Unsweetened Applesauce (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or Stove)

Unsweetened applesauce is a deliciously simple, naturally sweet applesauce that is very family-friendly! You can choose how to make it by one of three ultra-easy methods, too: stove top, slow cooker, or Instant Pot!

A small glass tub of rosy colored, smooth homemade applesauce.

Why This Unsweetened Applesauce is So Easy

  • All you need is apples and water – that’s it!
  • You don’t even need to peel the apples! (Unless you want to, of course.)
  • You can basically set it and forget it while it cooks, no matter the method you use: stove top, slow cooker, or Instant Pot.

What makes this recipe so delicious?

Apples are naturally sweet (and incredibly nutritious), especially when you choose a sweeter variety. When cooked down, the sweetness is amplified, making it a delicious treat on its own or spooned over oatmeal, yogurt, or even ice cream!

A glass jar of unsweetened applesauce with a spoon of applesauce and apples.

How do you make homemade applesauce?

  1. Use an apple slicer to slice the apples and remove the core. Don’t have an apple slicer? Just use a sharp knife to slice off the sides and discard the core.
  2. Place apple slices in your pot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot and cook per your method’s instructions:
    • Stove Top: Cover and simmer for an hour over medium heat.
    • Slow Cooker: Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1-2 hours.
    • Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, followed by a quick release.
  3. When done, remove cover and let cool ten minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree to your preferred consistency (my kids prefer it pretty smooth!). If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer contents to a blender and blend on low to medium speed until smooth.

Tips to Make this Recipe:

My main tip is to remove the lid right away. Too much water can collect in the cooked apples if steam is allowed to build for too long (i.e. if you do a natural release on the Instant Pot or get distracted and don’t remove the lid for 20+ minutes).

If this happens, though, there’s a simple fix! Pour the pureed applesauce back in the pot and allow some of the water to cook off. Here are specific directions for each method:

  • Stove Top: Pour the applesauce back in the pot over medium-high heat, uncovered, and let some of the water cook off while stirring occasionally for 15-30 minutes.
  • Slow Cooker: Pour the applesauce back in the slow cooker and leave the lid off. Stirring occasionally, let the applesauce thicken on high for 30-60 minutes or on low 1-2 hours.
  • Instant Pot: Pour the applesauce back in the Instant Pot and switch the function to Saute. Stirring every couple minutes, allow excess water to cook off and applesauce to thicken for 10-20 minutes.
A copper spoon of applesauce over a jar.

How long will this applesauce last?

Store it in a covered, airtight container and keep in the refrigerator up to one week.

It can also be frozen up to three months (longer if using a deep freezer).

What type of apples should I use?

Truthfully, you can use whichever apples you have, grow, or are on sale. I do find a sweeter apple variety tends to lead to a more family-friendly, naturally sweet applesauce, though.

Sweeter apple varieties include Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious.

Is this recipe healthy?

Unsweetened applesauce can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet. Apples are high in fiber, vitamin C, and contain many antioxidants and polyphenols that can attribute to many health benefits of apples.

Know, too, that “healthy” is subjective. The foods that help one maintain their health may or may not work for you – and that’s okay! Honor the body you have. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I suggest eating a variety of nourishing foods that help you feel good and achieve or maintain your health, balanced with the foods you love. Remember – an election isn’t won with every vote, but the majority. Your health is the same way – the overall dietary pattern is what matters most.

Unsweetened applesauce in a glass jar on a marble surface by a cut apple and copper spoon.

Check out these other related recipes!

Did you make this recipe? Give it a 5★ rating below! For more balanced nutrition and no fuss, balanced recipes, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

A small glass tub of rosy colored, smooth homemade applesauce.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is a deliciously simple, naturally sweet applesauce that is incredibly family-friendly! You can choose how to make it by one of three ultra-easy methods, too: stove top, slow cooker, or Instant Pot!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 71kcal
Author: Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN
Cost: $3.50 recipe/ $0.35 serving

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs apples (cored)
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

  • Use an apple slicer to slice the apples and remove the core. Don't have an apple slicer? Just use a sharp knife to slice off the sides and discard the core.
  • Place apple slices in your pot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot and cook per your method's instructions:
    Stove Top: Cover and simmer for an hour over medium heat.
    Slow Cooker: Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1-2 hours.
    Instant Pot: Seal the vent and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, followed immediately by a quick release.
  • When done, remove cover and let cool ten minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree to your preferred consistency (my kids prefer it pretty smooth!). If you don't have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer contents to a blender and blend on low to medium speed until smooth.

Notes

One serving is a half cup of applesauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.