Once you taste homemade applesauce you will never settle for store-bought again! This easy instant pot applesauce is ready in a snap and is wonderfully flavored with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger for the perfect cozy treat.
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If you have never had homemade applesauce then you are about to be in for a real treat. This applesauce is good all year long but I especially love it in the fall when apples are at their best.
I created this recipe to go with my pork chops and applesauce which I highly suggest trying. If you are looking for other apple recipes be sure to check out my crockpot wassail and my gluten-free apple cake.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This applesauce is full of all the best fall flavors. Feel free to customize it to suit your preference and don't be afraid to try out different spices. Be sure to check out the variations section if you want some more ideas.
- Apples - You can use any variety that you like. I used a combination of granny smith and pink lady apples.
- Apple Cider or apple juice
- Lemon Juice
- Brown and White Sugar, honey, maple syrup, or sugar substitute. You can omit the sugar if you prefer an unsweetened applesauce
- Vanilla Extract
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg, Ground Ginger, and Ground Cardamom or substitute with apple pie spice
See the recipe card for quantities.
To make this applesauce you will need measuring cups and spoons, plus tools to peel, core, and slice the apples. I am old school and just use a pairing knife but you can use an apple slicer or if you are really fancy you can use an all-in-one apple, peeler, and corer.
If you prefer a perfectly smooth applesauce, you will also need an immersion or standard blender. For chunky applesauce, you may need a potato masher, but usually, the apples are soft enough after cooking that they do not need to be mashed.
In addition to this, you will also need an instant pot!
Before you get started ...
The hardest part of this recipe is the prep. Before you get started you will need to peel, core, and slice the apples. I usually just slice the apples into fourths.
This instant pot applesauce recipe has only a couple of steps and once the apples are peeled and cored it's basically done 😋
Tip: For a thinner, smooth applesauce cut the apples into small pieces. For a chunkier applesauce leave the apple slices large.
Add all of the ingredients to the inner liner of your instant pot. Use the manual setting and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
After the cooking time is up. Let the pressure release naturally release. Then, carefully remove the lid.
There are slight variations between different Instant Pot models. I have included instructions for the most common model, but if you are unsure how to operate your Instant Pot, then you can find your owner's manual here!
If necessary, use an immersion blender or potato masher to achieve your preferred texture. For a smoother applesauce use an immersion blender and for a chunkier use a potato masher.
Here are some of my favorite ways to change up this recipe:
- Slow Cooker Applesauce - Place all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
- Add other fruits and/or vegetables - replace some of the apples with other fruit or vegetables. Some of my favorite options are sweet potatoes, berries, cranberries, carrots, pumpkin, peaches, and pineapple.
- Red Hot Applesauce - My grandma always made red hot applesauce and I LOVED it! Simply omit the spices and add about 1 cup (more or less to taste) of red hot candies to the applesauce.
- Hearty Apple Oatmeal - Reduce the apples by half, and increase the apple juice or cider to 3 cups. Add 2 cups of rolled oats and then follow the cooking instructions in the recipe card.
This applesauce can be kept in the fridge for about 10 days. It can also be frozen or canned for long-term preservation. (see canning instructions below)
Applesauce cans beautifully in a water bath canner. This is by no means a comprehensive guide to canning applesauce. If you are new to canning food be sure to read this guide first.
You will need the following items for canning:
- Clean and sterilized jars, lids, and sealing rings (read more about getting your equipment ready here!)
- A canning funnel
- Waterbath canner
- Jar lifter
To can the applesauce:
- Prepare the applesauce according to the recipe directions.
- Fill the water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by an inch and bring the water to a simmer.
- Carefully ladle the hot applesauce into the clean glass jars leaving ½ inch of headspace.
- Remove any air bubbles (I just tap the jar on the countertop a few times)
- Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp towel
- Place the sealing lid onto the jar, then add the band until it is finger-tip tight
- Carefully lower the sealed jars into the canner and place the lid onto the canner.
- Bring to a boil and process the jars for 20 minutes.
- When the processing time is up, remove the lid and allow the jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, use the jar lifter to remove them from the canner and gently place them on a clean towel on the counter.
- Let the jars sit undisturbed for at least 12 hours.
Process applesauce for 20 minutes in a water bath canner.
Lemon juice not only enhances the flavor of applesauce, but it also prevents the applesauce from discoloring and helps to ensure that it will be safe to can
Homemade applesauce is as healthy as you want it to be. You can reduce or omit the sugar or replace it with your favorite sugar substitute to make it healthier.
- If you are unsure how to operate your Instant Pot, then you can find your owner's manual here!
- For a thinner, smooth applesauce cut the apples into small pieces. For a chunkier applesauce leave the apple slices large.
Instant Pot Applesauce
- Instant pot
- Immersion Blender optional
- Potato Masher optional
- 6 lb Apples Peeled, seeded, and sliced. I used granny smith
- 1 cup Apple Cider or apple juice
- 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Brown Sugar optional
- ½ cup White Sugar optional
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg optional
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger optional
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cardamom optional
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Add all of the ingredients to the instant pot. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the instant pot. If your model has a sealing valve, then set it to 'sealing'. Set the instant pot to manual cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Remove the lid and use a potato masher to mash and mix the apples to reach your desired consistency. If you prefer a completely smooth applesauce, then you can use an immersion blender.
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.