DIY Simple Homemade Ketchup Recipe

5 from 76 votes
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This simple homemade Ketchup recipe is not only healthier than its store-bought competition, but it is also so much more addictively delicious as you can control the exact amount of sugar, salt and spices added to the sweet tomato blend.

a bunch of tomatoes and two bottles of homemade ketchup

I could write an ode to tomato ketchup – it’s the condiment that we all need in our lives, even if it doesn’t appear in most food photos (it’s just not super glamorous is it?). It’s a guilty pleasure that I like to add to so many dishes, though! And this simple homemade ketchup recipe is one of my favorite DIYs for allowing you to be 100% in control of the ingredients.

homemade ketchup in a bowl

Store-bought ketchup is known for having quite a lot of sugar and salt in it and, for people that consume it a lot, I know that it can be a worry not to have control over the ingredients. What’s worse is that the sugar used within some budget store-bought bottles of ketchup is often not even ‘sugar’ and instead use high fructose corn syrup – yuck.

two bottles of homemade ketchup

This recipe isn’t sugar-free, because I think that ketchup needs the sweetness to counteract the acidity of tomatoes and provide that signature ketchup taste. Without sugar, you’re basically making a slightly less reduced homemade tomato puree/tomato sauce, which – if that’s what you want – then I’m all for that.

Just be aware that if you do want to use a natural sweetener like maple syrup, this will affect the overall flavor of your homemade ketchup.

homemade ketchup in a bowl and a tomato bunch

Overall, that’s one of my favorite things about being able to make homemade ketchup though; you can be in control of exactly how much sugar, salt, and spices you add to the mix. For either more healthy ketchup or one that’s slightly more decadent.

I even make mine COMPLETELY from scratch, using juicy organic fresh tomatoes (rather than using store-bought homemade tomato paste), because I find a sense of calm of being 100% in control of every single ingredient used in this homemade organic ketchup.

organic stem tomatoes

However, if you do want to cut a few steps from this DIY, then feel free to use some store-bought tomato paste. Either way, the ingredients list for this tomato ketchup DIY is short, sweet, and to the point. The answer to how to make ketchup at home is definitely a simple one.

Simple homemade Ketchup recipe

Where To Use This Homemade Ketchup

Okay, this section feels slightly redundant because I know that we’re all experts in how to use ketchup on pretty much everything ever. I’m definitely not one to judge what you’re eating your ketchup with – just make some additional suggestions for you.

  • One of my absolute favorite ways to eat this ketchup is with homemade crispy oven-baked fries. Sometimes classics are classic for a reason, and this is one of my absolute favorite ways to eat ketchup. I sometimes even chuck on some cheeky homemade mayonnaise too because – why not? And I sometimes even add it to these Rosemary Garlic Crispy Roasted Potatoes.
  • These Rainbow Vegan Tacos or meat-free tacos: 4 ways recipes could definitely use a spoonful or two of some ketchup – yummy
  • I totally wouldn’t judge you for having some homemade ketchup with this Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese – It’s not something I’ve ever tried, but one of my friends swears by ketchup with ANY pasta dish.
  • And let’s not forget the other classic combo of delicious tomato ketchup with a burger. And this time I’m suggesting this fully-loaded Mushroom Bun Burger (easily veganized without having a fried egg!)

If you’re wanting some ideas for how to use this homemade ketchup recipe with vegetarian options:

Let me know in the comments below – what is your favorite way to eat ketchup?

How to Make Ketchup At Home

The short answer is – really simply. But I know that’s not going to cut it so here is the full method for making your own delicious homemade ketchup recipe. The entire recipe uses nine ingredients, not including salt and the majority of those are herbs/spices that are likely already in your kitchen.

The entire process takes around an hour and will yield 1.5 cups of homemade ketchup. The homemade ketchup can then be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for one month (although mine never lasts that long).

The Ketchup ingredients

the ingredients to make a simple homemade ketchup
  • tomatoes – cherry or others (I used organic)
  • apple cider vinegar – this adds a bit of sour flavor
  • brown sugar – this brings sweetness  (some people use maple syrup for a refined sugar-free version. However, I have to admit I prefer the taste with brown sugar)
  • a clove bud and ground cinnamon
  • onion and garlic powder
  • celery seeds, chili powder (or cayenne pepper powder), and salt

How to make ketchup

Start by washing the tomatoes and removing their stems.

a large glass bowl of organic vine tomatoes ( cherry tomatoes)

Add the tomatoes to a large bowl and blend them  (I used Organic Cherry Stem Tomatoes) with a handheld immersion blender. You could also do this in a food processor.

Pass them through a sieve to remove the seeds and chunks of the skin. This yielded 3.5 cups of tomato juice for me.

homemade ketchup

Add the tomatoes into a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Then simmer and reduce for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

homemade ketchup

Add all the other ingredients and stir well. The spices and flavors combine to give you that signature tomato ketchup flavor.

