The Absolute Best Instant Pot Applesauce

Here’s what happens to me every single fall. I drag my family apple picking, everyone except me hates it (well, they like the cider donuts, but that’s it), and I always buy too many apples. This used to be an excuse for me to spend the day simmering apples for applesauce, but recently I discovered the sheer joy of cooking applesauce in the Instant Pot — and I’m never cooking it another way again.

Instant Pot applesauce isn’t only the easiest applesauce you can make at home — it’s also the most delicious (and the prettiest!).

How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce

Instant Pot applesauce really is as easy as throwing some apple chunks into your Instant Pot, adding a little water and lemon juice, and setting it to cook for five minutes. But a few small steps will ensure that your Instant Pot applesauce is near perfect.

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After cooking and cooling, store this applesauce for up to seven days in the fridge. It also freezes incredibly well in quart-sized batches (in case you, too, buy too many apples).

Instant Pot Applesauce


  • 4

    large sweet apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total), such as Honeycrisp or Gala

  • 4

    large tart apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total), such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious

  • 1/2 cup


  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar


  1. Peel 4 large sweet apples and 4 large tart apples. Halve and core them, then cut them into large chunks. Place the chunks in an electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

  2. Add 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and stir to distribute the cinnamon as evenly as possible.

  3. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 5 minutes under HIGH pressure. It should take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure.

  4. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.

  5. Uncover the pressure cooker. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the apples to the desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, use an immersion blender to purée the applesauce directly in the pot until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  6. Taste the applesauce and, while it’s still warm, add 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, if desired. When cool, transfer the applesauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

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