Easy and A-peel-ing Instant Pot Applesauce

A few weeks ago my little family went apple picking on Sauvies Island, an idyllic piece of land off the Columbia River close to Portland serving as farmland and a wildlife refuge. I love family trips out to this island because you can feel so far away and connected to nature and agriculture without having to travel too far out of the city.

Our whole family enjoyed sampling and picking apples, and we managed to come home with a whole box of perfectly ripe Golden Delicious apples! I wanted to be able to preserve the apples so we could enjoy them for many months, but didn’t have the time or energy for canning (I applaud those of you who still do this!). The solution? Applesauce! In addition to the muffins, apple donuts and other fun recipes we made that week, we also made two batches of these delicious applesauce to share with friends and to save for the winter.

Prep for this recipe only takes a few minutes (no peeling required!) and its great for getting kids with shorter attention spans involved in cooking. My daughter has actually never LOVED store bought applesauce but goes crazy for this when we make it together.

Applesauce Recipe


  • 10 Golden Delicious Apples with peels (about 10 cups roughly chopped)

  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks

  • 1 piece of lemon peel (2 inch)

  • 1 tsp of lemon juice (or a good squeeze!)

  • 1 cup of filtered water


  1. Add all of the ingredients to your instant pot and set on manual for 5 minutes. Make sure the venting valve is shut. (Alternatively, you can use a crock pot on HIGH for 4 hours and skip step 2).

  2. Let the pressure release on its own.

  3. When the pressure is released, open the lid and strain out cinnamon sticks and any large lemon peel pieces left.

  4. Add in a teaspoon of ground cinnamon if you’d like an extra boost of flavor! (Other tasty options include ground nutmeg and ginger).

  5. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (or a bit chunky if that’s how you like it).

  6. Transfer to glass jars for storage (let cool on the counter and leave some room in the jar when freezing).

Serving Tips:

  • Keep the peels on to increase the nutrition of the applesauce (littles won’t notice a difference).

  • Swirl in a little ghee, coconut oil, or organic plain yogurt to warm applesauce to add healthy fats and reduce the risk of a blood sugar spike (the fiber helps too!).

  • Don’t worry about the mess and enjoy the cute messy face :)

What did your family think of making applesauce together?

I would love to know in the comments!