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Best homemade ketchup recipe

Best homemade ketchup recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce

If you're lucky enough to have a glut of tomatoes, this homemade tomato ketchup is a great way to preserve their sunny flavour for enjoyment year round. Your burgers will thank you for it!

21 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 5 (500ml) jars

  • 5kg tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely grated
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 75ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 whole cloves, ground
  • 5 allspice berries, ground
  • black pepper to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:3hr40min ›Ready in:4hr

  1. Score the top and bottom of each tomato. Place in a large bowl or pan and pour over freshly boiled water from the kettle. Let sit for several minutes, then drain. Peel the tomatoes and cut out the core. Finally, pass the tomatoes through a fine sieve.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated onion and cook till softened and the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes along with all of the remaining ingredients. Mix well and cook gently, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours over low heat.
  3. Fill sterilised jars with the hot ketchup, leaving 5mm headspace. Seal with sterilised lids.
  4. Transfer jars to a large pan lined with a tea towel. Pour in water to just below the lids. Cover and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the water bath before removing to a work surface to cool overnight. Any jars that have not sealed properly should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks. All sealed jars can be kept in a cool, dark place until opened.

How to sterilise jars

Learn how to sterilise jars two ways with our handy step-by-step guide and video.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Homemade Ketchup Recipe – Gluten Free

When I was a kid, I put ketchup on EVERYTHING. It was much to the horror of my grandfather who insisted that Ketchup ruined food… But, I didn’t care and was always generous with the red stuff. I may not use it as much nowadays, but we do use it regularly and my kids love it!

Although the natural brands are a much better option than Heinz 57 (which contains High Fructose Corn Syrup), they are expensive and never quite taste right. Plus, I needed a truly Gluten Free option for my kids – I know that regular vinegar is supposed to be gluten free, but grain based vinegar definitely irritates my little one with Celiac.

This Homemade Ketchup Recipe is Gluten Free, Super Easy, and tastes like ‘Real’ Ketchup – even my toughest critics (the neighbor kids) like it. I usually double the recipe and it turns out great!

Confession: I still love ketchup on my oven fries – both russet & sweet. My poor grandpa is probably rolling over in his grave at just the mention of it!



Approximately how long does it usually take to reduce the tomatoes to 1/3 ? and are there any specific times for each section that says 'bring to a boil'? for how long? But this seems soooo simple to the one I attempted that took 12 hours! :)

Looks like a great recipe - any ideas on how to pull it off without a food processor?

You could probably use a blender.

Homemade ketchup is the best, add a little fresh jalapeno for some extra kick. Thanks for the recipe .

Nice. A question about yield. How many jars are filled from this recipe? They look like half pints from the photos but I am unsure. Also, I have been looking into this and have seen it suggested that rather than cooking and reducing from whole tomatoes to use canned tomato paste as a base. Would that work or does the scratch cooking make the difference? I want to make a few small batches of several types of ketchup and need to keep the ratios small. Thank you.

The picture shows square pint jars. I was able to get about 5 pint jars filled. It can vary depending on how much the ketchup is reduced. I actually have never used canned tomato paste when making ketchup, so I wouldn't know. I use this as a way to preserve the tomatoes I grow. I assume it would work to make the ketchup, but I'm not sure if it would work with canning the ketchup. There is a certain chemistry that needs to go in when canning to prevent mold and spoilage. If you found a recipe that uses it, go for it. I am always eager to try recipes that make the process easier. I have split the recipe in half to make a smaller batch and it turned out just fine.

Garden Girl, thank you for the response. As for tomato paste, I think the reasons for using was to save the time it takes to reduce the tomatoes. So yes, if you are growing them then it is a great way to preserve the produce.

Now as for canning things like tomato juice or ketchup, is it necessary to actually pressure can or will water bath suffice? I ask because it seems like most references seem to say high acid foods like fruit and tomatoes are stable with boiling water temperature baths. I am not 100% sure. I was under the impression that the mix of acidified foods like tomatoes with vinegar made a high enough acid content to ward off spoilage. I would be canning in used 'chili sauce' bottles like Heinz brand. The size of around 12oz and the shape of the bottles makes them perfect for these small batches. Thanks again.

