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 apple sauce 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 of 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
LET'S TALK IMMERSION BLENDERS
I've had 4 different immersion blenders over the past 5 years. I've given my disappointments to my sister (sorry sis) now that I've finally found THE ONE.
The Mealthy Handblend is my new favorite because it actually does what it says it will do: make a smooth, creamy puree. I am so impressed at how efficiently it works through soups, sauces, and beyond. It's also not expensive which is also refreshing considering my $100+ model didn't perform near as well.
If you use your pressure cooker often, you need an immersion blender. Trust me on this, you'll thank me at soup season.
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.
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 APPLE RECIPES FOR YOUR INSTANT POT
- 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
INGREDIENTS/TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE
- Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot
- Mealthy HandBlend Immersion 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