How to make Instant Pot applesauce that is so delicious, it beats anything you can buy at the store. Homemade applesauce is simple to make and makes the kitchen smell incredible.
Related: See how we make applesauce on the stove.
How to Make Applesauce in a Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
Making applesauce in a pressure cooker is simple and fuss-free. Here are the basic steps (the full recipe is below):
- Toss peeled apples, spices (I like cinnamon and star anise), lemon juice, and water into the pressure cooker.
- Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release for 20 minutes (this is important for the best texture)
- Open the lid and mash or stir the apples into a sauce.
We use our 6-quart Instant Pot, and it cooks the apples so well that they are falling apart. You don’t need a blender to make this applesauce.
Just give the apples a quick stir or mash, and it is ready!
What Kinds of Apples Make the Best Applesauce?
Applesauce is simple to make at home, and you can use just about any apple to make it. So if you were reading this and worried that you don’t have suitable apples for applesauce, stop. With our simple recipe, you can use any apple.
Here are the tips that we shared with our recipe for stovetop applesauce:
When it comes to making applesauce in our kitchen, we choose apples that we love to eat. For us, that means sweet, crisp apples like Honeycrisp, Fuji, Cox, Gala, and Pink Lady. They taste great after cooking, and when using sweeter apples like these, we don’t even need to add a sweetener like sugar.
More tart apples like Granny Smith work, as well. However, depending on how puckering you like your applesauce, you might find that applesauce made with only Granny Smith apples needs a touch of sweetener.
That’s okay, though, because, in our recipe below, we recommend making the applesauce without any sugar, and then just after cooking, suggest tasting it to see if it needs some sweetener.
With this method, you can’t go wrong, and you are guaranteed applesauce that you love!
How Long Does Homemade Applesauce Last?
Applesauce lasts, stored in an airtight container, for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. You can also freeze applesauce for up to 6 months (possibly longer). We recommend using a different resource for instructions on canning applesauce. We do not have a lot of experience with canning and preserving foods.
More Apple Recipes
We love apples! Here are some of our top apple recipes:
- Homemade Applesauce (made on the stove)
- Cinnamon Spiced Apple Bread
- Our Favorite Apple Pie
- Spiced Apple Dutch Baby Pancakes
- Easy Apple Crisp with Oats
- Creamy Apple Salad
Easy Instant Pot Applesauce
Instant Pot applesauce is simple to make, makes the kitchen smell incredible, and tastes much better than anything you can buy at the store. Use apples that you enjoy eating. We particularly love using crisp, sweet apples when making applesauce and generally do not add any sweetener. If you feel the applesauce needs some extra sweetness, add a sweetener to taste at the end of cooking. We recommend brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
Using peeled apples makes this recipe easy, but you can use skin-on apples. If you do, use a food mill fitted with a medium disk to blend the sauce and remove most of the cooked skins for the best texture. If you do not have a food mill, you can puree the skins into the sauce. Or pass the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove the skins.
**The cook time for this applesauce is 5 minutes, but keep in mind that the pressure cooker takes additional time to reach pressure before the cooking time begins and release the pressure after the cooking time ends.
You Will Need
4 pounds crisp, sweet apples (8 large), rinsed, see tips
One 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice, or apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 whole star anise, optional
Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener to taste, optional
- Make Applesauce
1Peel apples, remove the apple cores, and cut apples into 1-inch chunks or wedges.
2Place the apples, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and star anise into the bottom of a 6-quart electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot). Add 1/3 cup of water, and then stir the apples around the pot a few times.
3Close the lid, select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” function and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Note that the timer will not start until there is enough pressure inside the pot, so the timer may not start for a few minutes.
4When the cooking time is up, do not immediately open the lid and instead let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, release the remaining pressure using the quick-release button (be careful to keep your hands and face away from the venting steam).
5Stir or mash the apples into your preferred consistency. An immersion blender works, as well, but the apples should be so soft that a spoon is enough to mash them into a sauce.
6Taste the applesauce. If you would like to add a sweetener, add it to taste. Start with a teaspoon, and then add from there.
7The applesauce will thicken a little as it cools, but if it seems too watery, place the applesauce back into the pressure cooker, turn the sauté function on, and simmer until reduced a little.
1Store applesauce in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freeze applesauce for up to 6 months, possibly longer.
2We do not have instructions for canning applesauce and recommend that you consult other canning resources for tips.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Best apples to use: Most varieties of apple work in this recipe. Depending on how sweet or tart they are, you might find that you need to adjust with a little sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar. We use apples we enjoy eating, which means that we usually make applesauce with sweet, tart apples like Honeycrisp, Gala or Fuji.
- For the most apple flavor, combine two or three varieties of apples.
- Add more cinnamon: One cinnamon stick adds a little warmth to the applesauce, but it is not overpowering. If you love a lot of cinnamon in your applesauce, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon to the pot.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We did not include sugar in the calculations.