sugar, experiment with a different sweetener like honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup.