The pressure cooker makes homemade applesauce a breeze. Instant Pot applesauce is made with 3 simple ingredients – apples, orange juice, and cinnamon.
Living in Minnesota where apples are abundant, trips to the apple orchard happen every year. My favorite thing to make with them (other than apple cider and apple cake) is applesauce. Applesauce can be used as substitution for oil or butter in lots of our baking recipes.
Add your chopped apples, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks to the Instant Pot and seal shut. Cook on high for 6 minutes with a quick release. Blend everything together and transfer it to a container to chill.
“My husband didn’t want the cinnamon so left it out. Still was very tasty and easy to make. The orange juice made it perfect.” -Jean
What do you need for Instant Pot applesauce?
Instant Pot applesauce is a rather straightforward recipe calling for Gala apples, orange juice, and a little cinnamon. The citrus helps balance the flavors of the apple and the cinnamon adds a bite. PS: We tested this recipe with a little lemon and much preferred the orange juice!
In addition to the 3 ingredients above, make sure to have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker available along with an immersion blender.
What apples do you use for applesauce?
Pretty much any kind of apple can be used for applesauce. Our favorites include Gala, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith.
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Apple: like we mentioned above, really any kind of apples work. Here are our favorites:
- Gala: perfect blend of sweet and sour
- Green/Granny Smith: a green apple will create a more sour applesauce.
- Red Delicious: this will create a sweeter applesauce.
Citrus: if you plan to use a different citrus such as lemon, we recommend reducing it a bit since it’s much more sour. Use 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and sub the rest with water.
Spices: instead of cinnamon sticks, try using other whole spices like star anis, cardamom, nutmeg, or allspice.
Why do you use orange juice in applesauce?
You’ll notice that this recipe calls for orange juice instead of apple juice or water. We do this for a very specific reason and it’s because citrus preserves fruit. Lemon and lime are too bitter and orange juice is just right when it comes to sweetness. A little goes a long way, but orange juice will help your applesauce from browning!
Should I use cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon in my applesauce?
Cinnamon sticks add the perfect amount of spice to your applesauce and really help to bring out the natural flavors and sweetness of your apples. Don’t skip this part! If you can’t find them or don’t have any cinnamon sticks on hand, feel free to substitute for actual ground cinnamon.
How do you thicken up applesauce?
Applesauce will thicken as it cools, but if you’re hoping to get your applesauce even thicker, you can use a thickening agent like arrowroot starch.
Do I have to peel my apple for applesauce?
It is not necessary to peel you apples for applesauce, but if you prefer no skin, you can.
Homemade applesauce will last you around 10-14 days. Make sure that you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results. If your applesauce starts to mold or smells funny, discard it.
Try our Crockpot applesauce recipe, too!
Can you freeze applesauce?
You can easily freeze applesauce and it’s super easy. We suggest transferring your applesauce into an ice cube tray and freezing it that way. Once frozen, transfer your applesauce cubes into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag for later!
What to Make with Applesauce
- Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Bread
- Grain-Free Applesauce Pancakes
- Applesauce Skillet Pancake Cake
- Zucchini Bread
Instant Pot Applesauce
- 8 large Gala apples*
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- First, core the apple and then chop them into thirds. Transfer the apples to the Instant Pot.
- Add the orange juice and cinnamon into the pot and toss the ingredients together.
- Cover the Instant Pot and make sure the pressure valve is turned to seal.
- Cook the apples for 6 minutes on high pressure. It will take a little while for your Instant Pot to build pressure and start counting down.
- Quick release the pressure. Uncover the Instant Pot. The apples should be very soft. Use a handheld immersion blender* to pulse the cooked apples into applesauce.
- When the applesauce has reached the desired consistency, transfer the applesauce into a glass container and let it cool.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Tips & Notes
- Apples*: Any kind of apples will work for this Instant Pot applesauce. If you like your applesauce to be on the sweeter side, make sure that you use a sweeter apple like Gala. And, if you like a more sour taste, use something like a green apple.
- We left the skin of the apples on, but you are more than welcome to peel your apples before pressure cooking. From experience, you can’t even tell there is skin on the apples after they are pressure cooked and we love the extra nutrients they add!
- If you do not have an immersion blend you can use a potato masher or transfer all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth.