This easy and delicious Instant Pot Applesauce recipe can be prepared in less than 20 minutes, requires zero peeling, and has no added sugar. 

Instant Pot Apple Sauce

This lightly spiced Instant Pot Apple Sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and tart (we’ll discuss apple varieties and options below!), requires zero peeling, and contains no added sugar. Crisp autumn apples and warm baking spices are the star.

While I don’t use an Instant Pot that frequently in the kitchen, it is my favorite method for making homemade apple sauce. It makes for fast hands-off work, and allows you to make large batches at once.

While you can certainly prepare apple sauce on the stove, the pressure cooker reduces cook time and requires zero attention. You’ll dump all of the apples, spices, and liquid in the pot, give it a quick stir, and walk away. 

This applesauce recipe produces an applesauce that has a smooth texture and great balance of natural sweetness and tartness. If you find most apple sauces to be too sweet or one-note in flavor, you’re going to love this recipe.

Apple Sauce Ingredients:

What Varieties of Apples Should I Use?

Similar to apple pie, ideally you’ll use a few different varieties of apples in applesauce. Different types will contribute varying levels of sweetness, tartness, and overall texture.

Unlike apple pie, where you want the apple slices to hold their shape fairly well once cooked (eg. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, etc.), homemade applesauce benefits from varieties that become tender and release a fair amount of liquid once cooked.

Fuji and Golden Delicious are considered great apples for apple sauce as they both tend to lose their shape quickly and contribute sweetness. Granny Smiths add that signature tartness that balances the overall flavor.

During recipe testing, I noticed an improved texture and overall flavor when using a combination of apples. With that said, I’ve also had much success preparing this recipe with 100% Pink Lady apples. See recipe notes for suggestions.

Apples

How to Make AppleSauce in an Instant Pot:

  1. Place the quartered apples, cold water, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a 6-quart (or larger) capacity instant pot. Stir to combine.
  2. Close the lid (*be sure to turn the valve to sealing*) and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and open via natural or quick release, being sure to avoid contact with any cooking steam. The mixture will look like a bit of a hot mess when you first open the lid, but will blend beautifully.
  1. Carefully blend the apples to desired texture using an immersion blender (*this is the easiest method!) or transfer and blend the apple mixture in smaller batches to a high-powered blender. The apple sauce will thicken considerably once cool. Allow to cool before transferring to a container or glass quart jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Tips for Success:

  • You’ll be able to make this instant pot applesauce in just 7 minutes of high pressure cooking time. Since this calls for 5 pounds of fresh apples, it is very important to use a pressure cooker that is at least 6 quarts (or larger) in size.
  • Do not skip or reduce the water quantity in the recipe above. Pressure cookers require a minimum amount of liquid in order for them to come to pressure.
  • This recipe makes two quarts of applesauce. It can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or frozen and thawed at a later date.
  • For added flavor, we’ll add ground cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla extract. If you’re using the apple sauce for savory applications, reduce or omit the spices. Don’t forget a few pinches of kosher salt for balance!
Instant Pot Apple Sauce

Peeled vs. Unpeeled Apples

Most apple sauce recipes call for peeled apples, which takes a lot of preparation time. This recipe does not require apple peeling. Since most dietary fiber and nutrients are found in the skin, it will also be more nutritious.

It will look quite messy just after cooking, but blends perfectly with an immersion blender or high-powered blender.

How to Use This Instant Pot Apple Sauce:

  • quick breakfast parfaits: spooned or layered with Greek yogurt and topped with crunchy granola. make your own DIY yogurt pots by layering yogurt and apple sauce in small glass jars and storing covered in the fridge.
  • spooned on top of warm steel cut oats or waffles!
  • served slightly warm on top of vanilla ice cream.
  • in baked goods in lieu of store-bought apple sauce. just remember to reduce any other baking spices to account for the added flavor.
  • reduce or omit the baking spices and serve alongside savory dishes, such as pork or chicken.
Instant Pot Apple Sauce

Flavor Variation Ideas: 

How to Make Cranberry Apple Sauce: Add 1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries for a seasonal tart twist. 

How to Make Blackberry or Raspberry Apple Sauce: Add 1-2 cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries. It adds a touch of tartness and creates a gorgeous dark purple hue! 

Instant Pot Apple Sauce

Instant Pot Apple Sauce

4.8 stars (23 ratings)
This incredibly easy instant pot apple sauce recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, requires zero peeling, and contains zero added sugar. Using an Instant Pot, it can also be prepared in less than 30 minutes too!
Almost all of the dietary fiber in apples is found in the skin; since you will be blending the apples once cooked, the skin will make little difference in the end result and will produce a more nutritious applesauce. This also saves a lot of prep time! See recipe notes for apple substitution and other ideas.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Fuji apples (roughly 4) unpeeled, cored, and quartered
  • 2 lbs Golden Delicious apples (roughly 4) unpeeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 lb Granny Smith apples (roughly 2) unpeeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 cup (240 mL) cold water *see notes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼-½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 large pinches Diamond Crystal kosher salt

Instructions 

  • Place the quartered apples, cold water, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a 6-quart (or larger) capacity instant pot. Stir to combine.
    How to Make Apple Sauce In An Instant Pot
  • Close the lid (*be sure to turn the valve to sealing*) and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and open via natural or quick release, being sure to avoid contact with any cooking steam. The mixture will look like a bit of a hot mess when you first open the lid, but will blend beautifully.
    How to Make Apple Sauce In An Instant Pot
  • Carefully blend the apples to desired texture using an immersion blender (*this is the easiest method!) or transfer and blend the apple mixture in smaller batches in a high-powered blender or large food processor. The apple sauce will thicken considerably once cool. Allow to cool before transferring to a container or glass quart jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
    How to Make Apple Sauce In An Instant Pot

Flavor Variation: 

  • Add 1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries or 1-2 cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries for a seasonal twist! 
  • Feel free to adapt the dried spices to suit your taste preference. 

Tips for Success:

  • Do not skip or reduce the water quantity in the recipe above. Pressure cookers require a minimum amount of liquid in order for them to come to pressure.
  • I prefer to use a combination of apple varieties to produce a more nuanced applesauce flavor. Granny Smith apples contribute tartness, Fuji apples are balanced and high in moisture (lending themselves well to applesauce), and Golden Delicious contribute sweetness. If you don’t feel like buying a variety, this recipe works great with 100% Fuji or Pink Lady apples as well. 
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 121mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 24g