You are correct. I have read the same about high acid foods. I have actually made this ketchup using both methods: water bath and pressure can. The first time I made it, I guess I didn't pay too much attention to the instructions and processed them in a water bath. We finished all the ketchup without any spoilage. I wrote that it should be processed in a pressure can because that is what the original recipe instructed.

Unless you can check the acidity of this recipe. and most tomato type recipes for canning have added lemon juice to get the high acidity , this doesn't fit for water bath canning. Just my opinion.

It's a good opinion. I have always learned not to alter a canning recipe. You can change the spices a bit, but it is best to follow them as described. I recommend following the instructions.

Love your simple photos and instructions.

How does the flavor compare to commercial ketchup? Is it as sweet/salty? I feel like the high fructose corn syrup in contrast with the saltiness of commercial ketchup is really what makes it so addictive.

Compared to commercial ketchup, I would say this recipes is on the sweeter side and is not as sour. The Tabasco sauce is the secret ingredient. If you forget it, the ketchup will come out strange and sweet. If you want it to be a bit more salty, you can always add more at the end that's the benefit of making it yourself.

Why Make Homemade Ketchup

The main reason to make your own Homemade Ketchup is to have control over the ingredients. And the cost of the organic, healthier, or low-carb varieties can be pretty astronomical.

I am not thrilled with the ingredients in store-bought ketchup. Even the organic varieties like this one, have loads of sugar in them and since we are all on a low-to-no-sugar diet, that doesn't work for us.

Plus, store-bought ketchup often has "natural flavors" added. That can be a catch-all for very benign food items like parsley extract, but it can also be code for "MSG-type" substances. It's kind of a pain to always be calling companies to ask what their flavors are so I prefer to make my own :).

With this super simple ketchup recipe you can literally toss all the ingredients together within a minute or two and have homemade sugar-free ketchup ready--almost as quick as you can say "ketchup" or "catsup" or--whatever.

Did you know that both words are derived from the Chinese word "ke-tsiap" which is a "fish sauce? Look at that--a recipe and a linguistic lesson in one post :).

On with the easy homemade ketchup recipe.

The inspiration for this recipe came from this one at Deep Roots at Home.

I was on my perpetual hunt for a good easy homemade ketchup recipe when I finally found one that worked pretty well.

I changed it up a bit and now we can have ketchup any time we want!

There you have it -- Easy Homemade Ketchup in a flash, but you don't need to wait forever for it.

My kids are sooo happy that we have ketchup around much more frequently now, and my youngest seriously dips EVERYTHING in it. For awhile he was taking to dipping his carrot sticks in it and today he was dipping crackers in it too!

Who am I kidding? I was dipping right along with him :).

We have a cookout later this week so you can bet we'll be toting this ketchup with us.

My son thinks these Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets should be on the menu this week so we can dip the nuggets in ketchup :).

Whole30 Ketchup

Typically ketchup has a ton of sugar&mdashsometimes even high fructose corn syrup&mdashso we created a super-simple homemade ketchup that's totally approved for the Whole30 and paleo diets.

Is ketchup approved on the Whole30 diet?

Only if you eat one with no added sugar! Many store-bought ketchups have added sugars for sweetness. This homemade version skips sweeteners of all kinds to make sure it's compliant with the Whole30 diet.

How does this ketchup get its flavor?

Tomato paste is the base, but the secret ingredient that gives this ketchup a ton of flavor is coconut aminos&mdasha savory condiment similar to soy sauce that's made from coconut sap.

How long does Whole30 ketchup last?

You can store this ketchup in a resealable container in your fridge up to 2 weeks.

All you need is some fresh tomatoes, sugar or preferred sweetener, vinegar, and few spices, to make this homemade ketchup. I prefer Roma (plum) tomatoes for this recipe. I have used Instant Pot to make ketchup, for stovetop instructions, please refer to the recipe card.


Gather all the ingredients.

Wash, and cut the tomatoes into half.


Add tomatoes, water to the inner pot of Instant Pot. Close the lid, vent sealed.

Turn ON Instant Pot MANUAL / PRESSURE COOK (high) for 10 minutes. Followed by 10 minutes of natural pressure release.

Open the IP lid, using a handheld blender, blend the mixture to a smooth puree.

Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the puree. Return the strained puree into the pot.

Turn ON SAUTE (normal), add sugar, vinegar, spices. Mix well.

Cook the mixture for 35-40 minutes, or until desired consistency. Stir occasionally.

