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Instant Pot Applesauce (Easy + Delicious!)

Instant Pot Applesauce – Homemade applesauce made in the pressure cooker! This recipe is easy, delicious, and great for beginners! (Paleo, Vegan)

Two servings of Instant Pot Applesauce in white bowls

I LOVE using my Instant Pot for easy side dishes lately, whether it’s Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Broccoli, or some yummy Instant Pot rice. This applesauce is another fave! If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, this is a REALLY great recipe to try. It’s extra simple, tastes amazing, and is really tough to overcook or undercook.

We’re talking 2-3 main ingredients, plus any extra flavorings or seasonings you want to add. If you can dice and push buttons, you can make this!

Besides being crazy easy, I love how delicious homemade Instant Pot applesauce is. It’s got a gorgeous ripe apple flavor and can make your house smell like fall in minutes. (So much better than any apple-scented candle!)

Here are the ingredients you need for Instant Pot applesauce…

Apples in an Instant Pot, ready to be turned into Instant Pot Applesauce

HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE:

  • RIPE APPLES. Ripe, juicy apples are the main ingredient for Instant Pot applesauce. You can use all one variety, or mix and match for a more complex flavor. (Wondering which varieties work best? Scroll down to the FAQ below!)
  • APPLE JUICE, APPLE CIDER, OR WATER. To keep the burn warning away on your Instant Pot, you’ll want to add a little liquid to the applesauce. I like using apple juice or apple cider if I have it to pump up the apple flavor and add a subtle, natural sweetness, but water works great, too. Use what you have!
  • (MAYBE LEMON JUICE). If you’ve used water instead of apple juice or apple cider, I recommend adding about 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. It adds some acidity which helps with color but also keeps the applesauce from tasting flat. It’s not strictly necessary if you’ve used juice or cider.
  • AND AN INSTANT POT! Okay, while it’s *technically* not an ingredient, you won’t be able to make Instant Pot applesauce without an Instant Pot! I own the 6-quart size and it’s been fantastic for our family, whether we’re cooking up oatmeal, whipping up a big batch of chili, or anything in between.

Now, if you want to add some fun flavors or sweeten your applesauce, you can try one of these yummy ideas…

Close up view of Instant Pot Applesauce in a bowl.

LET’S SPICE THINGS UP! HERE ARE TASTY WAYS TO FLAVOR YOUR INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE…

ADDING CINNAMON STICKS. You can get some lovely subtle cinnamon flavor with cinnamon sticks. It won’t be as pronounced as using ground spices, but it adds a lovely note! For more pronounced flavor, try…

ADDING GROUND SPICES OR SPICE BLENDS.

ADDING OTHER FRUITS! You can play with this a bit by making your own flavored applesauce. Try adding 1-2 cups peaches or plums, or try adding strawberries or blueberries! (I don’t recommend raspberries or blackberries unless you plan to strain the seeds out after).

ADDING SWEETENER. Sometimes, your apples just aren’t that sweet, and your applesauce needs a little oomph. I recommend waiting to sweeten Instant Pot applesauce until *after* it’s cooked, so you really know how it turned out. Try:

  • A splash of pure maple syrup
  • Cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top (we like this one made with maple sugar!)
  • A pinch of brown sugar.
Two bowls of Instant Pot Applesauce

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE:

WHAT KIND OF APPLES ARE BEST FOR APPLESAUCE? The best apples for applesauce will depend on what flavor profile you’re looking for. Choose all of one variety, or mix 2-3 for a more complex flavor:

  • TART TO MILDLY SWEET: Granny Smith (most common in commercially-made applesauce, Gala, Pink Lady
  • MODERATELY SWEET TO VERY SWEET: Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden Delicious

(In this video, I used a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, but I’ve used all of the apple varieties above with good success!)

DO YOU HAVE TO PEEL APPLES BEFORE MAKING APPLESAUCE? It’s totally a personal preference thing. If you like a homestyle/chunky applesauce or plan to purée the applesauce later, there’s really no need to peel the apples first. For lighter color or the very smoothest applesauce, I recommend peeling.

CAN YOU FREEZE LEFTOVER APPLESAUCE? Yes, you can freeze applesauce! Put it in freezer-safe jars (save about 1″ space at the top to allow for expansion) or in freezer-safe bags and freeze up to 3 months or so.

MAKE YOUR OWN APPLESAUCE POUCHES! If your kids love store-bought applesauce pouches (mine do!), you can also make your own! Try these reusable pouches. They’re dishwasher and freezer safe and work like a charm.

Unsweetened Instant Pot Applesauce in a bowl

LOVE THIS APPLESAUCE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:

HELPFUL FOR MAKING HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE:

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Two servings of Instant Pot Applesauce in white bowls

Instant Pot Applesauce (Easy + Delicious!)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 40 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 cups applesauce 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Instant Pot Applesauce – Homemade applesauce made in the pressure cooker! This recipe is easy, delicious, and great for beginners! (Paleo, Vegan)


Ingredients

Scale

FOR THE INSTANT POT APPLESAUCE:

  • 4 lbs. apples (about 8 large apples), cored and cubed (peel first, if desired!*)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice, apple cider, or water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (if using water. Not needed if using cider/juice)

ADDITIONAL FLAVORING OPTIONS:

  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/21 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/21 tsp. chai spice
  • 1/21 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • cinnamon-sugar
  • pure maple syrup
  • brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Prep your apples and place them in the Instant Pot.
  2. Add any desired seasonings (cinnamon stick, spices)
  3. Pour apple juice or water over the apples and seasonings.
  4. Secure the lid and double-check that the pressure valve is set to SEALING not VENTING.
  5. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer for 5 minutes. (It will take 14-15 minutes or so to come to pressure)
  6. Allow the pressure to naturally release about 20 minutes, then quick-release any remaining steam.
  7. Use a potato masher to mash the applesauce for a more homestyle/chunky applesauce, or puree with an immersion blender (or working in batches in a regular blender) until smooth.
  8. Taste and add additional seasonings/spices, or sweeten, to taste.

Notes

*For super-smooth applesauce, you can peel your apples in advance. If you like an old-fashioned/chunky texture or plan to purée the applesauce, there’s no need to peel them first! For texture-sensitive kids/adults, I recommend peeling the apples first.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: instant pot applesauce, pressure cooker applesauce, homemade applesauce, chunky applesauce, no sugar added applesauce

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