Instant Pot Applesauce

The snack time upgrade we all need this fall.

instant pot apple sauce
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
4 cups

Delicious enough to be apple butter, but with the texture of applesauce, this Instant Pot Applesauce is a must in your autumn arsenal. The recipe is cinnamon-y with a well-balanced blend of sweet and tart flavors that's made to be personalized. Looking for a little less sugar or spice? Simply adjust. Prefer your apple sauce chunky? Use a potato masher in step three to keep a little grit in your snack. Like your sauce on the smoother side? Try an immersion blender or transfer your mixture into a blender before stirring in your brown sugar. You can also adjust the taste with the apples you use. If you can't find Honeycrisp apples, Gala or Envy apples are great substitutes. Amp up the tartness with varieties like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Braeburn apples. Even though apples release a lot of liquid and juice, the water is crucial when using the pressure cooker. The high pressure can cause the dreaded BURN or ERROR signal on your cooker. Double your batch to package in small containers as gifts or to have extra on hand as an oil replacement in quick breads or cakes.


  • 1 ½ pounds Honeycrisp or other sweet apples (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 ½ pounds Granny Smith or other tart apples (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar


  1. Stir together apples, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  2. When cooking has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). This will take 1 to 2 minutes. Remove lid from cooker.

  3. For a chunky applesauce, mash apples with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. For a smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth (or, alternatively, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth).

  4. Stir in brown sugar; let cool completely, about 1 hour, before storing in airtight container up to one week.

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