Note: Ketchup thickens as it cools down, and upon refrigeration.

Adjust the seasoning, salt, and pepper, to taste. Turn OFF SAUTE.

Let the ketchup cool completely. Using a funnel, transfer the ketchup to a clean bottle.

Refrigerate overnight for all the flavors to blend in well. Enjoy homemade ketchup with your favorite dish!

This recipe yields 21 oz bottle of ketchup. Homemade ketchup stays fresh for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.


Add tomatoes, water to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft. The rest of the recipe is the same as Instant Pot.

Natural sweeteners for this recipe

Mass produced ketchup is known for having high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). So the best way to make ketchup without it? Make your own! This ketchup recipe is not overly sweet: it tastes just sweet enough. Pick from one of these various sweeteners when you make it:

  • Brown sugar adds a subtle molasses-like undertone
  • Coconut sugar works if that’s your sugar of choice
  • Honey is a great natural sweetener option (use local if you can)
  • Maple syrup is another great natural sweetner
  • Agave syrup also works if that is your preference

Let us know in the comments below what you used for making this recipe!

World’s Greatest Homemade Ketchup (You’ll Never Go Back)

I’m not sure exactly when ketchup cemented itself as the go-to condiment for fries, or as the sauce of choice for hamburgers and hot dogs alike. All I know is, it’s not a BBQ without a big red, plastic squirt-top vessel of Heinz ketchup.

The Heinz brand has clearly dominated the ketchup market over the years. But to my fellow sauce aficienados, I have something you’ll want to know. There is a world of ketchup beyond Heinz! Homemade ketchup is easy to make, so no longer must you continue your guilty pleasures of squirting Heinz on everything.

Don’t think you’re making Heinz at home, because you’ll just be disappointed. Rather, view it as another type of tomato condiment. A different kind of ketchup. Because I like to make sure it’s distinct from our favorite, I kick it up with chipotle spice, richen the sweetness with maple syrup, and keep it more chunky than smooth. Which altogether creates a wonderfully balanced tomato-ey tang with a nice residual kick in the form of a thick sauce that can be spread onto or dipped into.

There are some recipes out there that instruct you to use pounds and pounds of farm fresh tomatoes, which requires scoring and par-boiling and peeling tomato skins, then seeding and pressing through a food mill or potato ricer. And despite the fact that I own six colanders and two salad spinners and a slew of other kitchen gadgetry, I regret that I unfortunately have no food mill nor potato ricer, nor do I really want to spend hours laboring over a bushel of tomatoes. Furthermore, being that Winter is around the corner (or, as some might say, Winter is Coming), and we are no longer staring at farm fresh beefsteak tomatoes anyway.

So here, I am suggesting something rather shocking, a recipe that prefers canned tomatoes over fresh. Gasp

! you might say, canned tomatoes? I swear there is no sacrifice in taste, that there is no difference in quality, and the end result comes with a process ten times easier! Do be forewarned, however, that choosing high-quality, whole peeled tomatoes does make a difference. My personal preference is the canned San Marzano brand, which I hoard by the dozen in my pantry anyway.

So this year, even though the grilling season is nearing an end, try your hand at this homemade condiment. You’ll find yourself slathering the sauce over eggs or hash browns, with oven-grilled chicken or fish, and maybe the occasional oven-broiled hamburger or sausage, even in the depths of winter.

Cooking guidelines

A single layer of cheesecloth must be prepared. (It has to be square in shape and make sure that it is capable of accommodating all spices with adequate room for folding and securing the contents).

Allspice, chile flakes, celery seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cloves should be placed in the middle part of the cheesecloth.

The cloth needs to be closely folded and a kitchen twine must be used to secure.

A medium-sized stock pot should be taken and, the spice packet, garlic, chile, onion, sugar, vinegar, salt and tomatoes have to be placed into the stock pot. (Make sure that there is adequate space for tomatoes with some extra room).

They should be cooked for 30 minutes over medium heat. (You need to ensure that the onions turn limp and translucent and, chile and tomatoes become soft).

The spice packet has to be taken out and discarded.

The ketchup should be processed with the help of a tiny disk in the food mill back into the stock pot. (If you do not have a food mill, the ketch can be run through the blender and strained through a mesh strainer).

The pot has to be covered and cooked for 20 to 30 minutes over medium-low heat. (Stop when you get the preferred thickness).

This ketchup can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.