This is another instance where homemade totally beats out store-bought. Packaged applesauce has a ton of sugar and preservatives and it’s so watery. Homemade applesauce is just so much tastier and way better for you.
When I was a kid, my grandma always made us homemade applesauce. It would be a little chunky, and equally tart and sweet. I love making the stovetop version but once I made applesauce in the instant pot I knew there was no going back. It tastes just as good, if not better, and it’s ready in less than half the time!
Best Apples for Applesauce
Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of apples grown in the US? There are so many options, how do you know which apples are the best for your homemade applesauce?
It all depends on your taste. I like to use a mixture of tart and sweet like Honeycrisp and Granny Smith. The combo is sweet enough without being too sweet, so I don’t need to add the brown sugar. My grandma always used yellow delicious apples because they were sweet and a little softer, offering a smoother texture.
How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce
Wash your apples, then peel, core and roughly chop them. This can be done with a regular peeler, but if you’re planning on making homemade applesauce often, consider purchasing a nifty apple peeler tool. It peels potatoes, too!
Add water, lemon juice brown sugar, cinnamon and apples to the Instant Pot, then cover and cook on manual (high pressure) for 8 minutes. A quick controlled release will take about 2-3 minutes while a natural release will take longer, so choose the method you’re comfortable with. Brown sugar is included in this recipe but really it’s an optional ingredient. You can wait and add it after the applesauce is cooked if it’s not sweet enough.
Using a potato masher, mash the apples to desired consistency. You could also use a blender if you prefer smooth to chunky.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Allow applesauce to cool completely before storing. Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for to 7-10 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
For canning: Make the applesauce in your instant pot, then follow these instructions for canning your applesauce. This is especially great if you have a lot of apples and want to make a few batches because it will last in your pantry for up to 2-3 years.
3poundssweet or tart appleslike Granny Smith, Rome, Honeycrisp, Jonagold
1tablespoonfresh lemon juice
1tablespoonbrown sugar or granulated sugaroptional
Peel, core and roughly chop apples.
To the instant pot, add water, lemon juice and cinnamon. Stir to combine, add apples and stir again to coat completely.
Secure lid and cook on manual (high pressure) for 8 minutes. Do a controlled quick release or allow the pressure to naturally release.
Mash the apples with a potato masher or for a smoother texture, pulse in the blender. Use caution when placing hot ingredients in the blender.
Transfer applesauce to a serving bowl to cool completely. Taste and add sugar and more cinnamon or sugar as desired.
Enjoy warm or cold. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.
Choose the variety of apples based on your desired flavor (ie sweet or tart). Check out the guide in this post for our apple suggestions.The sugar in this recipe is optional. Taste the cooked applesauce, then add sugar as desired.Allow applesauce to cool completely before storing. Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for to 7-10 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. This recipe will make roughly 1 quart of applesauce, or about 4 cups. A serving is about half a cup.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.