Note: If you are using ready-made tomato paste, you can start at this step, as it does not need to be reduced.

adding the spices and flavours for a simple homemade ketchup recipe

Keep over medium heat for another 8-10 minutes and cook, stirring occasionally.

how to make ketchup at home. delicious homemade ketchup in a large pan on top of a stove

When you achieve a consistency you like, remove from the heat.

homemade ketchup in a large pan. A simple DIY for how to make ketchup at home- the perfect tomato ketchup recipe

Leave it to cool down then transfer to an airtight container or bottle and keep refrigerated. That’s literally all it takes to make delicious homemade ketchup – so you can see why I’m so enamored.

Adding homemade ketchup in a bottle

For me, this recipe yielded 1.5 cups of homemade ketchup.

Homemade ketchup in two bottles

Other Simple DIY Recipes You Might Like

It feels wrong to label myself the DIY queen – but I’ve certainly spent A LOT of time over the past couple of years making a massive array of DIYs. From DIY virgin coconut oil to this health-boosting wonder turmeric tincture, and even organic rose water. I even make non-food DIYS like this All-Natural Soothing Skin Balm for Dry Skin.

I have a few pages of DIYs available on the blog (including nut & seed butter, every possible use for a coconut ever -or so it feels-, and more) so feel free to head over to that section if you want to peruse more.

If you try this homemade ketchup recipe, then I’d super appreciate a recipe rating, and any comments or questions. Also, feel free to tag me in your re-creations @AlphaFoodie.

Simple Homemade Ketchup

5 from 76 votes
By: Samira
This simple Homemade Ketchup recipe is not only healthier than its store-bought competition, but it is also so much more addictively delicious as you can control the exact amount of sugar, salt and spices added to the sweet tomato blend.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24 Tbsp (1.5 cup)

Ingredients 
 

  • 6 cups tomatoes I used organic cherry vine tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole clove bud
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp chilli powder or cayenne powder

Instructions 

  • Wash the tomatoes and remove their stems.
  • Add the tomatoes to a large bowl and blend them with a handheld immersion blender. You could also do this in a food processor.
  • Pass them through a sieve to remove the seeds and chunks of the skin. This yielded 3.5 cups of tomato juice for me.
  • Add the tomatoes into a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil to reduce them for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add all the other ingredients and stir well. The spices and flavours combine to give you that signature tomato ketchup flavour.*
  • Keep over medium heat for another 8-10 minutes and cook, stirring occasionally. When you achieve a consistency you like, remove from the heat.
  • Leave it to cool down then transfer to an airtight container or bottle and keep refrigerated for up to a month.

Video

Notes

  • some people use maple syrup for a refined sugar-free version. However, I have to admit I prefer the taste with brown sugar as it does affect the flavor.
  • * If you are using ready-made tomato paste, you can start at this step, as it does not need to be reduced. Just use 1.5 cups of tomato paste. 
Course: DIYs
Cuisine: Condiment
Freezer friendly: 5 Months
Shelf life: 1 Month

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp, Calories: 17kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 100mg, Potassium: 97mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 314IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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80 Comments

    1. Thanks for pointing this out, Steve. There was indeed a typo, now fixed. I obtained about 3.5 cups of tomato juice.

    1. Hi Pau,
      I buy all my clear-glass bottles online. I’ve linked some of them on the Shop page on my blog. I hope this helps.

  1. I’m using a combo of roma, cherry, and some early girls. Each batch has come out different since the various types of tomatoes provide different levels of juice. Do you have an idea of how much ‘sauce’ consistency you had after your juice reduced? Trying to get a more consistent flavor and im struggling with spice quantity verses starting juice.

    1. Hi Jo,
      After the juice reduced, it was about 1.5 cups. Then I added the spices and cooked for a few more minutes, but the consistency was not reduced by much more.
      I hope this helps.

    1. Hi,
      As this recipe uses vinegar, it is safe to can the ketchup in a water bath canner. I hope this helps.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Yes, you first reduce the tomato juice for about 45 minutes. Then add the spices and cook for another 10 minutes over medium-heat.

      1. Hi Nadia,
        Though I haven’t tried this yet, you should be able to substitute the brown sugar with coconut sugar in a 1:1 ratio.

  2. Hello! I have a question — I tried to use 6 cups worth, but I ended up with hardly anything left by the end of the cooking time and what was there was really runny. Do you have any advice? Thank you!

    1. Hi Alyssa,
      Just to make sure – did you start with 6 cups worth of tomatoes or already tomato juice?
      Either way, the reduction, although with a lot less water content, is still kind of runny. Adding the spices at the end allows the ketchup to thicken a bit but, as this is not tomato paste/purée, the final product is a little more on the runny side.
      I hope this helps and you get to enjoy the ketchup. 🙂

  3. I am going to make this today! Ran out of regular ketchup last night. I have been buying organic and cooking organic for over a year and it gets expensive. I am so thankful that I have been finding condiment recipes. Thank you! I will let you know how it turns out.