There's nothing better than the taste of homemade applesauce and this Instant Pot Applesauce recipe is full of sweet apple flavor and no sugar. Use any type of apples and it cooks in 9 minutes. Perfect for apple season.
This delicious applesauce tastes so much better than store-bought applesauce and you'll never believe there isn't sugar added! Only four simple ingredients are needed (all available from the grocery store). It's a great way to use apples from fall apple picking too!
Whether for a satisfying wholesome snack or added to other recipes homemade Instant Pot applesauce is an easy Instant Pot recipe and the easiest way to make homemade applesauce. Your kitchen will smell of apples too.
You can use a variety of apples for different flavors. A touch of cinnamon is the perfect finishing touch to this simple recipe. Who doesn't love cinnamon applesauce?!
Why make this Applesauce?
- It's low in calories, high in fiber
- You pick the apples to create a flavor you love
- Making it in a pressure cooker preserves all the nutrients and flavor.
- Everything is done in the Instant Pot (easy clean up).
- You can whip up a batch in less than 30 minutes!
- With no sugar added enjoy it anytime for a wholesome snack!
What makes this skinny?
The recipe is made with just apples, no added sugar which greatly reduces the calories. The sweeter apples will make sweeter applesauce (even though technically it's still unsweetened applesauce) avoiding the need for sugar-added applesauce.
Unsweetened applesauce is low in calories as well as has no fat, high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and has lots of other benefits especially when on a health and weight loss path.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Apples. Any type of apple can be used in this recipe. A favorite is Honeycrisp. They have big apple flavor and are sweet. More suggestions included below. Peel and core the apples then cut them into ⅛'s.
Water. Because the applesauce is naturally sweet from the apples, water is the only liquid needed.
Lemon juice. This helps decrease the oxidation (browning) of the cut apples and also enhances the apple flavor by adding a contrasting flavor.
Cinnamon. A perfect flavor to pair with the apples for a delicious end result.
Instant Pot. This recipe was developed with a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo.
Immersion Blender or Potato Masher. Depending on the consistency you prefer one of these tools will be needed.
The immersion blender, also called a stick blender, will make a very smooth applesauce consistency. The applesauce can also be processed in batches through a regular blender.
The potato masher is perfect for making chunky applesauce.
Best Apples for Homemade Applesauce
Depending on how sweet or tart you want the final result to be, here are some apple types that are best for making applesauce. You can mix varieties of apples too, as well as tart apples and sweet apples.
- Honeycrisp (sweet)
- Fuji (sweet)
- McIntosh (sweet and tart combo)
- Golden Delicious (sweet)
- Granny Smith (tart)
- Jonagold (sweet)
- Rome (sweet and tangy)
- Pink Lady (sweet and tangy)
Red Delicious apples are NOT recommended for making applesauce.
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
STEP 1. Pressure cook
Place the apples, lemon juice, water and cinnamon into the Instant Pot (photo 1). Seal the lid, place vent on 'seal' position.
Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. When cooking completes perform a manual release and carefully remove the lid (photo 2).
STEP 2. Blending the applesauce
Use either an immersion blender (for a smooth consistency) or a potato masher (for a chunky consistency shown here), process the applesauce (photo 3).
Use different spices. Cinnamon is a classic pairing with apples but it doesn't stop there! Try allspice, nutmeg, mace or cardamom or cloves. A little goes a long way so don't add too much or it could overpower the apples.
Mix different apple types. Mixing different sweet apples or tart AND sweet give the applesauce a different flavor. You can change it up every time!
Add some apple juice or apple cider. You can combine the water with some apple juice or cider for a stronger apple flavor. This will add more calories. The combined liquid amount should be 1 cup.
Don't peel the apples (core them only). I personally have not tried this but have friends who swear by not peeling (save a lot of time) then using an immersion blender at the end. They maintain the peels pulverize and cannot be detected.
Mix in other fruits. Add some pear, cherries (frozen and thawed; remove the pits), or strawberries to change up the flavor. Throw in some frozen mango cubes!
How to Use Instant Pot Applesauce
- Eat 'as is'
- Use it in baking recipes. Did you know applesauce can be swapped for oil one-to-one in baking recipe? It's an old dieting trick that helps make baked good healthier. We use it in our skinny Banana Bread, Lemon Muffins and Apple Spice Muffins.
- Use on roast pork or chicken. The sweet and salty (pork) and savory contrast is delicious together.
- On Oatmeal. Whether on a bowl of regular oatmeal or a slice of baked oatmeal it's a great topping option.
- On yogurt or cottage cheese
Use an apple peeler to save time. These are great if you peel apples frequently. The apple is secured into the peeler and rotates against a peeling blade peeling a full apple in about 30 seconds. There are many models of apple peelers. I have had one for about 15 years that looks close to this one or this one. It has been such a time saver and is one of my favorite kitchen devices.
Ingredients are hot after cooking! If using an immersion blender be careful to avoid splattering of the hot liquid. Keep the head of the blender below the surface of the applesauce when blending.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! It can be water bath or pressure canned. We recommend following the instructions from the National Center for Food Preservation.
Yes! Add all ingredients and cook on HIGH heat for 4 hours. Process the applesauce with an immersion blender or potato masher as described above.
Yes! Allow it to cool completely. Place in freezer-proof containers or bags squeezing out as much air as possible.
Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. You can freeze smaller amounts in an ice cube tray too!
Store in a sealed jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.